The regular season has concluded and it’s time for what looks like it should be a pretty exciting NFL postseason. Things get underway with a pretty attractive Wild Card Weekend betting card that spans over three days. Let’s go over what I like on DraftKings Sportsbook this week.
For a full breakdown of all six Wild Card games, tune into the Unreasonable Odds podcast. We do a deep dive on each game with additional analysis. I’ll give my take on each game below, as well as what I’ve bet, and continue to update the article with my bets.
Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (Saturday 4:30pm ET)
Texans +2.5 (-110) — 1-unit
I’m starting to talk myself into Houston here, and by the time this game kicks off, I’ll likely have a piece of the moneyline, or tease the Texans up.
Cleveland had a terrific season with a carrousel of quarterbacks, eventually landing on a great story in Joe Flacco. But we’ve still seen a very limited sample of Flacco, who could implode at any time. All the talk is about the Cleveland defense, but it was Houston that allowed fewer points per game this season at 20.8
The Browns have night and day splits at home versus on the road. Cleveland ranks first in the NFL at home, where it gives up 13.9 points per. But take them on the road and the Browns surrender 29.6 points — tied for last in the NFL with the Broncos.
With CJ Stroud essentially just winning a road playoff game in Indy last Saturday night with a surgical final drive, I see no reason Houston shouldn’t put up points in this game. We just got this exact matchup last month, and the Browns were laying 3.5 with Case Keenum and Davis Mills getting the QB snaps (and they put up 22 points). The market hasn’t moved enough with Stroud at QB.
Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs (Saturday 8:00pm ET)
Chiefs ML (-135) — 2.5-units
UNDER 44 (-110) — 1-unit
SGP: Chiefs ML/UNDER 47.5 (+135) — 1-unit
This is the game I’ll be going after with the most conviction this weekend. As soon as Buffalo knocked off Miami on SNF, I put out a play on Kansas City ML. The number moved quickly, but I would still lay the points if you are getting in late.
I’ll start with the analysis on the side and then get to the total, which ties the SGP together. It’s tough to put your faith in the Chiefs given the cliff the offense fell off this season. Unfortunately, it hasn’t improved down the stretch, and I’m not sure one of the coldest games in NFL history is going to get it going. But I do trust Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes to get creative at home when they have to have it.
What I don’t trust are two things:
- The Dolphins in the cold — Miami is 0-9 SU/2-7 ATS in its last nine games played when it’s colder than 40 degrees. That includes three losses for Tua Tagovailoa.
- The Dolphins against good teams — Miami went 1-5 SU/ATS against teams that finished the regular season above .500, with the only win a narrow one at home over Dallas (which was awful on the road). That included a neutral loss to the Chiefs play indoors in Germany with the conditions far more favorable for Miami.
Keep in mind that Miami is coming off a SNF game and now playing on a short week on Saturday. The Dolphins have also had several players dinged up over the past couple weeks, some of which will miss this game, others which will play hurt. While the Chiefs did play on Sunday, they rested most key pieces in Week 18, and we know how good this group has been off a bye in years past. This is just an awful spot for Miami.
Then we get to the weather. The Chiefs were 1-7 to the under at home this season, and also went under in their other “home” game — the neutral game against Miami. We’re going to be dealing with a historically cold game here, making it really tough to see much scoring from either side. I think Miami is really going to struggle in these conditions, which could lead to KC going to the run game to try and control a lead in the second half.
Prop to consider: Isaiah Pacheco O65.5 Rushing Yards
Miami was solid overall against the run this season, finishing seventh overall in yards allowed. However, the Dolphins gave up 118 rushing yards per game on the road this season, and over 128 per game in their last three games. Factor in the conditions and the step back from the KC passing game and we could see a whole lot of Pacheco in this one.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (Sunday 1pm ET)
UNDER 35 (-110) — 1.5-units
UPDATE: Added a play on the total with potential heavy snow and high winds.
No plays for me yet in this one, and ultimately could be a game I pass on. But lean to the underdog Steelers if they are getting double digits, with a stronger lean to the under in the game. You could also make a smaller correlated parlay on those things combined, or a same game teaser with Pittsburgh and the under.
