The NFL playoffs have finally arrived. Wild Card weekend offers a six-pack of games, beginning on Saturday afternoon.
I’ve taken a look at the entire NFL odds slate, and have come up with my four favorite sides, which I’ll break up into a pair of two-leg parlays.
Check out my NFL parlay picks for Wild Card weekend.
Wild Card NFL parlay picks
- Chargers -1.5 (-110) + LAC-JAX Under 47.5 (-110) = +264
- BAL-CIN Under 40.5 (-108) + Cowboys -2.5 (-108) = +271
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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NFL Wild Card parlay pick 1
PARLAY: Chargers -1.5 (-110) + Chargers/Jaguars Under 47.5 (-110) = +264 at Caesars
Chargers -1.5 (-110)
The Chargers have risen from -1 to -2.5 at most shops as of Friday morning, and the money appears to be smart.
Justin Herbert seemed to get over some mid-season doldrums by going 46-for-65 (70.8%) combined in his final two games, tossing four touchdowns and no interceptions. He was only sacked once in that span, and that spells trouble for the Jaguars’ 25th-ranked pass rush (35 sacks).
Herbert’s opposite number, Trevor Lawrence, is dealing with a toe injury ahead of this showdown and is listed as questionable. It’s a good bet that he plays, but he’s unlikely to be at 100%.
Lawrence wasn’t a liability during Jacksonville’s five-game win streak to end the regular season, but his last three performances left something to be desired. The Clemson product went for no more than 229 passing yards in each of those games and had a 1:1 touchdown-interception ratio.
The Chargers have covered in seven of their last nine road games, and it looks like they’ll improve on that mark here.
Chargers vs Jaguars Under 47.5 (-110)
The passing game is the bread-and-butter for both of these offenses, but their respective stoppers should be up to the task and keep this game below an inflated total.
L.A. ranked seventh in passing yards allowed per game (200.4) and held the opposition to fewer than 160 passing yards in four straight matchups prior to a meaningless Week 18 tilt against the Broncos. The Jags are 28th on the year in passing defense (238.5 yards allowed per game) but held their last three opponents to fewer than 200 yards through the air.
Austin Ekeler and the Chargers have struggled to move the ball on the ground all year, ranking 30th in rushing yards per game (89.6). This unit faces a Jacksonville front that’s seventh in the NFL in yards allowed per carry (4.2).
Travis Etienne had an inconsistent regular season for the Jaguars, rushing for over 100 yards five times, but averaging only 44.6 yards on the ground in his other 12 contests. He had a mere 45 yards on 13 carries against L.A. when these teams met in Week 3.
The Chargers have gone below the total in five of their last six overall, and 11 of Jacksonville’s last 14 home games have resulted in an Under.
NFL Wild Card parlay pick 2
PARLAY: Ravens vs Bengals Under 40.5 (-108) + Cowboys -2.5 (-108) = +271 at WynnBET
Ravens vs Bengals Under 40.5 (-108)
It wasn’t much of a game when the Bengals met the Ravens in Week 18, as Cincinnati jumped out to a 24-7 halftime lead and never looked back. The rematch figures to be “second verse, same as the first,” only with the Bengals’ defense being a little less forgiving in the second half.
Lamar Jackson is still dealing with a knee ailment that has him doubtful to participate in this one. Third-string quarterback Anthony Brown had a dreadful game against Cincinnati last Sunday, completing only 19 of 44 passes with two interceptions. Second-stringer Tyler Huntley could be back under center, but his 109.7 yards per game figure and 2:3 touchdown-interception ratio don’t inspire much confidence.
J. K. Dobbins and the rest of the Baltimore backfield may find it difficult to move the ball on the ground too, as Cincinnati ranks seventh in stopping the run (106.6 yards allowed per game).
Not to be outdone are the Ravens’ rush stoppers, who are third in the NFL in that department (92.1 yards per game). Joe Mixon is likely to have a rough day at the office for the Bengals. That means it’ll be up to Joe Burrow to keep the chains moving against a Baltimore defense that’s allowed 212 or fewer passing yards in six of their last eight contests.
Cowboys -2.5 (-108)
Tom Brady has often made a fool out of anymore who’s doubted him, but age has obviously caught up to the future Hall of Famer. This Buccaneers team is also clearly inferior to the one that won Super Bowl LV, and the Cowboys should send them packing as short-road favorites.
Tampa’s offense is shockingly one-dimensional, as the Bucs rank second in passing yards (269.8 per game), and dead-last in rushing yards (76.9 per game). Brady was able to turn back the clock in his last four-quarter performance against the Panthers, throwing for 432 yards and three scores, but Carolina ranks 22nd in passing defense (227.5 yards allowed per game), while Dallas is eighth (200.9 yards allowed per game).
Dak Prescott should be fairly safe when going to the air against the Bucs, who have intercepted only 10 passes all year, but the Cowboys should give Tampa a steady dose of both Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott out of the backfield. The Buccaneers are 19th in the NFL in yards allowed per carry (4.5), so there should be holes for both backs to run through.
Trend bettors should note that the Cowboys are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following an ATS loss and 6-2 ATS in their last eight Monday games. The Bucs are 3-12-1 ATS in their last 16 overall.