Last Updated Jan 19, 2023, 7:07 PM

NFL Wild Card Over Under Odds Picks Predictions

The NFL Wild Card Playoffs will offer up six games for bettors to tackle and for this piece, we’ll be focusing on over-under or total picks. 

The old adage “Defense wins Championships” often comes up during the NFL Playoffs and if you’re buying that narrative then you’re likely going to lean to more Under bets than Over. 

Bettors following that saying and blindly taking the Under in the Wild Card round over the past five years have seen solid returns. The Under has gone 16-7-1 over the past five postseasons and a 6-5-1 run since the league expanded to six games each of the last two seasons. 

Wild Card Total Results (Last 5 Years)

2021: 2-4
2020: 3-2-1
2019: 0-4
2018: 1-3
2017: 1-3

Will the trend continue? We’ll be providing a quick look at the odds, betting stats, trends for all six games. 

Plus, we’re leaning on our VegasInsider experts for their Best Bets and Analysis on each of the NFL Wild Card matchups. 

Let’s break down the totals! 

Dallas at Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers have watched the 'under' go 6-2-1 at Raymond James Stadium this season. (Getty)

Date-Time: Monday, Jan. 16, 8:15 p.m. ET

Dallas Cowboys
Overall O/U:10-7
Road O/U: 4-4
Last 5 O/U: 2-3
PPG: 27.5
OPPG: 20.1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Overall O/U: 4-12-1
Home O/U: 2-6-1
Last 5 O/U: 1-4
PPG: 18.4
OPPG: 21.1

Recent Meetings
2022 - Tampa Bay 19 at Dallas 3 (Under 49.5)
2021 - Tampa Bay 31 vs. Dallas 29 (Over 52.5)

VI Best Bet: Over 45.5

These teams played on September 11th in Week 1 and Tampa pulled away for the 19-3 victory and the ‘under’ easily cashed on the closing number of 49.5. Fast forward close to 19 weeks and we’re looking at a total of 45 points and we believe it’s too low for this game. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers locked up a Wild Card spot in Week 17, a 30-24 victory at home over Carolina as Tom Brady and Mike Evans put on a show. Last week, the club went through the motions in a 30-17 loss to Atlanta and we’re not reading into that result. 

Similarly, the Cowboys played somewhat of a meaningless game last week at Washington and they got cooked and Dak Prescott was exposed. Prior to that, the same team put up 27-13 and 40-34 victories over the Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles respectively. 

We believe Tampa Bays’ defense is worse than those clubs and the rebound effect will happen here. Prescott leads an offense averaging 27.5 PPG  

Tampa had a wildcard spot locked up, so it lost 30-17 in Week 18 to the Falcons. I gave out a play on Atlanta in that one.

But previous to that Brady was off his best game of the year in a 30-24 victory over Carolina. 

Dallas lost 26-6 at Washington in Week 18, but previous to that it hammered Tennessee 27-13. The week before that it beat Philadelphia in a crucial game by a score of 40-34. 

Dak Prescott leads an offense that averages 27.5 PPG and when Dallas wins, he plays well. Brady hasn’t looked sharp this season but the playoff pedigree leans to offense. In his six postseason starts with the Bucs, the club has scored 27, 31, 31, 31, 30 and 31 points. 

Shootout in Tampa Bay on MNF. 

Seattle at San Francisco

Date-Time: Saturday, Jan. 14, 4:30 p.m. ET

Seattle Seahawks
Overall O/U: 8-9
Road O/U: 3-5
Last 5 O/U: 1-4
PPG: 23.9
OPPG: 23.6

San Francisco 49ers
Overall O/U: 11-6
Home O/U: 7-2
Last 5 O/U: 4-1
PPG: 26.5
OPPG: 16.3

Recent Meetings
2022 - San Francisco 21 at Seattle 13 (Under 42.5)
2022 - San Francisco 27 vs. Seattle 7 (Under 39.5)
2021 - Seattle 30 vs. San Francisco 23 (Over 44.5)

VI Best Bet: Under 42.5

There weren't more than 34 points scored in either of the Seahawks-49ers regular season games this season. We don't see that pattern changing here. San Francisco's No. 1 ranked defense, the weather and a run-oriented conservative approach by the 49ers behind rookie QB Brock Purdy are all key factors for the Under.

