2022 NFL playoffs: Case for each favorite to cover
It’s Wild Card Weekend in the 2022 NFL playoffs, and it’s time to look at how each favorite can not only win but cover its respective spread.
San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks
The 49ers are the biggest favorite in the NFC this weekend, and rightfully so. Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy is yet to lose a start, and the Niners have won each of their last 10 games, with most coming by way of double-digit victories. They’ve hammered the Seahawks twice this season, winning 27-7 at home in Week 2 before handling them on Thursday Night Football at Lumen Field in December to clinch the NFC West.
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Los Angeles Chargers (-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Los Angeles could be without star receiver Mike Williams thanks to head coach Brandon Staley playing starters in a meaningless Week 18 game, but the Chargers still have the superior talent. The Bolts are 10-7 coming into this Wild Card matchup, which will see both quarterbacks — Trevor Lawrence and Justin Herbert — make their postseason debuts. If the Chargers can win off the edge with Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, they should be in good position to advance.
Buffalo Bills (-13) vs. Miami Dolphins
The Bills have Pro Bowl quarterback Josh Allen as their starting quarterback on Sunday afternoon. The Dolphins are likely rolling with third-string, seventh-round rookie Skylar Thompson. That’s the argument for Buffalo. If the Bills don’t turn the ball over, there’s a real chance this game is something like 38-3. Miami has enjoyed a nice season, but it’s almost certainly about to come crashing down.
Minnesota Vikings (-3) vs. New York Giants
The Vikings have taken plenty of grief this year, but they’re 13-4 for a reason. Minnesota has dominated in the fourth quarter, and while the Giants are tough-minded, this isn’t a team loaded with offensive weapons capable of taking full advantage of the Vikings’ porous defense.
Read: Jared Goff Could Lead The Lions Into 2023
Cincinnati Bengals (-8.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens
Much like the Dolphins, the Ravens are likely rolling with a backup quarterback in either Tyler Huntley or Anthony Brown. While Huntley is somewhat capable, the Bengals are playing some of the league’s best ball, not losing in the last half of the season. If Joe Burrow and Co. can avoid the big mistakes, Cincinnati should move into the Divisional round with a decisive win.
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Simply put, the Cowboys are the better team by a wide margin. If Dak Prescott can keep his penchant for interceptions in check, Dallas has no reason not to win by a score or two against one of the league’s worst offenses in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have the threat of Tom Brady, which while significant, shouldn’t be enough to carry the day.