NFL Playoff Picture 2023: Wild-Card Odds, Picks and Matchup Scenarios
The NFL's Wild Card Weekend is always the perfect stage for high drama.
It's right there in the name, and just like in years past, anything can happen.
There are those teams that are obviously in the top tier when it comes to winning records.
And then there are the teams that made it in by the skin of their teeth.
What's fun about this weekend is that there could be some upsets and there could be none.
It's all a possibility, so fans are always primed to go to the games or tune in to see what happens.
On paper, San Francisco should easily beat Seattle, Los Angeles is expected to make quick work of Jacksonville, Buffalo should have no problem dispatching Miami, Minnesota has the upper hand against New York, Cincinnati ought to defeat Baltimore and Dallas should take care of business against Tampa Bay.
But all of that is just the oddsmakers talking.
The games still have to be played and, if history is any indicator, any one of these teams can show up and win.
Here's a look at the odds, picks and a closer look at the marquee matchups.
NFL Wild-Card Weekend Odds
Saturday, January 14
Seattle at San Francisco (-9.5) (Over/Under: 42.5), 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX
Los Angeles Chargers (-2) at Jacksonville (O/U: 47.5), 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC
Sunday, January 15
Miami at Buffalo (-13) (O/U: 43.5), 1 p.m. ET, CBS
New York Giants at Minnesota (-3) (O/U: 48), 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX
Baltimore at Cincinnati (-8.5) (O/U: 40.5), 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC
Monday, January 16
Dallas (-2.5) at Tampa Bay (O/U: 45.5), 8:15 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
*picks in bold
New York Giants at Minnesota
The New York Giants have been chomping at the bit to get back to that old playoff feeling since 2016.
Now they're back in it, and they are going to be tough to beat.
The Giants have a dynamic duo in Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, and they're led by a rookie head coach in Brian Daboll who has injected new life into his team.
"We're definitely not satisfied just to make the playoffs. That's not how we see it as a group," Jones told ESPN's Jordan Raanan. "We were confident dating back to training camp and knew what we were able to accomplish. We are by no means satisfied to be in the playoffs. We expect to play well and to win and that is our expectation every week. That hasn't changed."
That said, this is a game that the Minnesota Vikings are supposed to win.
Minnesota already beat New York 27-24 back in Week 16 on Greg Joseph's walk-off game-winning 61-yard field goal.
It was quite the moment for the Vikings, but it may have shown a few chinks in the armor that the Giants may look to exploit on Sunday.
Fans should expect Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson to bring the noise, but their depleted offensive line could be a factor, as well as their lackluster defense.
For Minnesota to win this one, they'll have to get after Jones and push him out of the pocket.
The last time these two teams played, the Vikings did get three sacks on Jones, but outside of that, New York's QB seemed to do what he wanted, when he wanted.
Minnesota is favored to get this win at home, which would give Cousins just his second career playoff win, but in the end, this might be a game that winds up falling into the upset column.
Dallas at Tampa Bay
Will the real Dallas Cowboys stand up?
Or more importantly, will they show up on Monday when they hit the road to go up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their house?
Despite their 12-5 record, the Cowboys haven't looked like the same team of late, losing two of their last five and one they were not supposed to lose to the Washington Commanders last week.
And their biggest problem lies with Dak Prescott, who seemed to have waited until the end of the regular season to play his worst football.
In the last four games, he's thrown three interceptions there were returned for touchdowns.
He's also throw a pick in seven straight games.
Prescott is missing throws, overthrowing others and has been woefully inaccurate, which was on full display in the 26-6 loss to Washington.
He only completed 37.8% of his passes (14 of 37) and looked disoriented.
He can't do that against Tom Brady.
Tom Brady isn't quite Tom Brady anymore, but he's still Tom Brady, the best to ever do it at his position, and this is the playoffs, where he's made his legend.
Prescott will have to find himself between now and Monday if he wants to lead his team out of Tampa Bay with a much-needed playoff win.
For what it's worth, Prescott is "being accountable" for his shortcomings of late and his teammates still believe that he can get the job done.
"I know what Dak's going to do. I know he's a winner," Trevon Diggs said, per The 33rd Team. "Regardless of what his last game was, he's always going to come back with a stronger game, so I'm never sweating. I'm never tripping. I know Dak is going to lead us to where we need to go."
As bad as Dallas has played during it's last four games, Tampa Bay has its own problems and not even Brady can overcome them.
America's team also has CeeDee Lamb, who should have a huge game on Monday.
By the time this game ends, Brady will likely log his first postseason loss to the Cowboys.