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NFL Wild Card Weekend: All Eyes on Peacock’s Exclusive Chiefs-Dolphins Stream

There’s no shortage of key storylines as the NFL kicks off the playoffs with six games over three days as part of its holiday Wild Card Weekend.

We’ve got Tyreek Hill playing his former team in the playoffs as the Miami Dolphins visit the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Detroit Lions won a division title for the first time in 30 years, and their reward is a battle against longtime former Lions QB Matthew Stafford, now leading the Los Angeles Rams. Mike McCarthy won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers and now has to face them as Dallas Cowboys head coach.

Weather will also play a major factor in a pair of AFC matchups. Temperatures are forecasted to be in the single digits Saturday night in Kansas City, with a wind chill well into the negatives. In Buffalo, a state of emergency is in effect with a snowstorm expected to hit the area and winds gusting to 50 miles per hour leading into Sunday’s Bills home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

From media to betting, mixed with a few important incentives, here’s everything you need to watch out for Wild Card Weekend in the NFL.

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NBC, Peacock Making History

For the first time in NFL history, a playoff game will be exclusively broadcast on a streaming service. NBC reportedly paid $110 million for Saturday night’s ChiefsDolphins Wild Card matchup to only be on its Peacock streaming service, except for the involved local markets. Like its December regular-season exclusive between the Bills and Chargers, the fourth quarter will be commercial-free (perhaps more time to pan the cameras Taylor Swift‘s way).

NBC clearly hopes the game will drive permanent subscribers, or perhaps at least people who sign up for a free trial and forget to cancel the subscription later on. Other networks will be closely watching how many tune in Saturday night, with ESPN‘s ESPN+, CBSParamount+, Fox‘s Tubi, and Amazon Prime Video likely itching to be the next streamer to get a postseason game.

And if this works in the NFL, where there are fewer playoff games, you can imagine that Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max and ESPN+ will angle for exclusively streamed NBA playoff games soon, perhaps with baseball and hockey not far behind. It seems hard to slam the streaming playoff door shut unless Saturday’s experiment yields disastrous results.

Without going too far into the weeds, here are some betting splits and trends to watch courtesy of our friends at FanDuel SportsBook:

  • An overwhelming 80% of the money is on the Cleveland Browns to cover 2.5 Saturday afternoon in Houston against the Texans. Bettors love a David Njoku anytime touchdown at +180.
  • In frigid temperatures, 83% of the money is on the Chiefs -230 to beat the Dolphins. Isiah Pacheco over 64.5 rushing yards is one of FanDuel‘s most popular player props.
  • With Buffalo favored by 10, the largest spread this weekend, a lot of money is on Pittsburgh at favorable odds. Steelers +400 moneyline is getting 41% of the money, and Pittsburgh +10 is at 44% as bettors see strong value.
  • While a whopping 69% of bets are on Green Bay at +265 to upset Dallas, 64% of the money is on Dallas to hold serve at home at -335. A CeeDee Lamb anytime touchdown at -160 and Jordan Love over 22.5 pass completion are popular player props here.
  • Monday night’s game of the free-falling Philadelphia Eagles visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has bettors split on the outcome. While 63% of the money is on Philly to cover the 3-point spread, 55% of the money is on Tampa to pull the home upset at +134.

3 Key Monetary Incentives

After a slew of players cashed in on contract incentives in Week 18, three quarterbacks have a little extra individual motivation to win this weekend, per Spotrac. Joe Flacco earns an extra $250,000 if the Browns win at the Texans, Love would receive $500,000 if Green Bay wins and he plays 65% of the offensive snaps, and Baker Mayfield gets $250,000 if Tampa beats Philadelphia and he plays 75% of the offensive snaps.

Enjoy this weekend’s games!

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