The Lines Lookahead: NFL Brings The Heat With Six Playoff Games In One Weekend

Written By Brett Gibbons on January 4, 2021
TheLines Lookahead Ryan Tannehill

January is one of the top months on the sports calendar as the NFL Playoffs take center stage. This year’s pro football postseason will literally be bigger than ever as – for the first time – there will be six Wild Card games played during one weekend.

In addition to the start of the NFL Playoffs, the NBA regular season enters its third week of play, and the college basketball season rolls on. Here is a look at the top sporting events for this coming week.

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Celtics vs Heat – Wednesday

It’s not the best start in franchise history at 4-3, but the Celtics are still one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference at +850 odds (FanDuel Sportsbook). Miami, the reigning East champs, have slightly lower odds at +700. The Heat currently own a sub .500 record, including a near 50-point blowout loss at the hands of the Bucks, but the season is still young. It’s the first matchup between these two since their clash in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals.

NCAAB: No. 4 Texas vs No. 14 West Virginia – Saturday

It’s the sole matchup between top-10 teams this week in Morgantown. The Longhorns have reached their highest ranking in the AP Poll since 2015 behind outstanding defense, specifically on the perimeter. Texas is coming off a blowout win over Kansas – their first win in Lawrence since 2010. West Virginia has been winning games on the back of second-chance opportunities, as they are 13th in the country in offensive boards. They’re a balanced team focused on getting the best shot possible; their 45.3 two-point attempts per game is 12th in the nation.

NFL Wild Card Weekend – Saturday

The NFL regular season is over and the stage is set for Wild Card weekend. The 13-3 Bills () take on the 11-5 Colts, followed by the 12-4 Seahawks () and the 10-6 Rams. The Saturday slate is capped by 7-9 Washington and 11-5 Tampa Bay (). Buffalo (+350 at FD) is second to the Chiefs in odds to win the AFC, while the Saints (+275) are second in odds to win the NFC.

NFL Wild Card Weekend – Sunday

The 11-5 Titans kick off the Sunday slate of Wild Card games against the red-hot 11-5 Ravens (), followed by the 12-4 Saints () taking on the 8-8 Bears. Arguably the most intriguing game of Wild Card weekend is the 12-4 Steelers () and the 11-5 Browns, who are appearing in their first postseason since 2002. Their last playoff game was also against the Steelers and the two teams split their regular season series. The Ravens hold the fifth seed, but have the best odds of any Wild Card team to make the Super Bowl at +600. The Browns (+2400) hold the longest odds to make the Super Bowl in the AFC, while the Bears and Washington hold the longest odds in the NFC (+4000).

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Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons