2024 NFL Wild Card Weekend Best Bets (Sunday): Packers vs Cowboys, Rams vs Lions

Man, does the NFL love a good storyline or what? In Super Wild Card Weekend, fans will see six games across three days with many teams having much to prove. 

Matthew Stafford is returning to try to upset Detroit, where he spent the first 12 years of his career, and spoil the Lions’ potential first playoff win since 1991. Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy is hosting his former team, Green Bay, where he spent 13 seasons. Cleveland is kicking off the weekend in Houston, looking to avoid being embarrassed again by the team who traded them Deshaun Watson – one of the worst trades in NFL history?

Knowing storylines helps when placing bets, especially in the top sports leagues. What maximizes viewership? What’s a better feel-good story? How can the NFL maximize profit? The NFL also doesn’t want to lose viewership by not having close games, which is why you don’t normally see blowouts even if, on paper, it should be. 

Not to say the NFL is scripted, but if you believe it or it seems like a league is playing one way, you can play back. These are just a few, but some of the top bets I would place, for Super Wild Card Saturday.

Editor’s Note: Odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook

No. 7 Green Bay Packers @ No. 2 Dallas Cowboys

Point Spread: Dallas -7

Moneyline: Dallas -330

Total: 50.5 points

Weather at Kickoff: 18 degrees, 50% chance rain precipitation, Winds NNE 10-15mph

Even Texas is being impacted by the cold front sweeping the United States. All true judgment doesn’t hit America’s Team, the Cowboys, until January, and here Dallas is with a division title and home matchup in the opening weekend of the postseason.

McCarthy was 125-77-2 in those 13 seasons in Green Bay and won an unlikely Super Bowl as a No. 6 seed. He was then later fired during the 2018 season. In Dallas, the Cowboys have looked like one of the NFL’s better teams since McCarthy has been at the helm. He is 1-2 in the postseason since 2020 leading Dallas, due largely to the San Francisco 49ers.

But this year, quarterback Dak Prescott has improved his game, thanks in part to star receiver CeeDee Lamb, and a shift in the run game to a more diverse runner in Tony Pollard. Even if Dallas doesn’t make the Super Bowl, McCarthy will not be embarrassed at home by a team full of youngsters.

Quarterback Jordan Love is in his first full season as a starter and has a receiving cast of 22, 24, and two 23-year-olds. The Packers are a few seasons away from becoming a contender despite making the playoffs in what was considered a rebuilding season.

FanDuel always provides a “bet of the game,” and for the middle slate Sunday, it has the following:

Dak Prescott 300+ Yards

Jordan Love 200+ Yards

CeeDee Lamb 100+ Yards

CeeDee Lamb Anytime Touchdown Scorer

+462

Our Prediction: Do Not Place Bet

The odds need to be better than +462 for me to risk money on a guy who only threw for more than 300 yards in 5-of-17 games this season. Additionally, although Love crossed his yardage plateau 14-of-17 times, Lamb is at just over a 50% chance to hit his total yardage. 

OTHER TOP BETS

Anytime Touchdown Scorers: 

Jayden Reed (+175), Brandin Cooks (+210), Dontayvion Wicks (+370), Dallas Defense (+650), KaVontay Turpin (+850).

Game Specials:

CeeDee Lamb to Score 2+ Touchdowns (+430)

Tony Pollard 25+ Rushing Yards in Each Half (+140)

Dallas Cowboys to Record 5+ Sacks vs Green Bay Packers (+600)

Any Quarter to End Scoreless (+450)

CeeDee Lamb, Jayden Reed and Tony Pollard to Combine for 4+ TDs (+650)

KaVontae Turpin to Return a Kick/Punt for TD (+3000)

BETS TO AVOID

Anytime Touchdown Scorers

Dak Prescott (+230), Christian Watson (+230), Rico Dowdle (+290), Tucker Kraft (+390), Josiah Deguara (+2600).

