Sunday’s Wild Card schedule features two matchups between opponents in the same division and a rematch of a game that ended on a buzzer-beating field goal just three weeks ago. Miami ventures up to Buffalo as nine-point underdogs to face the Bills after tightly contested regular season battles that were split between the two teams.
The Bengals host the Ravens for the second straight week after winning by 11 in Week 18. Cincinnati is favored by seven points in primetime after being double-digit favorites a week ago.
In the middle of that sandwich, we’ll see the Vikings host the Giants for the second time in a month, with Minnesota favored by three. We look ahead to these matchups and have three best bets prepared to give us some action in each game on Sunday.
Half Time/Full Time: Buffalo Bills/Buffalo Bills
Best Available Odds: -260 at FanDuel
Without being certain who is starting at quarterback for the Dolphins on Sunday, we’re taking stock of the injury report and the line movement during the first few days of the week. Tua Tagovailoa is still not cleared to practice as of Wednesday morning, and PFT’s Mike Florio wrote that he’d be surprised to see him on the field based on necessary medical clearance and sign-off from team owner Stephen Ross standing in his way.
The Dolphins played four games this season with either Skylar Thompson or Teddy Bridgewater starting at quarterback and averaged 15 points per game. Miami’s 1-1 record against Buffalo this season and nearly even point differential in those two games were with Tagovailoa under center.
The number in this game opened at 11 and has been bet down two points since then. Buffalo may not blow the doors off Miami but will lead comfortably from start to finish, and we like this play as a result.
Giants +3 over Vikings
Best Available Odds: -105 at WynnBet
These two met during Week 16 in Minneapolis, with the Vikings winning by a Greg Joseph 61-yard field goal as time expired. New York out-gained Minnesota by just under 100 yards and averaged 6.7 yards per play on offense but committed two turnovers (1 INT, 1 FUM) and had a punt blocked en route to defeat.
In reality, this is a positive indicator of performance for the rematch. Turnovers and blocked punts are random. Daniel Jones threw just five picks all season and Daniel Bellinger’s only fumble of the season happened in this earlier matchup.
The statistical edge the Giants claimed over Minnesota in that loss was more indicative of their performance than the final score. Minnesota’s defense is a liability that we predict will cost them in this must-win game.
The Vikings allowed opponents to score 30+ points five times in their last nine games of the season and are at risk of that happening again if Za’Darius Smith and Harrison Smith are still banged up or absent in this game. We’ll take the Giants and the points in this one.
Ravens @ Bengals: UNDER 41
Best Available Odds: -110 at Caesars
Similar to the Dolphins’ situation at quarterback, Baltimore has suffered a severe drop-off in scoring output when someone other than Lamar Jackson is under center.
The Ravens averaged 25 points per game in Jackson’s 11 starts and compiled a 7-4 record before Tyler Huntley took over in Week 13. Since then, Baltimore went 3-3 and averaged 12.5 points per game, with their best effort coming in a 17-9 win against Atlanta in Week 16.
Cincinnati could very well score 30+ points to jeopardize this total, but they’ve done so only once in their last six games. That is what we project will need to happen for these two teams to hit 43 points for the second straight week after a Bengals’ 27-16 win last Sunday. Take the under in Cincy.