NFL wildcard weekend is loaded with betting opportunities across all six games. However, we’ve honed in on the three best wildcard bets to make at NFL’s most-used betting sites. Read this to get our expert AND free betting advice on the playoff round!
Moneyline: Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars
We begin with the LA-Jacksonville moneyline that’s almost dead even. The visiting Bolts are marginal favorites at the moment, but it’s almost a pick ‘em game. Here are the current odds:
Both teams enter the postseason on the upswing. The Chargers were 6-6 before stringing four wins to book the AFC’s top wildcard spot (they lost a meaningless game to end the year though). Jacksonville, meanwhile, was 2-6 at one point. They went on to win seven of the last 10 games, taking the AFC South in the process. Both team’s quarterbacks — Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence — have shown potential to become elite throwers in this league.
However, when evaluating the matchup, it’s the run game that becomes an X-factor. For the Bolts, that side of the ball is a weakness both offensively and defensively. Los Angeles has the third-least potent rushing game in the league. The team over-relies on Herbert's throwing, which makes them one-dimensional all too often. Not only that, but the Bolts' run defense is like a sieve. The Chargers are giving up 145.8 rushing yards per game to opponents, which is fifth-worst NFL-wide.
We believe both those vulnerabilities will be exploited by former Super Bowl-winnIng coach Doug Pederson. He likely won’t win Coach of the Year, but he should for turning around the Jags from the league’s worst team to a division winner with much of the same roster. Bet on Jacksonville moneyline here. It’s plus-money now but we wouldn’t be surprised if the line shifts for them as the week rolls on and the Jags hype builds.
Over/Under 45.5 Points: Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Over 45.5 points||-110||-110|
|Under 45.5 points||-110||-110|
At first thought, you might look at the quarterback matchup in this Monday Night affair — Dak Prescott vs. Tom Brady — and think, points will be plenty. But oddsmakers are being much more cautious, as evident by the 45.5 points over/under in this Cowboys-Bucs clash.
We’re with the bookies on this one. While both these offenses can move the ball, getting actual touchdowns might be harder to come by. Brady threw only 25 touchdowns this season, down from the 43 and 40 he threw the years before with Tampa Bay. More than anything else, the Bucs have zero run game to compliment Brady. The team ranked dead-last with 76.9 rushing yards per game this season.
Then there’s Dallas, who looked horrendous on Sunday in a loss to Washington. The team had 10 three-and-outs, which is the most in an NFL game this season. Prescott threw an interception again, marking seven games in a row he’s done so. This was also returned for a touchdown, which has also happened three of the past four games. Beyond Dak, the two-headed rushing attack of Tony Pollard or Ezekiel Elliott was bottled up for 29 yards on 15 carries.
Cowboys might have the league’s No. 2 scoring offense, but that’s not the kind of momentum you want going into the postseason. We’re anticipating an ugly outing out of both offenses on Monday. In that case, betting the under makes a whole lot of sense.
Against The Spread: Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
|Buffalo spread (-10.5)||-110||-110|
|Miami spread (+10.5)||-110||-110|
Dolphins at Bills is one of two playoff games with a double-digit spread. That’s in spite of both regular-season meetings between the teams being uber close. Here are the betting lines as it stands:
Why this line is so lopsided comes down to one player: Tua Tagovailoa. He’s missed two straight games with a concussion. No one knows for sure whether he’ll be ready by Sunday, but the optics of Tua returning certainly aren’t good. He’s been under a microscope this year from head traumas and the NFL (and its teams) hate nothing more than bad press and perception. For a league that tries to portray itself as caring about player safety, Tua returning would run counter to that.
And let’s say Tua is back under center. We wouldn’t assume he can play at an elite level like he did when he was healthy (Tua led the league in quarterback rating this season). Teams that succeed in the playoffs are usually ones that come in hot. Tua would be cold in that case, and Miami — losers of five of the last six — are in the same category.
We’re throwing money on Buffalo here. This team is playing emotional football for Damar Hamlin and will be a tough out for any playoff team, little less a struggling Dolphins squad. We expect to see the Bulls to blow off the door of its AFC East rival.
How To Bet On 2023 NFL Wildcard Round?
While we love the three 2023 wildcard round bets mentioned above, there are obviously plenty more options elsewhere. If you want a complete list of NFL bets available this playoff round, head to one of the bookmakers listed underneath. They’ll have you covered with bets the rest of the way, including Super Bowl betting.
But here’s one more thing offered at the sites that you should be aware of: big-money sign-up bonuses. Depending on which site you bet and how much money you wager, you could win hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play. That money could then make your NFL playoff bets free of cost. See the table below to see what deals are available where.