NFL Playoff Betting First Glance: Bills & 49ers Favorites, Bucs & Jags Home Dogs in Wild Card is an independent sports news and information service. has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. When you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site, Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

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It’s time for the early birds.

Let the handicapping and wagering begin after the NFL Playoffs Wild Card weekend lineup and initial betting lines were established late Sunday night for games this weekend.

Here’s the overview, with initial DraftKings odds. The San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills, as expected, are heavy chalk.

Both Florida teams, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars, are home dogs.

NFL Playoffs Wild Card Betting Lines

Here are point spreads, totals, and moneylines from the top sportsbook apps for this Wild Card weekend.

Bet TypeSpreads
There are no game odds for your selected bet type.
There are no game odds for your selected bet type.
There are no game odds for your selected bet type.

Every game is a rematch.

Some betting takeaways gamblers might play forward:

AFC: Chiefs Clinch No. 1 Seed and First-Round Bye

The Kansas City Chiefs have the bye and will play the lowest remaining seed in the divisional round.

Bills are Heavy Favorites Against Limping Dolphins

Gamblers will eye the health of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

The Dolphins labored offensively in an 11-6 triumph over the New York Jets that helped them limp into the playoffs.

Miami will need immensely more firepower against the top-seeded Bills. With Tua, the Dolphins waged an exceptional effort in a 32-29 Week 15 setback and a solid cover at +8 in Week 15.

Without him, they don’t look strong with either Teddy Bridgewater or Skylar Thompson at the helm. That’s hard enough.

NFL Playoff Betting First Glance: Bills & 49ers Favorites, Bucs & Jags Home Dogs in Wild Card
QB Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills are featured in our NFL Playoff betting first glance. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Bettors must also assess injuries to major receiving threats. Waddle was hurt by a horse-collar tackle near the end of the game and came out.

Hill was hobbling and could not play against Buffalo if the contest was today. Fortunately for Miami’s most prolific receiver who is second in the league to the Minnesota Vikings’ Justin Jefferson with 119 catches and 1732 yards, the game is not until the weekend.

However, it is doubtful that either of Miami’s game-breakers will be 100%.

The Bills, meanwhile, are flying high and play especially well at home.

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Lamar Jackson’s Return for Bengals vs. Ravens in Question

The Cincinnati Bengals will stage an immediate rematch with the visiting Baltimore Ravens. No coin flip is needed because the Bengals took care of business in Sunday’s 27-16 triumph against a Ravens team of backups. Had the Ravens prevailed, a coin flip would have determined the location of this postseason scrap.

Will it be Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley, or Anthony Brown quarterbacking against Joe Burrow and the Bengals? Gamblers will check reports all week.

Jaguars Are Home Underdogs vs. Chargers Despite Week 3 Win

The Chargers will try to avenge a Week 3 meltdown loss to the Jaguars, who host them this time.

The Jags pummeled the Chargers 38-10 at +6 amid confusion over whether an injured Justin Herbert would start for the Chargers. Jacksonville notched a +5000 payout from FanDuel for being the highest-scoring team in the league that week.

There should be no confusion this time, just a change of venue.

Chiefs-Bills Feature Neutrality Pact

An administrative ruling may come into play later this month: If the Chiefs and Bills meet in the postseason, it will be at a neutral site.

Buffalo’s 35-23 triumph over the New England Patriots launched the ruling. Because the Bills-Bengals Week 17 game was not resumed, the Chiefs and Bills played the same number of games. A Bills-Chiefs game would only occur for the AFC championship — if both teams get that far — at a site to be determined.

NFC: Eagles Clinch No. 1 Seed and First-Round Bye

The Philadelphia Eagles have the No. 1 seed. Philly will play the lowest remaining seed in the divisional round.

Bettors Should Consider 49ers for 2-for-1 Possession Parlay

The 49ers have been the best team in the NFC since obtaining Christian McCaffrey mid-season. They did not lose a game after inserting him as a full-time starter. They finished the campaign with an NFL-best 10 straight triumphs.

For in-game bettors: The Niners remain one of the league’s elite teams at the 2-for-1 possession parlay. They score in the final seconds of the first half and again after receiving the second-half kickoff.

They did it again versus the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. A touchdown with 19 seconds left in the first half and a TD drive to start the third quarter sent their game from 14-13 to 28-13 without Arizona touching the ball. The game ended 38-13.

A spread wager made around the 2-minute mark of the first half on San Francisco would have returned money.

