The mad dash to Super Bowl LV has begun. After a wild Week 17 crystalized the playoff picture, we have 11 teams (Indianapolis, Washington and Seattle were eliminated on Saturday) left standing and on the verge of trying to claw their way to Tampa. For the Packers and Chiefs, they get the luxury of sitting back and enjoying Super Wild-Card Weekend with the rest of us after securing the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences along with a first-round bye. Six games are on the weekend schedule and that’s how many clubs will be erased from the playoffs when the dust settles on Monday.
Each week, we’ll collect all of the best picks and gambling content from CBSSports.com and SportsLine in one place, so you can get picks against the spread from our CBS Sports experts as well as additional feature content for each game, including plays from top SportsLine experts and the SportsLine Projection Model, best bets from our staff, survivor picks and more. Ready or not, here come the playoffs.
All NFL odds via William Hill Sportsbook.
Time: Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET (ESPN), stream on fuboTV (Try for free)
“These two make no secret about what they want to do on offense, which is to pound the football. Baltimore was the top rushing team in the league, while the Titans counter with Derrick Henry, the NFL‘s leading rusher. Tennessee beat Baltimore earlier this year and also beat them last year in the playoffs in a big upset. This time around I think the Ravens get revenge of sorts. Their defense is much better than the bad unit the Titans put on the field. Lamar Jackson will have a big day to advance the Ravens.” — Pete Prisco on why he’s picking Baltimore to win, 33-23.
There is no one better to turn to for this game than SportsLine senior analyst and Titans expert Larry Hartstein, who owns an 18-7-1 record on his last 26 spread picks involving Tennessee. As for which way he’s leaning for this matchup as he continues to try and stay hot, you’ll need to head over to SportsLine.
“This is the Lamar Jackson playoff game to end the narrative. We’ve forgotten this often happens with NFL quarterbacks. They struggle early on in their playoff careers and then break through when everyone is really starting to count them out. Lamar playing the Titans again after last year’s debacle won’t help the narrative as it ramps up. I love the Ravens here. I think they come out firing, I think they convert in the red zone, I think Lamar gets loose with his legs and finds Marquise Brown down the field and I think J.K. Dobbins gets loose as well. This Titans defense is not last year’s Titans defense. You can put up points on them, and I’m not sure forcing Lamar to throw to the hashes will work like it did last year. Tennessee isn’t ever left for dead — they came back down 10 in the fourth quarter against Baltimore this year — but the Ravens will actually lean on the ground game with a lead this time around, forcing Tennessee to get away from Derrick Henry.” — Will Brinson, who believes Baltimore will pull out the 38-31 win.
“For what it’s worth, these two teams have an average total of 47 between their matchup earlier this season in Week 11 and their divisional round contest last playoffs. Between them this season, the Over is 19-12-1.Tennessee overs went 12-3-1 during the regular season, which was tied with Las Vegas for the best in the NFL. The Titans’ contests averaged 58.1 points per game (30.7 PPG, 27.4 PPG allowed), which was the highest in the NFL. Over their last eight contests, the over is 7-1. With Ryan Tannehill as their starter, Tennessee Overs are 22-6-1. That said, with both of these teams being more than happy to run the football, there is an avenue where this game turns into a low-scoring ground attack so Over bettors should be a bit cautious.” — Tyler Sullivan on the total for Ravens-Titans.
Top prop picks
JK Dobbins Over 63.5 rush yards (-115)
“Dobbins has come alive with at least 64 rush yards in five of his past six games. I know he’s a rookie, but I’d be stunned if the Ravens turn to Mark Ingram or Gus Edwards and really limit Dobbins’ workload at this point. The Titans have given up 5.9 yards per rush to running backs over their past three games.” — Dave Richard on why he likes the Over on Dobbins’ rushing yard total.
First touchdown scorer: Marquise Brown (+1200).
“According to CBS Sports research analyst Stephen Oh’s simulations, Brown getting in the end zone first has some solid value. Tennessee’s secondary has struggled this season and Lamar Jackson has been really strong throwing the deep ball as of late. Brown also comes into this game scoring six touchdowns in his previous six contests. Even if you don’t love the odds on him scoring first, his anytime touchdown sits at +163.” — Tyler Sullivan on taking Brown’s touchdown prop.
Time: Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET (CBS, Nickelodeon), stream on CBS All Access
“The Bears seemed to come alive on offense in December, but that was against bad teams. They didn’t do much against Green Bay last week, yet here they are in the playoffs. The Saints have a tough defense that will present a big challenge for Mitchell Trubisky. New Orleans’ offense hasn’t been as explosive this year, which is why I think the Bears will hang around in this one. It’s not like we haven’t seen the Saints blow a playoff game in this role in the past. This time, they will hold on to win it. But it’s close.” — Pete Prisco, who sees New Orleans edging out a 26-21 win over Chicago.
SportsLine SportsLine’s Hammerin’ Hank Goldberg is the go-to handicapper when it comes to Saints game. He is 19-6-1 in his last 26 against-the-spread picks involving New Orleans and looking to keep that momentum strong heading into this matchup. To see which way he’s leaning for this matchup as he continues to try and stay hot, head on over to SportsLine.
