The Wild Card round of the 2024 NFL Playoffs will begin on Saturday, January 13. With the No. 1 seed in each conference getting a bye this week, there will be six total games this weekend. There will be two games on Saturday, three games scheduled for Sunday and one for Monday night.
Let’s take a look at the betting splits and how the public is wagering on Wild Card Weekend, with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
2024 NFL Playoff Betting Splits: Wild Card Round
No. 2 Dallas Cowboys vs. No. 7 Green Bay Packers
Spread: Cowboys -7.5 (49% handle, 55% of bets)
Over/Under: Over 50.5 (82% handle, 61% of bets)
Moneyline: Cowboys -360 (71% handle, 80% bets)
The Cowboys get to play at home after winning the NFC East. Mike McCarthy will welcome his former team to town with a chance to pick up a statement win. Dallas is always dogged for its recent performances in the playoffs, but a win in this game would help to not only silence critics, but build important momentum heading into another home game.
Green Bay should be applauded for its turnaround this season. They began the season 3-6 before finishing 9-8 and sneaking into the playoffs. The Packers have won three straight, but defensive coordinator Joe Barry feels like he is on thin ice. Dallas’ offense has so many weapons that can beat a defense, and it feels like the public has this one correct, with the Cowboys winning and covering.
No. 3 Detroit Lions vs. No. 6 Los Angeles Rams
The focal point of this game is Matthew Stafford’s return to Detroit in a huge game. Los Angeles had as good of a second half of the season as anyone, going 7-1 since Week 11. Many believe that momentum, plus a game for Stafford to prove something, will have them in prime position to pull off an upset.
Detroit is riding high as they have won the NFC North for the first time in 30 years. The Lions’ home crowd is going to be absolutely bananas not only to welcome Stafford back initially but then the team’s first home playoff game in decades. This should finally be the year that Detroit makes it past the Wild Card round.
The Lions were the best team against the spread, covering in 70.6% of their games this season. The Rams weren’t too far behind at 62.5%, but this feels like it will be a big day for Detroit. It wouldn’t shock me if Los Angeles wins, but currently, I think the only bet the public has wrong is the spread.
No. 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. No. 5 Philadelphia Eagles
Spread: Eagles -3 (62% of handle, 61% of bets)
Over/Under: Under 44 (85% of handle, 68% of bets)
Moneyline: Eagles -155 (55% of handle, 56% of bets)
If Los Angeles had one of the strongest ends to their season, then Philadelphia had one of the worst. The Eagles started the year 5-0 and then 10-1, before dropping five of their last six games and finishing 11-6. Whether it was injuries or getting complacent, thinking they could steamroll everyone, Philly needs a win to spark some momentum for a playoff run.
Someone was going to win the NFC South and host a playoff game. Tampa Bay pulled it off with a 9-8 record and won five of its last six games. Quarterback Baker Mayfield exceeded expectations in the offense and relied on Mike Evans as his most impactful receiver. The Bucs will also look for revenge as they lost to the Eagles 25-11 in Week 3.
Philadelphia’s poor play is why this spread is so small, and it should be larger. The real surprise is the point total. These teams combined for an average of 46 points per game in the regular season. Tampa Bay’s defense should keep it close, but despite the inconsistency of the Eagles’ offensive attack, I think Philly looks like the first-half version of themselves. and is able not only to win, but win big and exceed the point total.
No. 2 Buffalo Bills vs. No. 7 Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh won’t have TJ Watt for this game, and we have seen in the past that he is a difference-maker for this team to win games. The Steelers are expected to have Minkah Fitzpatrick back but are a longshot for Mason Rudolph to lead them to a victory on the road in Buffalo.
The Bills played a close game against the Miami Dolphins in Week 18 and picked up the win to secure the AFC East and a top-four seed in the playoffs. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen will likely throw his usual interception as he averages one a game, The Bills have won five games in a row, but won those games by an average of 7.8 points. If you take out Buffalo’s 21-point win over the Dallas Cowboys, they won four of the games by an average of 4.5 points.
This is the biggest point spread in the Wild Card round, and the majority of the bettors think that the Steelers will keep it close. I think the public is 3/3 on how the bets are coming in with Pittsburgh covering, the over hitting, but the Bills eventually winning.
No. 3 Kansas City Chiefs vs. No. 6 Miami Dolphins
Spread: Chiefs -4.5 (73% of handle, 54% of bets)
Over/Under: Under 44 (69% of handle, 62% of bets)
Moneyline: Chiefs -225 (72% of handle, 59% of bets)
The major factor in this game is going to be the weather. There is expected to be a wind chill in the second half of the game of -14. So not only will it be windy, but it is going to be very cold. Kansas City had a down year from what we are used to, but still won their eighth AFC West division title in a row.
Miami is hoping to get healthier ahead of this game. Wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and running back Raheem Mostert have all been dealing with injuries over the last few weeks. The Dolphins lost back-to-back games to end the season and have gone from one of the top teams in the league to a very tough matchup to try and stay alive in the playoffs.
These teams matched up in an international game in Frankfurt in Week 9, and Kansas City won 21-14. I have faith in Miami because it sounds like the key pieces of Miami’s offense are expected to be healthy and good to go. With the high winds and cold weather, I think the winner of the game will be the one who can sustain drives on the ground and has a better group of running backs, giving the edge to Miami.
No. 4 Houston Texans vs. No. 5 Cleveland Browns
Spread: Browns -2.5 (78% of handle, 69% of bets)
Over/Under: Over 44.5 (56% of handle, 61% of bets)
Moneyline: Browns -135 (73% of handle, 60% of bets)
Houston will host a playoff game in the first round after winning the AFC South, thanks to the Jacksonville Jaguars falling apart down the stretch of the season. This is a rematch of Week 16 when the Browns went on the road and beat the Texans 36-22. Notably, Houston didn’t have quarterback C.J. Stroud, who is expected to play this week.
Cleveland technically lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 18, but they were locked into the No. 5 spot regardless if they won or lost the game. Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco looks like he has turned back the clock to his days with the Baltimore Ravens and won four of the five games that he has started for the team.
The Browns have plenty of momentum with Flacco, but I think it runs out. Cleveland won by two touchdowns in Week 16, but their star defense dealt with Case Keenum and Davis Mills while Amari Cooper set the franchise’s single-game receiving yards record. Stroud playing and Cooper not repeating that record-setting performance could greatly change the outcome of the rematch, and I think the public is currently wrong about these bets outside of the over on the point total.