It’s all or nothing for eight NFL teams this week as the Wild Card round kicks off this Sunday with a double-header.
This season sees eight quality teams in the Wild Card round and it’s hard to see four of them being eliminated from the competition, but that’s the nature of the Wild Card and we have expert tips for all four games.
This week pits the Colts vs. Texans, Seahawks vs. Cowboys, Chargers vs. Ravens and Eagles vs. Bears in what should be an incredible two days of NFL action.
8:35am Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts @ NRG Stadium
This is an exciting matchup of two teams which have met and then exceeded expectations this season. For Houston, seeing quarterback DeShaun Watson return from injury with a 26-touchdown season is an incredible relief and he looks like a potential champion QB of the future.
The situation for the Colts was very similar, although their expectations of making the playoffs were held in check. That was because quarterback Andrew Luck was coming off a long injury-enforced break and he started the season poorly, but 39 touchdowns later and he’s simply flying.
Also flying for the Colts is there defense, which held the Cowboys to no points three weeks back and held Houston to 21 points when the Colts won 24-21 the last time they met.
That win came in Houston, so the home side will have revenge on their minds but can Houston’s offense score enough points to win? This game will likely be decided by turnovers, something Luck needs to improve after committing 15 intercepts.
Momentum will be snatched at some stage during this game and we think the Colts have the x-factor to win this.
Betting tip: Colts +1.5 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
Colts by 4
12:15pm Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks @ AT&T Stadium
Only die-hard fans saw the Dallas Cowboys going 10-6 this season and with an impressive 7-1 record at home, playing at AT&T Stadium this week is going to significantly boost their winning chances.
Standing in their way are the Seattle Seahawks, which also boast a 10-6 record in a season which has been a touch inconsistent but ultimately solid. It has included wins over the likes of the Chiefs and Minnesota, but has also included a loss to the 49ers and a narrow three-point win last week over the hapless Cardinals.
One thing the Seahawks have going for them is Super Bowl experience and although the “Legion of Boom” isn’t the force it once was, they’re still a formidable defense.
For the Cowboys, getting off to a good start is key as quarterback Dak Prescott makes rookie mistakes when under pressure, but his economy this season has been good. He has thrown for 22 touchdowns with only eight intercepts.
Russell Wilson is better with 35 touchdowns and only seven picks. It should make for an interesting QB battle but we’re giving the slight edge to Dallas and it’s not because of Prescott. Running back Ezekiel Elliott has rushed for 1434 yards and he’s seemingly impossible to stop close to the line.
He’s the reason why the Cowboys are the favourites and our reason for picking the home side.
Betting tip: Cowboys –1.5 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
Cowboys by 6
5:05am Baltimore Ravens vs. LA Chargers @ M&T Bank Stadium
How the LA Chargers finished 12-4 during the regular season and now have to play an away game in the Wild Card is beyond us, but it happened and now they have to prepare for the Ravens.
The Chargers lost to the Ravens 22-10 only two weeks ago at home and that stunning loss will be in their minds this Monday, but have they done enough to turn it around? They certainly improved last week when scoring a 23-9 win over Denver but this Ravens defense is the best in the league for a reason.
With rookie QB Lamar Jackson taking over from the injured Joe Flacco earlier in the season, the Ravens have become a more exciting team to watch after being a pass-happy squad for so many years. Jackson now offers a dual-threat and that has transformed this franchise.
He’s lacking in experience but on the other hand, opposing QB Phillip Rivers has yet to win a Super Bowl and that plays on his mind.
This season is seemingly Rivers’ best chance to win that elusive title but he simply doesn’t have the killer instinct to get the Chargers over the line.
Betting tip: Ravens –2.5 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
Ravens by 12
8:40am Chicago Bears vs. Philadelphia Eagles @ Soldier Field
The Eagles have followed up their Super Bowl win of last season with another playoff appearance here, but we’re not sure how it happened. They looked average for most of the season and once again it has been Nick Foles to the rescue.
Carson Wentz couldn’t get the job done before being injured again and it has been up to Foles to lead his team back into contention. Three consecutive wins was enough to secure a 9-7 record and those wins came against the Rams, Texans and Redskins.
We can’t help but think that’s false advertising, however, as the Eagles have looked poor at times this season and their opposition here, the Chicago Bears, are somewhat more deserving of progressing to the next round.
The Bears have been terrific at home with a 7-1 record and the defense has largely carried their success. They have held their opposition to only 41 points over their last four games and they take their chances when they’re presented.
This is an intriguing game but the Bears look too tough for the visiting Eagles.
Betting tip: Bears –5.5 @ $1.91 (BET NOW)
Bears by 10