The regular season is over for another season and we now have the first round of the playoffs.
Eight quality teams do battle in the Wild Card round, where the winner will progress to the divisional round next week.
Action starts this Sunday morning with the Bills vs. Texans and Titans vs. Patriots, and continues on Monday with the Vikings vs. Saints and Seahawks vs. Eagles.
NFL Playoffs Wild Card Round Preview
8:35am Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans @ NRG Stadium
We are not surprised to see the bookmakers open the Houston Texans as –3 favourites. It should be a close game and both of these 10-6 teams are capable of going a lot way in the playoffs.
Houston hasn’t had the easiest season, losing their best defensive player in J.J. Watt early in the year.
His loss has had a big impact on their defense but Deshaun Watson is one of the better quarterbacks in the league.
Going against the Texans this week is a statistic that they don’t want to see. They are 0-7 in playoff games against the best defenses in the NFL, and that’s what the Bills bring to town.
Buffalo has a 6-2 away record, so playing in Houston shouldn’t be too much of a problem. They have a stout defense and although they can struggle to score points, this could be a defensive struggle.
Tough game to call to open up the NFL playoffs but Deshaun Watson might be a little too special to bet against.
Betting tip: Texans -3 @ $1.90 Bet Now
Texans by 7
12:15pm Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots @ Gillette Stadium
The Patriots started their season in red-hot form but they have been anything but good of late.
With a chance to sit out the Wild Card round and host a divisional game on the line last week, the New England Patriots were found wanting.
The loss came to the lowly Miami Dolphins and this team can’t afford to lose such important games to inferior games at this stage of the season.
It would have dented the confidence of the team and especially Tom Brady, who isn’t getting any younger.
The Titans played their way into this spot and they have more momentum in their favour. They don’t have many big-name players but they are tough to beat on their day.
Derrick Henry has been impressive at the running back position. Henry has run for 1540 yards and 16 touchdowns, which is easily the most of any running back in action this week.
New England is in big danger of knocked out early here but underestimating this team is a big flaw of punters.
They are used to winning the big games and Tennessee is not.
Betting tip: Patriots -5 @ $1.90 Bet Now
Patriots by 12
5:05am Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints @ Mercedez-Benz Superdome
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins will be hoping for an improved effort from his offense after producing back-to-back poor efforts.
Minnesota comes into this game at 10-6 but they have lost their last two games. The first came to the Packers where they scored only 10 points before losing to the Bears last week.
The 21-19 loss was theirs for the taking. They led with only a couple minutes left but gave up a game-winning field goal in the dying seconds.
Confidence is important for this Vikings team and they simply have none. Contrary to that, the New Orleans Saints are full of gusto.
The Saints have won their last three games against the Colts, Titans and Panthers. In those three games, they have scored totals of 34, 38 and 42 points.
We’re unsure how the Vikings are going to score enough points to keep up, especially playing in the Superdome.
Cousins will attract plenty of attention come game day but we only want to be on one team. The Saints are the more professional team and betting against Drew Brees is never smart.
Betting tip: Saints –7.5 @ $1.90 Bet Now
Saints by 14
8:40am Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles @ Lincoln Financial Field
The Eagles have somehow made the playoffs after a season packed full of injuries.
They have taken advantage of a woeful division but that’s not entirely the point. They are in the playoffs and given the NFL playoff system, they deserve to be there.
However, those aforementioned injuries were made worse last week. They scraped through the game against the Giants and they’re about to come up against one of the best physical teams in the NFL.
Seattle hit a bump in the road on the way to the playoffs. Losses to Arizona and San Fransisco saw their record drop back to 11-5 but they are still a top-tier team.
Russell Wilson is having a career year and they are 7-1 on the road this season, so playing in Philadelphia won’t be an issue.
Bookmakers have the Seahawks as –1.5 favourites and that’s a generous line given the respective health of both teams.
Look for Seattle to exercise their strength and build on an early lead.
Betting tip: Seahawks –1.5 @ $1.90 Bet Now
Seahawks by 7