The Seattle Seahawks backed into the postseason. After squeaking past the Los Angeles Rams 19-16 in overtime, the Detroit Lions team they knocked out with that win then defeated the Green Bay Packers, 20-16.

The Seahawks will need an improved pass defense to have any shot against a Niners team that thumped them twice this year.

Best Team Against the Spread (ATS)? New York Giants

The Minnesota Vikings-New York Giants line picks up where the last game left off.

The Vikings prevailed 27-24 over the Giants in Week 16 on a Greg Joseph 61-yard field goal as time expired. At most books, the Giants covered +4.5 and the game had a thrilling finish with 18 points in the last three minutes.

The Giants, meanwhile, remain money to their backers. They finished 13-4 against the spread this year, which is tops in the league.

Tom Brady, Bucs Are Home Underdogs Against Cowboys

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys meet in a Week 1 playoff rematch from a Week 1 game.

The Bucs, who won that opener 19-3, have a knack for stealing home games in the final moments. They nipped the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints, and Carolina Panthers that way. They lost 30-17 on Sunday to the Atlanta Falcons with Tom Brady sitting out the second half.

Dallas, riddled with mistakes in a 26-6 loss to the Washington Commanders, botched a punt, a punt return, and had another Dak Prescott pass returned for a Pick 6.

NFL Week 18 Betting: Gamblers Burned on Dolphins vs. Jets

Talk about getting rolled.

This was a bad beat for New York Jets bettors at +3.5 (DraftKings) while some sportsbooks had +3 against the Dolphins. The Jets held the Dolphins to a field goal with 18 seconds left, giving Miami the 9-6 lead and an apparent ticket to the NFL playoffs.

So far, so good. Dolphins fans and Jets spread bettors were happy.

The Jets unfurled the crazy final-play series of backward passes and the ball strayed near their goal line. The Dolphins only wanted to make a tackle, but the ball rolled into the end zone and through a corner of it as time expired. Safety. A final of 11-6 and the Dolphins covered.

DraftKings Betting Recaps

The biggest majority, 85%, supported the Vikings at -7, toppling the Chicago Bears, 29-13.

The second-biggest majority, 80% handle, was defeated when the Saints failed to cover -3.5 in a 10-7 loss to the Panthers.

A solid 74% handle reflected bettors jumping all aboard 16 points for the Giants over the Eagles.

Caesars Sportsbook: Browns vs. Steelers

Gamblers who hooked into a trend reported by Caesars Sportsbook did well. The Cleveland Browns, who had defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier in the season, have not swept them in 31 straight full seasons. That streak is by far the longest drought of one team failing to sweep an opponent since 1970, according to Caesars. It continued with Pittsburgh’s 28-14 triumph.

Going back to 2012, Pittsburgh also extended its dominance over Cleveland to 13-0-1 when it is favored over the Browns. This victory also made the Steelers 9-4-1 against the spread in those games.

Caesars’ bettors sent 66% of the spread bets to the Steelers and 53% of the spread handle to the Browns.

Gamblers believing the Steelers would extend head coach Mike Tomlin’s league record of no losing seasons to 16 also profited. Pittsburgh finished 9-8.

PointsBet Gamblers Win at the Wire: Lions vs. Packers

Talk about drama. PointsBet’s third-most popular prop was DJ Chark of the Lions to surpass 2.5 catches at -110. Bettors needed an aggressive play call by head coach Dan Campbell, the decision to go for it on fourth down deep in Green Bay territory rather than kick a field goal.

Chark then made the fourth-down catch that put the game, the Packers season, and this bet away. His catch came on Detroit’s final offensive play prior to victory formation.

PointsBet customers also hit on Jamaal Williams to score at -135 on their most highly-bet prop. Stefon Diggs pocketed two popular wagers. One was to score at +110 and the other was to clear 80.5 yards. That was -110.

The bettors only came up short in the Under 50.5 bet for New England Patriots back Rhamondre Stevenson. He secured 54.

Did You Know?

The Bears “qualify” for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft by having the league’s worst record for the first time since 1947. Chicago also once tied the Steelers and lost a 1970 coin flip for the first pick. The Steelers took Terry Bradshaw and four Super Bowl rings.

The Indianapolis Colts lost three one-point home games and blew a league-record 33-0 halftime lead in losing to the Vikings in overtime. That’s how 4-12-1 happens.

NFL playoff odds: Betting lines for all six wild card games

About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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