Best NFL Wildcard Bets: Our model picks the Bengals and Vikings for cover

The NFL playoffs are finally here, and despite fewer games than a normal week during the regular season, there’s still plenty of value in the postseason. This season has been about as even as can be, but we got a win in last year’s playoffs, so let’s hope history repeats itself.

Last week’s record: 1-1, -0.10 units

Season record: 44-38-3, +0.08

Three plays this week and a fourth almost in a range I’ll share with everyone. I don’t love the map and I don’t hate it so don’t read from my ‘heart’ but the numbers are what they are and we’ll stick to the model and shoot.

One thing to note before we jump into the action. Just because the playoffs are here doesn’t mean you have to have action in every game. Always remember to bet responsibly and look for the best lines.

All odds are from BetMGM and will be blocked when the article is published.

best bets

Admittedly, I don’t love this piece. The Vikings are a mess on defense and if it wasn’t for Justin Jefferson I’m not sure there’s a lot about this team that gives you a ton of confidence. That being said, the Giants are basically in the same boat. The Giants’ offense is the bright spot, as they’ve been an above-average unit by EPA/Play and win rate for most of the season, but defense is in the bottom three in EPA/Play and dead in Rushing EPA/Play. If the Vikings can run the ball with any amount of success, keeping Jefferson at bay will be too big a task for the Giants.

Worst bet line: Vikings -3 -110

Whether it’s Tyler Huntley or Anthony Brown at center, the Ravens’ offense wasn’t right without Lamar Jackson. My model has a slightly smaller advantage when Huntley is the quarterback, so I’m only taking a half-unit bet. Her offense depends on his ability to create with his legs; without them, it’s hard for them to score. Yes, the Ravens’ defense has been a lot better since Roquan Smith took over, but when they face an offense with Joe Burrow under center, it becomes tougher than any offense they’ve seen in recent memory.

Worst Line: Bengals -7.5 -110

My numbers are trending towards over here, and the narrative I believe in is that Tom Brady will not exit the playoffs by giving up the ball on every early failure. The Bucs are 14th in EPA/Dropback and dead last in EPA/Rush this season. And while the Bucs weren’t great on offense, the Cowboys were great on offense despite their struggles against Washington last week. I think this might be a little cheap on these offenses as my model makes this 46.5/47.

Worst Line: Over 46 -110

Lines to watch

The Seahawks haven’t done well on offense in any of their duels this season with the vaunted 49er defense, but I think that number is a little out of control. Brock Purdy was very good, but getting that many points is a bit much, and my model has the 49ers as the elite team in the NFL this season. If that number hits 10 with regular juice, I think it’s worth a shot.

Worst bet line: Seahawks +10 -110

(Photo by Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd: Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) Best NFL Wildcard Bets: Our model picks the Bengals and Vikings for cover

Russell Falcon

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