- In the upcoming National Championship Game, Alabama is a -280 betting odds favorite over Ohio State.
- In the NFL Playoffs, the Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) face the Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.0) take on the Cleveland Browns to highlight the Wild Card round.
LAS VEGAS – The country’s most beloved sport is nearly coming to the end of the most challenging and unique season in its’ existence.
Whether it be the professional game or the collegiate ranks, the sport of football is held in high regard throughout the USA. Millions of fans and bettors pour out their hearts into this beautiful game for the sake of passion, respect, and pageantry.
Now, after a year full of positive tests and postponed kickoffs, there are just a few big games left to enjoy.
The College Football Playoff National Championship game is set and will feature the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Meanwhile, the NFL Playoffs are also ready to go, with 14 teams beginning their journey to the Super Bowl.
Beginning this upcoming weekend in the NFL, where the Wild Card round features some dramatic matchups.
NFL AFC Wild Card
In the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs maintain their top spot overall, earning a first-round bye. That leaves a number of potentially strong teams set to do battle in the first round, including three teams from the AFC North.
NFL Wild Card – 1/9/21 1:05 p.m. EST
- Indianapolis Colts +265
- Buffalo Bills -330
- Spread: BUF -7.0
- Over/Under: 52.0
The first matchup of the playoffs features the hottest team in the league in the 13-3 Buffalo Bills facing the 11-5 Indianapolis Colts.
The Bills have been nothing short of dominant under Josh Allen down the stretch of this season, winning 9 of their last 10 games to win their first divisional crown since 1995. The Bills have also gone 8-0 against the spread over their last 8 games, proving to dominate their opponents as well as the NFL sportsbooks.
They face off against a Colts team that has one of the best defenses in the NFL. Indianapolis will need to show some of that defensive strength if they hope to keep up with the Bills’ ability to put up points.
NFL Wild Card – 1/10/21 1:05 p.m. EST
- Baltimore Ravens -200
- Tennessee Titans +170
- Spread: BAL -3.5
- Over/Under: 54.0
On Sunday, the next AFC matchup features the 11-5 Baltimore Ravens taking on the 11-5 Tennessee Titans.
It goes without saying that both these teams are led by massive stars on offense, with Derrick Henry running wild for the Titans and Lamar Jackson doing his thing for the Ravens.
The aforementioned Henry did so with emphatic fashion in the final game of the season, rushing for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns in a much-needed win over the Houston Texans.
CROWN THE KING.
Derrick Henry has rushed for 2,000 yards in a season! #Titans
📺: #HOUvsTEN on CBS
📱: NFL app // Yahoo Sports app: https://t.co/fohj8JnptQ pic.twitter.com/Exzeqd9Kg6
— NFL (@NFL) January 4, 2021
Both the Ravens and the Titans struggled at times this year and even appeared as if they might not make a run to the playoffs in 2020. Instead, both teams were able to galvanize themselves down the stretch to find a way into the postseason. Following their meeting on November 22, both teams went a combined 9-3 to finish the season.
In that previous meeting, the Titans were able to win 24-30 in overtime. However, it is the Ravens that own the edge on the books heading into this one. The Ravens are 10-6 against the spread on the season.
NFL Wild Card – 1/10/21 8:15 p.m. EST
- Cleveland Browns +175
- Pittsburgh Steelers -210
- Spread: PIT -4.0
- Over/Under: 46.5
The final AFC matchup features two bitter divisional rivals who just met to end the regular season.
The Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-22 on Sunday to punch their ticket to the playoffs for the first time since 2003. That is great news for the Browns fans, who are easily one of the more tortured fanbases in all of sports.
Unfortunately, the Browns now have to face that very same team they nearly beat immediately again. However, this time the Steelers will be at full strength. The Steelers started Mason Rudolph at quarterback against the Browns this past week as well as a number of backups. Fans of the Black and Yellow can be sure that they will be back at full strength for this next game.
The Browns have tons of hope behind the gutsy play of Baker Mayfield but still come into this one as a four-point underdog.
NFL NFC Wild Card
Over to the NFC, where things are equally as heated in preparation for the final games of the year. Only three teams will advance to join the Green Bay Packers in the second round, leaving the remaining team’s dreams in the past with 2020.
NFL Wild Card – 1/10/21 4:40 p.m. EST
- Chicago Bears +350
- New Orleans Saints -500
- Spread: NO -9.5
- Over/Under: 48.0
Beginning with the matchup between the 12-4 New Orleans Saints and the 8-8 Chicago Bears.
