The opening weekend of playoff action in the NFL appears to have tight lines yet there has been a little movement. We track the updated odds and lines for Super Wild Card Weekend in the NFL.
While most lines have stayed within a half-point of the opening line, the Cincinnati Bengals and Las Vegas Raiders line has shifted from six points in favor of the Bengals to a 4.5-point spread. That could be a good opportunity to get in on an undervalued Bengals team.
Concerns about the health of Tampa Bay’s receiving corps might have some impact on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles, with the total dropping from 49 to 46.
The top seeds in action this week, the Buccaneers in the NFC and Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC, are also the teams getting the greatest share of wagers and money heading into Super Wild Card Weekend.
Here’s a look at the updated NFL odds for Wild Card Weekend, along with my picks (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale):
Updated NFL Odds, Lines, and Picks for Wild Card Weekend: Saturday
Raiders (10-7 SU, 8-9 ATS, 8-9 O/U) vs. Bengals (10-7 SU, 10-7 ATS, 8-9 O/U)
Opening line: Bengals -6
Current line: Bengals -4.5
Opening total: 49
Current total: 48.5
The line has moved toward the Raiders even though 62% of the tickets and 70% of the money in this game is on Cincinnati. The Bengals will have QB Joe Burrow, running back Joe Mixon, and receiver Tee Higgins in the lineup and they are crucial components for a Cincinnati team that is tied for seventh in scoring with 27.1 points per game.
Raiders star tight end Darren Waller returned to action in Week 18 and a healthy Waller does raise the bar for the Raiders offensively, but they are the second lowest-scoring team in the playoffs, averaging 22.0 points per game, so it will be a challenge to keep pace with Cincinnati. Las Vegas’ defense also takes a bit of a hit with the Week 18 injury to defensive tackle Darius Philon, who had been a valuable part of the rotation down the stretch.
Pick: Bengals -4.5 (★★★), Over 48.5 (★★)
SEE ALSO: Raiders vs. Bengals Picks
Patriots (10-7 SU, 10-7 ATS, 9-8 O/U) vs. Bills (11-6 SU, 9-6-2 ATS, 8-9 O/U)
Opening line: Bills -4.5
Current line: Bills -4
Opening total: 43.5
Current total: 44
While there are surely players that are less than 100% after an 18-week regular season, there are no major injuries for either team and that has probably contributed to relative consistency in the lines, with half-point moves toward the Patriots and the Over since the opening numbers were posted.
The difficulty for the Patriots is that their Week 13 win at Buffalo was under bizarre circumstances. It was so windy that the Patriots attempted three passes in the entire game. As cold as it is expected to be in Buffalo on Sunday, it is not likely that the Patriots can duplicate that path to victory. As such, 63% of the wagers and 65% of the money in this contest rides with the Bills.
Pick: Patriots +4 (★★), Under 44 (★★★)
SEE ALSO: NFL Parlay Picks for Wild Card Weekend
Updated NFL Odds, Lines, and Picks for Wild Card Weekend: Sunday
Eagles (9-8 SU, 8-8-1 ATS, 10-7 O/U) vs. Buccaneers (13-4 SU, 9-8 ATS, 9-8 O/U)
Opening line: Buccaneers -8.5
Current line: Buccaneers -8.5
Opening total: 49
Current total: 46
Philadelphia used Week 18 to rest and recover as much as possible. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts will be back in the lineup and running backs Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard are expected to return to action.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, Tampa Bay might have more reinforcements coming. Bucs linebacker Lavonte David has been activated from injured reserve and his coverage skills can make a difference. Wide receivers Mike Evans and Breshad Perriman have been limited at practice but they should be able to play and the running game is getting a boost from the returns of Gio Bernard and Leonard Fournette, though Ronald Jones remains doubtful for this week.
Unsurprisingly, given their pedigree as defending champions, 73% of the wagers and money for this matchup are on the Bucs.
Pick: Buccaneers -8.5 (★★), Over 46 (★★★)
49ers (10-7 SU, 9-8 ATS, 8-9 O/U) vs. Cowboys (12-5 SU, 13-4 ATS, 8-9 O/U)
Opening line: Cowboys -3
Current line: Cowboys -3
Opening total: 50.5
Current total: 51
There has scarcely been movement in this game, apparently because the opening line of Cowboys -3 was about right. So far, 51% of the wagers and 51% of the money is with the Niners plus a field goal, which is not nearly enough to move the number.
49ers running back Elijah Mitchell is dealing with a knee injury but should play and offensive tackle Trent Williams might be hindered by an elbow injury, but he expects to play. The Cowboys don’t have major injuries, especially after activating several players – including tackle Tyron Smith, linebacker Micah Parsons, and running back Tony Pollard – from the COVID-19 list.
Pick: Cowboys -3 (★★), Under 51 (★★)
Steelers (9-7-1 SU, 8-9 ATS, 6-11 O/U) vs. Chiefs (12-5 SU, 8-9 ATS, 10-7 O/U)
Opening line: Chiefs -12.5
Current line: Chiefs -12.5
Opening total: 46.5
Current total: 46
The Steelers have activated receivers James Washington and JuJu Smith-Schuster though it may be a long shot for Smith-Schuster to be ready to play for the first time since Week 5. The lowest-scoring team in the playoffs, the Steelers could use all the offensive help they can get.
Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is still questionable due to a shoulder injury that has kept him out since Week 16, but Darrel Williams is capable of handling that workload. The more significant issue for Kansas City could be receiver Tyreek Hill, who injured his heel prior to Week 18. The Chiefs have been rolling in the second half of the season and have more firepower than the Steelers, so 72% of the tickets and 79% of the money is on the Chiefs.
Pick: Steelers +12.5 (★★★), Under 46 (★★★)
Updated NFL Odds, Lines, and Picks for Wild Card Weekend: Monday
Cardinals (11-6 SU, 10-7 ATS, 8-9 O/U) vs. Rams (12-5 SU, 8-9 ATS, 9-7-1 O/U)
Opening line: Rams -4
Current line: Rams -3.5
Opening total: 50.5
Current total: 49.5
The Cardinals limped into the finish this season and, perhaps not coincidentally, receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been out since Week 14 due to an MCL injury and will not play against the Rams. Arizona running backs Chase Edmonds and James Conner may be banged up but should play.
Maybe the most compelling injury update of the week involves Rams safety Jordan Fuller, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 18. With Fuller out, the Rams brought Eric Weddle out of retirement. The 37-year-old has not played since 2019. Nevertheless, 55% of the tickets and 59% of the money has been on Cardinals, which might contribute to the spread moving a half-point in that direction.
Pick: Cardinals +3.5 (★★), Under 49.5 (★★★)
Picks based on the NFL Wild Card Weekend odds from 1/13/2021 at 2:39 p.m. ET.