NFL picks and score predictions for the Wild Card Round as the playoffs get underway.
It’s been 18 long weeks, but the 2021 NFL regular season is officially over and the 2022 NFL Playoffs are set to begin. We witness plenty of twists and turns on our way to this point, and now there are bound to be even more as the postseason kicks off. Buckle up.
As we’ve throughout the regular season, we’ve now got you covered with the Wild Card Round edition of NFL picks and score predictions. As always, I’ll never claim to know what the future holds. As it turns out, odds are high at least a few of my picks will be completely wrong. I will, however, make my selections based on research, experience, and careful consideration.
It’s mind-boggling how unpredictable this season has been. Throughout the year, my picks culminated in a 169-107-1 record. After a strong middle part of the season, the last few weeks were rough. But now that the postseason is upon us, I’m hoping I’ll rediscover some of that success I was enjoying early on.
Just remember that making picks is not a science. Plenty of research goes into it, but there’s no crystal ball — craziness occurs every Sunday. Then again, isn’t that part of the fun of it all?
Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, here are my NFL picks and score predictions for the Wild Card Round. Just keep in mind that I assume no responsibility if you choose to place wagers based on my picks — that’s your decision, not mine.
NFL Picks: Wild Card Round Playoff Predictions
No. 5 Las Vegas Raiders (10-7) at No. 4 Cincinnati Bengals
Saturday, January 15, 4:30PM ET
I’ll admit I’m extremely impressed the Las Vegas Raiders are even in this position. When Jon Gruden was fired mid-season, I assumed it was a death sentence for this franchise. That obviously wasn’t the case, and now they’ll be looking to keep the surprise wins coming.
Unfortunately, I don’t foresee that being the case in the Wild Card Round against a red-hot Cincinnati Bengals club. The Bengals were up-and-down all year long but finally got it going in the final few weeks of the season. Joe Burrow is playing like a superstar, and it’s clear his talent is going to carry Cincinnati deep into the postseason.
That doesn’t mean Derek Carr and Co. will go quietly, though. He’s done some outstanding work in the latter half of the season and has stepped up numerous times when the game was on the line. I don’t doubt that he’ll keep the Raiders in the game, but I’m not sure if he’s got enough weapons around him to keep pace with Burrow and the Bengals.
Kudos to Las Vegas for making it this far, but the bus stops in Cincinnati. Another stellar outing from the duo of Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase allows the Bengals to pull away in the fourth quarter and book their trip to the next round of the playoffs.
Prediction: Bengals win 41-28