NFL Wild Card Weekend Preview and Picks

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Last Week ATS: 5-9

Last Week ML: 0-2 (-2 units)

2015 Season ATS: 128-133-3 (49%)

2015 Season ML: 13-27 (-.2 units)

2015 Season Alt Lines: 4-2 (+6.65 units)

2014 Season ATS: 77-48-5 (62%)

 

With a disastrous bowl season behind me, let’s focus ahead. Back to back 60% seasons ATS is finito. Even if I picked all 11 sides and totals correct in the playoffs, I’d finish at 53%. 

That doesn’t mean we can’t wipe the slate clean and make a few bitcoins in the new year. I won’t be playing all 22 sides and totals, because as I learned this season…large cards are a bad idea.

I will however breakdown each playoff game and give out either a lean or a locked in play. Only locks will count towards the record. No flowery prose here, just a list of bullet points for each side of these games laying out why that side would the best bet, ending with a final conclusion. 


 

Lines courtesy of scoresandodds.com. For entertainment purposes only.

 

Chiefs (-3) at Texans (Total: 40)

The case for Kansas City:

  • Houston lost their stud Left Tackle last week for this game. Versus the Chief pass rush (46 sacks, good for 6th in the league), it’s a terrible week to lose him
  • Chiefs are hot; haven’t lost since mid October
  • Chiefs were 5-3 on the road this year, including a week 1 win at Houston where they had a big lead until the Texans scored some garbage points late to make it look close
  • Alex Smith quietly had a really solid year, with only 7 INTs all season. He’s also never thrown an INT in 114 pass attempts in his playoff career
  • Public pounding KC, but the line is about to pop up to -3.5 and maybe beyond
  • You really want to bet on Brian Hoyer in the playoffs?
  • Outside of DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans offensive weapons are limited
  • The Texans are here because they won the worst division in the NFL
  • The lame Saturday afternoon wildcard game always seems to be an AFC game that no one watches and the fave covers

The case for Houston:

  • Playoff home dog catching 3 (or more maybe) versus a team coached by Andy Reid? Seems like an auto play.
  • KC’s 10 game win streak was against 8 teams with losing records, Denver with the corpse of Peyton Manning at QB and Pittsburgh with Landry Jones at QB. Not exactly a murderers row
  • Andy Reid
  • Hopkins put up some crazy numbers with a band of freaks playing QB this season. Feels like he makes a splash on Saturday
  • Houston has a defense to keep this close. Remember they beat a Dalton led Bengals team this season at Cincy. Both teams had top 10 defense but Houston’s was actually better statistically
  • Andy Reid…
  • Public perception is that KC is red hot and Houston stinks and is only here because their division stinks. These teams seem a lot more even than that
  • Andy Reid…laying points…on the road…in the playoffs

Final outlook: A lean to Houston if you can get the hook, but Smith is really underrated and as long as Reid stays out of the way and doesn’t have to make any big decision late, this feels like a Chiefs 7 point win. Lean under as well, but no play here yet.

Prediction: Chiefs 20 Texans 13

 

Steelers (-3) at Bengals (Total: 46)

The case for Pittsburgh:

  • An explosive offense that the AJ McCarron led Bengals won’t be able to keep up with
  • Pittsburgh hasn’t lost at Cincy since 2009
  • Bengals playoff drought (haven’t won a playoff game since 1990) hanging over their head
  • Mike Tomlin has way more gamble in him than Marvin Lewis and will make the 2-3 gutsy calls in the game to get the win/cover

The case for Cincy:

  • Third straight road game for Pittsburgh
  • D’Angelo Williams being out would be a killer for the Steeler offense
  • Is AJ McCarron really THAT bad? 
  • The world is on Pittsburgh and yet Cincy was 12-3-1 ATS this season
  • The world is on Pittsburgh and yet the line is sitting on -3 and there’s even -2.5 out there
  • The Steelers just lost a must win game two weeks ago to Ryan Mallet
  • The Steelers D relies a lot on turnovers and gives up a lot of yards. In McCarron’s 3 starts Cincy has 2 turnovers

Final outlook: I locked in Bengals +3 and ML +125 earlier this week on the FSB Facebook page. This Steeler team is more reputation than substance, and without D’Angelo Williams the offense will get way too one dimensional. Big Ben takes a beating and a lot of 2H points push this over. The Bengals get their first playoff win since 1990.

