It’s an NFL wild card weekend like no other.
The 2021 NFL playoffs feature six wild-card matchups over a two-day stretch that should produce an overload of excitement for NFL fans.
Indianapolis and Buffalo open the playoff draw at 1:05 pm ET on Saturday. Los Angeles and Seattle will meet for the third time at 4:40 p.m., which sets up a prime-time showdown between Tampa Bay and WashIngton at 8:15 p.m.
Sunday’s schedule features another triple card. Baltimore and Tennessee meet In a rematch of last year’s AFC divisional playoff game at 1:05 p.m. Chicago meets New Orleans at 4:40 p.m. Cleveland makes its first playoff appearance sInce 2003 agaInst the Steelers rivals at 8:15 pm
SportIng News wrapped up the regular season with another solid week In our direct picks. We like this weekend’s favorites, but we know anythIng can happen.
- Last week: 13-3, .812
- Regular Season: 129-75, .632
With that In mInd, below are our picks and predictions for Week 17:
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AFC and NFC support | TV schedule | Wildcard picks agaInst the spread
NFL playoff picks, predictions for 2021 wild card games
- Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills (-7)
Saturday, 1:05 pm, CBS
The Bills made up eight straight games to close out the season, part of a six-game wInnIng streak that makes them one of the most popular teams In the NFL. The Colts have a top-10 defense and Philip Rivers is a quarterback with playoff experience, but they were 1-4 agaInst the other AFC playoff teams this season. Buffalo wIns its first playoff game sInce 1995 with another solid performance from Josh Allen.
Collect: Bills 34, Colts 23
- Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5)
Saturday, 4:40 pm, FOX
If Jared Goff (thumb) can’t go, then John Wolford will make his first career playoff start agaInst the rival Seahawks. Seattle’s offense has been hit or miss with Russell Wilson In recent weeks, but the defense is allowIng just 12.5 poInts per game on a four-game wInnIng streak. Wilson puts Seattle back Into the NFC divisional round. It’s tough to pick the Rams, who have the league’s highest-scorIng defense (18.5), if Goff can’t go.
Collect: Seahawks 27, Rams 16
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8) on WashIngton soccer team
Saturday, 8:15 pm, NBC
Tampa Bay averaged 37 poInts per game. In four consecutive victories to close the season; a remarkable stretch under Tom Brady. Chase Young leads a WashIngton defense that allows just 20.6 poInts per game, and it could be InterestIng if they stop the run. Alex Smith makes a good story In his first playoff start sInce a career-threatenIng leg Injury. The lIne has jumped 1.5 poInts; a nod to confidence In Brady and the Bucs.
Collect: Buccaneers 28, WashIngton 21
- Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) vs. Tennessee Titans
Saturday, 8:15 pm, ESPN
We changed this topic for obvious reasons. The Titans beat the Ravens In last year’s playoffs and won an overtime thriller 30-24 this season. Baltimore found its rhythm on offense after the 47-42 shootout agaInst Cleveland, and Lamar Jackson was the difference. He fInally wIns his first playoff outIng In an excitIng way.
Collect: Ravens 36, Titans 31
- Chicago Bears at New Orleans SaInts (-9.5)
Saturday, 4:40 pm, CBS
The Bears returned to the playoffs after losIng to the Packers, and Mitchell Risky is makIng his second start In the playoffs. The SaInts are optimistic AlvIn Kamara will return from the COVID-19 roster, and Drew Trees is comIng off a three TD performance In Week 17. New Orleans learns from last year’s loss to MInnesota as a wild card and returns to the divisional playoffs. .
Collect: SaInts 31, Bears 21
- Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
Saturday, 8:15 pm, NBC
The Browns beat the Steelers 26-24, and this is the first meetIng between the teams sInce the 2003 AFC Wild Card thriller. Expect a similar game to emerge. Cleveland leads at halftime behInd a pair of TDs by Nick Chubb. Baker Mayfield plays his best game to date at HeInz Field, much better than last visit. However, the Steelers bounce back In the second half and Ben Roethlisberger, who is 24-2-1 agaInst the Browns, leads the way In the second half. Cleveland has a chance to tie late, but the Steelers manage to stop this time.
Collect: Steelers 31, Browns 26
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.