NFL Wildcard Weekend predictions: Trust in CJ, Chiefs D and overs at Buffalo

The NFL Wildcard Weekend kicks off the 2023 season playoffs on Saturday



6 months ago

The NFL Playoffs begin on Saturday with Wildcard weekend and our predictions include two last minute additions to the picture in the Houston Texans and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL Wildcard Weekend best bets

Texans to beat Browns moneyline @ 6/4

Dolphins under 18.5 points vs Chiefs @ 11/10

Bills vs Steelers over 36.5 points @ 20/21

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Brilliant rookie Stroud can turn regular season form on its head

Our week 18 picks got on the wrong side of the Houston Texans and their offensive rookie of the year candidate CJ Stroud and making the same mistake twice won’t be in the offing.

These sides clashed as recently as week 16 with Cleveland running out comfortable 36-22 winners, so it’s understandable that they’re priced up as -1.5 point favourites to prevail.

However, Texans conductor in chief QB Stroud didn’t play in that encounter and he’s a young man capable of ensuring the scores are far closer this time around.

HIs absence didn’t stop Houston racking up 22 points against the Cleveland defence three weeks ago despite going scoreless in two of the four quarters.

Enhanced by the return of a quarterback whose numbers are already in the elite bracket they should be capable of far better and maybe even upending the odds.

Pick: Texans to beat Browns moneyline @ 6/4

Dolphins playoff dreams to run aground on miserly Chiefs defence

Miami come into Wildcard Weekend on a downer after losses against precisely the type of teams they will need to beat to go deep in the playoffs in week 17 and 18. Baltimore thrashed them 56-19 two weeks ago before they gave up the AFC East title to the Bills with a home loss last time.

The second of those defeats booked their ticket to the Arrowehead Stadium for a post season rematch with the Chiefs side that beat them 21-14 in Germany in week nine.

That result alone suggests there’s a whiff of value about the 11/10 on under 18.5 Dolphins points. Miami have been limited to less than 20 in each of the past two weeks and renew hostilities with a team that held to them to their joint-lowest score of the entire regular season campaign.

Pick: Dolphins under 18.5 points vs Chiefs @ 11/10

Overs surprisingly the value as Bills face vaunted Steelers defence

Much has been made of the stingy Steeler’s defence this season, indeed it’s been the inspiration for at least one winning wager put up on these very pages. However, it’s the over that looks the value when Pittsburgh travel to Buffalo.

Over 36.5 total points pays out at 20/21, yet four of the Steelers last five regular season games went north of that total with scores of 18-31, 13-31, 34-11, 30-23 and 17-10. The last of those matchups came against a Baltimore outfit that had long since sealed their playoff place.

The Bills, meanwhile, have near religiously been involved in games that reward over 36.5 points backers this season. A massive 15 of their regular season matchups produced north of 37.

Pick: Bills vs Steelers over 36.5 points @ 20/21