2021 NFL Super Wild Card Round - Best Bets Against the Spread From the SI Gambling Team

The SI Gambling team, along with our colleagues at the MMQB share their best bets against the spread for the Super Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs.
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NFL Best Bets: Super Wild Card Round

Please note: These are our FREE picks, not our PREMIUM picks which are reserved for MEMBERS only at SI Fantasy PRO. Members receive alert notifications immediately upon pick release.

OFFICIAL VEGAS WHISPERS PICKS DOCUMENTED

YTD: 216-140-3 | MLB: 79-60 | NFL: 68-47-1 | CFB: 31-21 | January-March (2020): 38-12-2 | Casey Olson's MMA PICKS: 210-87-6 (71% on all released betting plays)

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Check out the team's analysis for the picks below!

Check out the team's analysis for the picks below!

Ben Heisler (@bennyheis)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team (+8) | TOTAL: 44.5

Prime time games have been Tom Brady’s bugaboo in his first year in Tampa. The Bucs are 1-3 in late matchups with Brady throwing 5 TDs, 5 INTs with a QB rating of 73.9. This is a stark contrast to his 10-2 record in early and late afternoon games, 35 TDs and 7 INTs, and QBR of 111.85.

Maybe it’s the body clock of a 43-year old quarterback not adjusting, or maybe it’s complete nonsense. But defenses similar to Washington are what have caused disruption on Brady throughout the course of the year. Via ESPN Stats and Info, Washington is sixth in the NFL in sacks and fourth in sacks per pass attempt. Brady was sacked nine times (insert Ed Rooney Ferris Bueller reference here), in four prime time games compared to just 12 in his other 12 games.

Lastly, even if Brady comes out firing, Washington has been an outstanding defensive team in the second half of games. They rank tops in the NFL in yards and points allowed in the second half. With the eight points, the back door is always open for Washington in what I expect to be a much closer game than most.

BEST BET: Washington +8

Frankie Taddeo (@Frankie_Fantasy)

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) | TOTAL: 47.5

We spoke about this game on the SI Gambling podcast and I grabbed this number at -3.5 ahead of all the COVID-19 news surrounding the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland has seen the line move significantly against them after it was learned that head coach Kevin Stefanksi will miss the game due to COVID-19.

As we saw with the Clemson Tigers in their loss to Ohio State, bettors should not ignore the angle of team’s losing vital coaches just days before kickoff. With Special Teams coordinator, Mike Priefer expected to handle lead duties on Sunday night at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh will have a sizeable advantage against a team that has been hit hard by the coronavirus in recent weeks.

Although this number is now 2.5-points higher than what I have already played, I still believe that any number less than touchdown should be good. Lay the points.

BEST BET: Steelers -6

Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano)

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans (+3.5) | TOTAL: 54.5

BEST BET: Ravens -3.5

Roy Larking (@StatsGuru6)

Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-10) | TOTAL: 47.5

Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears (8-8) head to the Big Easy following a 35-16 loss at home against Green Bay last week. Chicago was down 21-16 before the Packers scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Drew Brees and the Saints (12-4) return home following a 33-7 Week 17 win over the Panthers in Carolina. Without Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray and Michael Thomas on offense, defense was the difference for New Orleans. Five different players recorded one interception and the Panthers were shutout over the final three quarters.

These teams met in Chicago in Week 8 and the Saints won 26-23 in overtime. New Orleans let a 23-13 lead slip away, with less than four minutes to play, before kicking a field goal on their second possession in OT. New Orleans expects to have Kamara, Murray and Thomas back for this game and that’s bad news for the Bears. Chicago has leaned on RB David Montgomery recently, but the Saints’ run defense allowed just 93.9 yards per game this season. While I like the New Orleans offense, on the fast track at home, the Saints’ defense will be the difference here.

New Orleans is a -10 point favorite at DraftKings – Bet on the Saints to cover.

BEST BET: Saints -10

Ian Ritchie (@SIGambling)

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) | TOTAL: 47.5

BEST BET: Steelers -6

Scott Atkins (@ScottFantasy)

Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills (-6.5) | TOTAL: 51

BEST BET: Bills -6.5

Casey Olson (@Y2CASEY)

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) | 47.5

BEST BET: Steelers -6

Gary Gramling, The MMQB (@GGramling_SI)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team (+8) | TOTAL: 44.5

For anyone who watched until the bitter end of last week’s Football Team-Eagles season-ending crap-fest, you know the risk. Washington will not just be inept in that they’re unable to move the ball, but might commit a series of ugly turnovers that set the Bucs up with short fields for quick scores. Still, we know Washington has no offense and we know their home turf is typically crappy and difficult to play on. 

The Bucs feasted on the Falcons, Lions and Falcons again over the final three games, which suggests to some that they’re clicking on offense. But Atlanta and Detroit don’t have pass rushes, whereas the Football Team does and Tom Brady is a much different quarterback when he’s under pressure. 

As for a historical trend, over the past 10 postseasons, Wild Card games with a total between 42 and 50 have gone under 36 out of 46 times.

BEST BET: Under 44.5

Mitch Goldich, The MMQB (@mitchgoldich)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington (+8) | TOTAL: 44.5

We’ve waited all year to bet against the NFC East team in the playoffs, right? And now this is the game we’ve got. 

The Bucs have been rolling the last few weeks, and Washington just can’t score. They’ll either have a limited Alex Smith (thanks to his calf injury) or Taylor Heinicke, or—according to Ron Rivera—maybe a rotation between them. That just doesn’t sound like a recipe for points to me. They’ll need a defensive touchdown or a turnover to give them the ball in the red zone, but I don’t think you can bank on that. 

Tom Brady has been in a million playoff games (literally, a million) and I think he’ll be smart with the ball and get it out quickly before Washington’s pass rush can get to him. Even if Mike Evans can’t go, I think he has enough places to deliver the ball to keep the chains moving. This feels like a comfortable win.

BEST BET: Buccaneers -8