Early Sunday Wild-Card Weekend Odds

Early Sunday Wild-Card Weekend Odds | 2021 NFL Expert Analysis

Written by on January 4, 2021

Seven of the 14 teams to qualify for the NFL playoffs are new in 2020. With the additional Wild-Card team in each conference, there are now three games both Saturday and Sunday. The first one Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET is the Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans with the Ravens opening as 3.5-point favorites on the NFL odds.

Wild-Card Weekend Odds | 2021 NFL Expert Analysis

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson had three touchdown passes and rushed for 97 yards while rookie running back J.K. Dobbins rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens’ 38-3 win over Cincinnati on Sunday. The Ravens rushed for a franchise-record 404 yards, the fourth-highest single-game total since 1950.

Jackson, who had 36 touchdown passes and seven rushing touchdowns last season, had 26 touchdown passes and seven rushing touchdowns in 2020 and joined Deshaun Watson (2018-19) as the only quarterbacks with at least 25 touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns in consecutive seasons in NFL history. Jackson, who rushed for 1,206 yards in 2019, had 1,005 rushing yards in 2020 and became the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 1,000 rushing yards in multiple seasons.

The Titans won the AFC South with a wild victory over Houston on Sunday. Derrick Henry rushed for 250 yards and two touchdowns in the 41-38 victory.

Henry led the NFL with 2,027 rushing yards in 2020 and is the eighth player in league annals to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a season. Henry, who led the NFL with 1,540 rushing yards in 2019, is the first player since Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (2006-07) to lead the league in rushing yards in consecutive seasons. Henry is the first player in NFL history with five career games with at least 200 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

The Titans won in Baltimore in Week 11 by a score of 30-24 in OT. The Titans also upset the Ravens in Baltimore in last season’s Playoffs 28-12. Henry rushed for 195 yards and even threw a TD pass. Tennessee scored all of its points off takeaways or fourth-down stops.

At 4:40 p.m. ET, the Chicago Bears visit the New Orleans Saints, who are 9.5-point favorites. The next game the Saints lose will be Drew Brees’ last as the first-ballot Hall of Famer will retire after this season and go to work as an analyst for NBC.

Will the Saints have Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara and receiver Michael Thomas? Kamara tested positive for COVID-19 and he missed Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers. However, if Kamara tests negative all week, he should be good to go. Thomas has he’s been on injured reserve for the last three weeks with an ankle injury but should be activated. The Saints won in Chicago 26-23 in OT in Week 8.

Chicago has the worst record of all 14 playoff teams at 8-8. The Bears were routed Sunday by the Packers but backed in because Arizona lost to the Rams. The Bears have qualified for the postseason only six times since the turn of the century and have one playoff victory over the past 18 seasons.

The final Wild-Card game Sunday features the Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers with a kickoff of 8:15 p.m. The Steelers are 4-point favorites. Cleveland clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2002 with this past Sunday’s 24-22 win over the visiting Steelers – who rested numerous key players.

Pittsburgh backup QB Mason Rudolph tossed a touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster with 1:26 remaining to put the Steelers within two points of tying the score. Rudolph’s two-point attempt, however, sailed over the head of Chase Claypool. Browns tight end Stephen Carlson then recovered Pittsburgh’s onside try, and quarterback Baker Mayfield dove for a first down to seal the win.

In Week 6, Pittsburgh routed the visiting Browns 38-7. Cleveland went 1-for-12 on third down and 0-for-3 on fourth down. QB Baker Mayfield was sacked four times and intercepted twice.

Cleveland has lost 17 consecutive games at Heinz Field and is 1-19 all-time at the facility.

Expert Picks
  • Back the Ravens, Saints and Steelers to cover.
 
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