By Maryam Naz
Last Updated: 3rd January 2019
With the final game of the regular season over, all eyes have now turned to this weekend’s Wild Card games. Fans of the National Football League will be in for a feast of thrilling action, and our betting gurus have broken down their predictions for all four games.
Colts @ Texans
Given that the last eight clashes between these divisional rivals have seen the home team win seven meetings, a victory for the Texans as the first of our NFL Wild Card predictions seems a valuable pick to punt on.
The Texans in-form quarterback Deshaun Watson is currently trading with two or more touchdown passes in 13 of his last 21 games, with the likes of Deandre Hopkins and Demaryius Thomas becoming frequent touchdown targets for the 23-year-old.
Watson’s side are currently trading at odds of 83/100 for the home victory but will need to graft if they are to force the Colts out of the running this Sunday.
Seahawks @ Cowboys
The Cowboys will be facing the NFL’s leading rushing offence this weekend, and if the rampant attacking unit doesn’t undo them, then Russell Wilson’s playoff experience might.
Indeed, the Seahawks have as many playoff wins since 2015 as the Cowboys do in the last 20 seasons. That number? Two. Given that the travelling side have been here and done it before, that experience may just be the deciding factor in a potential win.
Wilson’s side are projected to win in our NFL Wild Card predictions, betting as 11/10 favourites.
Chargers @ Ravens
The Los Angeles Chargers may be on a winning streak of their own, but up against the Ravens, they face a side led by a quarterback in sizzling, hot form.
Phillip Rivers has a completely absurd 137.9 passer rating on 84 play-action throws – he’s completed 65 of these for 959 yards, with six touchdowns and no picks.
Such amazing form spells danger for the Chargers defence, who will have to attempt to contain the likes of Ty Montgomery and Micheal Crabtree – Phillip’s preferred touchdown targets.
The home side are thus our pick to win in this Sunday’s clash, with the odds trading at 4/6.
Eagles @ Bears
While Mitch Trubisky’s Bears are not operating as one of the most rampant offensive units in the National Football League, a solid defence means they might not have to be this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Given that the Eagles Wendall Smallwood-led offence like to play a strong running game, they may find themselves in a sticky situation against Khalil Mack – the man with 12.5 sacks to his name this season.
With Mack leading the charge, Chicago have set a franchise record for fewest rushing yards allowed in a 16-game season, allowing just 1,280 yards on the ground this season.
Whether they can nullify the Eagle’s attacking charge this weekend is another question altogether, but with the odds trading at 20/51 in our NFL Wild Card predictions, there is a strong forecast they will triumph.
Maryam is a female football writer, who grew up playing a wide variety of sport. She slowly became converted as a lover of football around the age of 10, and her interest in it drove her to pursue it not only physically, but also academically. In her first year of college she cemented a placement at the Independent, whom she worked for before branching out to Premier League-accredited sites like the female-led 'Offside Rule' blog and RealSport. She studied English at University alongside this, and is now a digital copy-writer and editor, specialising in sports journalism.