The NFL Playoffs are finally here.
Get ready for two straight weekends of four playoff games.
First, the Wild Card Weekend. Here are my picks.
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-1)
The line opened at Texans -2.5 but the public has jumped all over Indy, and you can’t blame em’.
The Colts have won nine out of their last ten, Andrew Luck might be MVP if it wasn’t for Patrick Mahomes, and the Texans have lost a little bit of their mojo.
After having that huge win streak, they lost two out of their last four games to end the regular season.
One of those losses featured the Colts, who came to NRG Stadium in Week 14 and aired the ball out on the Texans. Luck threw for 399, and T.Y. Hilton filled up the stat sheet against Houston, a team he performs especially well against.
Houston’s O-line is awful, and their run game is sketchy. Although the Texans have Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt up front, there’s no one the Colts fear in that secondary.
Frank Reich has made this Colts offense so fun to watch, and rookie linebacker Darius Leonard is leading a young defense that is steadily getting better and better.
Although the line dipped, I still like the Colts to win this game outright.
Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (-2)
The Cowboys are favourites in this one, large in part to the front-seven of the Cowboys and Dak Prescott’s resurgence.
It’s still scary to like them in this spot however. Dallas has never had a scary home-field advantage at JerryWorld, and there’s a ton of pressure on Prescott.
If he doesn’t play well and the Cowboys lose, the media will rush to wonder on Monday if he can be a long-term guy.
Meanwhile, there’s little to no pressure on the Seahawks. Barely anyone expected this semi-rebuilding team to make the playoffs.
But somehow, someway, Seattle finished the year 10-6.
Offensively, the Seahawks are one of the best teams in the league on the ground, spearheaded by second-year RB Chris Carson.
I think this game will be very low scoring, with a last minute field goal deciding the outcome. In this case, you take the two points and the more experienced quarterback in Russell Wilson.
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)
In the first meeting between these two teams, Baltimore went to Los Angeles and made the Chargers look real bad.
Philip Rivers had probably his worst game of the season, and that game alone has totally skewed this line.
The Chargers are the better roster, with the better quarterback. They should be the favourites, even on the road.
The Lamar Jackson hype is rivalling that of Tim Tebow in 2011.
He has an great defence and kicker, and can get away with pretty underwhelming stats every game. Now factor in the Chargers D facing him for the second time, and you know they’ll do a better job of scheming Lamar this time around.
The Chargers are 5-1 against the spread in their last six playoff games as road dogs.
Take LAC, and don’t even bet the spread.
Jump on the Chargers moneyline.
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (-6.5)
This is the one line that heavily favours a team.
In this case, the Bears at what should be a cold Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday.
Chicago’s rampant defence led by Khalil Mack has the Bears in the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
They’ll need that defence to carry Chicago in the postseason, with an offense that doesn’t scare anybody.
Philly meanwhile is seemingly better with Nick Foles under center, not Carson Wentz.
Will “Foles Gold” make the Eagles repeat as Super Bowl champs? Probably not.
But I like them +6.5 against a young Bears team that could easily succumb to the playoff pressure, reminiscent the way the Rams did last year at home.
Enjoy the games, folks!