Ready for another installment of the Quickie Betting Preview? The Buffalo Bills host the Indianapolis Colts to kick off the postseason on wild-card Saturday. The LA Rams and Seattle Seahawks square off in an NFC West battle as those teams meet for the third time this season. Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs host the nightcap against Alex Smith and the Washington Football Team.
This postseason, we’ve been blessed with an additional wild-card team in each conference. The opening weekend of the postseason includes six games, with three on Saturday and three more on Sunday. Only the top team in each conference earned a bye week.
The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs locked up the #1 seed in the AFC. Over in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers secured the #1 seed.
If you were too busy with the first week back to work or school, or if you got caught up monitoring the failed coup attempt, then give us a few minutes to get you up to speed with our “Quickie Betting Preview” for wild-card weekend. Let’s start with Saturday’s action.
#7 Indianapolis Colts (11-5) at #2 Buffalo Bills (13-3)
- Kickoff: 10:05am PT
- Point Spread: BUF -6
- Total: 51 o/u
The Buffalo Bills advanced to the wild card for the third time in the last four seasons, but they haven’t won a playoff game since 1995. Josh Allen played like an All-Star this season, but can his magical season continue? Allen flung 37 touchdowns and ran for eight more.
Stefon Diggs led the NFL with 127 receptions for 1,535 yards. He also caught eight touchdowns. Don’t sleep on Gabriel Davis, who caught seven touchdowns despite only having 35 receptions. John Brown is back after missing most of the second half of the season.
The Indianapolis Colts are best known for their stonewall defense. Devin Singletary, Zack Moss, and Allen will face the second-best run defense in the league, which allows only 90.5 yards per game.
Philip Rivers guided the Colts to a postseason berth in his first season in Indy. Winning a playoff game on the road is a whole different beast.
The Colts have the second-best turnover differential in the league. Their runners protect the ball (only four fumbles), and Rivers tossed only 11 interceptions this season.
The Bills are 6-3 against winning teams this season, while the Colts struggled against good teams with a 3-3 record.
#6 LA Rams (10-6) at #3 Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
- Kickoff: 1:40pm PT
- Point Spread: SEA -3.5
- Total: 42.5 o/u
Who will start at quarterback for the LA Rams? Jared Goff had surgery to fix a fractured thumb. Backup John Wofford held his own in a “play-in” game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17.
The Rams have a badass defense anchored by two bad mofos. Aaron Donald is an offensive line’s nightmare, while Jalen Ramsey roams the rest of the field.
The Seahawks are always a tough team to play in the postseason, but they lose their home-field advantage. Games will be played without fans and the deafening “12th man,” which causes communication issues for opposing teams.
At least the Seahawks are in a much better position with their running backs. Last year, the team called Marshawn Lynch to unretire and help them in the postseason. Chris Carson missed four games, but he heads into the playoffs somewhat healthy.
Russell Wilson (40 TDs) got off to a sizzling start, but cooled down a bit. The Rams will be tasked to slow down the dynamic duo of JK Metcalf (1,303 yards and 10 TD) and Tyler Lockett (100 catches, 10 TD)
The Rams were 5-3 against winning teams this season, but the Seahawks struggled with a 3-3 record. These two teams split their division games. The under hit in both of those games.
#5 Tampa Bay Bucs (11-6) at #4 Washington Football Team (7-9)
- Kickoff: 5:15pm PT
- Point Spread: TB -9
- Total: 44.5
Of course, Tommy Boy gets the primetime slot! While Brady and Bruce Arians’ vertical offense gets plenty of attention, Tampa Bay’s defense has been highly underrated. The stat geeks are aware that Todd Bowles’ defense is one of the best in the league. They allow only 22.2 ppg and rank #5 in defensive DVOA. In overall DVOA, Tampa Bay is ranked #2.
Ron Rivera beat cancer and Alex Smith is about to start a playoff game. Either story could be a feel-good sports movie, but combine the two, and you have one inspiring team.
It’s been a wild year with the Washington Football team, starting with the abrupt name change that occurred just before the start of the season. Despite the squad lacking a nickname, they quickly developed a personality. Rivera quickly instilled a winning culture. It took a while before the team finally meshed. Rivera also made a bold move and cut ex-starting QB Dwyane Haskins, who let the team down both on and off the field with his loose COVID-19 protocols.
The NFC East was an awful division this season, but Washington figured out a way to come out on top. Smith and “Scary” Terry McLaurin have quickly developed a connection. Antonio Gibson has become Washington’s secret weapon. DE Chase Young is a vital part of a strong front line.
Washington has plenty of heart, but they lack enough talent to win in the postseason. Washington is the biggest underdog during Saturday’s wild-card games as a +9 home dog.
Alex Smith and Terry McLaurin connect on the deep ball for 42 yards!
— NFL (@NFL) November 22, 2020