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NFL Wild Card Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Jan 11, 2024

NFL Wild Card Weekend 2024 features several compelling storylines. The long-suffering Browns and Lions enter the first round of the playoffs with unusual optimism, and Detroit faces its longtime former star quarterback.

Weather threatens to greatly affect a pair of AFC matchups, and two legendary franchises square off in Dallas. The stumbling Eagles will also try to get back on track in Tampa Bay.

I have combined my favorite spread and Over/Under picks in this round-one playoff rundown, plus get all the NFL Wild Card odds.

All NFL odds are current as of Jan. 10, 2024, at 2 p.m. ET from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Wild Card Weekend NFL Featured Best Bets

Browns -2.5 (-115) vs Texans

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1.5 Units

Cleveland finished the regular season by winning its last four games that mattered and enters the first round riding a formidable defense and a resurgent storybook quarterback.

The Browns led the league in total defense, allowing 270.2 yards per game, the fewest yards per game allowed by any team since the 2014 season. Since becoming Cleveland’s starter in Week 13, Joe Flacco ranked second in the NFL with 1,616 pass yards and tied for second with 13 TD passes.

The Texans became the first team in the Super Bowl era to win a division title with a first-year head coach and a rookie QB, but inexperience can cost them against a better team. Houston won three of its final four games, but the one loss during that span was a 14-point defeat against Cleveland.

As noted by DraftKings, the Browns have won each of their last eight games as favorites. Lock in Cleveland as the NFL bet of the day.

Dolphins vs Chiefs -4.5 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • Chiefs WAGER:1 Unit

Weather is going to be the decisive factor here. Miami already has well-documented struggles against winning teams, but now it also has to deal with projected extreme cold and some key defensive injuries.

Since 2017, the Dolphins are 0-11 when playing in temperatures below 40 degrees (via SportsBook Breakers). Kansas City is 10-2 ATS in home games with Patrick Mahomes at QB when the temperature is 35 degrees or below.

Miami’s offense is based on frequent timing and precision, and the flow will be disrupted by the elements and the Kansas City defense, which ranked No. 2 in the NFL during the regular season. The Chiefs’ offense might have a harder time keeping up with the Dolphins in equal conditions, and with Miami missing key defenders such as Xavien Howard, Jerome Baker, and Andrew Van Ginkel, home-field advantage will prevail.

Steelers +10 (-112) vs Bills

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER:1 Unit

Buffalo will certainly win this game, but weather will also be an issue here, as the Over/Under is at 36 points, the lowest total of the Wild Card round. Turnovers often play a significant role in adverse conditions and can always be a factor when Josh Allen is involved.

The Steelers also ranked third in the NFL in turnover differential at +11 during the regular season. Pittsburgh can utilize its running game to control the clock as much as possible, and in what may be a lower-scoring game than we usually see the Bills involved in, the spread is too large.

Packers vs Cowboys: Over 50.5 (-112)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

We know the Dallas offense will do its part to get us past the projected total in a home game. The Cowboys led the NFL in points per game at a 29.9 clip and led the rest of the league by a wide margin in home games, averaging 37.4 points.

The Packers have also cashed on the Over in eight of their last 10 road games (via covers.com). Green Bay also scored 29-plus points in three of its last four regular season road games.

Rams vs Lions: Over 51.5 (-110)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1.5 Units

This might be the most fun game of the Wild Card round. The Lions will be fired up to win their first-ever playoff game at Ford Field, but the Rams have the edge in postseason experience and can hang with Detroit offensively.

The Lions became just the second team ever to have four players each with 10+ scrimmage TDs in the same season. Detroit has scored 30-plus points in four of its last six games.

Los Angeles scored 26-plus points in six of its last seven games.

Eagles vs Buccaneers: Over 44 (-105)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1.5 Units

This projected total seems too low when considering that both offenses face vulnerable pass defenses. Tampa Bay ranked 29th in the NFL in pass defense, and Philadelphia ranked 31st.

The Eagles can still post healthy offensive numbers, as they scored over 30 points in Weeks 16 and 17. Tampa Bay scored 29-plus points in three of its last four regular-season wins.

These two teams combined for 36 points in the Week 3 meeting. The Buccaneers scored only 11 points in that game, and they are capable of a better offensive performance in the rematch.

Author

Scott Engel

Scott Engel is a Senior Sports Writer at The Game Day. Previously he was at SportsLine.com and The Athletic. His work is also featured at RotoBaller and on Seahawks.com. Scott is a host on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 13-time finalist. He was an Associate Editor and featured writer at ESPN.com. and his career began at CBS SportsLine, where he was a Senior Writer and Managing Editor. Scott was the Managing Director at RotoExperts.

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