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NFL

NFL Wild Card Weekend Sportsbook

Here's what I need ESPN: I need a graphic of T.Y. Hilton as bull doing the running off the bulls in Spain, and running over all the Texans defenders since he's been in the league with Andrew Luck and other teammates cheering on.  

#6 Indianapolis Colts (+1) @ #3 Houston Texans (-1)O/U 49

  • Saturday January 5th, Houston, TX (NRG Stadium): 4:35 PM EST on ESPN/ABC
  • As is tradition ESPN gets the AFC South battle or the Cincinnati Bengals, sometimes even both.  This one is actually a good game though, usually it’s shit.  Remember that Conner Cook led Oakland Raiders team in Houston a few years ago against Brock Osweiler?  Good times.
  • Both of these teams looked dead in the water after a few weeks but find themselves in the playoffs and a good chance in the wide open AFC to make a Super Bowl run.
  • Indy and Houston are both 25/1 odds win the Super Bowl.
  • These teams played two great games in the regular season, Houston won in Indy 37-34 in OT and Indy won in Houston 24-21.
  • Both of these teams have very good defenses but if there is a vulnerable unit, it is that Houston pass defense.
  • I think Indy needs to setup the run by throwing the ball more often early and attacking that weak secondary.  If Indy can neutralize Watt & Clowney for the majority of the game, there is nobody else on Houston that is going to pressure Andrew Luck.
  • Bill O’Brien is 2-1 in the playoffs.  Frank Reich is coaching in his first playoff game as a head coach but was on the Philadelphia staff last year during that magical run and was on the Buffalo Bills as a player back in the 1990’s during their Super Bowl runs. I don’t think O’Brien has a huge advantage here, and I like and trust Reich more than O’Brien.
  • Andrew Luck is 3-3 in his playoff career.
  • Deshaun Watson is making is postseason debut in the NFL, but he is the most proven big game QB we’ve ever seen coming out of CFB.  He won two ACC Championship Games, won 2 CFB semi-final games, and went 1-1 against Alabama in National Championship games. This playoff stage will not be too big for him.
  • What I do worry about with Watson, is how he protects his body.  Week 17 against Jacksonville, Houston was up by 17 or so will only a few minutes left and Watson is still out there running the ball, not going out of bounds, and taking hits.  He needs to learn when to slide, and when to go for it.
  • I also worry about him protecting the ball, Watson was very turnover prone at the start of the year – he had 7 INT’s in the first six games of the year but cleaned it up and hasn’t thrown once since Week 11. He also has 9 fumbles on the year.  The Colts have a great defense, Watson can’t be out there giving them chances to give the ball back to Andrew Luck.
  • Who the fuck is gonna guard Deandre Hopkins? Nobody.
  • Watson also doesn’t have the weapons that Luck has.  O’Brien needs to help Watson out and get some creative play calling and get Lamar Miller going.
  • Houston probably has the worst offensive line of all the teams in the playoffs.
  • T.Y. Hilton this year has 13 catches for 314 yards against the Texans this year.  He also has a bum ankle which has limited him the last few weeks of the season.  That ankle is feeling better though according to him due to the piss poor Houston pass defense.
  • Also this tweet:

  • Here’s what I need ESPN: I need a graphic of T.Y. Hilton as bull doing the running of the bulls in Spain and running over all the Texans defenders with Andrew Luck and other teammates cheering on.
  • Besides having a more “star” players, I am not sure which unit on the Texans is better than the Colts?  QB? Colts. RB? Toss up? WR? Toss up? TE? Colts. OL? Colts. DL? Texans. LB? Colts. DBs? Colts.
  • I trust Andrew Luck more.  I trust Frank Reich more.  Give me the Colts to win this game in a high scoring affair and move onto Kansas City next week.
    • 52% on Indy & 67% on the Over.