Game specials

Any Correct Score Bet

To Score 2+ Touchdowns: Aaron Jones (850)

To Score 2+ Touchdowns: Brandin Cooks (+1900)

Dak Prescott and Jordan Love to Combine for 600+ Passing Yards (+330)

Both Dak Prescott and Jordan Love to Each Complete 25+ Passes (+350)

Dak Prescott and Jordan Love to Combine for 50+ Rushing Yards (+440)

Each Team to Score in All Four Quarters (+850)

Either Dak Prescott or Jordan Love to Record 400+ Passing Yards (+1600)

1+ TDs to be Scored in Each Quarter (-115)

Green Bay Packers to Score in All Four Quarters (+280)

Jake Ferguson 25+ Receiving Yards in Each Half (+550)

CeeDee Lamb and Jayden Reed to Combine for 250+ Receiving Yards (+850)

*RSJ compiled this list based on full regular season stats and spread return.

WHAT WE’RE BETTING:

Dallas to Cover, Dallas Moneyline, Over 50.5 points.

No. 6 Los Angeles Rams @ No. 3 Detroit Lions

Point Spread: Detroit -3

Moneyline: Detroit -164

Total: 51.5 points

Weather at Kickoff: Doesn’t matter, playing in a dome.

The optimal NFL storyline of the weekend. Matthew Stafford returned to Detroit hoping to ruin the city’s first home playoff game since 1994. Stafford was traded to the Rams in 2021 in a signal-caller swap and won his first career Super Bowl the following season.

Detroit, the first team in the league to ever go winless in a season, has improved from three wins just two seasons ago to the third-best team in the NFC. Stafford has the benefit of not having a Lions coaching staff who was with him in Detroit, whereas Jared Goff will face a stingy Sean McVay who knows exactly what he does and doesn’t like about the quarterback. 

FanDuel always provides a “bet of the game”, and for the middle slate Sunday, it has the following:

Cooper Kupp 60+ Yards

Puka Nacua 50+ Yards

Kyren Williams Anytime Touchdown Scorer

Jared Goff 225+ Passing Yards

Amon-Ra St. Brown 70+ Yards

Jahmyr Gibbs Anytime Touchdown Scorer

+965

Our Prediction: Place Bet

We wish the line was higher, but the parlay legs favor us. Cooper Kupp has evolved into a monster receiver in the previous few seasons and has only been overshadowed by Puka Nakua this year, the league’s new rookie receptions leader, and his own injury. In what could be a shootout, Stafford will be looking to both guys and will need them to succeed if the Rams want to win on the road. With them not needing a touchdown, Rams running back Kyren Williams can be favored to be used in the red zone and goalline to pick up his TD prop.

Goff has been on the better side of the 225-yard plateau more times than not this season, as has Amon-Ra St. Brown on the side of his, even posting nine-100+-yard games. My only worry is Dan Campbell using David Montgomery more than the rookie Gibbs and eliminating him from the game script like he has this season.

OTHER TOP BETS

Anytime Touchdown Scorers: 

David Montgomery (-130), Amon-Ra St. Brown (+110), Puka Nacua (+135), Rams Defense (+850).

Game Specials: 

Anytime Touchdown & Moneyline Parlay: Demarcus Robinson / Los Angeles Rams (+750)

Anytime Touchdown & Moneyline Parlay: Puka Nacua / Los Angeles Rams (+400)

Player Passing, Completion Props: Jared Goff Over 258.5, Over 24.5 (-114)

Brett Maher Over 7.5 Points (-106)

Michael Badgley Over 7.5 Points (112)

BETS TO AVOID

Anytime Touchdown Scorers

Sam LaPorta (+155), Tutu Atwell (+1000), Ben Skowronek (+1400), Matthew Stafford (+1400)

Game Specials:

To Score 2+ Touchdowns: Jahmyr Gibbs (+430)

To Score 2+ Touchdowns: David Montgomery (+470)

To Score 2+ Touchdowns: Puka Nakua (+950)

Kyren Williams Over 19.5 Rushing Attempts (-102)

WHAT WE’RE BETTING

Rams Cover, Detroit Moneyline, Over 51.5 points

The NFL has postponed Pittsburgh at Buffalo, giving kickoff a 4:30 p.m. eastern start on Monday.

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