NFL Wild Card Sunday: The Best Picks and Predictions From MaximBet
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If you were looking forward to finally getting a decent night’s sleep in preparation for your Tuesday workday, the NFL wants you to know they find that hilarious.
In our second season with six playoff contests in a single weekend, the league has decided to space out its Wild Card Weekend, giving you not two, but three nights of games that will stretch into midnight on Monday. I’m guessing Starbucks has recently joined the NFL’s advertising stable.
Regardless, we’re watching every second of the action and using the NFL odds, lines and totals at MaximBet to make it as lucrative as possible.
NFL Wild Card Sunday
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5)
Not counting last season’s Super Bowl (which was considered a “neutral” field), this will be the first playoff game the Bucs have hosted since Tom Brady made the trip down from Beantown to a place his wife could wear a bikini year-round.
Philadelphia got serious in their preparation for this matchup, sitting their starters in a meaningless game against the Dallas Cowboys last week to be healthy and primed to make a spirited run at the defending champs.
I’m about to write the saddest phrase you’ll read on the internet all day — Bigfoot isn’t real. Of all the things they found on one of my all-time favorite TV shows, Finding Bigfoot, Bigfoot wasn’t one of them.
Lots of people believe in Bigfoot, maybe 13 percent according to polls. I am not one of those 13 percent.
But I’ll believe that Bigfoot will streak out onto the field inside Raymond James Stadium, score a touchdown, grab up Rob Gronkowski and scurry to the highest mast of the novelty pirate ship like King Kong before I’ll believe that the Eagles can win this game.
That spread though? With Tampa’s current crop of receivers? I don’t care for it, so maybe check the parking lot for giant footprints before you take your seats.
Take the Eagles at +8.5 or the Bucs moneyline at -400.
San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys (-3)
There was a time in the 1990s where this was the most important matchup in the playoffs and pretty much determined who won the Super Bowl. This year, I’m not even sure if it determines who’ll get a stack of expired Hardee’s coupons, though Mike McCarthy really has his fingers crossed on that one.
The 49ers come into this one after a come-from-behind win over the Los Angeles Rams, their sixth in a row. It’s too bad they can’t play the Rams every week, since they’re the only NFC West team San Francisco managed to beat this season.
The Cowboys tuned up on Philly’s B-team a week ago and dropped 50 on them. They have the superior roster, but the coaching match up between Kyle Shanahan and McCarthy is more one-sided than a boxing match between Logan Paul and whatever fat, out of shape former NBA player he can find who’s behind on his child support.
McCarthy has famously let 49ers teams come into his place and end his season before, but this San Fran squad can only beat the Rams. Dallas is not the Rams.
Take the Cowboys at -3 or the moneyline at -160.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5)
We are all bearing witness to history in Sunday night’s game. It could very well be Ben Roethlisberger’s last chance to suit up for Pittsburgh, or any team for that matter. And it is definitely the first Wild Card game Patrick Mahomes has ever played in.
Kansas City’s AFC title defense looks anything but assured, especially when you watched Tyreek Hill hobble around like Tim Conway in one of those old man Carol Burnett sketches last week, but they should have the horses to win this one.
The Steelers did not so much make the playoffs as suck less than the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens down the stretch.
Pittsburgh hasn’t scored more than 26 points in over two months. It’ll take more than that to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead, even with a one-footed Hill.
Take the Chiefs at -12.5 or the Chiefs moneyline at -750.
NFL Wild Card Monday
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (-4)
Sean McVay and the Rams lost their game last week heading into the playoffs and what makes it worse is that he was defeated by his own father, Kyle Shanahan. But, you know, maybe Jimmy Garoppolo has a paternity claim there as well.
Thankfully for the SoCal boys, the Arizona Cardinals clipped a wing against the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles still claimed the NFC West. In this best division in football, the Seahawks and Cardinals both swept the Niners, the Niners swept the Rams, and the Rams swept the Seahawks.
The Cards are a way better matchup for LA. McVay has only lost to Arizona once in his head coaching career and that was back on October 3. Arizona has lost four of its last five, including one to these same Rams in early December.
This is Kyler Murray’s first playoff game and Matthew Stafford’s first that he has a legitimate chance to win.
Take the Rams at -4 or the Rams moneyline at -190.
Adam Greene is @TheFirstMan on Twitter.
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