The Cincinnati Bengals may not be in the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t going to be an action-packed weekend ahead.
With all three other teams in the AFC North making an appearance in the playoffs, the only one on deck for Saturday is the Cleveland Browns. The Steelers will play on Sunday with the Ravens earning a first-round bye.
Let’s dive into a little detail on each.
Here is how to watch Wild Card Weekend with odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Saturday, January 13, 2024
The Browns are favored here despite playing on the road. It will be experience vs. inexperience as 38-year-old Joe Flacco, who has won a Super Bowl, will take on rookie CJ Stroud.
The Texans are littered with solid playmaking threats like Nico Collins, but it may not be a match for the dominant Cleveland defense, led by Myles Garrett. This game could be one of the most exciting and will feature the shortest spread of any six in the next few days.
The Dolphins have the AFC East locked up until the last week of the season, losing at home to the Buffalo Bills. Their fate is now playing on the road against the reigning Super Bowl champs.
While Patrick Mahomes and company haven’t looked a dominant as usual, they will be a strong favorite. The biggest question for the Chiefs is whether their receivers will show up in the big moments. Mahomes will, but the question is: will the rest of the team?
Sunday, January 14, 2024
The Steelers are playing a surging Buffalo team led by one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Josh Allen. The Steelers have struggled to score and have given up points in bunches. How they are in the playoffs is a mystery, but they edged out close games.
The Bills should torment them here, especially with Buffalo being at home and the Steelers being down their most dominant player, TJ Watt. He was the only Steeler ruled out for the game, but it will be a mighty blow that they may not come back from.
The Packers also snuck into the playoffs in the last week, and they can thank Jordan Love, Aaron Jones, and a strong defense for that. They will need to be even better on Sunday if they want any chance of knocking off the NFC East-reigning Cowboys.
The Cowboys, behind Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb, were the only team in the NFL with more than 500 points. They will be hard to stop, and with Micah Parsons on the other side of the ball, Dallas could be the team to beat in the NFC.
The Lions have been strong all season long, but they have had their bumps and bruises. The experience, with a starting running back and a quarterback that hasn’t shined in many big moments, may loom large against the 2021 Super Bowl Champions.
The Rams, led by Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, and Cooper Kupp, are heating up at the right time and will be underdogs on the road as they prepare for what they hope to be another deep playoff run.
Monday, January 15, 2024
Last but not least is the most puzzling spread. A 3-point spread for the Eagles, who made the Super Bowl last year and have one of the best offensive and defensive lines in football, doesn’t sound right, especially considering the Bucs made it in on the back of a lousy NFC South.
Regardless, Baker Mayfield and company earned their right to be in this spot, and they have a big-play nature which could bring an upset to the Wild Card round.
This will also be our Saturday open thread, so come join the fun!