NFL Postseason Opening Weekend Outlook
We’re coming up on one of the most exciting times of the year. Few things get a gambler licking their lips like the NFL playoffs. If you tailed my regular season picks (82-60-2), then you had yourself quite a profitable year. Well I’m looking to stay in a generous mood and give out winners all the way through the Big Game on the Second Sunday in February. We’re keeping this train a-rollin’. Let’s ride.
Raiders, Buccaneers, 49ers, Bills, and Steeler
Las Vegas Raiders +6.5 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Our first lock of the playoffs happens to also be the first game of the playoffs. I know the Bengals are the darlings of the NFL this year, but how they’re almost a touchdown favorite here is beyond me. Don’t forget, this team hasn’t won a playoff game since the George H. W. Administration. That’s seven straight one and done’s. Not only did they lose those seven, they failed to cover in those seven, going 0-6-1 ATS. You can’t rule that out when betting this game.
I doubted the Las Vegas Raiders last week and that came back to bite me in the ass. With all they have gone through this year, it’s hard not to think this a team of destiny. Interim coach Rich Bisaccia has his players ready to run through a wall for him. They play their best when it seems nobody believes in them. The Silver and Black are 6-2 both SU and ATS in their last eight games as a road underdog.
These two teams met back in November and the Bengals won in blowout fashion. Don’t think Vegas has forgotten that. Cincy may win this one, but you just can’t bet on a team with no playoff wins since the fall of the Soviet Union to win by a touchdown. Take the Raiders.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -8 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. is on the march to defend his title and capture his eighth in the process. The Bucs will come into the playoffs without two key weapons in Chris Godwin (ACL) and Antonio Brown (Being AB), but they are still more talented and have more depth than the Eagles. The Bucs are also on quite the heater coming into the Wild Card Round, having won seven of eight and covering in six of those eight. They are just a much better team from top to bottom.
Philadelphia is one of the surprises of the season. Getting to the playoffs in a rebuilding year with a rookie head coach was certainly not expected. The Eagles are better than most people give them credit for, but they do not have the horses to keep up with the Bucs, especially if they fall behind early. They love to run the football so getting caught in passing downs could be their downfall.
Philly fans should be optimistic about their future after this surprisingly decent season, but the season ends here. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should have no problem winning this game by at least two touchdowns.
San Francisco 49ers +3 vs. Dallas Cowboys
An old rivalry will be reignited when two of the hottest teams in the league meet in Dallas. The Cowboys come into this game covering five of their last six games, while San Fran has covered four of their last five. Dallas has the better record on paper, but if you look closer, it’s really not that impressive. They only have two wins over teams who finished with a winning record.
Both of those teams, Saints and Chargers, finished at 9-8 while three of their last four losses came to playoff teams. Essentially, I think they are overrated as hell. Their running game is struggling mightily and Dak Prescott does not have the ability or the weapons to put this team on his back.
San Francisco 49ers, on the other hand, is legitimately good. Kyle Shanahan must have heard everyone saying he should be on the hot seat because they are 7-2 SU since mid-November. Jimmy G has turned into one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the league. They also have dynamic weapons in Elijah Mitchell, DeeBo Samuel, and the emerging Jauan Jennings (go vols). I also have more faith in Shanahan to manage a game far better than Mike McCarthy.
The Cowboys love to beat up on terrible teams, but wilt when they play someone worth a damn. Take the Niners.
The Rest of the Bunch:
Buffalo Bills -4 vs. New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers +12 vs. Kansas City Chiefs LA Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals U49.5
I love the NFL playoffs. It really is a magical time. We put your bookie through the ringer in the regular season, and we’re coming back for more this weekend. There’s no way these picks don’t go 6-0. Trust me, I did the math.
* All odds provided by Action247 Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
**All views expressed are my own. My picks are my own and are not a guarantee, bet at your own risk.