NFL Playoff Expert Picks: Bookies Battle Contestants Look for Wild Card Layups

GamingToday.com is an independent sports news and information service. GamingToday.com has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company when you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site. 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.

For more information, please read How We Rate Sportsbooks, Privacy Policy, or Contact Us with any concerns you may have.

Gaming Today is licensed and regulated to operate in AZ, CO, CT, DC, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MS, NJ, NV, NY, OH, ON, PA, TN, VA, VT, WV, and WY.

The large majority of the 12 Bookies Battle playoff contestants are riding obvious closing line value heading into the opening weekend of the 2023 NFL Playoffs. A few competitors are going against the grain.

The latter group is employing a bold strategy. Anticipating the consensus would be looking to take advantage of stale lines, the contrarians could be rewarded with early leads in the postseason portion of our contest, which pays $2,000 to the winner.

Upon midweek news that Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa and the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson are expected to miss their respective Wild Card games, the betting market moved starkly against these sides since contest lines were posted Tuesday.

Bengals -6.5 is on 10 of 12 Bookies Battle sheets this week; Bills -10.5 is on nine.

Based on action instead of injuries, more subtle line moves have occurred on the NFC side of the bracket, as underdogs Tampa Bay and Seattle have both seen adjustments in their direction. The Bucs and Seahawks are the picks of 10 and nine playoff pool participants, respectively.

Expert Consensus NFL Playoff Picks, Bookies Battle 2022, Wild Card Round

TeamContest lineFriday lineOpp.# of Picks
CIN-6.5-9.5BAL10
TB+3+2.5DAL10
BUF-10.5-13.5MIA9
NYG +3+3MIN9
SEA+10+9.5SF8

There’s an even 6-6 split on Chargers vs. Jaguars.

Boldest of the Bold

Socrates Cherry III, from Aliante Casino in Las Vegas, is on the opposite side of the line move in three of the five games (Vikings -3 has remained unchanged), putting his chips on Jaguars +1, Dolphins +10.5, and Baltimore +6.5. Socrates finished tied for 15th in the regular-season standings, but earned a spot in the playoffs by virtue of his third-quarter mini-contest victory.

Three contestants eschew closing-line value in two of the five games – fourth-quarter winner Rex Beyers (PlayUp), Craig Steppach (Gold Strike), and Casey Lewless (Margaritaville Bossier City).

Two players – 2022 Bookies Battle champ Robert Kowalski and first-quarter winner Casey Degnon (Westgate SuperBook) – are on the “right side” of the line moves in all five of these Wild Card contests.

You can see all the picks here.

nfl playoffs
Contestants who played Joe Burrow’s Bengals at -6.5 are looking at excellent line value ahead of Wild Card Weekend (AP Photo/Emilee Chinn)

Bookies Battle is an NFL pick ‘em contest among bookmakers throughout the sports betting industry, including some of the most expert oddsmakers in the business.

It’s not necessarily advisable to follow these picks blindly, particularly when a line has moved off its contest number. Laying Bengals -6.5 is a far different proposition than spotting the Ravens +9.5, for example.

Also Read>>> Bookmaker Spotlight Q&AsCirca’s Jeff Benson | Westgate’s Jeff Sherman | South Point’s Chris Andrews | BetMGM’s Jason Scott | Bally Bet’s Jay Rood  | Station’s Jason McCormick | Golden Nugget’s Tony Miller | Baldini’s Robert Kowalski | Westgate’s Casey Degnon | Rivers’ Kyle Wainscott | Aliante’s Socrates Cherry III

About the Author
Marcus DiNitto

Marcus DiNitto

Managing Editor, News
Marcus DiNitto was news managing editor of Gaming Today. In past roles, he has been managing editor at national sports websites SportsBusiness Daily, Sporting News, and The Linemakers, as well as with licensed sportsbook operator USA Sports Gaming. Marcus graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, and studied sports and entertainment marketing at New York University.

Get connected with us on Social Media