- Wild Card Weekend of the NFL playoffs gets underway on Saturday, January 15 with two games on tap
- Which betting line has moved the most since opening? What’s the smallest spread of the week?
- All of the wagering information on every NFL Wild Card game is listed below
How’s the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend looking? It’s super, thanks for asking.
The NFL has rechristened the first week of the postseason to be known as Super Wild Card Weekend. This is so because there’s more teams involved, more games to played and more football upon which to be wagered.
And who doesn’t like that concept?
By adding one more playoff team in each conference, there will be three Wild Card games in each of the AFC and NFC this weekend instead of the two each in past years.
Which games are looking to be the biggest movers and shakers in NFL Wild Card Weekend line movement? Let’s look at that. First, though, check out how the NFL odds are moving for Super Wild Card Weekend.
NFL Super Wild Card Weekend Odds
|Matchup||Opening Spread||Current Spread||Opening Total||Current Total|
|Raiders vs Bengals||CIN -6||CIN -4.5||48.5||49|
|Patriots vs Bills||BUF -4.5||BUF -4||43.5||44|
|Eagles vs Buccaneers||TB -7||TB -8.5||49.5||45.5|
|49ers vs Cowboys||DAL -3||DAL -3||50.5||51|
|Steelers vs Chiefs||KC -13||KC -12.5||47||46.5|
|Cardinals vs Rams||LAR -3||LAR -3.5||50.5||49.5|
Odds as of January 14th at FanDuel
Steelers Shouldn’t Even Be Here
At 9-8-1, the Pittsburgh Steelers needed that overtime field goal from Las Vegas Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson to beat the Los Angeles Chargers and sneak Pittsburgh into the NFL postseason through if not the back door, certainly a side door.
Like Dante, the forelorn convenience store employee in the Kevin Smith cult classic Clerks, the Steelers shouldn’t even be here today. And if you don’t believe that, then just ask them.
“I would assume, as a group, you understand that we probably aren’t supposed to be here,” Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “We probably are not a very good football team. Out of 14 teams I think are in, we’re probably number 14.
"We don’t have a chance, so let’s just go in and have fun."
—Ben Roethlisberger on the Steelers' playoff game vs. the Chiefs
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 12, 2022
“We’re probably 20-point underdogs . . . we don’t have a chance.”
Big Ben, who could be playing his last game this weekend on the road against the two-time defending AFC champion Chiefs, makes a valid point. KC whipped Pittsburgh 36-10 in Week 16.
No, the spread isn’t 20 points, though arguably it could be. At 12.5 points, it’s actually somewhat surprising that the line shortened from its opening number of KC-13. Either way, it’s far and away the biggest spread of Wild Card Weekend and based on the play of both teams, certainly seems to be warranted.
Ride ‘Em Cowboys
Certainly 50.5 points is a massive total for an NFL playoff game. Thing is, they like everything to be bigger in Texas, so the over/under on the Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers game got even bigger.
The current total stands at 51 points and is clearly being driven by the explosive Dallas offense. Eleven times during regular-season play, the total on the Cowboys game was 50+ points. Six times, Dallas managed to go over the total. The Cowboys finished the regular season as the NFL’s #1-ranked scoring offense (31.2 points per game).
49ers LB Fred Warner was asked what challenges the Dallas Cowboys offense presents.
"Well," he pauses and laughs, "what challenge don't they present?"
— Joseph Hoyt (@JoeJHoyt) January 12, 2022
The Cowboys would’ve hit the total all on their own last week. Dallas put 51 points up on another NFC playoff team, the Philadelphia Eagles. Two weeks earlier, the Cowboys touched Washington for 56 points. They’ve gone over 40 in three other games this season.
Then there’s the fact that in seven of San Francisco’s last eight visits to Dallas, the total has gone over.
The Cowboys and 49ers are also responsible for the smallest spread of Wild Card Weekend. The line opened at Dallas-3 and today still residing at Cowboys-3.
There’s a sense in NFL circles that this could prove to be a bad matchup for the NFC East champion Cowboys. Dallas went 1-4 straight up this season against teams that made the playoffs. Last week’s decision over the Eagles in a relatively meaningless game in terms of the standings was the only success story the Cowboys wrote against a 2021-22 postseason squad.
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) January 10, 2022
San Francisco is a punishing physical team with a potent run game and a dangerous pass rush. Dallas fans will remember what a Denver team cut from a similar ilk did to the Cowboys in Week 8. The Broncos dumped them 30-16 right in Dallas.
Three points seems about right for this game. At the very least, the Niners should keep things close.
The matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots is one of two on Wild Card Weekend that’s pitting teams against each other for the third time this season.
New England won 14-10 at Buffalo. The Patriots controlled the game with their ground attack. QB Mac Jones threw just three passes.
When the @Patriots beat the Bills earlier this season, they only needed Mac Jones to throw the ball three times.
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) January 13, 2022
Buffalo won 33-21 at New England. The Bills stymied the New England running game, forcing Jones to try and beat them. That didn’t turn out well for the Patriots.
Oddsmakers are evidently expecting this game to fall in somewhere between those two. The total opened at 43.5 points and has since inched up to 44. It’s still the smallest total of the week.
A pair of games are exhibiting the biggest spread move of Wild Card Weekend and they’re doing so in opposite directions.
The spread on the Eagles-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game grew from Tampa Bay-7 to Bucs-8.5. Meanwhile the line on the Cincinnati Bengals-Las Vegas Raiders game shortened from Cinci -6 to Bengals -4.5.
Good news/bad news for #RaiderNation coming to #Cincinnati for #Raiders vs. #Bengals: snow chances moving more to Sunday vs. Saturday…but windchill at kickoff will be low teens. Layers people, layers! pic.twitter.com/nKMBRzn0wC
— Scott Gulbransen (@LVGully) January 13, 2022
Perhaps there’s concern about the health of Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow, who sat out the last game of the regular season. The frigid weather forecast for Cincinnati also doesn’t bode well for high-scoring football.
While the spread on the Bucs-Eagles game was lengthening, the total was shrinking. It dipped from 49.5 down 45.5 points.
— Steve Gallo (@SteveGalloNFL) January 10, 2022
Evidently, oddsmakers are discounting the Week 6 clash when two teams combined for 50 points in Tampa Bay’s 28-22 win over Philly.