NFL Playoffs 2020: Odds, Schedule and Bracket Predictions for Wild Card Games

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2019

El quarterback Drew Brees, de los Saints de Nueva Orleáns, lanza un pase en el duelo con los Panthers de Carolina, el domingo 29 de diciembre de 2019, en Charlotte, Carolina del Norte. (AP Foto/Brian Blanco)
Brian Blanco/Associated Press

The 2019 regular season is over. The race for Super Bowl LIV now begins.

The postseason kicks off on Saturday with a pair of wild-card games. Two more will take place on Sunday, while the four top seeds—the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs—spend the week on a bye.

Here, you'll find a look at the full schedule for Wild Card Weekend, along with the latest odds and over/unders from Caesars.

        

2020 Wild Card Weekend

Saturday, January 4

David Dermer/Associated Press

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans

When: 4:25 p.m. ET

TV and Live Stream: ESPN, WatchESPN

Line and O/U: HOU -3, 41.5

     

When the Houston Texans host the Buffalo Bills on Saturday afternoon, fans will be treated to a classic offense-versus-defense battle.

Houston took home the AFC South thanks to the efforts of offensive stars like Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins and Carlos Hyde. While the Bills boast a strong rushing attack, they've won largely due to a defense that has allowed just 16.2 points per game.

Most of this game will feature battles of strengths. However, there's one area that could give Buffalo a decided edge: Houston's lackluster pass defense.

Buffalo is a run-first team. However, it has gotten some key plays from quarterback Josh Allen down the stretch. When teams have struggled to stifle him—see the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers games—he has generally led the Bills to victory. This is a serious problem for the Texans and their 29th-ranked pass defense.

Expect the Bills to keep this one close and to get just enough plays from Allen near the end to pull off the upset.

Prediction: Buffalo 26-23

    

Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots

When: 8:15 p.m. ET

TV and Live Stream: CBS, CBS All Access

Line and O/U: No Line

  

Thanks to a surprising Week 17 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the New England Patriots find themselves without a first-round bye for the first time since 2009. They could also find themselves in trouble, as the Tennessee Titans are one of the hottest teams in football.

Tennessee has won seven of 10 games since making the switch to Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. The Titans feature the NFL's rushing leader in Derrick Henry and have a defense that has allowed just 20.7 points per game.

Still, it's hard to pick against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in the early postseason. New England is a mess offensively, but it still has the most experienced quarterback-coach duo in the playoffs and a high-level defense. The Patriots haven't lost hope, either.

"We still have opportunity in front of us here," Belichick said, per Hayden Bird of Boston.com.

Expect the Patriots to pull out enough tricks to win a close one.

Prediction: New England 20-17

           

Sunday, January 5

Brian Blanco/Associated Press

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

When: 1:-5 p.m. ET

TV and Live Stream: Fox, Fox Sports Go

Line and O/U: No Line

After watching the New Orleans Saints dismantle the Carolina Panthers 42-10 in Week 17, it's difficult to see them falling in the opening round.

Yes, the Minnesota Vikings are a much better team than Carolina—hence, their presence in the playoffs—but the Saints are hitting their stride at the right time. They've been playing playoff football for the last three weeks while chasing a first-round bye. The Vikings rested their starters in Week 17.

The Vikings are also unlikely to have a healthy Dalvin Cook. Minnesota's star running back has been dealing with a shoulder injury and was unlikely to play in the finale even if the Vikings hadn't sat their key players.

If Minnesota hopes to outduel Drew Brees and Co. or outplay New Orleans' 11th-ranked defense, it will need all the offensive firepower it can muster. Even then, there may not be enough to knock off the Saints in the Superdome on Sunday.

Prediction: New Orleans 33-24

        

Vera Nieuwenhuis/Associated Press

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles

When: 4:40 p.m. ET

TV and Live Stream: NBC, NBC Sports

Line and O/U: PHI -1, 46

     

This is a tough game to predict, as the Philadelphia Eagles have been playing an inspired brand of football as of late. The Seattle Seahawks, meanwhile, have lost three of their last four.

This still feels like the sort of game that Seattle could win, though. The Seahawks have been an effective road team this season—they've gone 7-1—and they have a quarterback in Russell Wilson who has delivered in big-game moments before.

While Carson Wentz has been excellent down the stretch for the Eagles, this will be his first taste of postseason football.

The problem for Seattle is that it is likely to be completely one-dimensional offensively in this game. The Seahawks are down to the likes of Travis Homer and the recently signed Marshawn Lynch at running back. They'll be going up against Philadelphia's third-ranked run defense. The Seahawks also do not have a high-end defense—it's ranked 26th overall.

Expect Philadelphia to contain Wilson just enough to win a shootout via a late-game surge.

Prediction: Philadelphia 30-28

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