It’s been a bit of a long week and that’s why these picks are landing here at The Wife Hates Sports just hours before the NFL Playoffs kickoff. A night of sleep deprivation landed me here trying to analyze key matchups with half a brain. Ok, quarter of a brain. If these go well, maybe I can start a podcast called “Pajama Picks”. See? The jokes don’t get any better when you’re running on two hours sleep. With that said, it’s time for our Super Wild Card Picks ATS.
If you have been following along during the regular season, you’ll already know that the SportsChump and I have had a contest making picks against the spread (ATS). The contest covered both College Football and the NFL, and allowed for you to make five selections (ranked in order by confidence).
We decided to continue the fun into the playoffs. Only, no confidence points. You can join our contest for FREE and the SportsChump is giving away PRIZES to the person that gets the most games correct.
No catch, it’s that simple. Simply click the link above if you want to enter. You can also submit your picks in the comments section below and I’ll make sure to pass them along. They just have to be in prior to kickoff of the first game each weekend.
Ready, Set, PLAYOFFS
As for the games, there is a great set of matchups for Super Wild Card Weekend. Multiple division rivalries renewed for the third time, a historical playoff rivalry, and a few rematches from the regular season. There are teams looking to end playoff droughts and others looking to break through and finally make another Super Bowl. We could see the last game from a future Hall of Fame QB or a breakout playoff performance from a few rookies.
Anything can happen.
Eh, not quite like that. I mean… oh, never mind. Let’s just get to the picks, shall we?
Here are our Super Wild Card picks ATS, with odds taken via DraftKings Sportsbook:
Super Wild Card Picks ATS: The Wife Hates SportsChump Lives On
KP’s Picks: The Wife Hates Sports
Las Vegas Raiders (+5.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
It’s difficult to beat a team twice in the same season. Back on November 21st, the Bengals trounced the Raiders 32-13 in Vegas. Can history repeat itself? Speaking of history, can Cincinnati finally erase its winless playoff drought? That’s the real question. We know Joe Burrow is a special player. Ja’Marr Chase, too. Heck, the Bengals have a ton of special players on offense. Yet, there’s something scrappy about this Vegas team. Derek Carr is a fighter. This Vegas squad could have folded like cheap laundry following the Gruden debacle. Let’s not forget the Henry Ruggs story, too. Since the Cincy blowout, Vegas was also torched by the Chiefs on December 12th. But LV’s other six games were decided by four points or less. That includes wins over the Cowboys, Browns, Broncos, and Chargers. My gut says this game will be close. Cincy will have added pressure to win. Give me the Raiders and the points.
Bengals 27, Raiders 23
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-4)
Division rivals meet for the third time. They split the series with both games occurring in December. The weather calls for bitter cold conditions (5 degrees), but these teams are used to that. The game features the league’s top two pass defenses during the regular season. The team with the most success on the ground is likely to advance. We all know Belichick’s history and success in the league. Knowing he will be roaming the sideline is enough to consider taking the Pats. Still, this Bills team – while having plenty of up-and-down moments – feels like a special group. More so, Mac Jones has really struggled against Buffalo. Jones is 16 for 35 with 2 INT in two games. Yes, I know one game featured brutal weather. Still, numbers don’t lie. In front of a raucous crowd, I’ll take the Bills to cover in a low scoring game.
Bills 20, Patriots 13
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-9.5)
Rain and thunderstorms early in the day will pave way to windy conditions. That could impact the game. Tampa Bay has been hard to beat at home, but this is a team that has lost key players on offense. The Bucs had all WR’s in a 28-22 win over the Eagles back in October. Still, there’s that Tom Brady guy. The Eagles led the NFL in rushing offense (159.7 ypg), while the Bucs ranked 3rd against the run (92.5 ypg allowed). The Bucs allowed the fewest sacks in the league this year (23), while the Eagles posted the second fewest sack total for a defense (29). So, while the Eagles had a great second half and ran its way into the playoffs, the odds remain stacked against them. Philly teams have had success against Brady in the past, but this Bucs defense can stop the run. Then, give Brady time to throw – wind or not – and it’s not going to end well. I don’t care who is on the field. Tampa Bay covers at home.
Buccaneers 27, Eagles 14
San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys (-3)
The Niners have slipped a bit under the radar. No one was talking about this team at all as the playoffs approached. Now, a long-time rivalry is renewed in what could be the best game of the weekend. Jimmy Garoppolo (20 TD, 12 INT) has had some big-time moments during the season. Yet, so many people have asked when Trey Lance will be the permanent starter. As for the game, we know what Dallas brings to the table. There are explosive playmakers on defense, including Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs. The offense has Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, and Amari Cooper. But enough about Dallas, because it’s not like the Niners don’t have their share of talent. I’m curious to see how the Dallas pass game performs against San Francisco’s pass defense. That’s the key. Also, turnover differential will be huge, as it almost always is. Dallas posted the NFL’s top turnover margin (+14) during the regular season, while the Niners finished with a -4 mark. That’s the difference. Cowboys cover.
Cowboys 27, 49ers 20
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5)
This could be the swan song for Big Ben. Again, another rematch game. The Chiefs torched the Steelers 36-10 over Christmas weekend and that was without Travis Kelce due to COVID protocols. The Chiefs have allowed 28 sacks (3rd fewest in the NFL), but will have their hands full against a Steelers defense that led the league in sacks (55). Can T.J. Watt and the Pittsburgh defense put forth a better performance against the Chiefs? There’s honestly a part of me that expects Mike Tomlin and the Steelers to rally around Ben, putting up a highly competitive performance. There is also the image of an aging Ben throwing wounded ducks all over the field. Besides everything I’ve said, I’m more so looking to the run game. Pittsburgh needs a big game and a lot of clock eaten by Najee Harris (although he’s questionable to play). On the KC side, CEH is already out and Darrel Williams is questionable. Will the Chiefs have the healthy backs to run against Pittsburgh’s run defense that ranked last in the NFL? I was all KC all week long and while sleep deprivation has pushed me to change the pick, I’m sticking with the Chiefs.
Chiefs 31, Steelers 17
Arizona Cardinals (+4) at Los Angeles Rams
DeAndre Hopkins will not return this week. That is obviously big news, but it doesn’t mean that the Cards don’t have the overall talent to win this game. The teams split the series this season and each has the offensive firepower to take control of this game. Each team has also been a bit inconsistent down the stretch. What does that really mean? Hard to say. Game plan and momentum will matter. Statistically, both teams rank in the top ten in passing offense. The Cards are 7th in pass defense, while the Rams finished 22nd. My gut tells me it comes down to whether Matthew Stafford is on his game. Arizona finished the regular season with a +12 turnover differential. That’s good for fourth in the NFL. The Rams have the talent and the home field, but the numbers have me leaning towards Arizona. Give me the Cards and the points in what should be a highly competitive (and entertaining) game.
Cardinals 27, Rams 24
As I mentioned, I’m a bit late this week. We are about five hours from kickoff the Bengals-Raiders game. Therefore, instead of pasting the Chump’s picks here, I’m adding a few links for you to refer to. Here are the SportsChump’s Super Wild Card Picks ATS and here is a link to his free contest. Again, it’s free. All you have to do is submit your picks to us on time each week.
Add your Super Wild Card picks ATS in the comments section below. As always, thank you for visiting and supporting The Wife Hates Sports! Best of luck!
If you enjoy The Wife Hates Sports, you can support my work by buying from Fanatics through my site. It’s of no additional charge to you. I simply get a cut of any Fanatics sale purchased through links here. That goes for any Fanatics Experience ad within posts or via the banners on the home page.