Hey everybody, it’s that time of year again. The NFL playoffs are among us and thus, a great time to gamble. Here’s my advice to all of you so you can make money this weekend.
Falcons vs. Eagles +3:
For those of you who don’t know, which is most of you reading this, I’ve been doubting the Falcons all year. I didn’t think they would make the playoffs and last season was a definitely a fluke of a run (although that last statement I still stand by.) But overall, I was actually dead wrong about Atlanta’s talent and the importance of experience that they certainly possess over younger, more talented teams. Case in point, Atlanta’s performance last Saturday against the Rams made me look stupid and showed the importance of experience over youth in playoff games.
As talented as the Eagles are, they’re not the same team without Carson Wentz, no matter how you want to slice it. Like the Rams, they’re also a young and inexperienced team, except they’re playing with their backup quarterback who actually hasn’t proven himself to do anything impressive since he’s been taking snaps under center. Now, he’s being thrown into the belly of the beast against Atlanta, which is a team significantly more talented than anybody Foles has played this season. This is not going to be another Jeff Hostetler situation in Philly, take Atlanta to win the game outright and cover.
Titans vs. Patriots -13.5
As much as I hate New England’s guts, there’s no way New England doesn’t cover. Moreover, by the standards of 31 other NFL teams, being favored by two touchdowns is a huge spread that you generally don’t trust, but TB12 and the Hoodie are the exceptions to this rule. By New England’s standards, a 13.5 point spread is a 6 point spread.
New England has destroyed six of the last eight teams they’ve played by at least 18 points, and all six of these were home games. The Titans shocked the world last Saturday and deserve all the credit for it, but football is the ultimate game of probability, and what actually happened against Kansas City was as improbable of a situation as they come. If six of New England’s last eight games were won by at least 18 points, five of which were by twenty or more points, it makes more sense to come back to reality and pick New England to cover. They’ll win by two touchdowns or more, unless of course, Mariota can figure out a way to be the Bugs Bunny of football for a second week in a row.
Jaguars vs. Steelers -7 O/U 41
From watching last week’s game, all I learned from Jacksonville is that Blake Bortles blows and if you took out Buffalo’s defense and put in 11 members of Bills mafia on the field to defend Blake Bortles, Jacksonville will barely be able to put up more than 10 points. Sacksonville is just that, Sacksonville. They sure as hell can play defense against any offensive juggernaut you put in front of them on any end of the field but watching Blake Bortles try and put points on the board is like watching a plant grow.
As far as Pittsburgh goes, they’re by far a more talented team, it’s not even comparable, especially on offense. I can see Pittsburgh struggling early offensively just because of Sacksonville’s defense and Pittsburgh’s tendency to make mind-numbing mistakes but Pittsburgh will win this by at least two possessions and cover the 7 point spread off of sheer talent superiority. Also, TAKE THE UNDER, this won’t be a high scoring game.
Saints vs. Vikings -5 O/U 46.5
This is actually a pretty disrespectful spread to Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and the entire Saints team. Sure, Minnesota was a better regular season team, but come playoff time, the game changes drastically. New Orleans has a young defense and Sean Payton probably has movie’s worth of film on Case Keenum and everybody on Minnesota’s offense. The Saints are more talented, but they’re playing on the road in cold weather, so this game is the ultimate crapshoot. What’s not a crapshoot is that I wouldn’t pick either team to cover a five-point spread and I would definitely take the over because this will be high scoring. The Saints have arguably the best offense in all of football and in order to keep up, Minnesota will have to race down the field.