The race to Super Bowl LVI begins today. We are on the doorstep of Super Wild Card Weekend in the NFL with six games on the slate that stretches from Saturday all the way to Monday night. And what’s the only thing that makes playoff football better? That’s right — betting on playoff football! If you want to stay sharp over the course of the weekend and are looking for a bit of help doing so, you’ve come to the right place.
Each week, we collect all of the best picks and gambling content from CBSSports.com and SportsLine in one place, so you can get picks against the spread from our CBS Sports experts as well as additional feature content for each game, including plays from top SportsLine experts and the SportsLine Projection Model, best bets from our staff, and more.
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
Which picks can you make with confidence during Super Wild Card Weekend? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine, as their incredible model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times and is up over $7,400 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception six-plus years ago.
Time: Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (Fox), stream on fuboTV (try for free)
Open: Bengals -6.5
Current: Bengals -5
R.J. White, a CBS Sports fantasy and gambling editor, has cashed huge twice in the world’s most prestigious football handicapping competition, the Las Vegas SuperContest. Naturally, you’ll want to which way he is leaning in this matchup between the Raiders and Bengals, a game where he has found a crucial X-factor that makes one side of the spread a must-bet. To see what that is and what White’s pick is, head on over the SportsLine. Below we’ll take a look at some of our other experts’ picks.
« For once, the Bengals actually have a few things working in their favor heading into a playoff game. Not only will the weather be cold, but they’re getting a Raiders team that has to fly across the country on a short week after playing an overtime game on Sunday night. If the Bengals can’t win this week, this drought might not ever end.
« The Bengals’ 31-year playoff losing streak started against the Raiders in January 1991 and I’m going to say it comes full circle on Saturday with a win for Cincinnati. » — CBS Sports NFL writer John Breech on why he likes the Bengals over the Raiders, 30-23. To read the rest of Breech’s picks, click here.
For those gearing up for your NFL office pool picks, you need to see what the SportsLine Projection Model is predicting for Super Wild Card Weekend. The model enters the playoffs on a 126-97 run on top-rated NFL picks that date back to the 2017 season. It also ranks in the top 10 on NFLPickWatch four of the past five years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 94 percent of CBS Sports Football Pick’em players four times during that span. With that in mind, it’s wise to see which way the model is leading before locking in your selections.
We can tell you that the model is high on the Bengals beating the Raiders, but it has also identified a team that wins well over 70 percent of the time in simulations. To see that team and more picks, go check out SportsLine.
Time: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (CBS), stream on Paramount+ (click here)
Open: Bills -4.5
Current: Bills -4
« This is the third game featuring these two this season, with each winning on the other’s field. New England won the first meeting in a wind storm in early December, while the Bills dominated the Pats at their place in late December. The weather is expected to be cold, but not that windy. That means Josh Allen can have success throwing the football. The Patriots haven’t been the same team on the road, especially quarterback Mac Jones. Look for the Bills to take away the run and dare him to beat them. He won’t. The Bills will be moving on. » — CBS Sports Senior NFL analyst Pete Prisco explaining why the Bills are set to roll over the Patriots with a 30-17 win. You can read the rest of Prisco’s picks here.
Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg is a legendary handicapper for SportsLine and has his finger on the pulse of both the Bills and Patriots. He is 20-11-2 (+763) in his last 33 against-the-spread picks in games involving the Bills and 18-11 (+571) in his last 29 against-the-spread picks in games involving the Patriots. If you’ve been following Hammerin’ Hank, you are way up. For this playoff matchup between these two division rivals, he has identified a key difference-maker that has him leaning on one side of the spread. For that, you’ll have to check out SportsLine.
« The Bills did get their revenge on the Patriots in Foxborough, but I can tell you that wasn’t enough. That defense remembers being asked if it felt embarrassed after Mac Jones attempted just three passes in its first 14-10 loss. Buffalo won 33-21 in New England the day after Christmas, but this tiebreaker is for all the marbles.
While this game is going to be just as cold as their first meeting, the wind isn’t expected to dominate the matchup. That means Josh Allen can do more through the air. Jones on the other hand has completed 16 passes in two games vs. the Bills with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Add on that the Bills have home-field advantage, and I’m taking the Bills to advance and cover. » — CBS Sports NFL writer Jordan Dajani on why he is taking the Bills to cover against New England and advance to the divisional round.
Time: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox), stream on fuboTV (try for free)
Open: Buccaneers -9
Current: Buccaneers -8.5
« This is a fun matchup from the perspective of offensive approaches. Philadelphia runs the ball more often than any team in the league (51.2%), while Tampa runs it the least often (33.8%). What isn’t as fun, at least not for Philadelphia, is that Tampa is a team you’d prefer to be able to throw the ball against because that’s its defensive weakness. The Bucs are solid against the run, which should be a problem for the Eagles. This isn’t to say that Philly won’t have any success; it’s more that it’ll be hard for Jalen Hurts and Co. to find consistent success.
« If the Eagles struggle and fall behind, that’ll put them in a position where they’re forced to throw the ball, and they aren’t good at it. Of the 14 teams to reach the postseason, only Pittsburgh has a lower passer rating than the Eagles. Still, while I don’t have the highest of hopes for the Philadelphia offense, I’m not ready to lay 8.5 points with Tampa, either, so instead the under seems like a smarter play. The fact current forecasts are calling for winds of 20-plus mph in Tampa on Sunday doesn’t hurt my confidence, either. » — CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli on why he’s taking the Under in Eagles-Buccaneers. To read the rest of his best bets, click here.