#5 Seattle Seahawks (+1.5) @ #4 Dallas Cowboys (-1.5)O/U 43.5

  • Saturday January 5th, Arlington, TX (AT&T Stadium): 8:15 PM EST on FOX
  • I don’t think the Cowboys.  I don’ like the Seahawks. Russell Wilson might still be a virgin (just a guess).  Dak Prescott doesn’t like fun (confirmed fact).
  • These two teams want to do the same exact thing.  Run the football, and play great defense.
  • These two teams met in Seattle in Week 3 where the Seahawks won 24-13.
  • We can’t take much from that game other than Zeke had 16 carries for 127 yards.  If he does that again, the Cowboys will be in a great fucking spot to win this game.
  • Amari Cooper was the talk of the town in Dallas for a few weeks there, but he must have taken a quick trip back Oakland and put some dirt from Alameda Coliseum in a jar and brought it back because he has fucking sucked. 80 yards on 14 catches in the last three games and no touchdowns.  He puts up stats like that, the Cowboys lose.
  • I’d look for rookie WR Michael Gallup to make some big plays of the Cowboys.
  • Dak sucks all the fun out of the room.
  • Seattle on the other hand has reinvented themselves.  No Marshawn Lynch, no Legion of Boom. Drafted a rookie RB in the 1st round. Crappy offensive line. This was supposed to be a mini-rebuilding year but Pete Carroll has worked his magic.
  • A lot of that has to do with Chris Carson and the Seahawks ability to run the ball effectively.
  • The re-emergence of Tyler Lockett has helped Russell Wilson and the passing game immensely. It seems like every week Lockett is catching a bomb.
  • Russell Wilson obviously has way more postseason experience than Dak Prescott, but “No Fun” Prescott has played in one playoff game and played well. Albeit against the Packers and one of the worst playoff defenses to every step on a field in the divisional round.
  • I like Dallas’ defense better in this game.  They don’t really have a weak spot and were great at home minus an odd game against the Tennessee Titans. They only give up 18.5 PPG at home.
  • The Seahawks meanwhile give up 21.3 PPG on the road.
  • I hope both these teams lose.
  • This is the toughest game of the weekend to pick.  I really trust Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson way more than Jason Garrett and Dak “Fun Sucking” Prescott. However, I like the Cowboys defense more than the Seahawks, I like Zeke better than what Seattle has to offer, and although I’m not a fan of Prescott – he hasn’t played awful in big games.  I’ll reluctantly take the Cowboys so they can go their asses kicked next week.
    • 50/50 on the team pick & 66% on the Over.
    • The joy of this win for the Cowboys, just more years of Jason Garrett for everyone in the NFC.

#5 Los Angeles Chargers (+3) @ #4 Baltimore Ravens (-3) — O/U 41.5

  • Sunday January 6th, Baltimore, MD (M&T Bank Stadium): 1:00 PM EST on CBS
  • Folks, Phil Rivers is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2013 and he has the most complete team in the AFC behind him.
  • Chargers get fucked here and have to go all the way to the east coast and play a 1 PM kickoff.  They did do this earlier in the year against Cleveland and won that game 38-14. They also went to Pittsburgh and won 33-30.
  • The big story in the game is Lamar Jackson and that Ravens run game, can they keep it up.  This will be the first team to see the Ravens with Lamar under center for a second this season, that will play a big factor.
  • The second biggest story of this game is the run game and run defense for the Chargers.  When these teams met a few weeks ago, the Ravens ran for 159 yards while the Chargers only put 51 yards. Melvin Gordon is going to be more healthy for the Chargers this week, and this is the second crack at Jackson the Charger defense gets.  Those number will be a closer together this time around.
  • Another big takeaway from their previous meeting is turnovers.  Chargers committed three while the Ravens only had one.  The Ravens probably have the best defense in the NFL, if they force one or more turnover on Sunday – they’ll win. Chargers can’t give the ball away multiple time and let the Ravens offense run the ball and waste time away.
  • Previous meeting: Ravens went 0/3 in the redzone. Chargers went 1/1. Ravens still won 22-10.
  • The Chargers are remarkably healthy for this late in the season.  Although Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon were banged up earlier, both should come into this game mostly healthy.  The only guy on the fence for the Chargers is RB Austin Ekeler.
  • If the Chargers can somewhat stop Lamar Jackson, can the Ravens WR make some plays?  With Joe Flacco in all year,  John Brown easily reaches 1,000 yards this year.  His production has fell off the cliff since Jackson came in. Michael Crabtree hasn’t shown up much all year, but is that due to Jackson being at QB or because Crabtree has declined that much?
  • How about the TE’s here.  Ravens have three guys they play pretty regularly that can make some plays. Mark Andrews caught a 60+ yard TD pass in the previous meeting.  For the Chargers, Hunter Henry could be back in the fold.  Antonio Gates fumbled the ball in the previous meeting while the Chargers were down 16-10 that was returned for the TD.
  • The weather on Sunday should be great at kickoff, 52 and sunny.
  • The Chargers have the most balanced team in the AFC and are loaded everywhere.  Although the Ravens have the better defense, I like Phil Rivers and his moxie to go into Baltimore and come out with a win.  Playing Lamar Jackson and the Ravens run game a few weeks ago is going to go a long ways in this game.  Give me the Chargers to win outright and the over in this one.
    • 70% on the Chargers & 65% on the Over.