Discounting a 37-34 game against the Raiders, the 49ers have held their past nine opponents to an average of 12.2 points. San Francisco surrendered the fewest yards and points in the NFL. There is a 90 percent chance of rain, potentially heavy, with wind in the 15-20 mph range. This is on a grass field so the footing is going to be slow. 

Expect the 49ers to run a lot especially under these circumstances. The Seahawks have regressed offensively, but gotten better defensively. Seattle is averaging 16.2 points in its last four games, while giving up an average of 16.7 points during this span. 

Geno Smith has never been effective against elite defenses. He had just one touchdown pass in two games against San Francisco, averaging 217.5 yards passing. The 49ers tied for the lead in interceptions and had the second-most takeaways. 

L.A. Chargers at Jacksonville

The Chargers have been a solid 'over' bet on the road this season, going 7-2. (Getty)

Date-Time: Saturday, Jan. 14, 8:15 p.m. ET

L.A. Chargers
Overall O/U:11-5-1
Road O/U: 7-2
Last 5 O/U: 4-0-1
PPG: 23
OPPG: 22.6

Jacksonville Jaguars
Overall O/U: 8-9
Home O/U: 4-4
Last 5 O/U: 4-1
PPG: 23.8
OPPG: 20.6

Recent Meetings
2022 - Jacksonville 38 at L.A. Chargers 10 (Over 45.5)
2020 - L.A. Chargers 39 vs. Jacksonville 29 (Over 48.5)
2019 - L.A. Chargers 45 at Jacksonville 10 (Over 42)

VI Best Bet: Over 47.5

This matchup sets up for a shootout since we have two Top-10 offenses facing two below average defenses and we also have a pair of teams that throw first. It’s Justin Herbert versus Trevor Lawrence. 

All of this had us strongly leaning to the Over on Saturday night but what clinched the Over is finding out who is going to be refereeing this game. It's the Shawn Smith crew.

Why is this significant for handicapping? This umpiring crew has ranked in the Top-five for calling the most defensive penalties each of the last four seasons. They also called the second-fewest offensive holding penalties this season. 

Herbert should come up big against the Jaguars, who rank 28th in pass defense and 24th in defensive total yards. Watching the former Oregon standout toss for 300 yards seems very likely against the Jaguars. 

Lawrence should perform well, too, operating against a Chargers defense that ranked 22nd in scoring defense and 20th in total defense. The Jaguars put up 38 points on the Chargers in Week 3 with Lawrence throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns. 

Miami at Buffalo

The Dolphins aren't expected to put up much of a fight for Sunday's matchup at Buffalo. (Getty)

Date-Time: Sunday, Jan. 15, 1:00 p.m. ET

Miami Dolphins
Overall O/U: 9-8
Road O/U: 4-5
Last 5 O/U: 3-2
PPG: 23.4
OPPG: 23.5

Buffalo Bills
Overall O/U: 8-7-1
Home O/U: 4-4
Last 5 O/U: 3-2
PPG: 28.4
OPPG: 17.9

Recent Meetings
2022 - Buffalo 32 vs. Miami 19 (Over 44.5)
2022 - Miami 21 at Buffalo 19 (Under 54.5)
2021 - Buffalo 26 vs. Miami 11 (Under 48.5)

VI Best Bet: Under 43.5

The battle of attrition has caught up with the Miami Dolphins and now the team makes its return to the postseason against the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills. The oddsmakers aren’t giving Miami a chance and it’s hard to make an argument for the underdog here. 

The Dolphins posted 11 points last week, two coming from the defense. The offense is beat up all around and backup QBs will be used for Miami. Slow and easy will be the clock eating mission for Miami as it will try to keep Josh Allen and the Bills offense off the field. 

