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NFL Wild Card Weekend 2019: Updated Odds, TV Schedule and Predictions

Jake RillContributor IIJanuary 5, 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23: Nick Foles #9 and Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles look on against the Houston Texans at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Texans 32-30. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The NFL playoffs begin on Saturday, and based on the odds entering the games, there could be some thrilling matchups on Wild Card Weekend.

Many of the seedings weren't decided until Week 17, particularly in the AFC. Now, the teams that battled for playoff spots and made it will try to begin a run to the Super Bowl.

Below is a look at the schedule and odds for all of the wild-card matchups, as well as predictions for each game.

     

Wild-Card Schedule and Odds (via OddsShark)

Saturday, Jan. 5

No. 6 Indianapolis Colts at No. 3 Houston Texans, 4:35 p.m. ET, ESPN/ABC
Odds: Texans -1.5; Over/Under: 48.5

No. 5 Seattle Seahawks at No. 4 Dallas Cowboys, 8:15 p.m. ET, Fox
Odds: Cowboys -2; Over/Under: 43.5

     

Sunday, Jan. 6

No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers at No. 4 Baltimore Ravens, 1:05 p.m. ET, CBS
Odds: Ravens -3; Over/Under: 41.5

No. 6 Philadelphia Eagles at No. 3 Chicago Bears, 4:40 p.m. ET, NBC
Odds: Bears -6.5; Over/Under: 41.5

     

Where to Watch: NFL playoff games, studio shows and more are available through fuboTV.

      

Predictions

Indianapolis at Houston

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 30:  J.J. Watt #99 of the Houston Texans battles Corey Robinson #79 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at NRG Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Texans won 11 games during the regular season, their most since going 12-4 in 2012. Although they won the AFC South for the third time in four years, they'll be seeking only their second playoff victory during that stretch.

The Colts are in the playoffs for the first time since the 2014 season. They went 8-8 in both 2015 and 2016, then 4-12 in 2017 before winning 10 games this season.

This game should be close, much like it was both times Houston and Indianapolis played during the regular season.

Although the Colts won in Houston on Dec. 9, the Texans will rely on their offensive playmakers and strong pass rush to advance to the Divisional Round, where they will take on the No. 2-seeded New England Patriots.

Pick: Texans 27, Colts 21

      

Seattle at Dallas

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 23:   Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Cowboys had a strong second half of the season to win their third NFC East title in five seasons. Now, they'll look to end their recent playoff struggles. Since 2010, Dallas has only won one postseason game—a wild-card matchup against the Detroit Lions in the 2014 season.

After their five-year playoff streak ended last season, the Seahawks are back in the postseason after going 10-6 and clinching the first wild-card spot. Although some of the key players from the Seattle teams that went to back-to-back Super Bowls in the 2013 and 2014 seasons—including quarterback Russell Wilson—are older, the Seahawks are still a strong team.

Seattle beat Dallas, 24-13, on Sept. 23, but the Cowboys are a much-improved team now.

Led by the NFL's leading rusher, Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas will pull away late in the second half to eliminate Seattle from the postseason.

Pick: Cowboys 31, Seahawks 17

      

Los Angeles at Baltimore

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 30: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens huddles with teammates in the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at M&T Bank Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson took over the Ravens' offense midseason, and after that point, Baltimore became a much better team. The dynamic QB led the Ravens to their first AFC North title since 2012, ending a three-year playoff drought.

The Chargers ended a four-year playoff drought, as they're in the postseason for only the second time in the past nine seasons. It's their first playoff appearance since relocating to Los Angeles prior to the 2017 season.

These two teams have recent history, as the Ravens traveled to Los Angeles and beat the Chargers, 22-10, on Dec. 22.

Now, Baltimore will have the home-field advantage. And in his rookie debut, expect Jackson to thrive and lead the Ravens into the Divisional Round.

Pick: Ravens 21, Chargers 17

        

Philadelphia at Chicago

The Bears won their first NFC North title since 2010, and this will also be their first playoff appearance since that season. Chicago won 12 games, its most since 2006, powered by a strong defense and second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

It took until Week 17, but the defending Super Bowl-champion Eagles pushed their way back into the postseason. They clinched the final playoff spot in the NFC with a win and a Minnesota Vikings loss in Week 17. Now, they'll look to win back-to-back Super Bowls after having never won one prior to last season.

Although the Bears are the heaviest favorite among the four wild-card matchups, the Eagles have had much more recent postseason success. And backup quarterback Nick Foles, who will again be starting for Philadelphia, keeps finding ways to lead it to victory.

This one will come down to the end, but Foles and the Eagles will again pull out a win.

Pick: Eagles 31, Bears 28

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