We’ve reached the playoffs. Wild Card Weekend is here, and we have some excellent matchups. As you throw your Christmas tree on the front curb and realize “new year, new me” will be moved to 2021, let’s take a look at your best bets for all the games this weekend.
Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans (Saturday 4:35 P.M, EST)
This will be a matchup of the only two offenses that aren’t in the top 12 in terms of points-per-game. Buffalo was never projected to be a dynamic offense, but with the talent Houston possesses, it under-whelmed this season. This might be the reason why this game has the lowest total for the weekend.
Buffalo’s defense was one of the best all season; it finished second in points allowed per game, fourth in passing yards allowed per game and yards allowed per play. Houston’s defense has not been as good as in years past, but it will see the return of J.J. Watt from a torn pectoral muscle.
With the game being the lowest total, that shouldn’t have you thinking points can’t be scored. Houston still has a top-tier quarterback in Deshaun Watson, along with Deandre Hopkins, while guys like John Brown, Cole Beasley, and Devin Singletary have proven to be great assets for Josh Allen.
Best Bet: Over 43.5
Tennesse Titans vs. New England Patriots (Saturday 8:15 P.M. EST)
With the Patriots loss last week against Miami, they fell to the third seed and now have to play in a Wild Card Weekend for the first time since 2009.
New England hasn’t been stellar on offense over the course of the season, but its defense was the best overall leading the league points allowed-per-game, interceptions, touchdowns allowed and QB rating of opposing quarterbacks.
The Titans changed around their season completely after benching Marcus Mariotta for Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill was one of the most efficient quarterbacks and along with rushing leader Derrick Henry, helped earned them the sixth seed.
Every year people want to count out the Patriots, and every year they find a way to get it done. I don’t know what their future holds this January, but I’m confident in them this week.
Best Bet: Patriots (-5)
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints (Sunday 1:15 P.M. EST)
This has all the potential of being one of the most exciting games this weekend. These teams probably have the most complete all-around rosters of any others playing this weekend.
We know what Drew Brees and this offense can do, they ranked third in the points-per-game this year. The Vikings have been up-and-down; the lack of a passing game hurt them earlier in the season, mid-way Kirk Cousins went on a hot streak, and the offense exploded, followed by another regression. On the plus side, they will see the return of Dalvin Cook.
Vegas was very generous, giving the Vikings eight points, they may not come away with the win, but they’ll cover.
Best Bet: Vikings +8
Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday 4:40 P.M. EST)
Both of these teams are limping into the playoffs; Seattle has lost both of their starting running backs for the season, and most of Philadelphia’s receiving core is out.
Both teams still have significant weapons on offense as Tyler Lockett, and D.K. Metcalf are a great tandem for Russell Wilson, rookie Miles Sander broke out when Jordan Howard went down, and the Eagles still have the best tight end in Zach Ertz.
This will be an exact rematch as the Seahawks came into Lincoln Financial in November and won 17-9. This is a coin flip with Philaphia being given two. Not confident enough in picking a spread, but with the injuries on both sides, we’ll see the same type of game as the previous one.
Best Bet: Under 45.5