Wildcard Weekend is in the books and from a neutral perspective it was one for the ages. The Jaguars had the comeback of the century, the Bills held on in a thriller, the Giants upset the Vikings, and the Bengals won on an insane 99-yard fumble return TD. Just an insane weekend of football. From a betting perspective, it was not a fun one for use. We we are on the wrong side of two colossal choke jobs by the Bills and Chargers. We were on the wrong end of Brady laying the egg of the century for our teaser. Just not fun overall.
But this is a new weekend and I am ready to get after it again.
NFL Playoffs: 4-6-1 -3.55u
NFL YTD: 138-91-3 +47.86u
Chiefs (-9) vs. Jaguars o/u 53
The Chiefs come into this game as the biggest favorites of the weekend. The main question is obviously will we get the 1st half Jaguars/Trevor Lawrence or the 2nd half ones from last week. If the Jaguars do come out slow, I can guarantee Andy Reid and Mahomes will not let them come back so Doug Pederson should prioritize early success.
If anything, the Mahomes’ Chiefs teams are the ones with a history of starting slow and needing to come back in postseason games. I think that the pressure is now off of Lawrence and the Jaguars and they will play more loosely in this game. I do think they can have a reasonable amount of success against a Chiefs passing defense that is 20th in DVOA.
On the other side, Mahomes should ball out against this awful Jaguars secondary. I think this will be a higher-scoring game with swings in both directions, with the Chiefs ultimately coming out on top. History tells us that the Chiefs will win this game and not cover thanks to this great trend from Clevta:
I’m thinking a final score of 34-28 in this game where both QBs have a good amount of success sounds about right.
Picks: 2u Chiefs -2.5 /Eagles -1.5 Teaser, 1.5u Jags +8.5
Eagles (-7.5) vs. Giants o/u 48
It is easy to say that the Eagles have all of the pressure on them here. The Giants are playing with house money and the Eagles have been the darlings of the NFL for most of the season. However, public perception seems to have flipped on these teams over the last couple of weeks. The Giants beat the fraud Vikings and ended the season strong. Meanwhile, the Eagles lost two meaningless games with Gardner Minshew and struggled against the Giants’ backups in Week 18.
However, the talent disparity in this matchup is insane. The Eagles are the better team at basically every position group on the field. I do think Brian Daboll is an incredible coach and that could keep the Giants in this game. However, the Eagles’ defense will give Daniel Jones problems 100x worse than the Vikings could. The Eagles’ offense also has much more explosiveness and is more multi-dimensional than the Vikings.
I expect the Eagles to pick up this win with a final score close to the current number. Let’s go with 31-21.
Pick: 2u Eagles/Chiefs teaser, 1u Eagles/Bills MLP (will bet 1u on Eagles if the line drops to -7)
Bills (-5.5) vs. Bengals o/u 49
This is probably the most highly anticipated matchup of the weekend. These teams face off again just a few weeks after the Damar Hamlin tragedy in Cincy. This game has some controversy from Bengals fans because they think there should have been a coin flip or neutral site because they didn’t get the chance to earn the 2 seed. But unfortunately, these two teams both played 17 games and the Bills won more. Therefore, the Bills Mafia will be out of control for this game.
After the hot start last week, the Bills decided to play with their food and almost lost to the Fins because of it. I expect them to go hard this weekend against a tougher opponent and be relentless on every level. I do think the Bengals’ defense has issues and their OL is in big trouble because of all the injuries they’ve had.
There will just be too much Josh Allen and too much of the Bills’ pass rush in this game. I think they get this win by 7+. Let’s call it 28-20.
Picks: 1u Bills -4, 1u Bills/Eagles MLP
49ers (-4) vs. Cowboys o/u 46.5
This is a tough game. The 49ers have been elite ever since acquiring CMC. They started slow and Purdy looked a bit shaky last week, but they really turned things up in the 2H and took over the game. This is without question a much tougher matchup. The Cowboys’ pass rush will test Brock Purdy like he has not yet been tested on the NFL level.
The 49ers should still have an elite game plan and they should also give Dak a really hard time defensively. I think this game will be super tight and lower scoring with the 49ers squeaking out the W at home. Give me a 21-20 final score.
Pick: 1u Cowboys +4
That’s it for this week! Check Twitter for any props/SGPs/adds etc. Other than that…