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Best bets for NFL Wild Card Weekend: Underdogs look appealing

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals, Las Vegas Raiders
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals, Las Vegas Raiders, Getty Images

The underdogs lead the way for Jets X-Factor’s NFL Wild Card Weekend best bets

After a wild Week 18, the 2021 NFL schedule officially turns its attention to the NFL playoffs, which are set to begin Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022.

The Cincinnati Bengals and Las Vegas Raiders will kick things off Sunday afternoon—one of two games set for Saturday. Then, three will come our way on Sunday, before a special Monday night playoff affair caps things off.

To many, Wild Card Weekend is the absolute best football weekend of the year, as we have six quality playoff games spread out throughout the weekend (plus Monday night, of course).

Let’s take a look at Jets X-Factor’s best bets against the spread:

Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals

The Raiders are coming into this game on the heels of a huge win on Sunday Night Football against the Los Angeles Chargers. They have been playing playoff football for the last month and have won their last four games since being blown out by the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14.

I think the Raiders’ pass rush will be able to slow down Joe Burrow and his potent weapons. Darren Waller will be open early and often, as the Bengals have had trouble covering tight ends all season.

Waller caught seven receptions for 116 yards in the first match-up between these two teams.

I would put this line closer to 3.5-4, so I’ll take the Raiders in this spot. 

  • The Play: Raiders +6  (Fanduel Sportsbook)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Philadelphia Eagles finished the regular season as the number one rushing attack in the NFL. The Birds averaged about 160 rushing yards per game, and all they want to do is rush behind one of the league’s best offensive lines.

This bodes well for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their defense, as it ranks third-best at stopping the run.

This will lead me to play the under in this game, as I think the Eagles will want to control the clock and keep the ball out of Tom Brady’s hands. 

  • The Play: Under 50 (Fanduel Sportsbook)

San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys

The last play of the weekend belongs to the San Francisco 49ers, who are coming into this game with a 7-2 mark over their last nine games.

The team is clicking right now, as the defense is allowing 17 points per game in the last five games. The 49ers’ offense is starting to get healthy again, and I think they will be able to move the ball well against the Dallas Cowboys’ defense.

With the Cowboys’ offense regressing—over the back end of the season—I like the 49ers to keep this one close. 

  • The Play: 49ers +3 (Fanduel Sportsbook)

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