By Justin Mark, SGPN Football Handicapper
The Eagles pulled it off. They obtained the number one seed, finishing as the top team in the NFC. This ensures home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Playing in front of our own fans is crucial, especially in the playoffs. But because they don’t play this weekend, who should we bet on? Which teams do we like to cover the spread?
We had a pretty good regular season, coming in with a successful 63% in article picks. So if you were able to follow every pick, your betting balance is a little bit bigger than at the beginning of the season and we’re ready to keep winning. Let’s take a look at each game and finish with some Best Bets.
NFC Wild-Card Games
We’ll start with the NFC opponents that the Eagles may encounter. The first game has the Seahawks on the road to play San Francisco. The 49ers are a 9.5-point favorite and deservedly so. Geno Smith was much better than expected this year, and the 49ers have rookie Brock Purdy behind center. Geno’s season was great, but the 49ers are an elite team. 49ers -9.5 is my pick.
NFC East division rival Giants head to Minnesota to play the Vikings. The last time these two played each other it came down to a last-second 62-yard field goal from the Vikings. I think Brian Daboll has the Giants in a great spot. They’ll show up for this game. Giants +3 is my pick.
The last NFC game sees the Dallas Cowboys on the road in Tampa. Two teams that have good defenses will face off. Everything points to Dallas winning this game. They have a better offense and a better defense. However, I don’t see Tom Brady exiting the playoffs like he did last year. Tampa Bay +2.5 is my pick.
AFC Wild-Card Games
The AFC games kick off on Saturday as the Chargers face the Jaguars. The Jags have a lot of momentum, turning it up in the second half of the season to win their division. However, the Chargers have the talent and the playoff experience. Chargers -2.5 looks like a great bet.
Sunday kicks off with Miami traveling to Buffalo. Tua Tagavailoa is out with a concussion. Teddy Bridgewater is likely to miss the game as well. That leaves inexperienced Skylar Thompson to start his first playoff game against one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Last year the Bills routed the Patriots in the wild-card weekend. I foresee a similar game here. Bills -13.5 is my pick.
The last AFC game will see the Baltimore Ravens vs. the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore will be missing Lamar Jackson for a sixth straight week. The Bengals closed the season covering the spread in seven of their last eight games. The one game they didn’t cover in the last eight was against the Ravens. The Bengals are focused and feel cheated out of a higher seed. Give me the Bengals -9.5.
While I’ve given my pick on all these games there are some I feel more confident in than others.
Looking at lines on WynnBet my favorite bet this weekend is the Chargers -2.5. The Jaguars had a good season, but the Chargers are more talented across the board. Also, while I don’t foresee a lot of upsets, they’re bound to happen. My favorite team to look at for this is the New York Giants at +145 (risk $10 to win $14.50). Look for them to control the game with Saquon Barkley and limit Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
Get ready for a good weekend of playoff football while we watch to see which team will become the next victim of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Justin Mark is co-host of SGPN Fantasy Football’s show “Old-Fashioned Football”, and co-host of a show on the NFL Gambling Podcast, which airs every Wednesday at 3:30 Eastern time on YouTube. He’s also a writer for the Sports Gambling Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @JMarkFootball and The Sports Gambling Podcast @GamblingPodcast.
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