With the addition of a third Wild-Card team in each conference this season and going forward, there are now six games on Wild-Card Weekend in the NFL instead of four.
Here’s a quick look at all of them with Sports Interaction’s NFL odds. Only Kansas City and Green Bay earned first-round playoff byes.
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills, Saturday
This will be Buffalo’s first time hosting a playoff game since Dec. 28, 1996, which was the final game in the Hall of Fame career of Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. There will be a little more than 6,000 fans allowed to attend. Buffalo is the AFC East champion and second seed in the conference. QB Josh Allen will get some regular-season MVP votes but probably finish no better than third. The Colts got the final AFC Wild-Card spot with a win over Jacksonville on Sunday and Miami’s loss in Buffalo. This could be the last game in the career of 39-year-old Colts QB Philip Rivers, who is contemplating retirement. Rivers has accomplished nearly everything in his career but reach a Super Bowl. These teams didn’t play this season.
Pick ATS: Buffalo (alternate line of -6.5)
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks, Saturday
Will the NFC sixth-seeded Rams have starting quarterback Jared Goff? He missed Sunday’s 18-7 win over Arizona following thumb surgery, and it’s too early to tell if Goff will be able to go here. The team also may not know until later this week whether top receiver Cooper Kupp can play. He missed Week 17 after testing positive for COVID-19. Seattle is the NFC West champion and on a four-game winning streak. The Seahawks and Rams split two low-scoring meetings this season, each winning at home.
Pick ATS: Seattle
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team, Saturday
Tom Brady is of course no stranger to playoff football but this will be his first postseason not in a New England Patriots uniform. The Bucs are the NFC’s No. 5 seed and hope to become the first club ever to play in a Super Bowl in their own stadium. The one injury concern is to Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans, who injured his knee in Sunday’s win over Atlanta. Evans apparently did avoid any major damage but still may not be ready by Saturday. Fourth-seeded Washington was handed the NFC East title on Sunday night when Philadelphia essentially tanked in the fourth quarter of their game. These teams didn’t play this season.
Pick ATS: Washington
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans, Sunday
Fifth-seeded Baltimore enters playing easily its best football of the season on a five-game winning streak and averaging 37.2 points in that span. Lamar Jackson has become the first quarterback in league history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in two seasons. Speaking of rushing, Tennessee’s Derrick Henry repeated as the league rushing king and joined the exclusive 2,000-yard single-season club with a monster 250-yard game Sunday in a win over Houston. Baltimore hosted Tennessee, the AFC South champion and fourth seed, in Week 11 and the Titans were 30-24 OT upset winners. They also won in Baltimore in last season’s playoffs.
Pick ATS: Baltimore (alternate line of -3)
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints, Sunday
The Bears backed into the playoffs as the NFC’s No. 7 seed as they were dominated Sunday in a home loss to Green Bay but caught a break when Arizona was upset at the Los Angeles Rams. New Orleans is the NFC South champion and No. 2 seed. The Saints played without superstar running back Alvin Kamara in Sunday’s 33-7 win at Carolina as Kamara tested positive for COVID-19. If he tests negative all this week, he would be able to play. New Orleans won in Chicago 26-23 in overtime in Week 8.
Pick ATS: Chicago (alternate line of +10.5)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday
These teams played Sunday, and AFC North champion Pittsburgh, the No. 3 seed, rested a bunch of starters in a 24-22 loss in Cleveland, which earned the No. 6 seed and is in the playoffs for the first time since 2002. That had been the league’s longest postseason drought. The Browns never win in Pittsburgh, though, and lost there 38-7 in Week 6. There are four active franchises never to play in a Super Bowl and the Browns are the only one of the four playing in these playoffs.
Pick ATS: Pittsburgh