It’s wild Card weekend, and I for one couldn’t be more excited. There is nothing like NFL playoffs, where every play could make the difference between winning and moving on, or losing and starting your vacation. The Jets will finish off the decade with zero playoff appearances but I’m not here to sulk about the Jets. I will however sulk about the Sixers who went from looking like one of the best teams in the NBA to a team who looks completely incompetent. I thought it was frustrating to watch the Jets, but man the Sixers are a whole new level of frustration. With the Jets, in the back of your mind, you have a feeling they are going to be shitty year after year and more often than not you are proven correct. With the Sixers, a team who had championship aspirations to watch them not only lose but to lose like they have been is a whole new level of frustration. They went out and paid Al Horford 110 Million dollars and he looks like a player worth maybe a veteran minimum. I mean in a 1 point OT loss to the Heat Horford couldn’t even break 30 minutes. They have a point guard who despite being called out by the coach and Embiid still refuses to shoot the basketball. Simmons has digressed this year offensively, shooting less free throws at a worse percentage, turning the ball over the most in his career, he’s also averaging the least points in his career. Those are just two of the Sixers problems that doesn’t even begin to touch on their bench who has been horrible with Thybulle out. Anyways, I digress, I’m here to make some NFL picks so let’s get to it.
BUF @ HOU (-2.5)
There is no better way to start off wild card weekend than with the Texans playing the 4pm Saturday game. Four out of the past 5 years, the Texans have played the 4pm Saturday Wild Card game. Since taking over the Texans in 2014, Bill O’Brien has been to the playoffs 4 out of his six years coaching, winning their division all 4 of those years. In those 4 years they have made it past the wild card round just once. On the other side of this game you have the Bills and first time playoff starter Josh Allen. Quarterbacks starting their first time in the playoffs are 15-32 historically. The Bills formula to win here is pretty simple, don’t turn the ball over and rely on your defense. This Bills defense has been one of the best in the NFL all season, giving up over 24 points just once on the year, and that was back in October. The Bills defensive strength matches up well with the Texans offensive strength. The Bills have arguably the best secondary in the NFL, lead by Tre’Davious White. If the Bills can limit Watson through the air they should win this game. Having said that I think the best bet here is the Under 43.5. I don’t think the Bills will put up many points and I think they can limit the Texans to under 20. Pick: Under 43.5
Tenn @ NE (-5.5)
It’s pretty sad that the highlight of my season was seeing the Patriots lose week 17 to the Dolphins causing them to lose their first round bye but that’s the life of a Jets fan. There is no denying that this Patriots team doesn’t look anywhere near what we are used to seeing from them. Having said that, you don’t really get rich betting against Brady in the playoffs. The Titans have the formula to beat the Pats, with a great running game and solid defense. However I’ve seen this story to many times to be baited into betting the Titans. I think the better bet is on the Under 44.5. For as bad as the Patriots offense has looked this year their defense is still top 3 in the league. Also I like to take into account the weather, which will have a storm passing over the area throughout the game. Both teams I believe will rely heavily on the run game which should slow the game down and keep the total low. You know what, screw this we are also betting the Titans. The Patriots are dead dogs walking, they are 4-4 in their last 8 games and their offense has looked like dog shit. Their defense who people were saying was historically good gave up 27 to Fitzmagic and the Dolphins at home last week. Give me Titans +5.5 and the Under 44.5. The Titans are going to roll in this game and I’m also sprinkling some on the Moneyline.
Minn @ NO (-7.5)
I feel like a square for the pick I’m gonna give but I just don’t see how it plays out any other way. I love New Orleans in this one at -7.5. The Vikings will be without 2 of their secondary and their current healthy corners are allowing the worst quarterback rating of any duo. I don’t have the stats in front of me but I think Xavier Rhodes has allowed over a 125 quarterback rating when he is in coverage. That doesn’t bode well going up against the best WR in the NFL. I also expect this to be a revenge game of sorts because of the Minneapolis Miracle. Also if you think I will put money on Kirk Cousins in the playoffs, you are a moron. Pick: NO -7.5
SEA @ PHL (+1.5)
That stat I mentioned earlier about first time quarterbacks playoff records also applies in this game because this will be Wentz’s first time playing in the playoffs. The past two years he has been injured and it has been Nick Foles leading the Eagles. These two teams met earlier in the year with the Seahawks winning 17-9. In that game Rashad Penny had 129 yards on the ground and the Seahawks had a total of 174 yards rushing. The Seahawks will have a tougher task this time around as they are down their top 3 running backs and had to sign Marshawn Lynch off the street to play for them. This is one where I like the home dog. I always loving betting on home underdogs and especially in the playoffs. I believe Ertz will be able to go and that will help the Eagles greatly. I expect the Eagles to be able to grind out a win at home but will take the points. Pick: PHL +1.5