The NFL elections and predictions in the regular season can be considered a breeze compared to those in the NFL playoffs, where the 12 participating teams are worthy of their places in the AFC and NFC groups. Of course, according to the playoff classification, the wild card round in 2020 offers some relatively easy choices.
The Patriots and Saints opened as solid favorites at home over the Vikings and Titans, respectively, for the wild card round. The other two games this weekend are problematic when it comes to predictions.
The Texans opened as three-point local favorites over the Bills, essentially making that game a stir in the eyes of Las Vegas. Similarly, Seahawks that open as 1 1/2 point favorites over the Eagles present a challenging scenario, as Seattle has to make a long road trip to face a Philadelphia team that feels good about itself.
With all of the above in mind, here are our NFL playoff selections, predictions for this weekend's wild card games. All odds are courtesy of SportsInsider.com.
MORE: Get the latest NFL odds and Sports Insider betting tips
NFL playoff selections, predictions for wild card games
- Buffalo Bills in Houston Texans (-3)
Saturday, 4:35 p.m. ET, ESPN
Another wild card game at home on Saturday afternoon for the Texans, another difficult showdown. Despite the often brilliant game of Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins, Houston is an average offensive team, which is bad news against the second best scoring defense in the league and the third best unit in terms of allowed yards. Without a major threat from the Texans ground game, the stingy Bills defense can focus on getting Hopkins out of the game.
On the other side of the ball, the relative difficulties of the Bills offense this year will probably not be a factor against a Texans defense that gave up 388.3 yards per game in the regular season. Houston will have no answers for the speed of John Brown or the speed of Cole Beasley, and Buffalo will get a lot from Devin Singletary and Frank Gore on the ground to go through Houston and Baltimore for the divisional round.
Collect: Bill 24, Texans 17
- Tennessee Titans in New England Patriots (-5)
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET, CBS
Although the Patriots suffered a shameful loss to finish their regular season, the Titans could not be delighted to see the defending champions fall into seed No. 3. New England has not lost a postseason game at home since it fell. against Baltimore in the divisional round of the playoffs after the 2012 season, and he hasn't lost a wild card game at home in a decade.
Despite the talk about the Patriots' struggles on the offensive this season, they still finished with the seventh best NFL unit in terms of points per game, and have the last adjustment team in Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady . In addition, New England's top-ranked defense has all the necessary parts to close players like A.J. Brown and Corey Davis, and will eliminate what Tenness does best: the power game with Derrick Henry.
Collect: Patriots 27, Titans 17
- Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans Saints (-8)
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET, Fox
The Vikings knew they were going to have a tough road trip in the wild card round no matter what happened in week 17, and it came in the form of a Sunday afternoon game in the noisy Superdome against the hottest team of The NFL outside of Baltimore Minnesota is one of the most complete teams in the league, but New Orleans, driven by Alvin Kamara's resurgence to complement Michael Thomas's brilliance, has rediscovered his pace.
In an effort to control the time of possession and keep the level of the crowd to a minimum, the Vikings will want to use the accelerated attack of the area led by Dalvin Cook who spent the entire season sharpening. The problem is that the Saints have the fourth best defense in the NFL. If this becomes a duel between Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins, Minnesota will lose.
Collect: Santos 30, Vikings 21
- Seattle Seahawks (-1 1/2) in Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET, NBC
Depending on the outcome of their Week 17 game against the 49ers, the Seahawks were to host the Vikings or travel to Philadelphia to play against the Eagles in the wild card round. Although Seattle now has to make a long road trip, this is the best showdown for Russell Wilson and company.
That does not mean that Seattle will escape from Philadelphia with an easy victory, far from it. In an amazing turn of events, the Eagles are not only organizing a playoff game, but they are the team that will be least affected by the injuries. The Seahawks defense holes will be a problem against Carson Wentz in the first start of the QB playoffs, but the Eagles defense has a bigger problem with Wilson. This will be another closed game between two teams that apparently only play in closed games, and in that kind of competition, we trust the Seahawks QB over almost anyone.
Collect: Seahawks 27, Eagles 24