2022 NFL Wild Card Odds

Will Armitage

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

Week 18 of the NFL provided us with plenty of entertainment.

The Lions late season rally wasn’t quite enough to see them through.

Two of the most unfancied teams at the start of the season snuck into the playoffs on the final Sunday of the season.

Let’s see how the Jags and Seahawks do this weekend! Let’s hope for more excitement in the first NFL playoff round.

Last week’s parlay was a bust yet again. However, my rather remarkable trend continued in identifying a winning dog.

The Texans duly produced the goods in the final minute against the Colts. That meant that I finished the season 14-4 on my underdog moneyline picks during the regular season!

Anyways, enough of looking at the past. Now to get on with business. Odds for the Wild Card round are finding their range.

Let’s preview all six games.

This week I shall be making picks for all the games, as well as a special Wild Card parlay.

Seattle Seahawks (+425) @ San Francisco 49ers (-450)

Well, this was not in the script at the start of the season! After 271 games, we find a surprise team up first this coming weekend.

The two franchises to make it to the playoffs from the NFC West were meant to be the Rams and the 49ers.

The team with the smallest handle at BetMGM to win the Super Bowl entering Week 1 was…

The Seattle Seahawks. They were absolutely friendless in the betting markets.

Well, all those Geno Smith doubters were proved wrong! Who needs Russell and his bathrooms, when you have Mr. Smith under center?!

They performed admirably all season for a franchise whose best was seemingly last decade.

Kenneth Walker, DK, and Tyler Lockett all bagged 1,000 yard seasons, whilst Geno finished the season with 30 passing TDs.

He ranked 4th in the league. Impressive stats all round for such big outsiders.

However, how on earth are they going to beat the 49ers this weekend?! San Fran last lost a month BEFORE Thanksgiving!

They have won an incredible 10 on the bounce. That is a team in some serious form.

From 3-4 to 13-4. That is no mean feat. It’s no wonder their moneyline odds are as unattractive as Buffalo’s this weekend.

For those of you who like to back big favorites. Make sure you shop around for the best odds. No one wants to leave money on the table unnecessarily.

Currently, PointsBet has the best odds at -450.

If you only bet with Caesars, then I’m afraid you will have to take -550. That means that if the 49ers claim an 11th win in a row, those of you who bet on them with PointsBet would make just close to 22% more money than those of you who wagered with Caesars!

I expect, of the two unsung heroes at quarterback, Brock Purdy to continue his amazing run and emerge victorious on Saturday.

CMC and George will duly down their divisional west coast rivals. From a betting standpoint, the spread market is a conundrum. 10 points are where we are currently.

The 49ers completed the double over the Seahawks this season by an average of 14 points. I expect history to repeat itself.

Sorry Geno, but I’m taking the 49ers to cover the spread!

Los Angeles Chargers (-120) at Jacksonville Jaguars (+105)

I certainly never expected this match-up at the start of the season!

Along with the Seahawks and Texans, it was the Jags who had the least support in Vegas.

Trevor Lawrence may have big hair and little ego, but surely he did not have the skill positions around him to reach the playoffs.

Well, I guess we all underestimated Jacksonville. The 49ers may have won 10 in a row, but the Jags managed to go from 4-8 to 9-8.

The Titans (twice) and the Cowboys discovered to their cost that the boys from Florida have been on a roll.

Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne have had Top 10 seasons, whilst Christian Kirk has been turning it on against the better teams recently.

Is this trio talented enough to see off the Chargers this weekend? The sportsbooks have this as the closest game of Wild Card weekend.

They believe it will be the highest scoring, but the identity of the winner is less certain. BetRivers have both teams at minus odds, whilst all the other sportsbooks have the home team at plus odds.

DraftKings has the best odds on the moneyline at +105 currently.

What about the Chargers? At the beginning of the season, they were meant to be in the division of death.

As it was, the Broncos and Raiders were not so scary. Mahomes and co were pretty relentless and impressive though.

The Chargers managed just two wins against their divisional rivals this season, yet ended up with 10 victories.

However, you must say that Los Angeles had a comparatively easy schedule this season.

Justin Herbert has ratcheted up impressive yards this season, but I don’t think Los Angeles is as threatening as a 10-7 team would indicate.

Note too that the Jags pummeled the Chargers in California in Week 3. They won by four touchdowns, not just points!

There was no fluke that day. I expect the Jags to claim a second victory against the visiting Chargers. It might be nearer to a 4-point victory than a repeat of the 28 points.

Go on Trevor! Help your team emerge victorious and cover the spread!

