Day 1 of Wild Card Weekend is in the books, and it was everything that we had hoped for. We got a shootout in the first game between one of the league’s rising stars in QB Josh Allen and veteran signal-caller Phillip Rivers. We had the first upset of the playoffs when the Los Angeles Rams took down Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. And of course, The Football Team played in an NFL playoff game. Today we get another triple-header that features last years’ darling team, the Baltimore Ravens, taking on the team that KO’d them last year in the Tennessee Titans. We see our beloved Chicago Bears travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints in what may be Drew Brees’ last ride. Finally, the Cleveland Browns made the postseason for the first time since 2002 only to have COVID-19 strip them of their head coach and several players as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. There is no doubt that we are in for another exciting day of playoff football, and DraftKings wants you to take advantage of these games by offering you a great deal this weekend.
Super Wild Card Sunday Best Bets
Baltimore Ravens (11-5) at Tennessee Titans (11-5)
Spread: BAL -3, TEN +3
This is the highest projected total of the weekend by a longshot, so the sportsbooks think we see a high-scoring affair between Baltimore and Tennessee. The Titans will look to go 3-0 against Lamar Jackson and get one step further than they did last year when they made the AFC Championship Game but lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. After winning the AFC South title, the Titan’s reward will be to face these red-hot Ravens who are on a five-game winning streak. Last year’s Divisional Round battle saw huge performances by Jackson and Derrick Henry, with Lamar becoming the first QB to throw for 300+ yards and run for 100+ in a playoff game. Henry meanwhile, exploded for 195 rushing yards and the Titans pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent history. After a 250-yard performance last week, Henry became the eighth player in NFL history to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark in a single season. The Ravens defense was second-best in the league this season giving up only 18.9 points per game, while the Titans have given up 38+ in three of their last five games. I think the Ravens get the monkey off their back and defeat the Titans, while also proving Lamar can win a playoff game. The Titan’s defense is horrendous, and the Ravens should thrive.
Prediction: BAL -3, OVER 54.5
Chicago Bears (8-8) at New Orleans Saints (12-4)
Spread: NO -9.5, CHI +9.5
The Bears are back! Unfortunately, they have to take on the Saints, who are fresh off of winning the NFC South for the fourth straight season. The Bears scraped and clawed their way to a playoff berth with a little help from their friends the Rams. You would think that both of these teams had great defenses due to their recent history, but the Bears have struggled mightily as of late. Luckily for them, the offense has stepped up in their place. The Bears have been on a tear since Mitch Trubisky and David Montgomery rounded into form, averaging 31.5 points over their last four games. On top of a 73% completion percentage and a 100.2 passer rating over those games, Trubisky has thrown 6 TDs while Montgomery has added 5 of his own while going 3-1 and clinching a playoff berth. However, the Saints are no slouch. They have averaged 38 points since Drew Brees’ return from injury. Alvin Kamara will play in this game and so will Micheal Thomas. I would not lay the 9.5 points with New Orleans, but I wouldn’t take them with the Bears either. I would look at the over here, with both offenses playing well lately.
Prediction: OVER 47
Cleveland Browns (11-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
Spread: PIT -6, CLE +6
The Browns will officially end the NFL’s longest playoff drought of 18 years when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. These two teams met last week, where the Browns pulled off the win to seal the playoffs in a very close win. While the Browns won, they didn’t face QB Ben Roethlisberger, who sat because Pittsburgh had already locked up their spot in the AFC. While Roethlisberger was tied for seventh in the league with 33 TD passes, the concern all year for the Steelers was its lack of a running game. Through their 11-0 start to the season, they averaged 99 yards on the ground, compared to a dreadful 52 in their last five where they claimed only one victory. Cleveland has had no concern in that department, as their running attack of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt has carried them all season long to the tune of a third-ranked rushing attack. Unfortunately, the Browns have been hit by COVID at the worst possible time, making their head coach Kevin Stefanski and a few offensive linemen miss the game. Without Stefanski, they lose their play-caller and leader who has guided them to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. I like Pittsburgh laying the points here.
Prediction: PIT -6
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