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Wild Card Weekend 2020: Cases for the favorites

The 2020 NFL season has reached Wild Card Weekend, and there’s six games in the new playoff format. Here’s a case for betting on each favorite.

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills (-6.5)

We start with the first game of the weekend. Buffalo has been the hottest team in the NFL over the past six weeks, winning all their games and doing so in blowout fashion. Josh Allen is likely going to finish third in MVP voting, and although Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley are questionable, provided Diggs plays, the Colts have no answer on deep shots. Indy’s defense ranks seventh-worst in air yards allowed and doesn’t have a single defender with double-digit sacks.

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5)

The case is easy. Seattle beat the Rams in Week 16, largely because the Los Angeles offense was a wreck. Now, it’s either John Wolford making his second career start under center for the Rams, or Jared Goff with a broken thumb on his throwing hand. Los Angeles has a phenomenal defense, but Russell Wilson is always good for a couple huge plays to Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. Tough spot for the L.A. quarterbacks.


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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8) at Washington Football Team

If the Buccaneers don’t turn the ball over, they win. Washington ranks towards the bottom of almost all offensive categories. Tampa Bay needs to deal with the Football Team’s quality front seven, but if Tom Brady doesn’t succumb to the pass rush, it’s good night.

Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Tennessee Titans

This is about the Titans’ defense, and their lack thereof. Tennessee ranks 30th in sacks and 31st in pressure rate. Lamar Jackson has to take advantage and beat the Titans in the air with Marquise Brown, Willie Snead and Mark Andrews. Additionally, Baltimore has a talent-packed front seven with Patrick Queen, Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, Matt Judon, Brandon Williams and others. If Baltimore gets the lead, look out with its run game.

Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-10)

Mitch Trubisky is starting against arguably the best defense in football, on the road, in a playoff game. Case closed.


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Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6)

The Browns are without head coach Kevin Stefanski due to COVID, along with star guard Joel Bitonio. They go into Pittsburgh to play a team who trounced them 34-7 at Heinz Field back in October. The Steelers have pummeled teams with a suffocated defense, and if Baker Mayfield doesn’t have a thriving run game, good night.

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