NFL wild-card games have at least one dog ready to bark: Best Bets for Sunday (Jan. 15)

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs from Minnesota Vikings safety Camryn Bynum (24) during a 27-yard touchdown run in the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 27-24. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Sunday, Jan. 15:


The play: NFL wild-card game, Giants +3 over Vikings

The odds/bet: -114

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 4:40 p.m. (Fox)

Our take: Take a look at the first game these two teams played just a few weeks ago, and it tells a story. Daniel Jones passed for more yards (334) than Kirk Cousins (299). Saquon Barkley rushed for more yards (84) than Dalvin Cook (64).

The Vikings needed a 61-yard field goal to keep this game from going into overtime.

In other words, everything points to this not only being a close game once again, but the Giants potentially pulling an upset as a 6 seed in the NFC, where the 6 seed has won five consecutive games against the 2.

We’re not quite ready to pull the trigger on the money line, and as we said in our NFL best bets column earlier in the week, we absolutely LOVE the G-Men in a teaser (with either the Bucs or Bengals), but this has final drive written all over it.


The play: Giants running back Saquon Barkley to rush for more than 73.5 yards

The odds/bet: -113

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Our take: We already told you Barkley rushed for 84 yards in the first matchup, and he is more rested in this one and should get the ball potentially 20 times. There’s little question that as long as the Giants don’t fall behind, their star running back is going to get plenty of touches – AND they would have to fall behind big early.

We don’t see that happening, and this could be the best player prop of the entire wild-card weekend.


Saturday’s best bets

NFL, Elijah Mitchell OVER 38.5 yards rushing (LOST)

NFL, Keenan Allen OVER 80.5 yards receiving (LOST)

Saturday’s record: 0-2

Total for the week: 7-5

Total for January: 16-11

Total for 2023: 16-11

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).


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