The NFL Playoffs will start out with a six-game slate this coming weekend. It should be a blast with the Colts and Bills opening up the action in Western New York.
However, as we look at NFL Playoff odds and point spreads for the wild card round, one can’t look past the Ravens attempting to exact revenge against the Titans and the Cleveland Browns doing their best to win their first playoff game since 1994.
It’s in this that we give you the odds and point spreads for each wild card game to start the NFL Playoffs with a quick blurb mixed in.
Updated: Jan. 56 8:28 PM EST
NFL Playoffs schedule: Saturday wild card games, Vegas odds
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills
Colts-Bills odds and point spread: Bills -6.5 (over/under 51.5)
Over the course of their final eight regular-season games, the Bills posted a 7-1 record while averaging north of 37 points per game. That span saw Josh Allen tally north of 2,500 total yards with 25 touchdowns against just five interceptions. Remember, he didn’t play in the second half of Week 17 and was pulled early with Buffalo destroying the New England Patriots the previous week.
As for the Colts, their top-10 ranked scoring defense didn’t necessarily translate to tremendous performances against winning teams during the regular season. In fact, Indianapolis gave up an average of 35.4 points in said games.
The Colts will now likely rely on Philip Rivers, Jonathan Taylor and their offense to keep pace with the high-flying Bills in this one. That doesn’t bode well given that Indy failed to score 30-plus points in each of their final three regular-season games. Look for Buffalo to cover here and continue with its run in the NFL Playoffs.
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Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Rams-Seahawks odds and point spread: Seahawks -3.5 (over/under 42.5)
Update: Seahawks star S Jamal Adams (shoulder) questionable
Update: Rams QB Jared Goff (finger) limited in practice on Wednesday
Rams quarterback Jared Goff (finger) is questionable to play in this game after missing their playoff-clinching Week 17 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Instead, former undrafted free agent John Wolford could get the call for Los Angeles after having thrown 38 career regular-season passes.
Let’s put this into perspective for a second, shall we? Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has attempted 424 career passes in the NFL Playoffs, including 46 in the Super Bowl. While Wolford did put up nearly 300 total yards against the Cardinals last week, the difference here could not be more stark.
The only hope Los Angeles has is that its defense led by the legendary Aaron Donald plays elite football and keeps Seattle from maintaining drives. The Seahawks averaged just 18 points in two regular-season games against Los Angeles with Wilson being sacked 11 times. Will that continue into the NFL Playoffs?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team
Buccaneers-Washington odds and point spread: Buccaneers -8.5 (over/under 45.0)
Update: Washington QB Alex Smith (calf) was limited in practice on Wednesday
Following his ho-hum performance in a Week 17 win over the tanking Philadelphia Eagles, Alex Smith boasts an 11-5 record as Washington’s starter since joining the team back in 2018. All other Washington quarterbacks are 6-26 during that very same span. Remember, Smith was 67-25-1 as a starter for the 49ers and Chiefs from 2011-17 before joining WFT.
Will this mean anything with the seven-win Washington squad set to take on the Buccaneers as major underdogs to open the NFL Playoffs? That’s highly unlikely. Tom Brady and Co. outscored their final two regular-season opponents by a combined margin of 91-34. Washington has not scored 91 points in a two-game span since all the way back in 1991. The most it scored in a two-game span during the regular year was 64 points. You can do the math from here.
Related: NFL Wildcard schedule, predictions
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Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
Ravens-Titans odds and point spread: Ravens -3.0 (over/under 55.0)
There’s seemingly more x-factors in this one game in the first round of the NFL Playoffs than the other five. That starts with Derrick Henry and his absolutely absurd conclusion to the regular season. The two-time reigning rushing champ put up 1,081 rushing yards and nine touchdowns over the past seven games. He’s also gained 328 rushing yards in his past two games against the Ravens.
Tennessee will certainly need this to pull off the home upset. Its defense gave up 78 points in the final two regular season games and yielded north of 400 total yards of offense eight times in 16 games. That’s not going to cut it against a red-hot Ravens offense that is averaging 36.6 points per game during its current five-game winning streak.
Specifically, reigning NFL MVP Lamar Jackson might be able to counteract what Henry brings to the table. Since returning from COVID-19, Jackson has put up 1,239 total yards with 15 touchdowns against just three picks in five games. This came after questions about his regression earlier in the season. Yeah, take the Ravens and the points here. Tennessee’s defense just isn’t up to snuff.
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Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints
Bears-Saints odds and point spread: Saints -9.5 (over/under 47.0)
In their seven games against winning teams during the regular season, the Bears boasted a 1-6 record. That included a blowout 35-16 loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in Week 17. However, there’s a positive on this front for head coach Matt Nagy and Co. Three of those six losses came by one score.
This seems to suggest that Chicago can keep it close as long as Mitchell Trubisky plays well under center. Unfortunately, he’s set to take on a Saints defense that intercepted 18 passes during the regular year while yielding a sub 60 completion percentage.
For Trubisky, most of his success since replacing Nick Foles under center has come against bad teams. He won’t have this luxury come the NFL Playoffs. That will lead to a double-digit Bears loss.
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
Browns-Steelers odds and point spread: Steelers -6.0 (over/under 47.5)
Speaking of teams who took advantage playing inferior competition during the regular year, these Browns come to mind above anyone else set to open the NFL Playoffs this coming weekend. The Browns boasted a 9-0 record against losing teams, averaging 30 points per game. They were 2-5 against winning teams, boasting an average of 22.6 points per outing.
What does this mean for Cleveland as the team looks to collect its first win in the NFL Playoffs since Bill Belichick was its head coach back in 1994? Well, it’s rather simple. The Browns need to play up to the level of their competition here. The good news? Pittsburgh lost four of its final five since an 11-0 start to the season. That included defeats at the hands of the Washington Football Team and Cincinnati Bengals. Talk about playing down to the level of your competition.