The 2019 NFL season ended with an unforgettable Week 17 of action. We can only hope the excitement carries over to Wild Card Weekend.
NFL Wild Card Spreads, Moneyline Odds, Over-Under Totals
Overnight, 5Dimes oddsmakers dropped the opening betting odds for each wild card matchup. The Bills face the Texans, the Titans are at Foxboro to tackle the Patriots, the Vikings hope to knock off the Saints and the Seahawks fly east to battle the Eagles.
Buffalo Bills +145
Houston Texans -3
Tennessee Titans +180
New England Patriots -5
Minnesota Vikings +315
New Orleans Saints -8
Seattle Seahawks -1½
Philadelphia Eagles +105
No. 5 Buffalo Bills (10-6) at No. 4 Houston Texans (10-6)
When: Saturday, January 4, 2019 at 4:35 PM ET
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
The Texans will be playing at home in this affair, but Buffalo’s second-ranked defense (16.2 ppg) will be the best unit on the field in this AFC wild card pairing. While Deshaun Watson and company have gone 5-3 at home this season, Josh Allen and the Bills have gone an encouraging 6-2 on the road. Still, the Bills struggle to score (19.3 ppg, 23rd) and they’ve been limited to 17 points or less in each of their last four games. Houston had put 23 points or more on the board in four straight until resting Watson in their meaningless regular season finale. Houston’s edge at quarterback and on offense in general, will be the reason the Texans escape the Bills in a thriller.
No. 6 Tennessee Titans (9-7) at No. 3 New England Patriots (12-4)
When: Saturday, January 4, 2019 at 8:15 PM ET
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
I know the last time Tennessee won at New England was back in 1993 when they were still named the Houston Oilers and that they’ve lost a half dozen road dates against the Patriots since then. Still, Tennessee has a powerful rushing attack and their passing game has been outstanding since Week 7. The Pats look ripe for the picking and I’m expecting the Titans to turn this one into a thriller to narrowly cover the chalk!
No. 6 Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at No. 3 New Orleans Saints (13-3)
When: Sunday, January 5, 2019 at 1:05 PM ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Minnesota has a big edge on defense where they rank sixth by limiting the opposition to 18.9 points per game. While the Vikings also rank a surprising ninth in scoring (25.4 ppg), you wouldn’t know it, particularly as of late. While the Vikings have been limited to 20 points or less in three of their last four games, Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have pretty much ‘opened up a can of whup ass’ on everyone they’ve faced, particularly since Week 11. New Orleans has scored 34 points or more in six of their last seven while topping the 30-point mark 11 times this season overall. Whether Dalvin Cook is at full strength or not for Minnesota, the Saints have too much offensive firepower for the Vikings to keep pace in this wild card clash. And oh yeah, Kirk Cousins should never be mentioned in the same sentence as the legendary Drew Brees.
No. 5 Seattle Seahawks (11-5) at No. 4 Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
When: Sunday, January 5, 2019 at 4:40 PM ET
Where: Lincoln Financial Stadium, Philadelphia, PA
I know Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles won their final four regular season games to win the NFC Least and reach the playoffs, but I’m thinking the Birds are going to be hard-pressed to get past Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in this wild card matchup, much like they did in their humbling 1-9 home loss against the Seahawks as a 1-point underdog in Week 12. Seattle has the edge at quarterback and head coach and they are solid at worst and very good at best defensively. The Seahawks have won three straight over the Eagles since the Birds drafted Wentz second overall in 2016 and the Seahawks have won five straight overall dating back to 2011, the year before they drafted Wilson.