We are just 1 week away from the end of the NFL regular season, which means that the playoffs are right around the corner. As you are all well aware, the postseason begins with the Wild Card Round, which has proven to be rather unpredictable over the years. Basically, you are getting 6 teams in each conference who are not that far apart in terms of talent, so it can often feel like a bit of a coin flip when it comes to trying to figure out who will come out on top. Any advice handed out at this stage should be taken with a bit of a grain of salt, because just when you think you see trends developing, you get a weekend that throws everything out the window. We will have a clearer idea on how to wager the Wild Card once the games are set, but for now, let’s take a look at some general NFL Playoffs Betting rules.
2022-23 Playoffs Betting Advice for the NFL Wild Card Round
Home Field is Not Always an Automatic Advantage
This is a statement that we are reserving solely for the Wild Card Round. While home field has proven to be more advantageous in the Divisional and Conference Championship Rounds, it has not been that way in the Wild Card. Again, I believe that much of that comes down to parity, and in recent years we have seen teams do better on the road than they do at home. Of the 10 teams that have officially clinched a playoff spot this season, 9 have winning road records, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being the lone exception. Going on the road for a playoff game is simply not as daunting as it once seemed to be.
Seeding Can Be Misleading
It’s easy, not to mention a little lazy, to look at the seeding and assume that the higher seed is a lock. That’s not even true when you have a #2 seed go against a #7 in the Wild Card Round. Every year, it seems as though a lower seed take out one of the big guns in the opening round, with the Cincinnati Bengals falling into that category last season. You also have to look at the bigger picture, too. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to have a home playoff game as a #4 seed in the NFC, but they could potentially do so with a losing record. If the season were to end right now, would you feel comfortable betting the Bucs against the Dallas Cowboys, based on seeding alone?
Don’t Play Every Game
Let’s face it, when the playoffs roll around, we all want to get in on the action, but you really need to adopt the same approach as you would take in the regular season. That means picking the games you feel the most confident about and dodging those that feel like a bit of a risky bet. A lot of times, that could be the #4 against the #5 seed, but you could also get a #2 versus a #7 that feels a little off, too. For example, look at what the Green Bay Packers are doing right now. If they win this weekend, they nab the #7 seed and hit the playoffs on a 5-game winning streak. Sure, they will have a tough opening round game on the road, but the pressure will be more heavily on the team that’s hosting.