NFL Spreads Wild Card Playoffs: Best Picks Against the Spread

Frank Doyle | Updated Jan 04, 2016

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The race to Super Bowl 50 is down to the dirty dozen. Eight of those teams clash this weekend in the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend. Here are your odds and game previews with your best early bets on the board.

NFL Spreads Week 17: Best Picks Against the Spread

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NFL Wild Card Playoffs

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans

Point spread: Chiefs -3.5 / Chiefs -3

Total: 40.5 / 40

When the Texans were shuffling quarterbacks and losing four of their first five games nobody expected a playoff berth. Now, after winning seven of their last nine and covering the spread in three straight, Houston is a major threat to the Chiefs. Kansas City has won 10 in a row, but feasted on a fluffy schedule down the stretch and couldn’t cover the number in three of its last four. Take the hot home underdog to keep it close or come away with the outright upset.

Pick against the spread: Texans +3.5

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

Point spread: Steelers -2.5 / Steelers -3

Total: 46.5 / 45.5

The Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the best bets in the NFL all season, finishing with a 12-3-1 mark against the spread. They also allow fewer than 18 points per game and seem to be more comfortable with A.J. McCarron under centre all the time. Still, in a game like this you know the Steelers will stack the box and make the young QB beat them deep. With Pittsburgh facing McCarron for the second time, the Steelers secondary will be ready to make some big plays. That’s all Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh’s No. 3-ranked offense should need to advance.

Pick against the spread: Steelers -2.5

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings

Point spread: Seahawks -5.5 /Seahawks -5

Total: 42 / 39.5

When all the dust settles, the Minnesota Vikings will look back at this game as a positive experience whether they win or lose. Still, there’s no doubt the deck is stacked against them. The Seahawks destroyed them 38-7 a month ago and while the Vikings are healthier this time around, Seattle is a team that’s been here before and knows how to deal with winner-take-all situations. If the Seahawks can at least keep Adrian Peterson from going off, Teddy Bridgewater will have a target on his chest as he sits in the pocket. The Vikes are good, but they may not be ready for a game like this yet.

Pick against the spread: Seahawks -5.5

Green Bay Packers at Washington

Point spread: Washington -1

Total: 46.5 /45.5

This isn’t the Packers team we expected at the beginning of the season as Green Bay backed into a playoff spot by losing its last two games of the season. The Cheeseheads have been hampered by injuries all year and were forced to reinvent themselves a number of times as a result. They don’t have a deep threat and can’t run the ball with any consistency. On the other hand, Washington has scored at least 34 points in three consecutive games, but can a defence that ranks 28th overall contain Aaron Rodgers? That’s the question you need to answer.

Pick against the spread: Packers +1