And with that, the 2022 NFL regular season comes to an end. For my gambling stats, I started hot, nose-dived in the middle, and regained my composure at the end. The final record was 34-29-1, which comes out to approximately 53%. I’ll take it after the 1-4 weeks I was putting up in the middle of the season. Now, it’s a new season as we head into NFL Wild Card Weekend. With only six games, I will share my predictions for every game. Spoiler alert: I LOVE my teaser the most.
*Lines as of 1/14 at 12 p.m. ET on FanDuel
NFL Wild Card Weekend Best Bets
49ers -9.5 vs. Seahawks
In the preseason, my Super Bowl prediction was the Bills over the Niners. People jumped off the bandwagon when James G was ruled out for the season, but I trusted Kyle Shanahan to right the ship and bring this team to the playoffs. 10 straight wins later, the Niners are primed for a big postseason run. During this winning streak, the offense has averaged over 30 points per game while their defense surrenders the least amount of yards per game. Rain is expected in Santa Clara so it will be a wet one, which helps Seattle. Is it hard to beat a team three times in a season? Yes. However, the Niners are much better than a Seattle team who probably shouldn’t be in the playoffs. Niners will run away with this game in the second half.
Jaguars +2.5 vs. Chargers
Are you ready to Jag off? Because I am! The Jaguars ripped off five straight wins to make the playoffs, capped off by an ugly 20-16 win over the Titans to win the AFC South. As a Trevor Lawrence believer, the young QB played poorly last week. I don’t expect that to happen two weeks in a row. The Chargers want teams to run on them (145.8 yards per game), so if you want a prop bet, Travis Etienne over 78.5 yards rushing looks good. The main reason I like the Jags is the coaching advantage they possess. I trust Doug Pederson more than Brandon Staley. Mike Williams should not have been playing last week. One back injury later and the Chargers best WR is out for the playoffs. That’s indefensible, and the Chargers’ offense will suffer. Jags pull out a close win on Wild Card Weekend.
Bills -13.5 vs. Dolphins
I don’t want to waste too much time on this game. If Tua was playing, this would’ve been a good game. If Teddy Bridgewater was playing, it would be less fun but still manageable. I have zero faith in Skylar Thompson. The Bills should blow the Fins out of the water.
Giants +3 vs. Vikings
*BIAS ALERT* I am a diehard Giants fan, so I will keep this short and sweet. I actually don’t put money on the Giants because I’m afraid I will jinx them. Yes, I’m an 8-year-old with that mindset. However, I’m also 0 for 253 when betting on the Giants, so I stopped doing it a few years ago. That being said, this matchup will be a one-score game either way. By all stats, the Vikings might be the luckiest team ever. They’re still good, but 13 wins and a -3 point differential is as lucky as it gets. I’m scared that everyone loves the Giants, too, but the Giants will show up and deliver. (Please)
Ravens +8.5 vs. Bengals
The Bengals are going to win this game. I wanted to get that out of the way first. However, I like the Ravens to cover because of one man and one man only, Roquan Smith. The entire defense changed when Smith became a Raven. The First-Team All-Pro linebacker has anchored a Ravens defense that has allowed the NFL’s second-fewest points, 14.7 points per game, since his arrival. In that same span, the Ravens are third in defense DVOA, 10th against the pass, and 2nd against the run. Smith earned that contract extension. Even with Lamar Jackson out, Tyler Huntley should do enough to make this a 13-9 game going into the fourth quarter. Once again, Burrow finds a way to win, but the Ravens keep it close (and ugly).
Bucs +2.5 vs. Cowboys
The Cowboys stunk up the joint a week ago, losing to the Commanders 26-6. Dak Prescott played arguably the worst game of his career, completing 14 of 37 passes for 128 yards, one touchdown, and one pick-six. Do you trust the Cowboys, a team with three playoff wins since 1997, to bounce back against Tom Brady in the biggest game of the season? I don’t! It’s Tom Brady. The Bucs offense unlocked something two weeks ago in the fourth quarter of the Panthers game. They let Tommy sling it and opened up the field, which resulted in 20 points. The Cowboys will probably go into the half with the lead, and they might have it heading into the fourth quarter, but when it comes time for Brady to make a comeback, he’ll deliver in crunch time. Not for nothing, these two teams played in Week 1, and the Bucs won 19-3. I’m just saying…
NFL Wild Card Weekend Teaser
6 POINTS: Niners -9.5>-3.5, Jaguars +2.5>+8.5, Bills -13.5>-7.5
Why will this lose? I keep asking myself that question, and I don’t have an answer. The Jaguars would be the team to ruin the teaser, but I don’t see the Chargers winning on the road by more than a touchdown. If you swap out the Jags for the Bengals, I wouldn’t blame you at all. In fact, I’m going to make another teaser with Niners-Bills-Bengals.
Bets of the Week: 17-14-1
Underdog of the Week: 8-8
Teaser of the Week: 9-7