NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions For Wild Card Sunday: Cowboys-49ers, Steelers-Chiefs Are Expert’s Betting Edges
Getty Images. Pictured: 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell, Steelers RB Najee Harris
NFL Odds, Picks, Predictions
Our Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner, reveals the biggest edges for Sunday’s NFL playoff games based on his power ratings (which help power our NFL PRO Projections). He has a 530-418-9 (55%) all-time record on NFL bets he’s tracked in the Action App, where you can follow all of his picks.
Cowboys-49ers Under 51
4:30 p.m. ET kickoff
It’s not surprising to see 52% of the bets and 88% of the money pouring in on the over (check real-time public betting data here). Both teams have elite playmakers on offense, and it’s easy to see this game turning into a shootout.
However, the 49ers have been fantastic at sustaining clock-killing drives by leaning on their run game and high-percentage throws. And while the Cowboys rank second in Football Outsiders’ DVOA against the pass, they’re middle-of-the-league (16th) against the run, so look for the 49ers to exploit that with a heavy dose of Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel out of the backfield to keep Cowboys offense on the sidelines. Not only will the 49ers help fuel the under with long drives, but that could throw off the timing of the Cowboys offense, which loves to play uptempo.
Based on how much action has come in on the over, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see 51.5 pop up eventually.
Bet to: 51 or better
Steelers-Chiefs Under 46.5
8:15 p.m. ET kickoff
The Steelers have the least efficient offense of all the playoff teams, averaging a paltry 1.78 points per drive that ranks 24th — lower than the Lions!
The Chiefs defense ranks 24th in DVOA for the full season, but 13th in weighted DVOA, which weighs recent games more heavily. With their defense playing much better of late, it’s hard to see the Steelers scoring enough points for Patrick Mahomes to keep his foot on the gas for all four quarters. I expect the Chiefs to lean on their run game against a Steelers defense that’s been gashed by opposing running backs, ranking 27th in DVOA against the run.
This all leads to me projecting the total closer to 44.5 points.
Bet to: 46.5 or better