AFC Wild Card Round Betting Preview, Odds and Predictions

By in NFL on
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AFC-Wild-Card-2022

It came down to the final game of the 2021-22 regular season before the AFC Playoffs were set. In fact, it took almost an entire period of Overtime before the Raiders could beat the Chargers and clinch the final Playoff spot.

The Tennessee Titans claimed the #1 seed in the AFC and will have home field advantage throughout the Playoffs. Additionally, they will get a first round bye which will be huge for a team that’s getting back their top star in running back Derrick Henry.

Let’s huddle up to examine the three AFC Wild Card games this weekend and make some Playoff winning predictions. All odds are courtesy of BetOnline.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Las Vegas Raiders +6.5 +230 Over 49 (-110)
Cincinnati Bengals -6.5 -275 Under 49 (-110)

Las Vegas Raiders 2021 Season

The Raiders season has been one filled with ups and downs. Yet, they defied the odds and made the Playoffs with a dramatic OT victory over divisional rival the Chargers in the final game of the regular season.

The Las Vegas Raiders were 6-7 and looked doomed, but rallied around each other and won their last four games to make the Playoffs as the 5th seed in the AFC. Las Vegas beat the Colts and Chargers in the final two weeks of the season to buck the oddsmakers and crash the Wild Card party.

The Raiders offense finished the regular season 11th in total yards at 363.8 ypg. They were led by the 6th ranked passing attack at 268.6 ypg. QB Derek Carr finished 5th in the league with 4,804 yards.

Las Vegas’ rushing attack was 28th in the league at 95.1ypg. Although the offense is one of the best in passing, the team finished 21st in scoring at 22ppg.

The Raiders defense finished outside of the Top 10 in ever category. In fact, their best mark was 13th against the pass.

Let’s not forget that this franchise was at the heart of mainstream media controversy with the Jon Gruden scandal that led to his departure. And, they returned to the mainstream news cycle with the tragic Henry Ruggs DUI. So, to make the Playoffs after all of that is a testament to these players.

Las Vegas Playoff Experience

The Raiders are 25-19 in the Playoffs and 4-3 in Wild Card games. Their last Playoff appearance came in 2016 when they lost to the Houston Texans in the Wild Card Round.

The last time the Raiders made it past the Wild Card Round was in 2002 when they ended up losing to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl.

Cincinnati Bengals 2021 Season

With a stunning victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17, the Cincinnati Bengals captured their first AFC North title since 2015, which is also the last time that they made the Playoffs. After losing in Week 18 to the Browns, Cincy now enters the Playoffs as the 4th seed in the AFC.

The Bengals were led by an explosive offense that finished 7th in scoring with 27.1ppg. They also were 7th in passing at 259ypg. Like the Raiders, Cincy’s rushing attack was subpar at 102.5ypg which was 23rd overall.

Defensively, this team was the 5th best against the run at 102.5 ypg and allowed 22.1ppg which is 17th best. Their passing unit is 26th in the league at 248.4ypg which could be troublesome this weekend.

Bengals Playoff Experience

The Bengals are 5-14 in the Playoffs and a terrible 1-8 in Wild Card games. In fact, the Bengals have lost seven straight Wild Card games and haven’t won in the Wild Card round since the 1990 season. Their last Playoff appearance in 2015 was a loss to the Steelers.

Head to Head Trends

These two teams have played against each other 23 times with the Raiders holding the advantage at 21-12. They actually faced off in the regular season where the Bengals crushed the Raiders 32-13.

The Bengals are 9-6 all-time against the Raiders in home games. However, they have gone 1-4 against the Raiders in their last five home games.

These two teams have played against each other twice in the Playoffs with the Oakland Raiders winning in 1975 and the Los Angeles Raiders winning in 1991.

Here’s a quick look at their last 10 head to head games:

  • Both are 5-5 SU
  • Bengals are 8-2 ATS
  • The Under is 7-3

Raiders vs. Bengals Prediction

I believe that the Raiders have a real chance in this Wild Card game. This team has a prolific passing attack, which is the primary weakness for the Bengals defense.

Yet, when the played against each other during the regular season, neither team was able to find much success in passing the ball. The Bengals crushed the Raiders 32 to 13 as they outscored them 22 to 7 in the second half.

I think this game will be close until the late 4th quarter when the Bengals pull away to beat the Raiders. Las Vegas is 0-5 ATS in their last games against the Bengals and they’re 0-6 ATS in their last six games at Cincinnati.

In the regular season matchup between these two teams, Joe Burrow threw for only 148 yards and Carr threw for just 215 yards. These were season lows for both quarterbacks. I expect this weekend’s Wild Card matchup to be more exciting where both men flirt with 300+ yards.

In the end, the Bengals will pull away to win this game and cover the spread by the score of 27 to 20.

Cincinnati Bengals 27:Las Vegas Raiders 20

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills

Team Spread Moneyline Total
New England Patriots +4.5 +175 Over 43 (-110)
Buffalo Bills -4.5 -205 Under 43 (-110)

New England Patriots 2021 Season

After missing the Playoffs last year, the New England Patriots retooled and stormed back to the postseason this year. Heading into the final week of the regular season the Patriots were one win a way from capturing the AFC East division.