The trends can go back and forth on this matchup and while the ‘over’ is 7-1 in the last eight meetings between the pair in Buffalo, this is a different Dolphins offense rolling out here on Sunday. Versus the AFC East this season, the Bills saw the Under go 4-2 and Miami did bend but not break in the first meeting. 

Historically, Miami has been an automatic Under play in the playoffs. A 9-1 run to the low side and that includes its last appearance. Coincidentally it was with a backup QB in a 30-12 loss at Pittsburgh in the 2017 Wild Card round. We expect that scenario to play out again here on Sunday. 

N.Y. Giants at Minnesota

Date-Time: Sunday, Jan. 15, 4:30 p.m. ET

N.Y. Giants
Overall O/U: 13-4
Road O/U: 7-1
Last 5 O/U: 4-1
PPG: 21.5
OPPG: 21.8

Minnesota Vikings
Overall O/U: 7-9-1
Home O/U: 4-5
Last 5 O/U: 1-4
PPG: 24.9
OPPG: 25.1

Recent Meetings
2022 - Minnesota 27 vs. N.Y. Giants 24 (Over 48)
2019 - Minnesota 28 at N.Y. Giants 10 (Under 43.5)

VI Best Bet: Under 48.5

The Minnesota Vikings can be explosive because of wide receiver Justin Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook and they are at home too. New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll is no dummy. He knows this. His Giants have the least postseason experience of any of the playoff teams. So it's not hard to figure that Daboll is going conservative here. That means lots of running and short passes to Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones not taking chances. 

The Giants are better on defense because they are healthier. They've held their last four opponents to 17.7 points. New York is familiar with Minnesota. The teams just met three weeks ago. It took a 61-yard field goal at the gun by Greg Joseph - an inconsistent kicker - for the Vikings to prevail, 27-24, in that home game.

New York didn't have its best safety, Xavier McKinney, nor its top cornerback, Adoree' Jackson, in that game. Both are expected to play here. The Vikings could be down two offensive line starters with center Garrett Bradbury and right tackle Brian O'Neill both injured. Kirk Cousins has a history of not stepping up in big games. Rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux has shown signs lately of being an elite pass rusher. 

The Vikings do not have good defensive numbers. However, they have a number of excellent defenders - Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, Harrison Smith and Za'Darius Smith. Minnesota is good at takeaways ranking 12th in the league. 

We expect another tight affair but this game should be 24-23, 24-20 in the rematch. 

Baltimore at Cincinnati

Date-Time: Sunday, Jan. 15, 8:15 p.m. ET

Baltimore Ravens
Overall O/U: 7-9-1
Road O/U: 6-3
Last 5 O/U: 3-2
PPG: 20.6
OPPG: 18.5

Cincinnati Bengals
Overall O/U: 12-4
Home O/U: 5-2
Last 5 O/U: 4-1
PPG: 26.1
OPPG: 20.1

Recent Meetings
2022 - Cincinnati 27 vs. Baltimore 16 (Over 39)
2022 - Baltimore 19 vs. Cincinnati 17 (Under 47.5)
2021 - Cincinnati 41 vs. Baltimore 21 (Over 43.5)

VI Best Bet: Under 40.5

This game is the lowest total on the board and it should be as ugly as the oddsmakers believe it will be. Since quarterback Lamar Jackson went out with an injury, the team is averaging 12.5 points per game and it’s amazing that they went 3-3 during this stretch but to be fair, five of the six came against non-playoff teams. One of the losses came to Cincinnati last week, a 27-16 decision and also an ‘over’ result. 

The Bengals know they’ll have trouble running the football against Roquan Smith and the Ravens defense. We’re expecting a short passing game and ball control as Cincinnati will let Baltimore’s offense make mistakes. The Ravens will attempt to keep Cincy off the field and shorten the game, the only hope they have. 

During last year’s playoff run, the Bengals averaged 23 PPG and you could argue that this will be the best defense they face in the postseason. Assuming Cincinnati gets in the neighborhood of that number, a double-digit win and ‘under’ should connect. 

Look for a 27-9 score as a tight divisional battle plays out here on Sunday night. 

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