BUFFALO, N.Y. — The most wonderful week of the NFL season is here: Wild Card Weekend.
We have six playoff games Saturday through Monday as teams from both conferences battle it out to head to the Divisional Round.
We have an in-division matchup on each side with Patriots-Bills on Saturday and Cardinals-Rams on Monday. Those teams have already played each other twice this season, splitting the matchups 1-1 in both cases.
A couple of the most intriguing games on each side include the 49ers-Cowboys in the NFC and Raiders-Bengals in the AFC. The 49ers and Raiders both played their way into the playoffs in Week 18 and they're looking to bring that momentum with them.
In terms of spreads, the two most lopsided matchups coming in are the No. 2 vs. No. 7 matchups on each side, Chiefs-Steelers and Bucs-Eagles. We're expecting some intense weather on Tampa on Sunday, which could really affect the passing game.
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NFL Wild Card Score Predictions
Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals
Time: Friday, 4:30 p.m.
Spread: CIN -5.5, O/U 49
The Raiders are coming into Saturday's Wild Card matchup against the Bengals with a ton of momentum after their incredible win over the Chargers to get into the playoffs. The Raiders have faced more adversity than any team in the NFL this year, yet here they are. Meanwhile, the Bengals are carrying a good amount of momentum as well after their Week 17 win over the Chiefs at home to win the AFC North. Cincinnati is a great home team, and they defeated the Raiders in Vegas already this year. But, this one should be closer.
Ross Jackson: Bengals 27, Raiders 23
Cameron LaFontaine: Raiders 27, Bengals 24
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Time: Saturday, 8:15 p.m.
Spread: BUF -4.5, O/U 44
The Patriots are 1-3 in their last four coming into this one after a seven-game win streak earlier in the year briefly gave them the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They lost out on the AFC East division, taken by the Bills in large part thanks to their win in New England just three weeks ago. These teams have split their two matchups this year and both were good games. Bill Belichick is 6-3 in his nine career playoff games as an underdog. The Bills are looking to get back to the AFC Championship game for a second-straight year.
Ross Jackson: Patriots 24, Bills 18
Cameron LaFontaine: Bills 19, Patriots 17
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Time: Sunday, 1:00 p.m.
Spread: TB -8.5, O/U 46
The Eagles and the Bucs met in primetime earlier this season and the Eagles gave Tampa a good second half, ultimately losing 28-22. This will be an interesting spot for Philly. Their starters are rested, they're a heavy underdog and there might be some bad weather that could affect the passing game. If this turned into a run fest, the Eagles may have a shot at an upset with the strength of their offensive line. But the Bucs are no soft opponent. Their defense should be charged up and they'll be getting Leonard Fournette back, which will be more than key. Hard to count against Brady in the playoffs always.
Ross Jackson: Bucs 31, Eagles 17
Cameron LaFontaine: Bucs 26, Eagles 20
San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys
Time: Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
Spread: DAL -3, O/U 51
This has the chance to be the game of the weekend. Two offenses with super playmakers in Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper will face off and the defenses aren't bad either. The Cowboys come in with the belief they can go all the way while the 49ers are looking to lean on their underdog mentality for a second-straight week. This one should be good.
Ross Jackson: Cowboys 35, 49ers 31
Cameron LaFontaine: 49ers 30, Cowboys 24
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs
Time: Sunday, 8:15 p.m.
Spread: KC -12.5, O/U 46
It's a great story, the Steelers winning their last two to get to the playoffs in Big Ben's final season. The problem is they have to go play the Chiefs in Kansas City. We know the Chiefs had some pre-Mahomes-era blunders in this Wild Card Weekend, but since Mahomes, they've been rather dominant in their first playoff game. They also defeated the Steelers by 26 last month. The Steelers' defense will have to be perfect to get a chance at an upset.
Ross Jackson: Chiefs 24, Steelers 14
Cameron LaFontaine: Chiefs 30, Steelers 16
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams
Time: Monday, 8:15 p.m.
Spread: LAR -4, O/U 49
Did nobody want to win the NFC West? The Rams gave up a 17-0 lead at home last week to the 49ers and went on to lose. Not a great sign for them coming in, especially when their strength has typically been the second half. Meanwhile, the Cardinals got beat at home by the Seahawks after Seattle put up 38 points on them. Not a lot of good vibes heading into this one but it should be a classic game. These teams split the regular season matchups. Arizona has been better on the road all year and they'll look to get out an punch the Rams in the mouth early in Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray's first playoff game.
Ross Jackson: Cardinals 28, Rams 27
Cameron LaFontaine: Rams 30, Cardinals 27