NFL Best Bets Wild Card Round – 2024

by Ahaan Rungta · Betting & Props

This is NFL Best Bets Wild Card Round! The 2023-24 NFL regular season is complete. However, the fun is just beginning. In this article series, we provide our best game line bets for the NFL slate each week on sportsbooks. We are now entering the Wild Card Round of the NFL playoffs with two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday.

This article contains our best bets for the upcoming round of the playoffs. For each bet, we will provide a wager size recommendation (note: 1 unit = 1% of your gambling bankroll). It’s important to keep your exposure disciplined and stick to the recommendations. It is always worth line-shopping at the time you place your bet so that you can get the best value available online.

Although we finished the regular season on a cold streak, we have an opportunity to be great under the bright lights of the single-elimination playoff bracket. Let’s start here.

2 units: Rams +3.5 (-120, FanDuel)

1 unit: Rams Moneyline (+152, FanDuel)

The Detroit Lions have been one of the most exciting stories of the NFL. This is not just for their run to a division title but also for feeding fantasy football managers all season long with their potent offense. However, their return to the playoffs could be in for a brutal crash as they face one of the most refined teams in the NFL right now.

With Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, and Kyren Williams all on the field, the Los Angeles Rams offense ranks No. 1 in EPA per play, No. 1 in success rate, No. 1 in yards per play, and No. 1 in points per drive. That is bad news for a Detroit Lions defense that has been getting cooked by everybody lately. The Lions have been especially bad against the pass. They rank No. 29 in dropback EPA per play allowed since Week 10.

Offense vs Defense

On offense, the Lions have plenty of answers under head coach Ben Johnson. However, one of those answers just got shaken up in Week 18 as Sam LaPorta was injured. The Rams rank No. 13 in rush EPA per play allowed since Week 10 and No. 13 in run stop win rate on the season. That means, in a high Vegas total of 51.5, Jared Goff is going to have to make some big plays at home to keep up pace. This season, Goff ranks No. 29 in pressured catchable pass rate and No. 17 in completion percentage against zone coverage. This is how the Rams’ defense operates. The Rams rank No. 6 in zone coverage rate.

The NFL is headlined by plenty of narratives. This reunion of Stafford and Ford Field could simply come down to the former Lion making more plays under the bright lights than their current quarterback, Goff. With all things considered, the Rams are the slightly better team right now. On neutral ground, the Rams should probably be favored as the rosters stand right now. Now tack on the fact that the NFL home field advantage has proved to be worth less than two points overall over the last decade, and you have yourself a gift of a line on Detroit at home. This makes it a smash bet to take the points. Additionally, it is a worthwhile gamble for the Rams to get it done outright.

1 unit: Dolphins +4 (-110, BetMGM)

The Miami Dolphins are trending in somewhat of a different fashion than the Los Angeles Rams. After starting the season looking like a historically efficient offense and crushing opponents on their way to the AFC’s top, they have recently dealt with a plethora of injuries and did not respond to it with conviction. They blew a division lead and now having to play a road game at Arrowhead Stadium. Despite the uninspiring response to adversity, Vegas opened up the line to this game by spotting Miami with only a field goal on the road against former NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes. That tells you all you need to know about where the Chiefs stand as they field their worst overall roster in the Mahomes era.

On the season, the Chiefs defense ranks No. 20 in pass rush win rate and No. 32 in run stop win rate. Since Week 10, they rank No. 9 in dropback EPA per play allowed. However, they rank No. 16 in rush EPA per play allowed. Do not expect them to take full advantage of Tua Tagovailoa‘s deficiencies when hurried. Additionally, do not expect them to be able to stop Mike McDaniel’s preference to run the ball with his dynamic backfield duo of Raheem Mostert and Devon Achane.

Mahomes vs Miami

On offense, while Mahomes is arguably the best pure talent we have ever seen at the quarterback position, McDaniel has proven that he knows how to limit shallow pass-catching rooms like Kansas City’s. Since Week 10, Miami’s defense ranks No. 17 in dropback EPA per play allowed but No. 2 in rush EPA per play allowed. This game is going to have to come down to Mahomes making plays at a Hall-of-Fame rate. That will be harder to do with multiple members of the offensive line dealing with injuries against the Dolphins’ No. 10-ranked win rate pass rush attack.

When these teams played each other on neutral turf in November, Kansas City won by one possession despite neither quarterback turning the ball over. Now that the Dolphins have a second look at the Chiefs’ mediocre offensive attack, it will be easier to keep the game close. However, it is tough to ever bet against Patrick Mahomes outright. Four points is just too much in this spot to give the Miami Dolphins.