NFL Playoff Odds 2022: AFC, NFC Vegas Lines for Wild Card and Super BowlJanuary 13, 2022
NFL Playoff Odds 2022: AFC, NFC Vegas Lines for Wild Card and Super Bowl
The real race for Super Bowl LVI has begun. While the NFL's inaugural 18-week season was perhaps even more entertaining than expected—plenty was left to play for in the final week—there's nothing better than win-or-go-home football.
This year's 14-team playoff field features few true powerhouses. It's a wildly diverse group that should make for some intriguing stylistic matchups. Quite a few of those clashes will occur on Super Wild Card Weekend. While Vegas certainly has its favorites, anything can happen in an elimination game.
We're likely to know a lot more about the field as a whole by Tuesday morning.
Here, you'll find a look at the full playoff schedule, the latest lines and predictions for the Wild Card Round and the latest Super Bowl odds.
2021-22 Playoff Schedule
Wild Card Round
Saturday, January 15
4:30 p.m. ET: Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals on NBC
8:15 p.m. ET: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills on CBS
Sunday, January 16
1 p.m. ET: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Fox
4:30 p.m. ET: San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys on CBS, Nickelodeon, Amazon Prime Video
8:15 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs on NBC
Monday, January 17
8:15 p.m. ET: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams on ESPN, ABC
Saturday, January 22
4:30 p.m. ET: Game TBD
8:15 p.m. ET: Game TBD
Sunday, January 23
3 p.m. ET: Game TBD
6:30 p.m. ET: Game TBD
Sunday, January 30
3 p.m. ET: AFC on CBS
6:30 p.m. ET: NFC on Fox
Super Bowl LVI
Sunday, February 13
6:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Super Wild Card Weekend
Las Vegas Raiders (+5) at Cincinnati Bengals
I like what the Las Vegas Raiders became over the second half of the season. Under interim coach Rich Bisaccia, they morphed into a tough, gritty team willing to claw until the final whistle.
Make no mistake, the Raiders won't be an easy out in the playoffs, but it's hard to see them getting past Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Ja'Marr Chase and the Cincinnati Bengals' high-powered offense. Derek Carr and Co. will really have to exploit Cincinnati's 26th-ranked pass defense to pull the upset here.
The problem is that Mixon and the Bengals rushing attack can allow Cincinnati to control the tempo and the clock. The Bengals ran over the Raiders during a 32-13 meeting in Las Vegas during the regular season.
This game shouldn't be as lopsided, but if the line continues to creep toward Las Vegas, the Raiders will have a hard time covering.
New England Patriots (+4) at Buffalo Bills
This is one of the games that could easily go either way. The Patriots and Bills split their regular-season series, though only Buffalo won in truly convincing fashion.
During New England's 14-10 victory, Bill Belichick went almost exclusively with the ground game—rookie quarterback Mac Jones attempted three passes. A lot in the Round 3 battle will hinge on Jones' ability to play better than he did over the final month.
Jones had six touchdown passes and six turnovers over his final four games. Three touchdowns came against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.
Beating Belichick twice in one season is hard, though, and I really don't like giving up four points to New England. I like Buffalo to win, but I'd back the Patriots and the points unless the line moves below a field goal.
Philadelphia Eagles (+8.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The line feels way too large in this game, which leads me to believe that Vegas is expecting a big Tampa Bay Buccaneers victory here.
While it's worth noting that the regular-season meeting with the Eagles was played in Philadelphia, the Bucs only won that game by six points. Tampa is also without receivers Chris Godwin (torn ACL) and Antonio Brown, who was released.
Tampa's third-ranked run defense does match up well with Philadelphia's run-heavy attack. However, the Buccaneers have been gashed on the ground at times—the Bills, for example, rushed for 173 in Week 14.
Jalen Hurts is just as dangerous on the ground as Bills quarterback Josh Allen, and Philly may have more success running the ball than may expect. I don't see the Eagles winning outright, but they can cover. Tampa has not regularly blown out opponents this season, and I don't think it happens Sunday.
San Francisco 49ers (+3) at Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are not afraid of the San Francisco 49ers' physical approach to running the football and playing tough defense.
"I'm from Harrisburg, where the bullies get bullied," Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons said, per Michael Gehklen of the Dallas Morning News. "There's a bully in every gym. ... At one point, it's going to take somebody to stand up and fight. I ain't ever back down from a challenge."
While Dallas may be ready for a physical fight, the 49ers are better equipped for it. Led by running back Elijah Mitchell and do-it-all playmaker Deebo Samuel, San Francisco can indeed bully Dallas' turnover-dependent defense—Dallas went 1-3 in games when it didn't force a turnover.
The key factor here will be limiting mistakes and getting a clean performance from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. There's no guarantee that happens, though, and while the 49ers are entirely capable of upsetting the Cowboys, a three-point line here is one I'd look to avoid on either side.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+12.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
Large lines are usually best avoided in the postseason, but this could be a rare exception. The Pittsburgh Steelers narrowly squeaked into the playoffs, while the Kansas City Chiefs narrowly missed out on the No. 1 seed.
While Kansas City is far from a perfect team, it came together nicely down the stretch. A shootout loss to the Bengals was the Chiefs' only blemish over their final 10 games.
The Steelers have repeatedly started slowly against teams not named the Cleveland Browns this year, and that was the case when they faced Kansas City during the regular season. While Pittsburgh did rally—but ultimately still lost—against the Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota Vikings, that didn't happen against the Chiefs.
Kansas City cruised to a 36-10 victory the last time these two teams met. Unless the Chiefs completely look past Pittsburgh and to the divisional round, they should again win by two touchdowns or more.
Arizona Cardinals (+3.5) at Los Angeles Rams
Here, we have another divisional matchup and another game that could end in an upset. The Cardinals and Rams split their regular-season series and are now poised for the rubber match.
This is another game I'd prefer to avoid, as it's hard telling which Cardinals team will show. Arizona won by 17 in the first meeting with L.A. but lost four of its last five games and limped into the postseason as a wild-card team.
The Cardinals are not expected to have wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins back from MCL surgery, and that's likely to be a significant factor here. Arizona struggled mightily without him down the stretch, even losing to the Detroit Lions.
Yes, the Cardinals handled Dallas in Week 16, but that may say more about the Cowboys than it does Arizona.
I'll reluctantly go with the Rams here, though I'd feel better about it with a lower line. Los Angeles won by a touchdown in the last meeting, and I could see this one being even closer.
Latest Super Bowl Odds
Green Bay Packers: 19-5
Kansas City Chiefs: 9-2
Buffalo Bills: 8-1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8-1
Tennessee Titans: 17-2
Los Angeles Rams 10-1
Dallas Cowboys: 12-1
Cincinnati Bengals: 18-1
San Francisco 49ers: 20-1
New England Patriots: 22-1
Arizona Cardinals: 25-1
Las Vegas Raiders: 60-1
Philadelphia Eagles: 60-1
Pittsburgh Steelers: 90-1
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
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