After a season that felt like it could have been canceled at any moment, we’ve made it to the playoffs! As a reward for making it, the NFL has thrown their favorite adjective (“Super”) into the Wild Card round to give us two extra games this weekend!
Below, I’m going to give a quick preview of the three Saturday Wild Card games, and also give you one of my favorite props from each game, and one prop I would avoid, or “fade,” as they say.
Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills
This game has the highest Over/Under point total on Saturday, and the second highest for the weekend. Buffalo has been on fire offensively the last few weeks, and I don’t expect them to be slowed down by the Colts, who rank 19th in pass defense. As of writing, the Bills also are tied for the highest implied total (29.25 points scored) this weekend.
The Colts on the other hand have been riding behind the Jonathan Taylor train on their way to the playoffs, and the Bills are smack in the middle for rush defense. If they get too far behind, their game plan may switch away from running with Taylor.
Favorite Prop: Stefon Diggs, Buffalo WR
O/U 6.5 Receptions – OVER (85 pts)
Last time Diggs had under 7 catches in a game was way back in Week 8 against the Patriots. He has also had double digit targets in 7 out of the last 10 games. Oh yeah, and he also led the league in receiving yards and receptions.
Favorite Fade: Cole Beasley, Buffalo WR
O/U 0.5 Receiving Touchdowns
Beasley was the second leading receiver on the Bills this season, and was a great compliment to Diggs. However, he only had 4 receiving touchdowns all season. With the return of John Brown, I cannot comfortably say Beasley will score a TD. I also can’t comfortably say he won’t score a TD. For those reasons, I would avoid this prop. If you’re feeling risky, you could take the over, but I don’t see enough value in the under here.
Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
Earlier in the season, this matchup looked like it would have been the highest scoring game of the weekend. Now it is predicted to be the lowest scoring game, and also the closest game. After Russell Wilson’s MVP-caliber first half of the season, he drastically regressed in the second half. Seattle actually ranked last in passing yards over the final 3 games of the season.
The Rams are banged up, and it’s still questionable on who will be playing Saturday. As of right now, Jared Goff and Cam Akers are both questionable. The good news is Cooper Kupp has been activated off the Covid-19 list.
Favorite Prop: Chris Carson, Seattle RB
O/U 85.5 Rush. + Rec. Yards – OVER (105 pts)
It’s hard to say exactly how Seattle is going to attack the Rams this weekend. One thing that is consistent is Chris Carson’s usage though. Even though Carlos Hyde is around, Carson still tends to get well over 10 carries and at least two catches per game. He has been limited at practice this week, but that has been the case for the last few weeks.
Favorite Fade: Robert Woods, Los Angeles WR
O/U 61.5 Receiving yards
The relatively low yards is enticing, and if Cooper Kupp was still out, I would likely have placed this as my favorite over. However with the return of Kupp, and a questionable Goff, it’s hard to say how effective Woods will be. For those reasons, I’m avoiding this pick.
Tampa Bay Bucs @ Washington Football Team
Tampa Bay are heavy road favorites with the current Vegas line at -9. Tom Brady has been on fire the last half of the season as well. The bad news is they may be without Mike Evans after he awkwardly slipped in the end zone last weekend. The resurgence of Antonio Brown and a healthy Chris Godwin might allow Evans to take it easy this weekend.
Washington Football Team has had quite the Cinderella-esque season, but I just don’t see how they can beat Tampa Bay. If the Washington Defense can hold Tampa Bay, then they’ll have a chance in this one, but that’s a big if.
Favorite Prop: Logan Thomas, Washington TE
O/U 5.5 total receptions – OVER (110 pts)
If this game goes as expected, Washington will need to pass a lot to keep up. In comes Logan Thomas, who behind Terry McLaurin and J.D. McKissic, is the third leading receiver on this team. The Buccaneers rank in the bottom half for defending Tight Ends, and Thomas has been a target monster recently.
Favorite Fade: Mike Evans, Tampa Bay WR
O/U 0.5 Receiving Touchdowns
Look, I don’t doubt that Mike Evans can score a TD in this game. In fact, if he plays he very easily could score a touchdown. With that being said, Tampa Bay just has too many receiving options that can score touchdowns, and Evans may not even play a full game. Washington also ranks 4th in passing touchdowns allowed this season. This pick is too much of a hit or miss for me to confidently make a pick.
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