Just like how nothing is more important in a NFL playoff game than being the first team on the board, nothing is more important for betting on the NFL playoffs than getting off to a quick start. One of the easiest ways you can do that is with a high-value, low-risk parlay that mixes some surefire NFL picks against the spread with a slight underdog that has a good chance of winning.
With our three-team parlay for the NFL’s Wild Card round starting this weekend, you can get your playoff betting plans started on a high note. Let’s go through the three-teamer based on the current NFL betting lines:
Leg #1: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-4, -110)
It’s always a little extra intriguing when division foes face off in the playoffs because the third meeting in one season can tend to be different from the previous two. That might be the case for the Patriots and Bills because their first matchup was a weather/wind game that New England won despite Mac Jones throwing just three passes and the second matchup was a Bills win that Buffalo was in control of for most of the way.
Look for Saturday’s game to be somewhere in the middle with the Bills winning by a little bit more than the spread on the BetUS sportsbook indicates. Both teams have elite defenses and good offenses but it’s going to be in the single digits at night in Buffalo, which could make things especially tough for Jones, who the Patriots’ coaching staff has reined in a bit the last couple of weeks as he has struggled.
Josh Allen, on the other hand, played his college ball at Wyoming and has been in Western New York for a few seasons so he’s more comfortable with the frigid temperatures. The Bills have also gotten Devin Singletary more involved in the offense in the second half of the season so he could have a big day against a New England defense that is 22nd in rushing yards allowed and 25th in yards allowed per carry. There are too many factors favoring the Bills here.
Leg #2: San Francisco 49ers (+130 ML) at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are riding high entering the postseason, having won five of six. The Dallas offense has scored 50+ points twice in the last three weeks, the Cowboys are first in the NFL in scoring offense and yards from scrimmage, and the Dallas defense has allowed the seventh-fewest points.
So, it might be a surprise that the Cowboys are only three-point favorites at home against the 49ers, who needed to win their final two games to make the playoffs. But, when you dig a little deeper, San Francisco has a good chance of pulling off an upset.
The 49ers have lost two games since the middle of November and have beaten the Los Angeles Rams (twice) and Cincinnati Bengals in that span. This season, San Francisco has allowed the third-fewest yards from scrimmage in the NFL and is in the top-10 in points, passing yards, and rushing yards allowed.
Jimmy Garoppolo has had his struggles with turnovers as of late — throwing two picks in each of his last two games — but Deebo Samuel has turned into an explosive runner and pass-catcher, Trey Lance has shown that he can be used effectively by Kyle Shanahan even if he doesn’t start, Elijah Mitchell has become a No. 1 back, Brandon Aiyuk is a legitimate starting wide receiver, and George Kittle is working his way back to full health. San Francisco has weapons to throw at a star-laden but not elite Dallas defense and can shock the Cowboys.
Leg #3: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (-4, -110)
If you’re betting online, you should wrap up the parlay with the Rams as home favorites against a Cardinals team they split two games with this season. It’s been a struggle for both Arizona and Los Angeles in recent weeks, but the Rams have managed to win five of their last six games while the Cardinals have lost four of five.
Matthew Stafford is dealing with a few nagging injuries and has been turnover-prone down the stretch, throwing multiple interceptions in each of his last four games. With that said, though, the Rams have found ways to win games thanks to Stafford’s continued near-perfect play in fourth quarters — he has 12 touchdowns and no picks in the final frame this season — and an opportunistic defense which has forced at least one turnover in seven-straight games.
Arizona, on the other hand, hasn’t been the same team since DeAndre Hopkins went down. The Cardinals also might not have Chase Edmonds (back) for Monday’s game. Kyler Murray hasn’t been bad lately, but he has had to shoulder a heavier burden with a lot of his playmakers out and his defense going through the motions. Murray’s sweet spot is probably 30-34 pass attempts a game — a number he regularly at earlier in the year when the Cardinals couldn’t lose — yet he has thrown the ball 38+ times in each of his last five games, four of which were losses.
The Cardinals are in a funk and the only solution for that funk seems to be Hopkins, but he isn’t ready to come back just yet. The Rams’ pass rush should play a huge role in this one too.