Unfortunately, they lost at Miami and Buffalo won which gave the Bills the AFC East crown. The Patriots went 1-3 in their final four contests, which cost them the division and possibly even the top seed in the AFC.

Yet, New England looks poised to make some noise in the postseason especially in the Wild Card round as they already beat Buffalo this year.

Offensively, the Patriots finished with the 15th ranked offense in total yards at 353.4 ypg. They were led by the 8th ranked rush offense at 126.5ypg and averaged 27.2ppg which was 6th best. The second half f the season saw Mac Jones surge and lead this passing offense to 14th in the NFL at 226.9ypg.

New England has one of the best defenses in the NFL as they’re 2nd in points allowed at just 17.8ppg. They’re also #2 against the pass at 187.1ypg and 4th in total yardage allowed at 310.8ypg.

Patriots Playoff Experience

The New England Patriots are 37-21 all-time in the postseason. However, they are just 4-5 in the Wild Card Round. This is a franchise that is used to getting the first round bye. But, when they don’t, they’re sub-500.

New England is 2-2 in the Wild Card round with Belichick at the helm, but they’ve lost their last two Wild Card games.

As mentioned, the Patriots didn’t make the Playoffs last year. But, they did make it in 2019 and lost to the Titans in the Wild Card round. That was Tom Brady’s last game for New England before he took off to Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl with the Bucs.

Prior to that, you have to go all the way back to the 2009 Playoffs for the Patriots last Wild Card contest. They lost that game to the Baltimore Ravens.

Buffalo Bills 2021 Season

The Buffalo Bills came into the 2021 season with lofty goals after a loss in the AFC Championship game the season prior. However, things didn’t always go as planned. The team had many ups and downs throughout the middle portion of the regular season and it caused concerns in and out of Buffalo.

They lost at the Jaguars and then were crushed by the Colts in their worst defeat of the season. Buffalo also dropped games to the Patriots and Buccaneers where they went 1-4 over a five game stretch.

Fortunately, the Bills were able to turn things around finish off the season strong with four straight wins and an 11-6 record along with their second consecutive divisional crown.

Buffalo finished the regular season as the only team with a Top 5 offense and a Top 5 defense. The Bills were 5th in total yards at 381.9ypg, 9th in passing at 252ypg, 6th in rushing at 129.9ypg, and 3rd in scoring at 28.4ppg.

Defensively, Buffalo is #1 in yards allowed at 272.8ypg, #1 against the pass at 163ypg and #1 points allowed at 17ppg. Despite having the top ranked defense in the NFL, Buffalo doesn’t have one pro bowler on this side of the ball.

Bills Playoff Experience

Buffalo is 16-18 all-time in the postseason. They’re also just 4-5 in Wild Card games. The Bills went nearly 20 years between Playoff appearances, but are well on their way to becoming an annual postseason threat under Sean McDermott.

This is Buffalo’s 4th appearance in the last five years. They had lost five straight Wild Card games before winning last year at home over the Colts. Buffalo went all the way to the Conference Championship before losing to the Chiefs.

Head to Head Trends

The Patriots lead the all-time series with a record of 77-46-1. They also lead the series in games at Buffalo with a record of 38-23-1.

These two teams played against each other twice in 2021 with each team picking up a victory on the road. The Patriots won at Buffalo 14-10 in Week 13 wind storm. Three weeks later, Buffalo beat the Patriots on the road by the score of 33 to 21.

This rivalry used to be one sided with the Patriots owning the entire AFC East division for nearly two decades. However, Buffalo is 3-1 in the last four meetings, but are just 1-9 SU in their last 10 home games against the Patriots.

Saturday’s Wild Card matchup will be the first time these two divisional foes have played against each other in the Playoffs.

Here’s a quick look at their last 10 head to head games:

  • Patriots are 7-3 SU
  • Patriots are 6-4 ATS
  • The Under is 5-4-1

Patriots vs. Bills Prediction

When divisional rivals play each other for a third time, it tends to be a difficult game to predict. I believe we’ll see an outcome that will be in-between the two previous regular season results.

Patriots have averaged 17.5ppg and the Bills have averaged 21.5ppg in the two head to head meetings this season.

The weather will be a huge factor in this game. Additionally, the QB play will be a factor as well. In the wind storm game, Allen was unable to throw the ball and the defense was unable to stop the run.

Yet, in their second meeting up in Foxboro, Allen threw for over 300 yards and the defense shut down New England’s ground game.

This weekend, I see the Bills gutting out a tough victory as the weather will hinder their offense at times and New England will find some success on the ground.

But, in the end, Allen will outduel Mac Jones and the Bills Mafia will help inspire this defensive unit to a strong performance.

I’m taking Buffalo to win 20 to 17 in the closest game of the Wild Card round. Allen will do it with his arm and legs this Saturday as he has the last month of the season.

Take the Patriots to cover the spread and the Under to hit.

