NFL Wild Card Playoff Picks: Rams Upset Detroit, Bucs Down the Reigning NFC Champs

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It was a strong conclusion to the regular season in terms of our picks, with a 10-6 record against the spread to finish things out in Week 18.

Unfortunately, we still ended out the year narrowly below .500. If only we didn’t try to get cute in the middle of the season by picking over-unders on top of the game spreads, maybe things would have gone differently. Still, it’s never a bad thing to be riding a hot week going into the playoffs. Before we get into the Wild Card weekend picks, here is a look at how we fared in Week 18:

  • Steelers -4 (W)
  • Texans -1.5 (W)
  • Bears +3 (L)
  • Browns +7 (L)
  • Lions -3.5 (W)
  • Jaguars -3.5 (L)
  • Patriots -2 (L)
  • Saints -3 (W)
  • Buccaneers -4.5 (W)
  • Broncos +3 (L)
  • Giants +4.5 (W)
  • Cardinals +2.5 (W)
  • Chiefs +3.5 (W)
  • 49ers -4 (L)
  • Cowboys -13 (W)
  • Bills -3 (W)

Season Record: 134-135-17

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans

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  • Spread: Browns -2
  • O/U: 44.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Browns -2

It’s the veteran Joe Flacco against the rising rookie C.J. Stroud to get things started. Ever since Flacco took over at QB for Cleveland, the Browns have done a spectacular job of moving the ball on offense. Combine that with one of the best defenses in the league anchored by Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Myles Garrett, and I believe the Browns will get a win this weekend.

Miami Dolphins at Kansas City Chiefs

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Chiefs -5
  • O/U: 43.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Chiefs -5

The weather is inevitably going to play a huge part in this game. Not only could there be snow, but the temperatures are forecasted to dip below zero degrees Fahrenheit. This will be a low-scoring affair in Kansas City, and Miami’s offense won’t be able to hold up in the frigid weather. Chiefs take this one and move on to the Divisional.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills

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  • Spread: Bills -10
  • O/U: 35.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Bills -10

This game is tough. On one hand, the Buffalo Bills are entering the playoffs on a five-game winning streak, which earned them another AFC East title. However, many of their same flaws still remain. Josh Allen is liable for a couple head-scratching throws, and Pittsburgh’s defense is built to take advantage of them when they occur. Without T.J. Watt in the lineup, though, I’ll ride with the Bills to win big.

Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports.
  • Spread: Cowboys -7
  • O/U: 50.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Packers +7

Like it or not, Jordan Love has proven over the past month or so that he is capable of living up to the bright lights. He played a fantastic game in Week 18 against the Chicago Bears, and Aaron Jones looks like he’s finally put the early season injury woes below him. Dallas will win this game, but a strong Packers offense will find a way to keep things close. against their former coach Mike McCarthy.

Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions

Wild Card
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
  • Spread: Lions -3
  • O/U: 51.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Rams +3

Detroit finally got their home playoff game, but the excitement will be short lived. The Los Angeles Rams have been on an absolute tear down the stretch of the season, winning seven of their eight games following the bye. The Lions are a young team and will face plenty of jitters during this game. Matthew Stafford returns home to Detroit and earns a win over his former team.

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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  • Spread: Eagles -3
  • O/U: 43.5 points

Frey’s Pick: Buccaneers +3

Are there two fanbases that feel worse going into the playoffs than those of the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers? The Eagles lost four of their final five games, and while the Buccaneers had a strong couple months, they stumbled their way to an NFC South title by beating the Panthers 9-0 in Week 18. Still, the Buccaneers offense has plenty of playmakers that should wreak havoc on Philly’s battered secondary. Tampa Bay knocks off the defending NFC champs on Monday night.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.