NFL Wild Card Round Betting Predictions
Now that the calendar has turned to 2017 and Week 17’s games are in the books, the National Football League enters the postseason. For the first time since 2003, neither of last year’s Super Bowl teams even made the playoffs, while some teams that haven’t been in the postseason in a while have earned berths this year. The wild card games take place this Saturday and Sunday, following this schedule:
Saturday, January 7, 4:35pm ET — Oakland at Houston (ESPN)
Saturday, January 7, 8:15pm ET — Detroit at Seattle (NBC)
Sunday, January 8, 1:05pm ET — Miami at Pittsburgh (CBS)
Sunday, January 8, 4:40pm ET — N.Y. Giants at Green Bay (FOX)
Take a look at our early predictions as well as NFL odds for all four of these games.
Here’s A Closer Look At The NFL Wild Card Round Betting Predictions
Houston ends Oakland’s dream run
The Oakland Raiders were sitting at 12-3 and simply needed a win in Week 17 over the Denver Broncos to cement the AFC West title. They had already beaten Denver out in Oakland, but the problem was that quarterback Derek Carr broke his fibula against Indianapolis in Week 16, which meant that Matt McGloin would lead the offense. When McGloin went down with a shoulder injury, though, it was Michigan State standout Connor Cook who took the field, and his inexperience showed against a Broncos defense that remains one of the stronger in the league.
Of course, it didn’t help that the Oakland secondary looked like they had all suffered mysterious injuries as well, as a Denver offense that has been dreadful down the stretch was able to win the game easily. If the team heads to Houston with this low a confidence, then it won’t matter whether Tom Savage, Brock Osweiler or Brandon Weeden plays quarterback, because a Houston defense that is also solid will manage the Raider offense, and Houston will score enough points to win. I don’t have confidence in either McGloin or Cook to move the ball well enough against the Texans this week. It’s a shame to see the Oakland season end this way, after how well Carr has played, but that’s how injuries go in the NFL, and it’s up to the rest of the team to respond.
The Blue Man Group returns to Dallas
The New York Giants have served as a nemesis for the Dallas Cowboys in recent years. Back in 2007, when the Giants went all the way to a Super Bowl victory, that playoff season began with a wild card win on the road — and then a divisional round win in Dallas. This year, the Giants head to Green Bay to start their playoff run. They face a Green Bay team that is red hot, riding a six-game winning streak to a comeback NFC North title (after beating Detroit to win the crown in Week 17), but the Giants showed once again that they have one of the best defenses in the league, holding a solid Washington offense to 10 points in a 19-10 Week 17 win. They will do what so many teams have not this season, managing Aaron Rodgers and then heading to Dallas to take on a team that they have already beaten twice this season.