Welcome back to the PlayUSA Bets Navigator!
It’s Wild Card Weekend, and for the first time in history, games will extend to Monday night.
Week 18 was capped off by a thriller in Las Vegas as the Raiders secured the final spot in the playoffs with a thrilling 35-32 OT victory against the LA Chargers.
With the fieldset, it’s time to dive into the opening rounds and see if there are some exciting bets to place.
The pandemic continues to cause headaches for teams off-field and on the field, so be sure to check out the Covid-19 Live Updates page detailing every player that will be out during Wild Card Weekend.
For those needing a refresher, each week, PlayUSA will gather three bets we are watching throughout the NFL betting season.
You should know, were are not professional oddsmakers in any way, shape, or form. Although we follow the legal US betting market and NFL odds, this content is strictly personal. In short, we want to have a little fun with it.
Now, let’s dive into the wild card matchups.
Bets we are watching: NFL Wild Card
The 2021 NFL season is in the books, and so is the 8-22 betting record. Although the New Orleans Saints did cover the spread, the Chicago Bears ended the season with a loss against Minnesota.
To throw more salt in the wound, the 3-leg parlay was also a total failure.
However, since we are pivoting to the playoffs, it’s time to start with a clean slate.
This week’s bets come by way of DraftKings Sportsbook. More odds below:
Season record: 8-22
Playoff record: 0-0
Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals
- Point Spread: -5 Bengals
The Bengals are as hot! The dynamic duo of quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase helped the team to an AFC North title, the team’s first since 20215.
Burrow set a Bengals single-season record by throwing for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns, making the second-year pro one of the elites in the game.
After defeating the Chargers in overtime last week, Las Vegas enters Saturday’s matchup with momentum. Yes, this is the playoffs, and anything can happen, but on paper, this is Cincinnati’s to lose.
Remember, this is a point spread bet. The Bengals need to win by more than 5 points to win the bet.
Arizona Cardinals over LA Rams
- Moneyline: +160 Cardinals
This will be the third meeting between the Rams and Cardinals this season. Arizona beat LA in week four 37-20, while the Rams won the week-14 matchup 30-23.
Both teams come in with explosive offenses, with each team averaging roughly 26 points per game.
The significant difference is in the running game. The Cardinals rank 10th, averaging 122 rushing yards per game, while the Rams only average 99 yards per game, good for 25th.
This is a classic moneyline bet. Thus, the Cardinals have to win the game to win the bet.
Ja’Marr Chase + George Kittle + James Connor all to score
- 3-Leg Parlay: +1050
Wild Card Weekend means nothing but explosive playmakers will be on display. With that being said, time to go with some favorites.
Chase is the deep threat for Cincinnati and will be a hard player for Las Vegas to contain.
Kittle has hauled in 71 catches for 910 yards and six touchdowns this season. Although the Dallas secondary is sneaky good, Kittle could provide a miss-match for defenders if the 49ers can get in the red zone.
Lastly, James Connor is the primary ball carrier for the Cardinals. For the year, Connor has rushed for 752 yards and 15 touchdowns. For comparison, Arizona’s second-leading rusher, Chase Edmonds, only has two rushing touchdowns.
Since this is a parlay bet, all three players listed above need to score.
If you enjoyed the above selections, be sure and follow the PlayUSA Picks Navigator each week for more exciting content. Be sure also to check out how I’m tracking future odds for the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.