2018 NFL Wild Card Expert PicksJosh Bailey
With the 2018 NFL Wild Card round quickly approaching coming this weekend, now is the perfect time for expert NFL picks that will help you in your quest to cash in early and often this coming weekend. No worries, I’ve got you covered with a quartet of expert picks on all four wild-card matchups!
2018 NFL Wild Card Expert Picks
Tenessee Titans (9-7) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
When: Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 4:20 PM ET
Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
NFL Odds: Chiefs -8
Analysis: Tennessee barely snuck into the playoffs by winning their regular season finale against a Jacksonville, but the Titans have been playing some ugly football in dropping each of their previous three games with quarterback Marcus Mariota clearly taking a few steps backward from his first two seasons in the league.
While Kansas City had a wild season by winning their first five games and then struggling mightily before winning their final four games, the Chiefs are the easy pick to win and advance in this one, seeing as how they are simply the better team on both sides of the ball. Tennessee hasn’t scored more than 24 points in their last 10 games and Kansas City has held three of their last four opponents to 15 points or less. The Chiefs win and narrowly cover the chalk, although I’m not real fond of the 8-point spread in this one!
Wild Card Expert Pick: Kansas City -8
Atlanta Falcons (10-6) at L.A. Rams (11-5)
When: Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 8:15 PM ET
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
NFL Odds: Rams -5.5
Analysis: The Falcons had to win their finale to get into the playoffs, but they’re playing their best football at just the right time, having won three of their last four and six of their last eight overall. Still, I like the Los Angeles Rams in this one simply because they’re the more explosive offensive team and have been more consistent overall this season.
While just a few percentage points separate these two defensively, I’m giving the defensive edge to the Rams because of my belief that Wade Philips is now of the greatest defensive coordinators in NFL history. This one looks like a thriller just waiting to happen, but in the end, I like the Rams to win and narrowly cover!
Wild Card Expert Pick: Rams -5.5
Buffalo Bills (9-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (10-6)
When: Sunday, January 7, 2018 at 1:05 PM ET
Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL
NFL Odds: Jaguars -8
Analysis: Jacksonville struggled a bit in dropping their final two regular-season games against San Francisco and Tennessee, but I fully expect them to regain their focus against a Buffalo Bills team that only got into the playoffs because Cincinnati upset Baltimore in their regular-season finale. Believe it or not, Jacksonville finished the regular season ranked a stellar fifth in scoring (26.1 ppg) and outstanding second in points allowed (16.8 ppg).
The Jags are just too good on both sides of the ball to lose to a Bills team has not scored more than 24 points in its last nine games and really lacks playmakers in a big way outside of quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy. I fully expect the Jags to lay a double-digit smackdown on the Bills in this one and you should too.
Wild Card Expert Pick: Jacksonville -8
Carolina Panthers (11-5) at New Orleans Saints (11-5)
When: Sunday, January 7, 2018 at 4:40 PM ET
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
NFL Odds: Saints -6
Analysis: The Saints may be playing at home in this wild-card matchup against their NFC South division rivals and they may have beaten Carolina twice during the regular season, but this game has the look and feel of a game that is going to be decided by three points no matter which team wins.
While I’m going with the incomparable Drew Brees and New Orleans to get the win in this wild card showdown because they’re playing at home, I’ll also admit that New Orleans had better bring their collective ‘A’ games against a Panthers team that looked like it could beat anyone on a couple of occassions this season. The Saints win, but the Panthers cover the chalk!