HomeThe ShuffleNFL Playoffs March to Super Bowl LVI

NFL Playoffs March to Super Bowl LVI

Six Wild Card games will kick off the NFL Playoffs. Let’s run down each contest and pick the winners.

After a crazy end to the NFL regular season, the playoffs’ Wild Card round begins this weekend.

The final game of the NFL regular season, featuring the Los Angeles Chargers at the Las Vegas Raiders, decided the final two playoff spots. If the game had ended in a tie, the Pittsburgh Steelers would have been out, and the Chargers and Raiders would go on to the postseason.

The Steelers had to sweat out that game. It went to overtime, but fortunately for Pittsburgh, the Raiders were able to win on a last-minute field goal. The Steelers now travel to meet the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Raiders will go on to play the Cincinnati Bengals.

NFL Wild Card Matchups/Odds*


  • Philadelphia Eagles +8.5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Arizona Cardinals +3.5 at Los Angeles Rams
  • San Francisco 49ers +3.5 at Dallas Cowboys


  • New England Patriots +4.5 at Buffalo Bills
  • Pittsburgh Steelers +12.5 at Kansas City Chiefs
  • Las Vegas Raiders +6.5 at Cincinnati Bengals

*Odds courtesy of BetMGM

The other NFL Wild Card games are Saturday, as the New England Patriots travel to play the Buffalo Bills.

Three games will follow on Sunday. The Philadelphia Eagles go to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the San Francisco 49ers will face the Dallas Cowboys, and the Kansas City Chiefs host the Steelers.

The final game of the Wild Card round will be Monday, as the Los Angeles Rams host the Arizona Cardinals.

Eagles Look to Upset Bucs

The Philadelphia Eagles, the last team in the NFC to make the playoffs, are rewarded by traveling to Tampa Bay to face Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl Champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The two teams faced each other in October. The Buccaneers were seven-point favorites and won 28-22.

Now the Eagles are 8.5-point underdogs. Tampa Bay has a depleted secondary, and Philly quarterback Jalen Hurts must take advantage of that to have any chance at victory. Asking Hurts, who’s in the playoffs for the first time, to better his counterpart in Brady, might be too much. We like Brady’s experience to take care of the Eagles and cover the spread.

Catch the Big Game
Who: Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When: Sunday, January 16, 1 p.m. ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Watch: FOX-TV

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NFC West Duel Between Cardinals, L.A. Rams

The Arizona Cardinals were the last unbeaten team in the NFL during the regular season. But they faltered after winning their first seven games, and lost five of their next eight games.

One of those losses was to the Los Angeles Rams, a team they beat earlier in the season. Now the teams will face each for the third time on Monday. The Rams are 3.5-point favorites.

Los Angeles has shown it can’t be pushed around by more physical teams, but that isn’t Arizona’s style. The Cards are going to try and finesse their way past the Rams, and it won’t work. Los Angeles gets into the second round.

Catch the Big Game
Who: Arizona Cardinals @ LA Rams
When: Monday, January 17, 8:15 p.m. ET
Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
Watch: ABC, ESPN

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Buffalo, New England Familiar Foes

Two other teams that met twice during the regular season were the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. The Patriots won the first meeting, shocking the Bills 14-10 as three-point underdogs. Buffalo returned the favor two weeks later, downing the Patriots, 33-21.

Now the two meet in Western New York on Sunday, where Buffalo is again the favorite, this time by 4.5 points.

Buffalo should be able to down the Pats for the second consecutive time. The first game was an aberration, so expect a double-digit victory for the home team.

Catch the Big Game
Who: New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
When: Saturday, January 15, 8:15 p.m. ET
Where: Highmark Stadium, Buffalo, New York
Watch: CBS-TV, Paramount+

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Can 49ers Eliminate Cowboys?

In what could be the most competitive game in the NFC division, the San Francisco 49ers visit the NFC East Champion Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

The 49ers are three-point underdogs to Dallas, the lowest line of any of the six games.

No one wants to play the 49ers. This team is physical and deep, and will give the Cowboys all they can handle. This will be a close game as advertised, but San Francisco will upset Dallas.

Catch the Big Game
Who: San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys
When: Saturday, January 15, 1:30 p.m. ET
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Watch: CBS-TV, Nickelodeon, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video

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Are the Raiders Ready for the Bengals?

The Las Vegas Raiders won an emotional home game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. Now they have to come down from that high and travel to Ohio to play the Cincinnati Bengals, who are favored by 6.5 points.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has the offense peaking at the right time. Don’t look at the final-season defeat to the Cleveland Browns as a red flag. They should be able to handle Las Vegas. Traveling east and playing on short notice isn’t really fair to the Raiders. That will be too much of a hurdle to overcome.

Catch the Big Game
Who: Las Vegas Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals
When: Saturday, January 15, 4:30 p.m. ET
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Watch: CBS-TV, Paramount+

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Steelers a Long Shot vs. KC Chiefs

The good news is the Pittsburgh Steelers got into the playoffs. The bad news is they have to go on the road and play the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are 12.5-point favorites, the largest spread by far of any of the postseason games.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is playing in what many expect to be his final season. Unfortunately for him, this is where his career ends. The only question: will the Chiefs be able to cover the spread? It’s a big number, but the Chiefs should be able to win by two touchdowns.

Catch the Big Game
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs
When: Sunday, January 16, 8:15 p.m. ET
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Watch: CBS-TV

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