Getting NFL picks against the spread can be a great way to make a few extra dollars, but be sure to keep in mind that betting is not always about choosing the better team. It can be tempting to pick a lower seed in a tough division to win the Wild Card Game, but this is not always the best strategy. In fact, it’s usually the opposite.
The Chicago Bears are a three-point underdog to the Green Bay Packers in this week’s game at Soldier Field. Both teams are at least five-wins-away from making the playoffs, but both need to beat the other team by three or more points to advance. A win by three or more could also keep the AFC’s wild-card hopes alive. The Bears can still catch the Packers if they can win by a lot more than the three points they need to cover.
The San Francisco 49ers will try to get back to running effectively against the Saints defense, which is banged up on the defensive front. This is a team that struggles against the run. The Dolphins will have to keep their defense on their toes, but the wide receivers are a big part of their offense, too. The Saints’ defense is also weak on the pass. The Jets’ offensive line will have to be careful against the Buccaneers, too.
The Dallas Cowboys will try to get a little more respectable than they did against the Buffalo Bills, but they won’t be able to overcome the spread. They won 28-20, but they didn’t cover the point spread. That was a blowout, but not one that they should have been favored by so much. The Vikings’ total is 53.5, so they should be able to score points against the Patriots’ offense.
The Detroit Lions are a favorite to win this game, and bettors will be tempted to take them. They’ve won four of their last five games, and have actually been a viable playoff contender this season. Their offense ranks ninth in the league, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, and their defense is ranked ninth. The running game will be a real help, too, with Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr., and Daniel Jones all leading the way.
The Houston Texans are a 6-6 team that is in desperate need of a win. They have been 5-24-1 over the past 30 games, and they’ve only lost one game by more than 17 points this season. They’ll need a high spread to win in Dallas, but they’ll be in it to stay. They’ll also need to contain Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They rank 30th in net yards per play.
The Baltimore Ravens are one of the most balanced teams in the NFL, and they will be very difficult to beat on the run. However, their passing attack isn’t good enough. Against the Panthers, they passed inconsistently to limited wide receivers. They don’t have the same protection problems that the Saints do, but they still have a lot of leaks against the run.