“This is easily the most difficult game to handicap on the wild-card slate. Do you trust the Bears? Of course not! They were the biggest rollercoaster in football, starting out 5-1 before cratering to 5-7 with six straight losses and then rallying to win three of their last four games to finish 8-8. What a ride it was and I would *guess* that it culminates in New Orleans. It feels like maybe the Bears are a live dog here at first glance, and 10 points certainly feels like a bit much, but the Saints aren’t just a better overall team, they’re also getting healthier at the right and have way fewer weaknesses. The Bears listed Roquan Smith as questionable on Friday, meaning he might not be able to play on Sunday. Alvin Kamara appears to be a full go (based on his tweets and the timing of his COVID situation) and that’s a problem for the Bears because Roquan is the guy who would be covering the dynamic running back. I know a single injury alone shouldn’t shift the way you feel about a game, but I’m so concerned about how Sean Payton will attack this Bears defense with Kamara if Roquan is missing that I’m going to take the Saints laying double digits here. I also think this game is going to stay under because both defenses are above average (even sans Roquan) and neither offense is necessarily explosive .” — Will Brinson, who is picking the Saints to cruise to a 28-17 win.
“Saints overs have hit in six of their eight home games this season and they are the only club in the league to score 20 or more points in every game this season. As for the Bears, the offense is averaging 28.3 points per game with Trubisky under center and the Over has hit in seven of his nine starts.” — Tyler Sullivan on why he’s leaning toward the Over.
Top prop picks
“Montgomery has totaled over 100 yards in six straight games and scored in five straight games. He is the Bears’ best offensive weapon and has the strengthened offensive line to help him. The Saints’ run defense, once feared as the most dangerous in football, has yielded six rushing scores and 5.2 yards per carry to enemy runners in its past four games.” — Dave Richard, who is all over Montgomery heading into the weekend.
Taysom Hill anytime touchdown (+200).
“We all know how much Sean Payton loves deploying Hill near the goal line and the utility star has scored in three straight games entering the playoffs. If you’re looking for an even higher upside, you could look for Hill to be the first player who scores a touchdown in this game at +1200. According to CBS Sports research analyst Stephen Oh’s simulations, this is a solid value for Hill, who +760 to score first in his sims.” — Tyler Sullivan on Hill scoring in Super Wild-Card Weekend.
Time: Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC), stream on fuboTV (Try for free)
“The Browns beat the Steelers last week to get into the playoffs, but it was a Steelers team that rested a lot of players, including Ben Roethlisberger. This will be much more of a challenge, especially without Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, who is out with COVID-19. The Browns’ plan will still be to pound the football at the Steelers to control the clock and let Baker Mayfield make plays on the move. But the Steelers defense will respond to that and play well here. Roethlisberger came alive in the second half of his last game against the Colts and I think that will carry over against the Browns. The Steelers own the Browns in Pittsburgh and that will continue.” — Pete Prisco on why leaning towards the Steelers to pull out a 27-17 win.
SportsLine managing editor R.J. White has been superb handicapping the Steelers, owning a 26-11 record on his last 37 against-the-spread picks involving the Pittsburgh. As for who he likes this week, head on over to SportsLine to find out.
“Another game that confuses me. COVID hits the Browns, Kevin Stefanski is ruled out, they lose Joel Bitonio, the line goes off the board with the Steelers favored by five points and naturally it re-opens at … Steelers -6? Was the COVID stuff already baked in??? Are the head coach of an NFL team and a Pro Bowl lineman really only worth one or two points to the spread? That seems crazy to me. And there’s buy back in some spots on the Browns. I love Pittsburgh here. Ben Roethlisberger got to rest after finding something against Indianapolis a few weeks back and I just don’t think Cleveland’s going to move the ball very well with the limited personnel they have and a total lack of practice until Friday afternoon. Maybe I’m wrong and Nick Chubb is ripping off big gainers. If they get him and Kareem Hunt going early and can get downhill on the Steelers from the get go, this could be a different game. It’s the ultimate “no one believes in us” game because no one is backing the Browns here. But if the Steelers get a lead and Baker Mayfield has to throw a ton against this defensive front? It could be curtains for an incredible Browns season.” — Will Brinson on why he is picking the Steelers to win, 24-10.
“The Under is 14-17-1 between these two teams this year, but they totaled 45 and 46 points respectively over their two regular-season matchups. Both of those games would have gone Under at this current total. Cleveland finished the season with a -11 point differential and have shown the ability to slow their games down with a strong running game, which could help keep this game Under.” — Tyler Sullivan on why he likes the Under at 47.5
Top prop picks
Baker Mayfield Under 239.5 passing yards (-115)
“So yes, Mayfield has put up over 250 yards in five of his past six. But he didn’t even get to 200 yards against the Steelers’ diminished defense in Week 17, nor did he in Week 6, nor has he ever had 200 yards against Pittsburgh in five career games! Now he’s supposed to with his playcaller not at the game and with the Steelers defense returning most of their starters?” — Dave Richard on why he is leaning towards the Under on Mayfield’s passing yards.
First touchdown scorer: Chase Claypool (+900).
“Claypool was able to find pay dirt in Week 15, snapping a five-game scoreless streak. According to CBS Sports research analyst Stephen Oh’s projections, Claypool holds great value as the first touchdown scorer during this Super Wild-Card Weekend matchup as his simulations have the receiver at +790 to score first.” — Tyler Sullivan, who is rolling the dice on Claypool scoring first.