There may not be 16 games to bet on in the NFL this week, but these playoff matchups mean a lot more than many of the Week 18 contests did, which makes them even more intriguing to bet on.
Last week, I finished the regular season with a 10-6 performance, keeping this season’s record over .500 – for now. Can I keep it going in the postseason?
- Week 18 Record: 10-6
- Season Record: 138-130-4
I’m planning on picking every game of the 2023 season, continuing with the six games on Wild Card Weekend. This may be the week of the dog…
For more NFL Wild Card Weekend picks, check out our NFL betting analyst Iain MacMillan’s best bet for every game on the slate here!
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Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans Spread Pick
- Pick: Browns -2.5
I think Cleveland wins this game, as the team has the No. 1 defense in the NFL and is taking on a Houston team with a rookie quarterback in CJ Stroud.
Rookie quarterbacks, or first time playoff quarterbacks are just 17-35-1 against the spread (32.7 percent) and 17-36 SU since 2002.
This is a tough matchup for Houston, who lacks playoff experience up and down the roster. I’ll roll with the Browns defense to control and win on Saturday.
Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs Spread Pick
- Pick: Chiefs -3.5
Patrick Mahomes is 10-2 straight up in his home playoff career, and now he gets to take on a Miami team that is 1-5 straight up against teams over .500 this season.
Plus, this is expected to be a cold-weather game, where Mahomes has thrived in the playoffs.
The Dolphins on the other hand? Not their game.
I’m fading Miami no matter what in this matchup.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills Spread Pick
- Pick: Steelers +9.5
I do think the Buffalo Bills win this game – especially since T.J. Watt is likely out – but I can’t get past Mike Tomlin’s underdog record in this spot.
Tomlin is 57-34-5 ATS as a head coach as a dog, the best mark since he took over in 2007.
Mason Rudolph has at least made this Steelers offense competent, so I think – in a playoff scenario – they can hang around.
Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys Spread Pick
- Pick: Packers +7.5
This goes against a lot of what Dallas has done this season (8-0 STm, 6-2 ATS at home), but the Packers are 6-4 ATS as dogs this season.
Green Bay may be able to hang with this Dallas offense, which has certainly benefited from playing some softer games at home.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions Spread Pick
- Pick: Rams +3.5
I think the Rams win this game, as the Lions have slipped in a big way in net yards per play as the season has gone on.
Los Angeles finished the season winning seven of eight games, and the team has an elite passing offense that could expose the Lions, who allowed the fourth most net yards per pass attempt this season.
I also value Sean McVay’s experience. He is 19-16-3 as an underdog in his coaching career and 5-5 ATS in the playoffs. Dan Campbell’s team can’t lean on experience in this one.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Spread Pick
- Pick: Buccaneers +3
The Philadelphia Eagles are on upset alert in this game, as they allow the second most passing yards in the NFL and are facing an elite pass offense that features Chris Godwin and Mike Evans.
Tampa Bay was elite as an underdog this season, going 8-3 ATS, the best mark in the NFL outside of the Chiefs (who were just 1-0).
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.