Buffalo Bills 20:New England Patriots 17

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Pittsburgh Steelers +13 +545 Over 46.5 (-110)
Kansas City Chiefs -13 -725 Under 46.5 (-110)

Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Season

In what is Ben Roethlisberger’s last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers gutted out the final month of the season to earn the 7th seed in the Playoffs. The Steelers went 3-1 in their final four games with wins over the Titans, Browns and Ravens.

This team had been so erratic at times that many critics wrote them off halfway through the season especially after a tie against the Detroit Lions. Yet, that tie would go on to help the Steelers as it gave them the 7th seed ahead of the Chargers and Colts.

Pittsburgh saw their fortunes turn around on the shoulder pads of running back Najee Harris and the defense led by TJ Watt who finished the regular season with 22.5 sacks. Harris ended up 4th in rushing with 1,200 yards.

There’s not much to say about this offense that would really inspire wagers or confidence other than Harris. Their best ranking was 15th in passing yards. However, they were 24th in scoring at 20.2ppg and 29th in rushing at just 93.1ypg.

Defensively, they’re best mark was 9th against the pass at 215.1ypg. However, they had the worst rush defense in the NFL as they allowed 146.1ypg and allowed 23.4ppg.

Steelers Playoff Experience

Pittsburgh is 36-26 all-time in the Playoffs. They’re 6-6 all-time in Wild Card games.

Pittsburgh has made the Playoffs for the sixth time in the last eight years and two seasons in a row. Last year, the Steelers lost to the Browns in the Wild Card game. However, they are 2-3 in their last five Wild Card matchups as they won in 2016 and 2015.

Kansas City Chiefs 2021 Season

Can you believe at one point of the season, the Chiefs were in last place in the AFC West?

At 2-3, many critics were claiming that the Chiefs were in trouble and that Mahomes had regressed. They were 3-4 heading into the third month of the season.

Yet, the Chiefs quickly rebounded from a rough start to the season by storming to the top of the AFC West and then finishing with the 2nd seed in the AFC. They went 9-1 to close out the year including winning eight games in a row.

Unfortunately, if it weren’t for the loss to the Bengals in Week 17, the Chiefs would’ve finished with the top seed in the AFC and had home field advantage throughout the Playoffs.

As usual, the Chiefs offense finished as one of the best in the league. They were 5th in scoring at 28.2ppg, 4th in passing at 281.8ypg, and 3rd in total yards at 396.8ypg. Mahomes finished 4th with 4,839 passing yards.

Defensively, the Chiefs went from disastrous to middle of the pack. They finished 27th against the pass, 21st against the run, but 8th in points allowed at 21.4ppg. When on, this defense can shut down opponents. However, when off, this defense gives up a ton of yards and points.

Chiefs Playoff Experience

The Chiefs are 15-20 all-time in the Playoffs. However, they’re just 3-8 in Wild Card games.

This is the first Wild Card game for the Chiefs since the 2017 Playoffs where they lost to the Titans. Their last Wild Card victory came in 2015 when they beat the Houston Texans.

The Kansas City Chiefs have had a first round bye in three straight postseasons until this year. They’ve gone to the Super Bowl two straight years and are 1-1 in the big game.

Head to Head Trends

The Steelers lead the all-time series between these two franchises with a record of 23-13. Unfortunately, the Steelers were embarrassed when they played at KC during the regular season as the Chiefs won 36 to 10. Despite the loss, Pittsburgh is still 12-8 all-time at Kansas City.

These teams have played against each other twice in the Playoffs with each franchise picking up a win. Both of those postseason matchups were at Kansas City.

The Chiefs beat the Steelers 27 to 24 in the 1993 AFC Wild Card game. The Steelers beat the Chiefs 18 to 16 in the 2016 AFC Divisional Playoff game.

Here’s a quick look at their last 10 head to head games:

  • Steelers are 6-4 SU
  • Chiefs are 6-4 ATS
  • The Under is 6-4

Other notable trends include: Steelers are 6-3 SU in last nine games vs. KC, the Under is 4-1 in last five games between these two teams at Kansas City.

Steelers vs. Chiefs Prediction

I think the post-Christmas beatdown from the Chiefs on the Steelers was more of an anomaly than an indicator for this game.

Pittsburgh is going to turn this weekend’s Playoff contest into an ugly, physical battle. They have the run game to control the clock and keep the Chiefs offense on the sidelines. Clock management and ball control will be huge factors this game.

Additionally, their defense is healthy and the front four will get after Mahomes as TJ Watt harasses Patrick all game long.

With that said, it’s really hard going against Mahomes at Arrowhead Stadium. He and this Chiefs team have been stellar at home over the last few years especially in the Playoffs.

I like the Chiefs in this matchup as they will pull away in the second half to win by 10 points. However, I do believe the Steelers keep this within a two touchdown game. I don’t see this team getting blown out in what will be Big Ben’s last game.

I’m taking KC to win 27 to 17. Go with Pittsburgh to cover the 13 points spread and for the Under to hit once again.

Kansas City Chiefs 27:Pittsburgh Steelers 17
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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