Wow what a year. We finished the year 154-84-1 straight up to give us a win percentage of 55%. We also finished the year 37-21 ATS to give us a 57% win percentage there. Winning above 55% of the time is great money and that's what the pros usually strive for. So to say we had a great year may be an understatement. I'm sad to see it end, but it is now the most exciting time of the year… The playoffs… Anything and everything can happen in the playoffs, so buckle up guys because this could be a wild ride.
This is a tough one to predict based solely on the fact that both starting QBs have never played a snap in the playoffs. The Raiders are simply quite fortunate to even be in the playoffs. Their matchup earlier this year was a convincing Bengals victory in Las Vegas. This game will be outdoors in Cincy in freezing temperatures. That's significantly different from a dome in Vegas. The Raiders will have to be able to stop the Bengals high powered offense and try to keep up with it on the other end. I think this one ends up being a little closer than imagined but the Bengals end up on top.
This is the third matchup of the year between these two teams. The matchup is split between these two. I don't think that says that much though, as one of these matchups was in some of the worst weather I’ve seen in a long time in Buffalo last December. That weather did not allow the Bills to play their game which is with an elite passing attack. The weather this Saturday should permit an ability to pass the ball effectively, so I like the Bills a lot in this one. Also the Patriots have lost 3 of their last 4 games and are coming into the playoffs on a loss to the Dolphins… Expect Belichick to have some tricks up his sleeve defensively, but I think the Bills take this one rather easily.
Pick: Bills -4.5
Some really windy conditions are predicted in Tampa Bay for this one and that should benefit the Eagles. The Eagles led the league in rushing and averaged 4.9 yards per rushing attempt. The Bucs defense is designed to stop the run and their pass defense is below average. The Bucs are also missing two of their top wide receivers in Godwin and Brown. The Bucs pass the ball almost more than any team in the NFL so missing your star wide receivers should be a big hit to them. I think the Eagles somehow keep this one close and cover the spread. The Buccaneers should come out on top of this one in a closer game than expected.
Pick: Buccaneers / Eagles +8.5
This matchup is so intriguing and people around the sports world have been talking about it non stop. The reason why they are talking about it non stop is because the 49ers have a really good chance of upsetting the home team in the Cowboys. The 49ers possess a game plan unlike most teams in the NFL, and that is to be as physical as possible and run the ball down your throat. While the Cowboys play with a sort of finesse and a high powered offense. The Cowboys defense is designed to stop the modern day NFL offense, but that is far away from what the 49ers are offensively. Look for the 49ers to establish a good run game and control the clock. I think the 49ers may win this one outright but giving them three points feels like too many. Give me the 49ers +3.
Pick: 49ers +3
The Chiefs are 12.5 point favorites in a playoff game so that either says something about them or their opponent in the Steelers. I think it says a lot about both. The Steelers frankly shouldn't be a playoff team while the Chiefs are the best team in the AFC. This game shouldn't be close at all, and I see almost no scenarios where the Steelers come out on top. As a double digit favorite I’m not sure I like that in a playoff scenario. Give me the Chiefs straight up.
The Rams home field advantage has been proven to be not as effective as others and I think that factors big into this divisional matchup. Matthew Stafford has been struggling to keep the ball out of defenders hands as of late, and has 8 interceptions in his last 5 games. I think that the Cardinals have the better QB in this matchup and that may be the difference maker. The Cardinals are also very good on the road with a 7-1 road record this year. They are used to playing well on the road and should play well in this one. Does Sean McVay dial back his usage of Stafford and attack the suspect Cardinals run defense? I’m not sure, but I would… I like the Cardinals in this matchup and getting more than a field goal feels criminal. Take the points and ride with the Cardinals in this matchup.
Pick: Cardinals +4