Upset Bets to Place for the NFL Wild Card (2022)

By Anthony Haage in NFL
| January 14, 2022 2:34 pm PST

The playoffs are a whole different animal when it comes to betting on upsets. No team is safe from an upset in the playoffs. Every team has a right to be there no matter what their regular season record is.

Upsets in the NFL playoffs have a major impact on bets. It is where your Super Bowl bets that you placed all the way at the beginning of the year come to die. The true best team will rise above the rest to become the champion of this NFL season.

That could very well be an underdog team and their journey can start in this Wild Card round. Here are the 3 underdog bets you should place for this week of NFL action, with odds from BetOnline.

San Francisco 49ers (+134)

The 49ers are one of the best teams to bet on in this playoffs, in my opinion. They finished in third place in the NFC West and they are going to be flying under the radar. This week they take on the Cowboys, who have been a very solid team this season.

This won’t be an easy task, as every playoff team has a right to win any given game. The 49ers should be a unique team who could surprise people with their skill sets.

The 49ers are kind of the opposite than most top tier teams nowadays. Instead of an aerial attack, they have a dominant rushing attack. Their rushing attack has been incredible for the past couple years and has led them to great success.

Their entire offense is built around the run, which makes their passing game hard to stop as well. Eli Mitchell has been a great pickup for them in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft and will be leading the charge again.

They also have a great offensive line and one of the best blocking (and tight ends overall) in George Kittle. Deebo Samuel has also been contributing in the rushing attack and still remains as a dangerous receiver.

If they get a lead over the Cowboys, they can run the ball effectively to keep it out of Dallas’ hands. The 49ers were also the best team in the NFL in terms of yards per play (6.1), even though they are a run first team.

They also have a great pass rush who can make it very difficult to mount a comeback against them. If they play to their fullest potential, the 49ers can upset the Cowboys and possibly make a deep run this year.

Las Vegas Raiders (+192)

The Raiders surprised a lot of people with their finish to the regular season. They went on a 4 game winning streak to close out the year and won their “win and get in game” against the Chargers last week.

They are also getting healthy at the perfect time. Arguably their best player is tight end Darren Waller, who brings another big play element to their team. Their defense has been the key to their success this season, but Waller’s return means the offense can help out more too.

The Raiders have battled an absurd amount of off the field, but that hasn’t stopped them yet. As Al Davis once said, “Just Win Baby.” This season is all about what the Raiders stand for and it could lead them to a playoff win.

They do have a tough opponent in the Bengals this week, who actually beat them in Week 11 to a score of 32-13. They are going to have to improve performance wise against the Bengals, but that game was closer than the scoreboard implies.

The score was just 10-6 after the first half. They even entered the 4th quarter to a score of 13-6. Since that point, the Bengals ratted off 19 points and 17 came in the last 5 minutes and 2 seconds.

Cincinnati has been a great 4th quarter team all season and the Raiders found that out the hard way. If they can have the same sort of defensive success against the Bengals like they did in the first 3 quarters, they can have a realistic shot at winning this game.

They held Joe Burrow to just 148 yards passing in their first game, so they have shut him down once already this season.

New England Patriots (+189)

You often can’t go wrong betting on the Patriots. This week they are actually an underdog, which is always a rare sight to see. They do have a very tough opponent in the Buffalo Bills, but New England is very tough themselves.

We have seen Bill Belichick coached teams absolutely dominate any opponent. The biggest Belichick game to me was Super Bowl LIII (2019). The Rams had the most lethal offensive unit in the entire league and the Patriots held them to just 3 measly points.

Belichick is capable of leading his team to another deep postseason run and could beat any opponent. Mac Jones looks like the key to their future and he has had a great season so far. He has struggled against Buffalo, but he is improving every week.

The Patriots don’t need top level quarterback play to win any game, though it would be nice. The Patriots are an amazing defensive team, while having a strong rushing attack as well.

If they can execute the running game against the Bills, they can keep the ball out of Josh Allen’s hands.

The Patriots were actually able to beat the Bills that way in Week 13. Yes, the weather played a major factor in that game, but this game is set to be a cold one too. If the Patriots are able to run the ball effectively all game, they can have a very good chance of winning this game.

The Patriots ran for 222 yards on 46 carries (4.82 yards per carry) and a touchdown in that game. Jones only attempted 3 passes and the Patriots still won. In their second game against Buffalo, they ran for 149 yards on 27 carries (5.51 yards per carry) and 3 touchdowns.

Best Underdog Bets for the Wild Card Round

Underdog bets are always riskier to make than picking the favorites. But in the playoffs, any team is capable of winning. Making the playoffs is extremely difficult in the NFL and for any team to make it means that they can keep themselves in any game.

These 3 teams should all have strong chances to beat their opponents despite being the underdog. The other teams that will be underdogs for this week include the Philadelphia Eagles (+320), Pittsburgh Steelers (+550), and Arizona Cardinals (+165). If you like any of those teams to win, head over to the best NFL betting sites to place your bets.

Hopefully we can get some great value on some stunners this week, as the NFL season did not fail to keep us on our toes this season.

For more NFL pick recommendations, check out our NFL picks page.

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