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Chris Rivers’ NFL Wild Card Round Betting Tips: Giants to shock Vikings in 29/20 call

It’s time for the NFL to get serious as the race to reach the Super Bowl moves into top gear with the start of the playoffs, and Chris Rivers is here to bring us his favourite bets for wild card weekend.

San Francisco 49ers -10 vs Seattle Seahawks @ 10/11 

Under 47.5 points in Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars @ 10/11 

New York Giants to beat the Minnesota Vikings @ 29/20 

Cincinnati Bengals -6.5 vs Baltimore Ravens @ 10/11

While the number one seeds in the AFC and NFC conferences, the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles, get a bye through the first round of the playoffs, the remaining 12 teams are getting set to square off.

There are some tasty match-ups on the slate, including three divisional showdowns, with the curtain coming down on the action in Tampa Bay, where Tom Brady and the Buccaneers welcome in the Dallas Cowboys. 

It all gets underway on Saturday in the Bay Area, where the red-hot 49ers are expected to take care of business against the Seattle Seahawks. 

San Fran to clip ‘Hawks wings

WhatSeattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
WhereLevi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
When21:35, Saturday 14th January
How to watchSky Sports Main Event & NFL
Odds49ers 2/11, Seahawks 17/4

These two NFC West rivals have already met twice this season with San Francisco winning and covering the handicap on both occasions. 

That pattern seems unlikely to change based on how these two sides enter the playoffs with the San Francisco 49ers the hottest team in the NFL right now. 

The Niners rattled off 10 straight wins to storm to the divisional title, winning by an average of 16.1 points per game during that run. 

Despite losing their two first-choice quarterbacks to injury, the offence has actually improved under rookie signal caller Brock Purdy, averaging over 30 points per game during their winning run. 

The defence has also stepped up to the plate too, led by defensive player of the year favourite Nick Bosa, and ranks number one for yards and points per game allowed. 

Seattle have punched above their weight to reach this point having been pegged for a top-10 draft pick at the start of the season. 

They enjoyed a great first half to the campaign but the cracks have started to emerge lately, losing five of their last eight games to sneak into the postseason, while going 1-7 against the handicap. 

The Seahawks' inability to defend the run leaves them very vulnerable to the strong ground game of the 49ers and a double-digit handicap in a divisional clash shouldn’t put potential backers off getting behind San Francisco. 

Tough to separate Jags and Chargers

WhatLos Angeles Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
WhereU.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
When01:15, Sunday 15th January
How to watchSky Sports Main Event & NFL
OddsChargers 5/6, Jaguars 1/1

The Jaguars’ transition from worst in the league to a playoff team in the space of 12 months has been remarkable and they are certainly not without hope of knocking off the Chargers at home. 

LA opened as a 2.5-point favourite but news of injuries to wide receiver Mike Williams and defensive end Joey Bosa, two key players, has resulted in the handicap being cut to one point, making this the tightest playoff game of wild card weekend from a betting standpoint. 

Jacksonville crushed the Bolts 38-10 when they met in the regular season but this should be a far more competitive game with points hard to come by. 

Both defences played well down the home stretch of the regular season with the Jags holding two of their last three opponents to three points. 

Both franchises have future superstars at quarterback in Justin Herbert and Trevor Lawrence but both are making their first playoff starts and could understandably be a little tight. 

Jacksonville’s run-first offence, which sliced through the Chargers in the regular season, has the potential to eat up a lot of game time too so don’t be surprised if this isn’t a high-scoring contest. 

NFL: Regular Season Review

Giants upset incoming

WhatNew York Giants @ Minnesota Vikings
WhereU.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
When21:40, Sunday 15th January
How to watchSky Sports Main Event & NFL
OddsGiants 29/20, Vikings 20/33

A 61-yard field goal from Vikings kicker Greg Joseph was all that separated these two sides when they met in December and the Giants can learn the lessons from that loss to spring a wild card surprise. 

The Giants enter the playoffs playing some of their best football of the season so far with Daniel Jones looking remarkably like a decent NFL quarterback. 

He carved up a bad Vikings defence in the Christmas Eve fixture, while running-back Saquon Barkley had a fruitful game that night too. 

The concern for the Giants is their secondary, which has given up a lot of yards and points this season. 

However, if New York’s improving defensive front can take advantage of a banged-up Vikings offensive line, there’s every chance they can limit the impact the league’s top receiver, Justin Jefferson, has on this game. 

Minnesota’s record might say 13-4 but they haven’t played like it and are worth opposing in this spot with a well-coached Giants team that’s been competitive in nearly every game it’s played this season. 

Rotted Ravens offence leaves Baltimore vulnerable

WhatBaltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
WherePaycor Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
When01:15, Monday 16th January
How to watchSky Sports Main Event & NFL
OddsRavens 49/20, Bengals 20/61

The Ravens were amongst a handful of teams to stumble across the finish line but make the postseason, losing three of their last four games, including a 27-16 reverse against the Bengals in Week 18. 

A lot of Baltimore’s issues have been blamed on the absence of quarterback Lamar Jackson, who hasn’t played since Week 13 due to a knee injury and may miss this wild card game. 

But Baltimore’s issues on offence started before Jackson got injured with the rushing attack stalling and the low-quality receiving core failing to make a contribution. 

The Ravens defence has had to carry the team but that unit alone won’t be enough to stop an in-form and better-balanced Bengals side. 

Cincinnati’s offence has clicked in the second half of the season and the vast array of weapons at the disposal of Joe Burrow could overwhelm Baltimore’s defence. 

The strength of the Bengals offence under Burrow has been well known for some time, but it’s the defence that could end up being the ace up Cincinnati’s sleeve. 

The Bengals have proven adept at stopping the run - Baltimore’s main route of attack - and rank sixth for points allowed per game (20.1) so far this season. 

Cincinnati would probably beat the Ravens with or without Jackson based on their recent displays, but Baltimore’s action suggests there’s a strong possibility Cincy won’t have to contend with the 2019 MVP. 

The decision to rest Ravens back-up quarterback Tyler Huntley in Week 18 can be taken as a sign there’s a significant chance Jackson won’t play. 

If he is ruled out, the handicap could jump to double digits so grab the Bengals and the 6.5-points now to be safe.

Any odds displayed are correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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