Give the Bills credit for winning the games they needed to win to get in, but they really scraped by in a lot of them — a six point win over the Patriots with a massive turnover gap and a two-point win against the Chargers. We should see some terrible weather conditions in this one, with a couple of tough defenses. Under is the best play in the game, but those factors should also allow Pitt to hang in there.
Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday 4:30pm ET)
Cowboys TT O29.5 (-120) — 1.5-units
Dallas averaged 29.9 points on the season, which makes the team total seem fair on the service. But the home/road splits suggest otherwise, as the Cowboys averaged a whopping 37.4 points at Jerry World.
They went 7-1 to the over on 29.5 in those home games, with the only loss in their last home game, which was the Saturday night loss to the Lions. That was a bit of a fluky result, especially with a touchback going through the end zone.
Green Bay’s defense is pretty shaky at the moment, particularly in the secondary. That passing attack from Dallas should feast on the Packers and help Dallas improve to 9-0 at home with another game scoring into the 30s.
Prop to consider: CeeDee Lamb O7.5 Receptions/O99.5 Receiving Yards
Lamb had an elite season, and closed as hot as he’s been all season — hauling in 26-of-30 targets over the last two games for 325 yards. Look for more of that against this vulnerable Green Bay secondary.
Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions (Sunday 8:15pm ET)
Rams +3.5 (-110) — 1.5-units
This is the storyline of the postseason, as Matthew Stafford returns to Detroit for a playoff game. While the Lions have been very solid at home at 6-2, I think the red-hot Rams have some edges in this one.
This has arguably been Sean McVay’s best coaching performance, finishing the regular season on a 7-1 run, with the lone loss to the Ravens in overtime. The defense is clicking and Stafford has the offense humming.
These two teams chose different paths in Week 18, as the Rams rested to prepare for this game. The Lions played their guys, and suffered a really tough injury to Sam LaPorta. I think this Lions defense can be had, particularly at home by a QB that won’t shy away from this moment. The Lions did allow the tenth-most points at home this season, and are going up against an offense with a lot of different threats.
So that means this game will come down to what Jared Goff and the Lions can do. It’s an offense we’ve grown to trust, but I think McVay is going to have some edges here. He coached Goff for a long time, and might have some tricks up his sleeve to confuse him in this game. If the Rams can get off to a strong start, look for Dan Campbell to start gambling on some plays he probably shouldn’t, potentially digging the whole deeper.
Prop to consider: Puka Nacua O76.5 Receiving Yards
Excluding Week 18, when Nacua only played until he got enough yards for the rookie record, Puka has gone over 76.5 yards in four of his last five games. It’s an excellent matchup against a Detroit secondary that has not been very successful againat outside receivers, and I believe Stafford should really be slinging it in this one.
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Monday 8:00pm ET)
Hopefully Dallas comes through on Sunday, and we enter MNF with a good number on the home dog. The Eagles are really limping into the postseason both literally and figuratively, going 1-5 SU/0-6 ATS down the stretch. Tampa has been solid as a dog, with an 8-3 ATS mark this season.
One of those losses as a dog does include Philly coming down to Tampa for MNF back in Week 3 — Philly won 25-11. But these are different teams right now, going in completely different directions.
This could also be a good game to sit back and make an early play on the live line. It should be pretty noticeable early if the Eagles are able to flip a switch and be that dominant team we’ve seen at times in the past, or if they are continuing to struggle. But I have Tampa teased here with the idea that the Eagles aren’t pulling away from anyone in their current state, even if they do win the game by a possession.
Prop to consider: Mike Evans O66.5 Receiving Yards
Evans went over this mark eight times this season, but did have just 60 yards in this matchup in Week 3. He went over his prop in that game though, and caught just 5-of-10 targets to leave a lot of meat on the bone. Philly has fallen off a cliff defensively, ranking 31st in passing yards allowed. Good game script here, as Tampa should try to pass to get a lead, or will need to pass if they go down in the game. Evans has been the go-to-guy, and should see plenty of targets on Monday.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.