Miami Dolphins (+450) at Buffalo Bills (-500)

It’s been a very emotionally charged week for the Bills. Kicking off their Week 18 game against the Pats with a kick-off return on the first play was the stuff of dreams.

Next up, they welcome Miami to the cold northeast.

Vegas is pricing this back in a very similar way to the first Wild Card game of the weekend on the west coast.

The spread is hovering around the 10 mark, whilst favorite backers are looking at odds in the minus 500s.

Although, again Caesars are worst odds at -600 for the Bills.

For those of you who believe that the Dolphins can pull off one of the biggest upsets of the season so far, don’t forget to seek out the best return for your bet!

BetRivers returns just +350 at the moment, whilst Bet365 pays +450.

Remember to get the best odds to maximize what comes back to your wallet if the Dolphins win in the playoffs for the first time since 2000!

Unfortunately, I simply cannot see a scenario where Miami emerges victorious. Across all the skill positions, they are second best to the Bills.

With the crowd, weather, karma, armchair fans’ wishes, and talent in their favor, I cannot see Buffalo not winning and also covering the spread.

It’s the Bills for me.

New York Giants (+130) @ Minnesota Vikings (-145)

As a Vikings fan of nearly four decades, it gives me great pleasure to see my team in the Wild Card weekend again.

I was not expecting them to run out as such easy divisional winners. I certainly was not imagining Kirk Cousins making it to the Pro Bowl!

Anyways, now we are at the business end of proceedings we shall see what they are made of. The sportsbooks are giving New York a field goal start for the upcoming game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Question. Can the Giants’ secondary nullify Justin Jefferson and TJ Hockenson? This will be the key to this game.

Answer. They failed to do so on Christmas Eve. Why should it be any different this coming Sunday!? Admittedly, the Giants kept the game close that day.

They also played in the toughest division in the NFL this season. Just two years ago, it was the league’s weakest division.

Back in 2020, every team had a losing season. Based on this, how good will the NFC South be in 2024!?

Anyways, with raucous home support and talent in abundance, I see the Vikings both winning and covering the spread.

Maybe I won’t actually see this result, but I am certainly willing to be the case!

Baltimore Ravens (+235) @ Cincinnati Bengals (-250)

I have a real sense of déjà vu here. Well, I wrote about this game one week ago.

Now, these two divisional rivals are pressing the repeat button.

The big question is whether Lamar will play or not. Without him yesterday, the 6-point favorites never looked in doubt of not covering the spread.

The Bengals put behind all the emotion of what happened against the Bills. They jumped out of the blocks and raced to a 24-7 lead at the half.

Joe Burrow has his favorite receiver back in Ja’Marr Chase and has enjoyed an excellent season in the air.

He is ranked 2nd in the league for touchdowns. With Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd chipping in nicely, this is definitely a competitive team.

Since Thanksgiving, the Ravens have averaged less than 20 points per game. In fact, they have scored more than 17 points just once in their past 8 games.

This is not the threatening and free-scoring Ravens of the first half of the season. In their first 9 games, they only scored less than 20 points in one game!

They averaged over 26 during that time. This is a franchise in desperate need of a healthy Lamar.

With him, they are like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Without him, they are like sheep in sheep’s clothing!

Whether it’s an unfit Lamar or someone else under center, the Bengals will not be quaking in their boots.

I’m taking Cincinnati to win by at least a touchdown.

Dallas Cowboys (-145) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+130)

Might this be the final game of the GOAT’s career?

One thing is for sure. If the Bucs find themselves behind by one or two scores late in the fourth quarter and you have bet the Cowboys, don’t be counting your winnings just yet!

Tom Brady was rested yesterday after breaking another record. This time it was the number of completions in a single season.

What was immediately apparent after that was that the Bucs’ backups are not very good! They went down tamely to their divisional rivals from Atlanta.

It should be a different story when Dallas comes to town. Deep down, the GOAT must think that father time is getting to him.

Vegas has the visiting Cowboys as three point favorites. Given their recent form, I’m surprised that it’s not closer to five or six.

Dak has been in impressive form this season. Since Halloween, the Cowboys have scored 40 points or more on 4 occasions.

Two of these games were against teams with better records than them, the Eagles and Vikings.

With that potency on offense, I fear that the sportsbooks are correct. I predict that this will be the one game of Wild Card weekend where the home team is eliminated.

For the armchair football fan, I hope that I am proved wrong and we see the GOAT playing more weekends in January.

We shall know soon enough.

I’m taking the Cowboys to cover the spread.

With BetRivers currently at -2.5, that is the sportsbook with the best odds.

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About the author

Will has been an avid sports fan since the early 1980s. His first sporting love was a mediocre English soccer team that dwelled in the lower league...

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