The NFL regular season has sadly come to an end, and what a season it was. Luckily Roger Goodell and his army of henchmen concocked Super Wild Card Weekend (SWCW) and sitting on our lap is arguably the greatest NFL weekend of the season. The addition of week 18 to the NFL calendar pushed SWCW one week back into MLK weekend which gives those of us with white-collar jobs a full day off to digest Saturday and Sunday’s games and gear up for MNF Rams vs Cardinals. With all this chaos in mind, Q and I have devised some scorching hot picks across each and every game so no stone goes unturned. Let’s ride.
Q’s Best Bets (24-23 Overall)
Eagles @ Buccaneers/Steelers @ Chiefs/Cardinals @ Rams
Pick: 10 Point Super Teaser: Buccaneers +2, Chiefs -2.5, Cardinals +14.5 (-120 odds)
The Bucs and Chiefs are both #2 seeds taking on inferior competition and the Cardinals, although extremely volatile as of late, are definitely good enough to keep their Wildcard matchup within two TDs.
As much as I dislike the guy, Tom Brady is not someone I’d want to face in the postseason. The Bucs are still a little banged up but they’ll have Mike Evans and Gronk healthy and there’s a small chance that even Fournette could suit up for their Wildcard matchup. Almost all of the Eagles offensive production stems from their run game which should be very concerning for Philly fans considering they’re facing arguably the best rush defense in the league. Expect TB12 to do what he does and make quick work of an Eagles squad that’s happy just to be there.
The Steelers do not have a good offense. Big Ben probably should’ve retired last year and the Steelers have one of the worst offensive lines in the league (sorry Najee). The Chiefs defense improved this year and they still have the most talented offense in the league. People have loved shorting the Chiefs all season but to short them in this matchup would be foolish. They’ve had trouble putting teams away this year so I’m throwing their spread into this 10 point teaser to be safe but I fully expect them to get the job done against a team that has to be surprised they’re even playing in the postseason.
This Cardinals/Rams game should be one of the better matchups of the Wildcard Weekend. Both teams have had their ups and downs, both teams are banged up and both teams are led by young head coaches eager to make waves in the postseason. The Cardinals will still be without DeAndre Hopkins on Monday but they might be able to get superstar defensive stud JJ Watt back and the Rams are just as if not more injured at the moment. Kyler Murray seems like he’s getting healthier, Kliff Kingsbury is lethal as an underdog and Matt Stafford will probably be fighting through a turf toe injury all game. I actually like the Cardinals to win this matchup outright but, given their inconsistency as of late, I’m more comfortable throwing them into a teaser providing me a 2 TD cushion.
Patriots @ Bills/Raiders @ Bengals/49ers @ Cowboys
Pick: 3 Team Parlay: Patriots +14.5, Bengals +7.5, 49ers +14.5 (-130 odds)
The goal of this parlay is to buffer two of my favorites underdogs of the week along with providing some wiggle room to a young favored Bengals squad.
The Bills may have beaten the Pats 33-21 in their last meeting but people seem to forget that the same Pats team beat the Bills 14-10 about three weeks prior. Bill Belichick is not the type of coach that you want to play 2+ times in a season and this will be the third time these two teams square off this year. I think this game will be a defensive battle, especially considering the blisteringly cold weather that is expected, which leads me to believe neither team will blow out the other. Expect a close one and roll with the Pats +2 TDs.
The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990. I think that trend ends this weekend. There’s something magical about Joe Burrow and this young Bengals offense (Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, etc) and their defense is better than past years. I fully expect this game to be a nail biter considering both teams seem to love the theatrics of late game heroics (combined 18 games decided by 1 possession or less during the regular season and 7 different games resulting in overtime). Expect fireworks but side with the more talented team plus a TD.
The 49ers are super underrated, the public seems to only focus on their QB carousel and the Cowboys love to disappoint in the postseason. This game will definitely be closer than you think and I wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers win outright (Cowboys choke). The 49ers are pretty solid in every aspect other than under center and even at QB Jimmy G seems to play well in big games. Dak has been pretty inconsistent, Zeke is a shell of his former self and the Cowboys have been suspect in big games this season. The 49ers are my favorite underdog of the week and a 2 TD cushion just feels like easy money.
DPJ’s Best Bets (26-22 Overall)
San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys – Sunday, 1/16 (4:30 PM EST)
Pick: 49ers +3.5 & Total Points Under 51.5
This is absolutely the best game on the Sunday slate and you could argue it’s the best game of the weekend. Two very different but equally capable offenses/systems with great fanbases squaring off at Jerry’s World in DTX. Who doesn’t love that? And I absolutely love the 49ers to control the line of scrimmage, time of possession, and grind the Cowboys down to not only win and cover the 3.5, but also keep this total under 51.5. Dallas’s offense is certainly high-octane but they have shown that they can struggle or at least be slowed by a solid defense. We saw it vs. AZ a couple weeks ago, it happened against the Saints, the Chiefs and the Broncos as well. I am not throwing the fraud flag on the Cowboys yet but I am not fully sold on this offense clicking when it matters. Plus I think their defense is a bit of smoke and mirrors…they rely on the big play turnover WAY too much and are 21st in the league in total yards allowed per game, 20th in passing, 16th in rushing. Feels like a recipe for disaster against SF if Jimmy can keep the ball out of the opponents hands.
Steelers @ Chiefs/Eagles @ Bucs
Pick: 7 Point Teaser: Chiefs -5.5, Bucs -1.5 (-130 odds)
Who could say no to a 7 point teaser that aligns you with the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady in the playoffs? Couldn’t be me! I will save you the reading and save me the typing and lay this out in simple terms. Tom Brady needs to beat the Eagles, a team who didn’t beat another team with a winning record all season, by two points. Pat Mahomes simply needs to beat the Steelers, a team with a -55 (!!!) point differential by a TD+. The Steelers should not be in the playoffs and the Chiefs should be insulted that they even have to play them. Lock this one in, close your eyes, and cash your bet on Sunday night.
Best of the Best Bets – DPJ & Q approved (14-20 Overall)
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills – Saturday, 1/15 (8:15 PM EST)
Pick: Bills -4
First things first, I need to get this off my chest: The Buffalo Bills need to build a dome around their stadium. Yeah, yeah the cold weather makes Bills fans think they’re tough and all that jazz but can you imagine Josh Allen getting to play a home playoff game in a dome instead of 3 degree weather? This frozen tundra absolutely does not play to his strengths in the slightest. With all that in mind, I think the Bills are ready to kick the crap out of New England on Saturday night. They were absolutely embarrassed at home in the super windy game just a few months ago and then got back on track with a win in Foxboro in week 16. The defense has looked spotty this year but they seem to nut up when they need to. Plus I still can’t trust Mac Jones in these big spots quite yet…he’s not throwing to wide open receivers like he was at Bama in their big games so this will be a much different test. I think this is a close game for three quarters then the Bills go up big in the fourth. -DPJ
Other Action (66-61-4 Overall)
Raiders @ Bengals: Total Points Over 48
Patriots @ Bills: Total Points Under 45
Risky Business (23-43 Overall)
49ers @ Cowboys: 49ers Money Line (+140 odds)
Cardinals @ Rams: Cardinals Money Line (+170 odds)
Fanduel Wildcard Prop Bet: Any Game From Wild Card Weekend To Go To Overtime (+200 odds)
Disclaimer: SidehustlebetsMJQ.com is not an online gambling operator or a gambling site of any kind. Our insights about sports/sports betting are purely for entertainment purposes only.