BlackJack’s Wild Card Weekend Betting Preview: Picks for Every Game
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Ezekiel Elliott, Nick Foles
- BlackJack Fletcher breaks down what he's betting on Wild Card Weekend.
- See his picks for Colts-Texans, Seahawks-Cowboys, Chargers-Ravens and Eagles-Bears.
Alright brothers, it’s time for the rubber to meet the road.
After a very successful NFL season, we now turn our eyes to the stretch run: The playoffs. This is where champions are made. This is where we claim our legacy. This is where we dominate.
Wild Card Weekend always presents opportunities for upsets, craziness and, most importantly, to win. And win, we shall, my friends.
My picks for the following four games are below:
- Colts at Texans: Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET on ESPN/ABC
- Seahawks at Cowboys: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET on FOX
- Chargers at Ravens: Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET on CBS
- Eagles at Bears: Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET on NBC
Let’s enjoy the weekend and cash some tickets, baby!
>> All odds as of noon ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-1)
This is a tough one. On one hand, the Colts have won nine of their past 10 games, one of which was against the Texans. On the other hand, the Texans were just as hot, winning nine straight (and 11 of their last 13) after starting the season 0-3.
Andrew Luck has looked fantastic and his offensive line has kept him clean like few others. Frank Reich has proven to be a great choice at head coach. And yet. And yet, I still find myself leaning Houston here.
The Texans have a little more experience. They have more talent. They are more well rounded. And I am looking at the defense having a better game than it did the last time these teams met.
I think we have a close game, but I’m going to lean to the home team, which I think has the better roster.
THE PICK: Houston -1
Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (-2)
Everyone and their brother is on the Seahawks. People loves them this week. Everyone expects them to go into Dallas and put it on the Cowboys.
Well, not me, brother. I’m rolling with the Cowboys.
I know Seattle has the NFL’s best run game statistically this season, but at the end of the day, this is one game. And I’ll take Ezekiel Elliott over Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny every single day of the week. The Cowboys offense has simply been better since the much maligned trade for Amari Cooper, and the defense has been excellent as well.
I know Seattle will be a tough out — and Russell Wilson will make it interesting — but I’m liking Dallas to surprise some people here.
THE PICK: Dallas -2
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)
Stop reading right now and go bet the Chargers.
I’ll wait for you to get back … OK, great. Now we’re all on the same page here.
This line is ridiculous. I understand that Lamar Jackson has added a different dimension to the Ravens’ running game and the offense in general. However, people are forgetting that the Chargers were a top five team all season long.
Phillip Rivers had one — if not the best — seasons of his career. The Chargers are a balanced team offensively and defensively. They are considerably more well rounded than the Ravens, who six weeks ago we didn’t think would make the playoffs.
The Chargers also have the advantage of having seen this Ravens’ offense only two weeks ago. Having that fresh in their mind will be an advantage as they prepare to slow Jackson.
At this number, you have to take the Chargers.
THE PICK: Los Angeles +3
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (-6.5)
This line has bounced around like a damn yo-yo since it opened. It sits at 6.5 as of writing (see live odds here), and I would recommend taking it at this point.
I’m on the Eagles here.
Listen, the Eagles were not impressive for most of the season. They had injuries, uninspired play and a feeling of general malaise. The Bears, on the other hand, cruised through the regular season and find themselves hosting a playoff game. Their defense is second to none, and Matt Nagy has done an incredible job of coaching them.
The question I have for the Bears is what happens if Philadelphia jumps on them early and they find themselves down 10-0 or 14-3? I don’t know how much they trust Mitchell Trubisky; there have been games when they seem reluctant to let him throw.
I don’t know if the Eagles can make another Super Bowl run, but I have some hesitancy standing in front of them with Nick Foles in the postseason. I think this is a tight game either way, so I am taking the points.
THE PICK: Philadelphia +6.5