The playoffs are finally here. The NFL made it through the whole year without having to cancel any games. This is the first year where we have 6 total wild card games giving us 2 straight days of wall to wall football. This will be the perfect opportunity for me to either claw my way back into the green or fall deeper into the red. Probably the latter but I love the board this weekend so let’s make some picks!
IND @ BUFF (-6.5)
The first time that the Bills host a playoff game in 2 decades and its during the middle of a global pandemic. Also the first time the Bills win the division in 25 years and it’s the year the playoffs expand to 7 teams so they miss out on a bye. The Bills come into this game rolling. They haven’t just been winning they have been beating teams into submission. Their offense is absolutely humming and their defense has been top 10 since week 10. The Colts on the other hand backed their way into the playoffs. If the Bills didn’t shit pump the Dolphins last week the Colts would be at home watching today. The only chance the Colts have is to pound the rock with Jonathan Taylor and keep the ball away from Josh Allen and the Bills offense as much as possible. I think the Bills know this as well and will try and force Rivers to beat them and I don’t think he can. If this game was in a dome or even somewhere warm maybe Rivers could put something together but not in Buffalo in January. I am taking the Bills to cover, and I don’t think this game will be particularly close. As long as they don’t blow a double digit lead in the fourth again I think we start off with a winner.
Pick: BUFF -6.5
LAR @ SEA (O/U 42)
These teams met two weeks ago to play for the division and Seattle won 20-9. I expect a similar result in this game. The Rams defense has been the best in the NFL this year, leading in Points per Game, Yards and passing yards per game. Because of this I expect the Seahawks to try and run the ball and limit mistakes. I expect the Rams to do the same, especially with Jared Goffs thumb situation unknown. Even though the total is the lowest of the weekend I still like the under here. I just don’t think either team scores more than 20 points.
Pick: Under 42
TB @ WASH (O/U 45)
The Bucs have got to be pissed that they got scheduled in a game past their quarterbacks bed time. Tom Brady and the Bucs have stunk in prime time this year. I don’t expect them to struggle with the Football team because I don’t think Washington can score but I do think the Bucs offense might struggle. Mike Evans plans to play but likely won’t be 100% and the Redskins have a solid defense. This is another game where I like the under. I like the under because I don’t know how the Football team will put up any points. They are talking about rotating quarterbacks? What is this a JV game where you want to make sure everyone gets to play? I just don’t see how that is a good strategy and because of that I like the under.
Pick: Under 45
BAL @ TENN (O/U 54.5)
While I am all over most of the unders this week, this game is one where I love the over. This Titian’s defense is as bad as they come. They can’t stop the pass and they have can’t get off the field on 3rd down. Couple that with the fact Baltimore will be looking for revenge after losing last year I’m the playoffs has me loving this over. I think Lamar will be able to exploit the Titian’s and put up points in bunches and I think the Titian’s will do what they do and score a ton. For as bad as the Titian’s are on defense they are the polar opposite on offense. In a year where the NFL saw the most points scored in history the Titian’s were a top 2 scoring offense. This game has 35-31 written all over it.
Pick: Over 54.5
CHI @ NO (-10)
I don’t want to like this pick but I just can’t help it. I am taking the Bears +10. The Bears offense has played better recently and I think they have enough defensively to slow down Brees. Brees can’t push the ball down field which will benefit the Bears. Add in the fact that the Bears do the best job in the NFL at covering running backs in the passing game has me loving them at +10. They very well could get slaughtered and I could look like a moron but I don’t see that happening. It might be uncomfortable to bet on Mitch Trubisky in the playoffs but sometimes you gotta get a little uncomfortable to pick a winner.
Pick: CHI +10
CLE @ PITT (O/U 47)
The Browns make the playoffs for the first time in 18 years and they will have to play their game without their head coach and without a full week of practice. It really is unfortunate because this Browns team does have the DNA to win a few playoff games. They have an elite pass rusher in Garrett, a good corner in Ward, serviceable linebackers. Then offensively they have an elite ground game and an all pro offensive line. However it is unlikely we will see them at full strength this postseason. While I do expect the Steelers to win and cover I am putting my money on the under. The Browns are without their play caller and the Steelers have a good defense. Then on the other side the Steelers can’t run the ball and Ben can’t move. I think this game stays under 47 which I think is a high total for these two teams.
Alright get your bets in and let’s enjoy two days of playoff football