Prediction: Bengals 34 Steelers 26

 

Seahawks (-5.5) at Vikings (Total: 39.5)

The case for Seattle:

  • Huge edge in playoff experience
  • Can Bridgewater keep the Vikings in this game if they get in a double digit hole?
  • Seattle won at Minnesota in November 38-7
  • Marshawn Lynch returns
  • A nearly 6 point road favorite in the playoffs? Oddsmakers begging for Viking money
  • Russell Wilson making those 4-5 improvisational plays that make you ever regret betting Minnesota
  • Seattle D being able to load up on Peterson and make Bridgewater beat them
  • Seahawks are the 6 seed and yet are one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl

The case for Minnesota:

  • The world is on Seattle and yet the Vikings were 13-3 ATS
  • The world is on Seattle and yet the line hasn’t gone to 6 yet? There are -5’s and -4.5’s out there
  • Seattle just lost at home 2 weeks ago to the Rams
  • It’ll be single digits in Minneapolis, give me the team from Minnesota
  • The Vikings special teams learned their lesson kicking to Tyler Lockett last game
  • How ready is Marshawn? Thomas Rawls tore up a banged up Viking D last game but he is out with injury
  • The world will have Seattle in a 6 point teaser

Final outlook: Everyone’s favorite to be this years wild card team that makes a run to the Super Bowl bows out this weekend. The largest dog of the weekend isn’t even getting the token ML love from the public. I locked in Vikings +5.5 and ML +185 earlier this week on FSB Facebook. Minnesota has a healthier D than the last time these two met and an early Viking lead will let them keep the playbook open for gadget plays to Diggs and Patterson. Russell Wilson never gets going and every teaser in America blows up.

Prediction: Vikings 24 Seahawks 10

 

Packers (+1) at Redskins (Total: 45.5)

The case for the Packers:

  • Never bet against Aaron Rodgers as an underdog, even a slight one
  • The Redskins didn’t beat a team with a winning record all season. The three teams with winning record they did play they lost by a combined score of 105-46
  • The Packers played a way tougher schedule and went 3-4 against teams with winning records
  • The Redskins can be run on and haven’t faced a team capable of exploiting their run D in weeks. Look for a lot of Eddy Lacy
  • What do we even know about the Redskins? Their last 4 wins were a pointless week 17 Cowboy win, a division clincher against a Philly team that was ready to fire it’s coach, a blowout over a floundering Bills team and a road win at Chicago where the Bears missed a makable game tying FG late
  • The Kirk Cousins story has been nice, but the knocks always been that he shuts down quickly with an early turnover (granted he hasn’t had those lately). An early Packer takeaway could potentially rattle a guy who’s been cruising against bad teams for weeks

The case for the Redskins:

  • The Skins offense has way more weapons right now than Green Bay and Cousins is playing out of his mind. Does Green Bay have anyone to cover Jordan Reed?
  • Two of the three Redskins losses to teams with winning records they were incredibly banged up. 
  • Cousins has improved every week and he didn’t have the benefit of a training camp. Remember RG3 was named the started and got most of the reps in training camp and preseason practices
  • Green bay is in a terrible funk right now. It took them awhile to put away a Matt Cassel led Cowboys team and they beat Detroit on a Hail Mary. That’s 2 of their last 3 wins
  • Rodgers can’t do it on his own. He’s not getting much help and James Starks is losing their faith as a guy who can spell Lacy because of fumbling
  • Green Bay has been banged up for weeks and left tackle Bakhtiari is going to be game time decision. Corner Sam Shields looks like he’s out
  • The Redskins just might be the random wild card team that makes a run in the playoffs this year

Final outlook: The Pack has looked bad for 6 weeks now. The Redskins have been rolling. Yes, the Redskins haven’t beaten a team with a winning record, but they have that look of a team that’s peaking at the right time. Locking in Redskins -1.

Prediction: Redskins 33 Packers 26

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “NFL Wild Card Weekend Preview and Picks

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:15 am
    Permalink

    Adding:

    Chiefs -3

    Reply
  • January 10, 2016 at 4:29 pm
    Permalink

    Adding:

    Packers/Redskins over 47.5
    Adjusted Line over 54.5 (+200)

    Reply

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