Even with a loss to the Packers to close the season, the Bears were able to sneak into the final Wild Card spot and earn a berth in the playoffs. This is a surprising result to a team that looked hopeless early in the season.
The Saints come into this game winners of 11 of their last 13 games. Drew Brees appears to be healthy enough to compete, with Taysom Hill still waiting in the wings. The Saints’ big storyline will be the health of other stars like Alvin Kamara, who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Even with some questionable, this game holds the largest spread of any of the games this weekend, with the Saints as a 9.5-point favorite over the Bears. In their game this year, the Saints defeated the bears 26-23 in overtime.
NFL Wild Card – 1/9/21 4:05 p.m. EST
- Los Angeles Rams +175
- Seattle Seahawks -210
- Spread: SEA -4.5
- Over/Under: 43.0
Another interdivisional matchup takes place in the playoffs as the 12-4 Seattle Seahawks host the 10-6 Los Angeles Rams. Once both strong Super Bowl contenders, both teams have gone through the evolutions of a grueling 2020 season.
The Rams were able to join the postseason thanks to a close win over the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday. They also split the season series with the Seahawks, with their win coming back on November 15. Seattle was able to get the win two weeks ago by a score of 20-9 over LA.
The Seahawks will be closely monitoring the health of safety Jamal Adams, who is questionable for the matchup with a shoulder issue. Additionally, the Rams will be watching the status of Cooper Kupp, who tested positive for COVID-19.
NFL Wild Card – 1/9/21 8:15 p.m. EST
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -420
- Washington Football Team +310
- Spread: TB -8.0
- Over/Under: 46.5
Finally, the night game Saturday features two unlikely foes in the 11-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing the 7-9 Washington Football Team.
In their inaugural year without a name, the Football Team was able to win the NFC East and clinch a playoff spot despite their losing record on the year. The Football Team must now try to contain Tom Brady and his many weapons, including Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Ronald Jones, and many more.
One of Tampa’s biggest weapons in Mike Evans left Sunday’s game with a hyperextended knee. His status is currently listed as probable for the game.
The Bucs are an eight-point favorite in this game and will look to postseason wizard Tom Brady to lead them deep into the postseason.
Monday Night National Championship
Following the NFL events of the weekend, the National Championship Game will be the final entrant of Monday Night Football this season.
After two convincing wins in the opening round, the Alabama Crimson Tide and Ohio State Buckeyes are set to do battle in Miami.
CFP National Championship – 1/11/21 8:00 p.m. EST
- Ohio State +230
- Alabama -280
- Spread: ALA -8.0
- O/U: 75.0
The line opened with Alabama -7 and has already shifted slightly towards the Tide. College football bettors will also notice the absurdly high over/under, which is set at 75.0 for this matchup.
This comes with good reason, as both teams boast some of the best offenses seen in recent years. For Alabama, they are led by two Heisman trophy candidates in QB Mac Jones and receiver Devonta Smith. Not to mention running back Najee Harris, who leads all college football in rushing touchdowns this season.
The Buckeyes are brought in by Justin Fields, who just put up one of the best games in College Football Playoff history against Clemson. Fields threw for six touchdowns in a game where he took some incredibly brutal hits and appeared to be playing injured. The Buckeyes are also stacked at skill positions, with RB Trey Sermon and WR Chris Olave ready to prove they are among the best at what they do as well.
Nevertheless, the Tide are the 8-point favorite thanks to their dominant performance throughout the season, while Ohio State has struggled with teams like Indiana and Northwestern. However, if the Buckeyes play as they did against Clemson, this could easily be one of the most high-powered and exciting national championships to ever be played.
News tags: Alabama Crimson Tide | Baltimore Ravens | Buffalo Bills | Chicago Bears | Cleveland Browns | College Football | Green Bay Packers | Indianapolis Colts | Kansas City Chiefs | Los Angeles Rams | New Orleans Saints | NFL | Ohio State Buckeyes | Pittsburgh Steelers | Seattle Seahawks | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Tennessee Titans | Washington Football Team
Jimmy began his journalistic journey as a stat recorder and PA announcer for his middle school baseball team. Full of experience across print, broadcast, and sports radio, he brings his knowledge and toolkit to the LegalSportsBetting team. You can find him watching sports, making parlays, and listening to music on any day ending in Y.