There are three wildcard games on Saturday, and then an additional three wildcard games tomorrow. If the owners make a lot of money off this new expanded format, then they’re going to push for this to be the new norm. I would have to lean towards that six games in the Wild Card Round is going to go anywhere because of the money involved. Not that I’m complaining, but any more teams and the regular season wouldn’t be as interesting.
In the first game of Wild Card Weekend, the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills get the day started on Saturday. The LA Rams and Seattle Seahawks take the early evening slot, and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Football Team in the primetime game. We have you covered all day with props for every game. Check out our Colts and Bills props if you’re interested in picks for the early game.
The Rams and Seahawks might be the most difficult game to handicap. I could see this one going either way. The Rams have the edge defensively over the Seahawks, but betting against Russell Wilson at home in the playoffs doesn’t seem like a foolproof plan. Jared Goff will be playing with three pins inserted into his left thumb on Saturday. Not ideal, but he’s not expected to have a setback. Fortunately, it didn’t happen to his right thumb, or else there would have been a lot of problems.
Wilson was a prime candidate for the MVP award early in the season. He was on fire and by far the best player through the first half. While Wilson cooled off, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers stepped up into the spotlight. Wilson completed the regular season with 4,212 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He also gained 513 yards on the ground on 83 attempts. Those are MVP numbers in my book, but it’s hard when Mahomes and Rodgers didn’t slow down. Even Derrick Henry should be in the mix for the award.
Seattle has shown nice progress on the defensive side of the ball since getting torched earlier on. After giving up 44 points to the Buffalo Bills on November 8, the Seahawks have allowed 16 per games. In two meetings against the Rams, they held their opponent to 23 points and 9 points most recently on December 27. Goff struggled with just 234 yards and an interception in that outing. We’ll see if he learned anything. Head below for our free Rams vs. Seahawks props for January 9, 2021 in the Wild Card Round.
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Russell Wilson Rushing Yards
Russell Wilson might just get hot at the perfect time, and if that happens, the Seahawks are going to be in business. He was red-hot to open the season, steadied a bit, and then got going in the right direction recently. Through the last four games, Wilson passed for 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
He also ran for an additional score on the ground. You have to like how tough Wilson can be. If he sees a lane and no open receivers, he’ll run all out to pick up as many yards as he can. In a playoff game against an aggressive defense, I’m sure that Wilson will take off and put his body on the line.
He was terrific in this respect in their first meeting against the Rams. Russ gained 60 yards on 8 attempts for a nice day running the ball. That was not the case in the next meeting, as the Rams held Wilson to 9 yards on 3 carries. Wilson was able to use his arm to lead the Seahawks to a 20-9 win, with 225 yards passing and a touchdown.
Wilson has ran for at least 29 yards in two of his previous three outings. After the Rams game, Wilson gained 29 yards against the 49ers on the road to close out the regular season. He ran for 513 yards and 2 touchdowns on 6.2 yards a carry. I’m going to back Russ to scramble for at least 25 yards in this one. He’s not going down easily on Saturday.
Russell Wilson Passing Yards
Russell Wilson will need to have a competent game for the Seahawks to get out of the Wild Card Round. No one is going to dispute that, but I don’t think he will have to light up the scoreboard statistically. If he steadily goes about his business, then the Seahawks are still going to be in fine shape. Russ hasn’t been a quarterback that has been lighting up the yards department recently, and the Seahawks have still been playing solid football.
With Chris Carson back on the field of late, that’s no surprise. Carson missed a big chunk of time because of an injury, depriving the Seahawks of their best running back. Wilson doesn’t have to go wild through the air if Carson is running effectively, and he has been recently. Russ has passed for 206, 121, 225, and 181 yards the last four weeks. He’s thrown for fewer than 245 yards in six of his previous seven outings.
The Rams are first in the NFL with 190.7 yards against per game. I don’t see them going down quietly in this game. Jalen Ramsey should be able to do enough to disrupt DK Metcalf and prevent him from going off on Saturday. If Metcalf is contained reasonably enough, then Wilson likely doesn’t have a big game passing. I will take a shot on the UNDER, with this one likely developing into a grind it out defensive battle.
Josh Reynolds Receiving Yards
Josh Reynolds has his moments in the Rams’ offense. When Jared Goff wants to look his way, Reynolds has been a reliable option for the Rams. He set a career-high this season, with 52 receptions and 618 receiving yards. Reynolds received the most targets of his career in 2020. His previous high was 29 in 2018, and he smashed that with 81 targets this season. The 25-year-old saw a lot of targets the last two weeks. Goff sent 16 balls towards Reynolds, and he collected 10 receptions for a total of 94 yards. Reynolds had 6 receptions for 65 yards against the Seahawks two games ago, and then 4 receptions for 29 yards the following week against the Cardinals. This total looks a bit too low to me. A look at the OVER looks good here.