#6 Philadelphia Eagles (+6) @ #3 Chicago Bears (-6) — O/U 41

  • Sunday January 6th, Chicago, IL (Soldier Field): 4:40 PM EST on NBC
  • Let’s start with the weather here.  Kick off at 3:45 CST, the weather should be in the upper 30’s to low 40’s with a chance of rain later on – if anything in the second half.
  • If that rain does hit, this helps out the Bears as they have two RBs I like more than anything the Eagles have to offer.
  • Only game of the weekend that isn’t a rematch from earlier on in the season.
  • Mitchell “the Bitchell – Suckin’ on Titties” Trubisky makes his playoff debut. Nobody trusts this guy, everything I’ve read, listened to, watched.  Not anybody trusts Trubisky to make the plays to win.  What they do trust, what people should trust, is Nagy’s play calling and the defense.
  • Big Dick Nick Foles has re-invigorated this Eagles offense.  In Weeks 1-14 the Eagles averaged 21.6 points and 352.7 yards per game.  Since Nick Foles has started in week 15, the Eagles have averaged 28.7 points and 420 yards per game. Albeit those games were against the Redskins, Texans, and Rams.  The Texans are a solid defense, but nowhere near the Bears.
  • A key to the Eagles super bowl run last year as the ability to run the ball utilize three very good RBs in Jay Ajayi, LeGarrette Blunt, and Corey Clement.  This year, they’ll need to rely on Wendell Smallwood, Darren Sproles, and rookie Josh Adams.  Adams has splashed a few times, but I would expect Doug Pederson to use those three guys in a multitude of ways, especially Sproles.
  • This will be the Really Small but Really Fast Running Back Wild Card game of the week.  Tarik Cohen and Sproles both score touchdowns in this game and cause the opposing defenses the biggest fits.
  • The Bears obviously have the advantage on defense in this game, according to Football Outsiders they have the #1 pass defense and the #2 run defense.  Eagles on the other hand are ranked #15 and #9.
  • Luckily for that #15 ranked pass defense of the Eagles, they get to play an unproven Mitch Trubisky, whose weapons shouldn’t really scare anyone.  Allen Robinson is capable of going off, but he has not done that this year yet.
  • More stats on the defense: Bears have a .191 turnover per drive rate which is #1 in the league.  Philadelphia has a .094 turnover per drive rate which ranks 25th in the league.  If Philadelphia is going to pull the upset, they need to win the turnover battler (no shit, right?)
  • Regarding health, Eddie Jackson should be back for the Bears this week.  Obvious question is can he play at the top of his game or is he going to limited.  Pederson might want to test that ankle early on and show how Jackson moves.
  • They only guy up in the air for the Bears is Aaron Lynch.
  • The Eagles are also going to be mostly healthy.  The interesting guy to look at is Mike Wallace who hasn’t played since week two who did jack shit BUT, he is a speedster for the Eagles who like to take deep shots with Foles.  Last year Torrey Smith played this role for the Eagles and played it well.
  • I like the Bears to win this game but I’ll take the points with the Eagles here.  Six points is too much for me against an Eagles team and QB who were here last year and a Bears team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2010 and a QB I don’t really trust.  Ultimately, the Bears defense makes more plays, causes a few turnover and the Bears come out on top.  I like the over in this game as well.
    • 53% on Chicago & 53% on the Under.

 

Notes:

  • I took the over in every game this weekend, which means all games will go under.
  • My most confident pick this week is Chargers +3.
  • The game I’m least confident about is the Seahawks/Cowboys because those teams are so evenly matched.
  • Bears are the only team I didn’t pick that moves on this weekend.
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2 comments on “NFL Wild Card Weekend Sportsbook

  1. For all the shit you can talk about Jason Garrett, he may have made the best coaching decision of his tenure in week 17. Shut down all the offensive weapons (Zeke, Cooper, the O line) and made Dak go out and play. And boy did he play. Putting the ball in his hands for four quarters and telling your QB to go win a meaningless game against a divisional rival and watching him put up 4 TDs and nearly 400 yards is exactly the type of big testee move I’d never expect from Jason Garrett. Gives Dak the confidence that he can put the team on his shoulders and win a game even if Zeke doesn’t go for 200 total yards. Nothing but confidence rolling into Wildcard Weekend.

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