For the first time since The Green Mile, Next Friday, and Any Given Sunday were crushing box offices nationwide, all three Florida-based NFL teams will appear in the playoffs together this weekend.
And the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Miami Dolphins will each enter the arena as underdogs, even though the Jags and Bucs both won the right as division winners to host their opponents on what the NFL calls Super Wild Card Weekend.
If you are brave or foolish enough to make a novelty parlay on this trio, make sure you’re getting the best number. As of this writing, FanDuel Sportsbook prices the three-Florida-team parlay at +3002. This comes after the Dolphins ruled out Tua Tagovailoa (concussions) on Wednesday and prepare to start rookie Skylar Thompson. Of course, if you’re in Florida, you’re either calling your local bookie or ringing your son back in Yonkers, because legal sports betting there remains on hold in the court system.
To review the last time Florida’s three teams even presented such a possibility, let’s briefly go back in time to the run-up to Super Bowl XXXIV in January 2000 — a thriller in which the Tennessee Titans came one yard short of potentially sending the contest against the winning St. Louis Rams to overtime.
Super Wild Card Weekend 2023
Jaguars +1.5 vs. Chargers
I have absolutely no clue, no lean, and pretty much no opinion on this game. The Chargers have been up and down all season. I like Brandon Staley’s aggressiveness on offense, but his broader decision-making has made Sean Payton a decent bet to become the next Chargers head coach. The Jaguars made a late charge to claim the AFC South, winning six of their last seven games after the bye, but their defense still leaves a lot to be desired and QB Trevor Lawrence’s play has been consistently erratic. This game is a coin flip, so give me the points.
Dolphins +13.5 at Bills
The Dolphins were already circling the drain before a mess of injuries to key players including Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, Terron Armstead, Raheem Mostert, most of the starting secondary, plus the backup quarterback. It’s not a good sign in 2023 when your team signs Mike Glennon off the street just before Week 18. I’m not running to lay 14 on Buffalo but want no part of Miami.
Bucs +2.5 vs. Cowboys
I am frothing at the opportunity once again to bet against the Cowboys in the playoffs. They are a perpetually talented team that is poorly coached and possesses the opposite of the “clutch” gene. With a chance to still win the NFC East and the conference’s No. 1 seed last week, Dallas played its starters at Washington and totally no-showed in a 26-6 faceplant, with a horrific 14-of-37 passing performance from Dak Prescott. Come Monday night, we can count on some combination of foolish penalties and bone-headed Mike McCarthy clock management.
Yes, I am aware that the Buccaneers are deeply flawed, too. This game opened with the Bucs as 3-point home dogs, and maybe it gets back there. You could throw Tampa into a 6-point teaser, or just watch this video on repeat until you join me at the same conclusion: Bucs moneyline.
Not an ending you see everyday 🤯pic.twitter.com/ie8HDTBwDZ
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) January 17, 2022