NFL Playoffs Wild Card Predictions: 5 Best Picks Against The Spread

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Playoffs Wild Card Predictions: 5 Best Picks Against The Spread

College Football Predictions

NFL Playoffs Wild Card Predictions: 5 Best Picks Against The Spread

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5 best predictions for the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs. What appear to be the best bets and picks?


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There are only six games to choose from, so the goal from the bowl season – with all the bowls broken up into a chunks – remains in place – hit .600.

The result? Meh … 11-9. But I made up for my Michigan pick debacle – and a few all-time acts of God – with Ohio State and then Georgia and the over in the national title game.

And when I had time this season to do this for the NFL back in Week 14? 4-1.

I know, blah, blah, blah, it’s NFL Playoff time, get to the picks already.

March Madness is fun, and of course I love the entirety of the college football season above all, but … (shhhhhhh, whispering) six Wild Card games; this is the best sports weekend of the year.

Click on each game for the game preview

5. Seattle at San Francisco

LINE San Francisco -9.5
ATS PICK Seattle

We start with two beliefs I can’t shake when it comes the Wild Card, and it might already be proven positive – or be exposed as a whole pile of hoo-ha – by the time you read this.

1) Rookie quarterbacks scare me, because 2) there are almost certainly going to be turnovers in key moments.

Brock Purdy has been phenomenal.

He might be a rookie – and he might have been the last player selected in the 2022 NFL Draft – but he has a ton of miles logged in from his college days. Over the finishing kick he has been nothing short of a season-saver for the 49ers.

It helps to have that defense and that running game to take the heat off, but he’s been solid because there hasn’t been a lot down the field.. Since taking over he has thrown multiple touchdown passes in each of the last six games and just three interceptions.

The parts are in place defensively, the 49ers have Elijah Mitchell ready to do more in a rotation with Christian McCaffrey, and …

Poor Seattle. Poor, poor Seattle.

It lost three of its last four games, needed overtime to get by the Rams – and the gift of the Lions deciding to try against the Packers – for the honor of losing to San Francisco for a third time this year.

Poor, poor, poor Seattle.

This is where that rookie quarterback thing might just kick in.

As I pointed out in the game preview, San Francisco is 13-0 when it doesn’t turn the ball over multiple times, and 0-4 when it does. On the flip side, Seattle has forced two or more takeaways in 12 of its 17 games, and two of the five outliers were against the 49ers.

Eventually, the puck luck – or the Purdy forced third down throw luck – has to bounce Seattle’s way. In the pressure of the playoffs – with all of it on the San Francisco side of the field – there will be multiple turnovers.

I can’t get there with Seattle to win outright, but getting 9.5 against a rookie QB? I’ll take my chances, because you always go with the underdogs in big-spread NFL games like (cough … cough …)

CFN Experts Picks: Seahawks at 49ers

NEXT: NFL Pick Against the Spread No. 4: Miami at Buffalo

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