« The Bucs beat the Eagles, 28-22, in Week 6 on a Thursday night. The Eagles were struggling at the time, especially running the football. But it was after that game that their run game took off when they made a commitment to it, resulting in them leading the league in rushing. That will be the key here, but the Bucs are good against the run. Tampa Bay did give up 109 rushing yards per game in the last three, well over their season average of 92.5. The Eagles didn’t sack Tom Brady in the last meeting, so they have to be better in that area. I think the combination of Brady missing two of his top passing targets in Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown the rest of the way will slow them down some. That, coupled with the Eagles running it, will keep this close. » — CBS Sports Senior NFL analyst Pete Prisco is taking the Eagles to Cover the 8.5 point spread against the Bucs.
SportsLine expert Emory Hunt has been locked in on the Eagles, owning a remarkable 35-19-1 record in his last 55 picks involving Philadelphia. He’s now planted his flag for this playoff matchup between the Eagles and the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers and made his pick to keep that hot streak rolling. To see which way he’s leaning, you’ll have to go to SportsLine.
Time: Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET (CBS), stream on Paramount+ (click here)
Open: Cowboys -3
Current: Cowboys -3
« The Cowboys have been a stellar bet this season, owning an NFL-best 13-4 ATS record. While they have a top-ranked defense and prolific weapons on offense, the 49ers are a tough draw in this opening round. Dallas’ run defense ranks 16th in the NFL in DVOA and gave up 4.5 yards per rush (tied for fifth-most in the league) in the regular season. That plays into how Kyle Shanahan will want to play this game offensively and has weapons at the skill positions — like Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, etc. — to move the chains. Meanwhile, the Cowboys haven’t faced much adversity down the stretch as their final few weeks saw them face inferior opponents. The only game over the last month-plus where they did play a playoff contender was a 25-22 loss to the Cardinals. » — CBS Sports NFL writer Tyler Sullivan on why he not only likes the 49ers +3, but also for San Francisco to pull off the upset over Dallas. To read the rest of his picks, click here.
« One team has a dominant run game that manages the clock. The other has a head coach that struggles with clock management. Watch for that to be the difference in the game. » — CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones on why he is picking the 49ers to upset the Cowboys. To read the rest of his picks along with his latest insider notes, click here.
SportsLine expert Micah Roberts has worked in the Las Vegas sportsbook industry for 20-plus years, including a 13-year run as Station Casinos’ book director. He’s recently returned a profit of $265 on his last 11 NFL picks and has found a key X-factor in this showdown between Dallas and San Francisco. We can tell you he’s leaning Over the totals, but to see his pick against the spread, you’ll have to go to SportsLine.
Time: Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC), stream on fuboTV (try for free)
Open: Chiefs -12.5
Current: Chiefs -12.5
« To pull off the upset, the Steelers are going to need to put some serious pressure on Patrick Mahomes and force him into making multiple mistakes. Of Kansas City’s five losses this year, four of them came in games where Mahomes threw at least one interception. If the Steelers defense is good at one thing, it’s getting to the quarterback. Thanks in large part to T.J. Watt’s NFL record-tying 22.5 sacks, the Steelers racked up a total of 55 sacks this year, which led the NFL. Of the 15 games Watt played in this year, the Steelers went 8-2-1 when he recorded at least one sack and 0-3 when he didn’t. If Watt can get to Mahomes once or twice, that could give the Steelers an outside chance to pull off the upset.
« On the other hand, the biggest problem for the Steelers is that if this turns into a shootout, they simply don’t have the firepower to keep up. » — CBS Sports NFL writer John Breech, who is 11-6 ATS in Chiefs games this season, like the Steelers to cover, but K.C. to advance into the divisional round.
SportsLine’s Larry Hartstein has been on an absolute tear when it comes to betting Chiefs games. He has gone an astounding 22-8 on his last 30 picks involving Kansas City, returning $1300 to $100 bettors. For this game against Pittsburgh, that features the biggest spread on the playoff slate, Hartstein has found an X-factor that has him confidently betting one side of the spread. Go check SportsLine to see Hartstein’s pick and other analysis for Super Wild Card Weekend.
Time: Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN), stream on fuboTV (try for free)
Open: Rams -4.5
Current: Rams -4
SportsLine expert R.J. White has been white-hot in games revolving around the Los Angeles Rams. White has gone 37-25-1 on his last 63 picks involving the Rams, returning more than $900 for $100 bettors. He’s now locked in another confident pick against the spread for this final playoff matchup on the slate. We can tell you he’s leaning Under the total, but to see the critical stat that has him confidently taking one side of this head-to-head, you’ll need to go to SportsLine.
« The second divisional showdown of Super Wild Card Weekend will be played on Monday night, and it’s sure to be an exciting one. When these two teams played in Week 4, the Cardinals used a 17-3 run in the second quarter to acquire a 24-13 halftime lead. Arizona then scored 10 unanswered points in the third quarter, and that was that. In their rematch in Week 14, the Rams rode a 14-point third quarter to victory. Matthew Stafford completed 23 of 30 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns while Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. combined for 200 yards and two touchdowns. The passing game was working on Dec. 13.
« Kyler Murray has historically struggled against L.A. He’s 1-5 against the Rams with seven passing touchdowns and six interceptions. Additionally, Arizona had its worst defensive performance of the season last week against the Seattle Seahawks, which is not something you want to see right before the playoffs. Maybe you don’t think the Rams are legitimate Super Bowl contenders, but they have enough talent to win this game against a team that floundered down the stretch. » — CBS Sports’ Jordan Dajani is laying the points and rolling with the Rams to advance over the Cardinals.