NFL Wild Card Round: Vikings-Saints in Epic Playoff Rematch

We’ve finally made it. The 2019-20 NFL postseason begins this Saturday with the two AFC Wild Card games, followed by the two NFC matchups on Sunday. This has been a remarkable year for the NFL’s senior conference; in our view, Sunday will feature the most exciting games on the NFL betting board at Bovada Sportsbook. Here’s what’s in store for Wild Card Weekend, with some added tips and insight to help you bet on the NFL postseason like a pro.

2019 NFL Wild Card Round Best Odds and Matchups

1. Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (Sunday, 1:05 PM ET, FOX)

This is a rematch of that crazy Divisional Round matchup from two years ago, which the Vikings (–4 at home) won 29-24 when Case Keenum connected with Stefon Diggs on a 61-yard touchdown pass with no time left on the clock. The circumstances are a bit different this time; Kirk Cousins is Minnesota’s quarterback now, and the Saints (13-3 SU, 11-5 ATS) are 8-point favorites at the Superdome with a total of 50.

It’s pretty much dumb luck that New Orleans became the one 13-3 team in the NFC that had to play on Wild Card Weekend. They’re arguably the best team in the conference, with quality players all across the field and a former Super Bowl MVP at quarterback in Drew Brees. The Vikings (10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS) aren’t quite as good as they were two years ago, but they are a profitable commodity on this year’s NFL lines.

2. Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, 4:40 PM ET, NBC)

It could be argued that the Seahawks (11-5 SU, 7-8-1 ATS) are better than Minnesota; they’ve got the shorter odds on NFL Sunday at –2.5 versus the Eagles (9-7 SU, 7-9 ATS), who snuck into the playoffs by winning the woeful NFC East. However, Seattle’s injury list has ballooned over the last few weeks. Their backfield is now anchored by fourth-string RB Travis Homer and former Seahawks great Marshawn Lynch, who was signed off the street alongside former back-up Robert Turbin.

Philadelphia’s injuries might be even worse. They have major issues on both sides of the ball, with 12 players on injured reserve – RG Brandon Brooks joined the pile this week with a dislocated shoulder. At least the Eagles will be playing at home though. The game-time forecast calls for a chance of snow and temperatures dipping to the low 30s. But their Super Bowl 54 chances are looking pretty slim at +3500, well behind the ‘Hawks at +2500.

3. Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (Saturday, 8:15 PM ET, CBS)

This is the first time the Patriots (12-4 SU, 8-7-1 ATS) have had to play on Wild Card Weekend since 2009 – none of their six Super Bowl victories came without a first-round bye in their pocket. And with QB Tom Brady looking more and more like his NFL days are numbered, the defending champs are only laying 4.5 points to the Titans (9-7 SU, 8-7-1 ATS), who are 7-3 SU and 6-3-1 ATS since Ryan Tannehill took over as their starting quarterback.

Even so, Brady and the Pats usually find a way to beat the NFL betting odds, at least in the early rounds of the postseason. “Defense wins championships” is the mantra for sharp football betting tips, and New England’s defense is even better this year than it was in the early 2000s, when Brady was still a young game-manager at quarterback. Don’t count them out just yet.

4. Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans (Saturday, 4:35 PM ET, ESPN)

Somebody has to be the opening act for Wild Card Weekend. The Texans (10-6 SU, 7-8-1 ATS) have the worst Super Bowl 54 odds of all six division winners at +5000; the Bills (10-6 SU, 9-5-2 ATS) are last among all 12 playoff teams at +6600. They’re also 3-point road dogs for this matchup, with a low total on the NFL odds board at 44 despite playing indoors at NRG Stadium.

It might be the ugliest of the four Wild Card games, but ugly games are beautiful when it comes to NFL betting tips. Buffalo’s superior defense makes them a decent value pick in this situation, even if the Texans have this matchup’s marquee player in QB Deshaun Watson, who was in the MVP conversation not too long ago. Stay tuned to Bovada Sportsbook for the latest odds and analysis on all these games as we get closer to crowning a new champion.

*Odds as of January 1st, 2020