Super Wild Card Best Bets: Giants, Buccaneers and Chargers
NFL PLAYOFFS! And for the record, this isn’t “Super Wild Card Weekend.” It’s just Wild Card Weekend. Adding an extra game and diluting the product doesn’t make it super. Regardless, let’s take a look at some of my favorite bets of this weekend.
*Note: You have heard me say shopping around is pivotal, especially in futures betting, so make sure you look to see what book is offering the more favorable odds.
Giants @ Vikings (-3) | Over/Under 48.5
As it happens, every single game on the Wild Card slate is either a rematch or a three-match. First up would be the Giants and the Vikings, owners of a thrilling finish at the gun in Week 16. The real question is, “How many times can Minnesota cheat defeat?”
There’s a simple formula for the Giants to win this one, and it’s the Saquon and Dimes show. The two of them combined for 118 yards on the ground, and Jones also threw for his second-best mark of the season with 334 yards. Because Minny is literally the worst secondary in the NFL against WRs (3,266 yards), the prime area to attack would be through the air. However, since the Giants don’t have a receiver that even eclipsed 800 yards this season, the best way to go about it is using Saquon Barkley all day, every day. Not to mention, the Vikings also allow the ninth-most yards to backs in the passing game. For a big offensive wrinkle, the Giants should deploy a lot of Danny Dimes on the ground. When Jones has at least 10 rushing attempts, NYG is undefeated this year (5-0-1). Between QB1 and RB1, there will need to be at least 30 attempts on the ground to control the tempo… and the clock.
The App is Back! Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news, mobile alerts and track your favorite players. Plus, now you can check out articles and player cards. Get it here!
Minnesota has been impossibly lucky this year with their 11-0 record in one-score games, as opposed to 6-8 last season. There is a reason I picked them to win the NFC North, but not make it past that much further. Sure, they have my OPOY Justin Jefferson, but the team has struggled to make an impact beyond him consistently. Dalvin Cook has been very average lately, not to mention banged up, with 65 rush yards or less in five of his last seven outings. Kirk Cousins being 1-3 in his playoff career doesn’t exactly bring me comfort either. I believe the Purple People Eaters will need to get back on track with the ground game, keep pumping Jefferson with targets, and get TJ Hockenson going as well. Defensively, they better step up and stop the run because they’re a 27th-ranked defense in DVOA this year.
In all sincerity, it’s been a great year for the Vikes. Maybe they win, maybe they cover. Even if that happens, they are not getting past the 49ers in the Divisional Round. Eventually, their good fortune has to catch up to them at some point. The Giants have the keys to pull it off this week. I’m trusting Brian Daboll more than Kevin O’Connell.
FYI, this total looks a little high to me. I’m thinking this should be in the 45 range.
Prediction: Giants win and cover
Chargers (-2.5) @ Jaguars | Over/Under 47.5
Another rematch, this time from Week 3, that is sure to cause quite a stir. We can almost throw the first match in the garbage. LAC was missing almost every single one of their key players, and Justin Herbert was playing with 37.5 broken ribs and 17 cortisone shots. A lot of people have expressed support for the Jags, and to be honest I am a tad worried here.
Point blank, here it is. I woke up in a cold sweat back in February after hitting my Rams Super Bowl preseason bet. In my vision, I saw Justin Herbert throw the game-winning TD pass to Keen Daddy with 37 seconds left. I cannot pick against my Bolts. Offensively, how they are going to win is attacking the bottom five pass defense of the Jags. More specifically, Austin Ekeler will continue to be the point of emphasis for this team as JAX allows the second most catches and yards to RBs out of the backfield. Through this formula, I believe LAC should be able to spot 27 points on this vulnerable defense.
Jacksonville is a nice story. And they do have a shot to win, but their mainstay is attacking the brutal Chargers run defense. With Travis Etienne astonishingly average in the second half of the year, I’m not sure he goes nuclear in this butter spot. Typically the Jags have not fared well when they have needed to air the ball out a lot with their 2-4 record when Trevor Lawrence has 40+ attempts. I do give the coaching edge a decisive nod to Doug Pederson, but I believe it won’t be enough in the end.
Prediction: Chargers cover (-2.5)
Cowboys (-3) @ Buccaneers | Over/Under 45.5
Ugggg. Again with this crap. How many times do I have to see the Cowboys and Buccaneers duke it out in a wildly unimpressive bout? Nevertheless, we’re set to end Wild Card Weekend in my old stomping grounds of the 813. Who gets this done?
Tampa Bay has been brutal this season. Literally the worst run team in the league (76.9 YPG), the Bucs have barely averaged 18 PPG this year. It’s been a disaster. Above all else, Tom Brady gets plastic surgery. What a mess. Regardless, I trust Brady in the playoffs more than Dak Prescott or Mike McCarthy. This Dallas defense has allowed 26 points in three of the last four games; it’s clearly not the same unit we saw earlier this season, and they are now a bottom-five scoring defense (27.5 PPG). On paper, there is not a ton we have seen from the Bucs to make us believe in them, but at the end of the day, I won’t bet against Brady at home.
I don’t trust Prescott. I think Dallas is overrated, as usual. And while this team has hosed us all season, I’m giving the Bucs one last shot.
Prediction: Bucs win (+120)
Giants +9 (originally +3)
- Should be self-explanatory.
Bucs +8.5 (originally +2.5)
- See above.
Giants +3 -108
Giants ML +136
Chargers -2.5 -110
Bucs win +120
Teaser: NYG +9/Bucs +8.5
All good things must come to an end. And unfortunately, that means this will be my last write up for NBC Sports. When I started doing Ad Sales in October 2016 for the company, I didn’t know my journey would lead me to talk about betting on sports, and fantasy. My time here has been a wild ride. I have learned so much about business, content, professionalism, and how to improve every day.
It’s been a pleasure to bring you “The Weekly Taste” in three different sports. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Remember to always find a way to do what you love.
Johnny V will still be around. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to keep up with all of my work… and find out where I’m going next.
John “JohnnyVTV” Venezia
P.S. Please don’t forget about the Royal Mint. I gave you gold nobody else will.
P.P.S There are still some Nick Bosa 75/1 to win Super Bowl MVP hanging out there. Go grab it because I give him a 15% chance to win the award if SF brings it home. He’s capable of two sacks and a forced fumble, something would absolutely give him merit.