DATA DEPENDENT: Breakdown of NFL Wildcard Weekend Matchups and Upsets.

Indianapolis Colts vs Buffalo Bills

The first clash of Wild Card Weekend is probably the most tantalizing. The Buffalo Bills closed out the season as the hottest team in the NFL, winning 9 of their last 10, led by the dynamic duo of QB Josh Allen and WR Stefon Diggs. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts come into the postseason led by QB Phillip Rivers and rookie RB Jonathan Taylor. There’s an interesting strengths to weaknesses dynamic going on between the teams. The Colts pass defense has been mediocre this season while their run defense has been very good. Allen can have a big game here. On the flip side, Buffalo’s run defense has struggled this season while their pass defense has been strong. Taylor can and should excel here.

OFF STATS: Colts 378.1 YDS/G; 28.2 PTS/G | Bills 396.4 YDS/G; 31.3 PTS/G

DEF STATS: Colts 332.1 YDS/G; 22.6 PTS/G | Bills 352.2 YDS/G; 23.4 PTS/G

KEY PLAYERS: Phillip Rivers and Jonathan Taylor | Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs

BETTING (Moneyline/Spread): Colts (+240/+6.5) | Bills (-300/-6.5)

DRAFT KINGS FANTASY POINTS: Josh Allen (32.07); Stefon Diggs (29.27); Jonathan Taylor (26.77)

PICK: Bills win.

Los Angeles Rams vs Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks come into this game with a limp. They’ve scored more than 23 points only twice in the last half-dozen games. Fortunately for them, their defense has performed well enough and kept them in games. The Los Angeles Rams, on the other hand, look slightly stronger. They’ve got the league’s best defense that has made up for an offense that can languish at times. Regardless of who wins, expect a low scoring game. One question that can make or break the game: who is at QB for the Rams – Jared Goff, who’s just had thumb surgery or John Wolford, who has a single game under his belt?

OFF STATS: Rams 377.0 YDS/G; 23.3 PTS/G | Seahawks 369.5 YDS/G; 28.7 PTS/G

DEF STATS: Rams 281.9 YDS/G; 18.5 PTS/G | Seahawks 380.6 YDS/G; 28.6 PTS/G

KEY PLAYERS: Cam Akers and Aaron Donald | Russel Wilson and Chris Carson| 

BETTING (Moneyline/Spread): Rams (+140/+3) | Seahawks (-160/-3)

DRAFT KINGS FANTASY POINTS: Cam Akers (14.40) | Russell Wilson (17.03)

PICK: Rams upset win.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Washington Football Team

Between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Washington Football Team, their defenses pretty much cancel each other out. Both are pretty good. However, the gulf between their offensive sides are immense. QB Tom Brady and the Bucs offense finished the season with strong performances. Washington has the weakest offense of all teams this postseason. All’s not lost, however, especially if their pass rush can keep the pressure on Brady. His completion percentage drops to 44% when he’s under pressure. Still worse, yards per pass attempt shrinks to a paltry 5 yards. Also, he doesn’t perform so well during night games. So there you go. That’s the formula for Washington… Maybe.

OFF STATS: Buccaneers 384.1 YDS/G; 30.8 PTS/G | Football Team 317.3 YDS/G; 20.9 PTS/G

DEF STATS: Buccaneers 327.1 YDS/G; 22.2 PTS/G | Football Team 304.6 YDS/G; 20.6 PTS/G

KEY PLAYERS: Tom Brady and Ronald Jones | Alex Smith and Antonio Gibson (Q)

BETTING (Moneyline/Spread): Buccaneers (-350/-7.5) | Football Team (+290/+7.5)

DRAFT KINGS FANTASY POINTS: Tom Brady (31.19); Antonio brown (24.53); Mike Evans (23.57); Chris Godwin (22.10)

PICK: Buccaneers win.

Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans

After a few uncertain moments during the regular season, the Baltimore Ravens hit their stride toward the end. Like his team, QB Lamar Jackson has also had a rough patch or two but has come on strong of late, averaging over 30 points per game. He’s also led the offense to score in 60% of their offensive possessions in their last 5 games. Defensively, Baltimiore are as solid as they always are. They Tennessee Titans also have an offense that’s humming along, led by QB Ryan Tannehill. Unfortunately, their defense has been terrible.

OFF STATS: Ravens 353.1 YDS/G; 29.3 PTS/G | Titans 396.4 YDS/G; 30.7 PTS/G

DEF STATS: Ravens 329.8 YDS/G; 18.9 PTS/G | Titans 398.3 YDS/G; 27.4 PTS/G

KEY PLAYERS: Lamar Jackson and J.K. Dobbins | Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry

BETTING (Moneyline/Spread): Ravens (-185/-3.5) | Titans (+155/+3.5)

DRAFT KINGS FANTASY POINTS: Lamar Jackson (25.92) | Ryan Tannehill (27.93)

PICK: Titans upset win.

Chicago Bears vs New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints enters the NFL postseason as one of the best teams (at least on paper). In terms of points per game, they rank 5th offensively and defensively. Drew Brees has had another Hall of Fame year and RB Alvin Kamara scored 21 touchdowns in 15 games. On the other hand, the Chicago Bears are an unbalanced team. Their defense has been very good but their offense has been so-so at best. Rotating between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles, the Bears haven’t really found a rhythm. Expect them to lean on their defense a lot.

OFF STATS: Bears 331.4 YDS/G; 23.3 PTS/G | Saints 376.4 YDS/G; 30.1 PTS/G

DEF STATS: Bears 344.9 YDS/G; 23.1 PTS/G | Saints 310.9 YDS/G; 21.1 PTS/G

KEY PLAYERS: Mitch Trubisky | Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara.

BETTING (Moneyline/Spread): Bears (+375/+10) | Saints (-500/-10)

DRAFT KINGS FANTASY POINTS: Mitchell Trubisky (16.79) | Drew Brees (17.85) 

PICK: Saints win.

Cleveland Browns vs Pittsburgh Steelers

If one team has limped into the postseason, it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers. After going on an 11-game win streak to start the season, they ended as a struggling team, winning on 1 of their last 5 games. They’ve been hit with injuries but should be back to full strength for the playoffs. That’s a plus for them. The Cleveland Browns have turned it around after a very disappointing 2019 season that resembled a soap opera. While QB Baker Mayfield has improved on last season’s uninspired performance, he’s got his work cut out for him against the Iron Curtain. The Steelers have the 3rd best defense overall and the 3rd best defense against the pass. When the Browns played the Steelers in Week 6, they clamped down on Mayfield, limiting him to 220 yards while throwing 2 interceptions. Cleveland has also got some serious COVID-19 issues that won’t help them either.

OFF STATS: Browns 396.6 YDS/G; 25.5 PTS/G | Steelers 334.6 YDS/G; 26.0 PTS/G

DEF STATS: Browns 358.4 YDS/G; 26.2 PTS/G | Steelers 305.8 YDS/G; 19.5 PTS/G

KEY PLAYERS: Ben Roethlisberger, Diontae Johnson, James Conner | Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb

BETTING (Moneyline/Spread): Browns (+230/+6) | Steelers (-275/-6)

DRAFT KINGS FANTASY POINTS: Baker Mayfield (15.74); Nick Chubb (17.33) | Ben Roethlisberger (17.57); Diontae Johnson (18.03)

PICK: Steelers win.

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