NFL Playoffs Bracket 2021: Betting Lines and Odds for AFC, NFC Wild Card Round

The NFL playoffs get underway this weekend with a revamped postseason format featuring six games in the Wild Card Round.

With the exception of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers, who secured the No. 1 seed in the AFC and NFC respectively, all other 12 playoffs teams are in action over Saturday and Sunday.

The Buffalo Bills host a playoff game for the first time in 25 years, while the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers return to the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and 2007 respectively.

Washington, meanwhile, returns to the postseason for the first time since 2015 after becoming only the third team in NFL history to win its division with a losing record.

Here's how bookmakers expect games in the Wild Card Round to pan out.

Saturday, January 9

Indianapolis Colts @ Buffalo Bills—1:05 p.m. ET, CBS

The Bills are 6.5-point favorites with William Hill and are 9-10 to cover the spread in their first playoff game at home in 25 years, while the Colts are 5-2 underdogs.

Buffalo was a league-best 11-5 against the spread this season, covering the spread in 68.8 percent of games by an average of 5.6 points. Indianapolis, meanwhile, was 5-3 against the spread on the road but lost the only game it started as underdog on the road.

The over/under line in terms of total points scored is set at 46.5, which is somewhat conservative given both teams ranked in the top 10 in scoring offense in the NFL this season—the Bills scored a second-best 31.3 points per game, while the Colts put up a ninth-best 28.1 points per game.

Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks to throw a pass during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Bills Stadium on January 3 in Orchard Park, New York. Timothy T Ludwig/Getty

Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks—4:40 p.m. ET, FOX

The Seattle Seahawks opened as 4.5-point favorite with BetMGM, but the line has since moved to 3.5 with Seattle 5-6 to cover the spread, while the Rams are 7-5 underdogs. The over/under line is set at 40.5 and if the regular-season matchups are anything to go by, points could be hard to come on Saturday afternoon. The two teams split the regular-season series with the Rams winning 23-16 at home in Week 10 and the Seahawks defeating their NFC West rivals 20-9 in Week 16.

The Rams arrive into the playoffs after allowing the fewest points and fewest yards per game in the NFL this season—18.5 and 281.9 respectively—while after a dismal start to the season, the Seahawks defense hasn't allowed more than 23 points in eight straight games since a 44-34 loss in Buffalo in Week 9.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Football Team—8:15 p.m. ET, NBC

FanDuel has Tampa Bay is as 7.5-point favorite in its first playoff game since 2007, while Washington is a 3-1 underdog as it returns to the postseason for the first time since 2015 and the over/under line is set at 46.5 points.

The Bucs are 9-10 to cover the spread, which they have done on 50 percent of occasions when playing on the road this season. Washington, on the other hand, is 5-3 against the spread in eight games at FedEx Field this year.

Perhaps more than any other game in the Wild Card round, the matchup in Washington pits two diametrically opposite styles of football against each other. The Bucs' free-scoring offense averaged 30.8 points per game, the third-highest total in the NFL this season, but Tampa is 0-4 against the spread against teams that give up 21 or fewer points per game. Washington fits the bill, as the Football Team has allowed 20.5 points per game this season, the fourth-lowest total in the NFL, and is 4-0 against the spread when playing teams that score at least 28 points per game. Notably, Washington has held those teams to 17.5 points per game.

Sunday, January 10

Baltimore Ravens @ Tennessee Titans—1:05 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Ravens and the Titans cross path again in a rematch of last season's Divisional Round matchup, in which Tennessee upset Baltimore on the road. The Ravens are 3.5-point favorite and are even odds to cover the spread, while the Titans are 6-4 underdogs, despite winning in 30-24 in overtime in Baltimore in Week 11.

The Ravens are 11-5 against the spread this season, but just 3-3 against the spread when on the road as favorite, while the Titans are 7-9 against the spread this season. The over/under line in terms of points scored is set at 54.5, just marginally higher than the combined total when the two AFC rivals met in Week 11. Baltimore's offense, however, has caught fire after Lamar Jackson returned from a 10-day hiatus because of coronavirus at the beginning of December and the Ravens have averaged 37.2 points over the last five games, during which they have scored less than 27 points just once.

Only three other teams have scored more points than Tennessee this season and expect the Titans to again turn to Derrick Henry, who led the NFL in rushing with 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.

A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans
A.J. Brown #11 of the Tennessee Titans rushes against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. The two teams meet in Nashville, Tennessee in the Wild Card Round on Sunday. Patrick Smith/Getty

Chicago Bears @ New Orleans Saints—4:40 p.m. ET, CBS

New Orleans opened as 8.5-point favorite with BetMGM but the line has now moved up to 10, while Chicago is a 7-2 underdog. The Saints are 5-6 to cover the spread, which they have done 56.2 percent of times this season, while the Bears are 8-8 against the spread and 4-3 against the spread as road underdog.

The over/under line is set at 42.5 points, which seems somewhat conservative given the Saints boast the fifth-best scoring offense at an average of 30.1 points per game. The Bears, on the other hand, ranked 23rd in points scored and haven't won a playoff game on the road since 1994.

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers—8:15 p.m. ET, NBC

The Steelers opened as 4.5-point favorite but the line has since moved up to 6 and Pittsburgh is 9-10 to cover the spread, while Cleveland is a 12-5 underdog. The Browns defeated their AFC North rivals last week to clinch a first playoff spot since 2002 but the Steelers will have a very different look on Sunday, when they'll welcome back some of the starters that were rested in Week 17 including veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is 24-2-1 against the Browns.

Cleveland hasn't won in Pittsburgh since 2013 and is 3-5 against the spread on the road this season, while the Steelers have covered the spread five times when playing at Heinz Field this season.

The two regular-season meetings have produced 46 and 45 points this season and the over/under line in terms of points scored is set at 47.5.