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We’re getting close to the end of the season, which means less games each week. It’s as sad, sad thing. I know everyone love’s playoff football and the Super Bowl, but I can’t help but think that soon, we won’t have football until September.
Last week I opened 0-2 on Saturday’s games and was ready for an abysmal weekend. However, I finished 4-0 the rest of the way to go 4-2 on Super Wildcard Weekend.
We’re also in the special situation where I can say that I was able to watch every one of these teams play last week (not just on Red Zone), so my “eyeball test” is a little more accurate. Let’s take a look at my betting breakdown for this weekend’s Divisional Round:
Cincinnati @ Tennessee
There are only 4 games so let’s break these games down by using a chart to make it easy to digest
|Yds per play||22nd||7th|
|Yds per completion||25th||3rd|
|Yds per rush||14th||27th|
|Yds per play||17th||20th|
|Yds per completion||24th||11th|
|Yds per rush||4th||17th|
Cincinnati’s offense is better than Tennessee’s, but on defense the edge goes to Tennessee. This is probably going to be a close game, hence the 3.5pt spread. If this game turns into a shootout, then I like Cincy a lot. Tennessee struggles to stop the pass, and that is the bread and butter of Cincy’s offense; it’s not a surprise with Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and CJ Uzomah leading the way. This game is going to come down to Cincinnati’s defense. If they can stall the Titans offense, then they’re going to be in a great position. But if they struggle to get off the field on third down and stop Derrick Henry, then the Titans probably pull it off on a last-minute score. I lean Bengals here but more because I don’t trust that the Titans are actually a good team. I’m staying away from a side though, and rooting for points.
Pick: Over 47
San Francisco @ Green Bay
This game is intriguing. San Francisco has seemingly got hot at the right time, winning 4 of their last 5 games. Green Bay, however, is the #1 seed and has a potent offense led by potential MVP Aaron Rodgers. Let’s see how these teams matchup, shall we?
|OFFENSE||Green Bay||San Francisco|
|Yds per play||9th||1st|
|Yds per completion||9th||1st|
|Yds per rush||20th||15th|
|Defense||Green Bay||San Francisco|
|Yds per play||16th||4th|
|Yds per completion||10th||5th|
|Yds per rush||31st||7th|
I bet you weren’t expecting those numbers, eh? It should be no surprise that the SF defense is better than GB’s. However, you might not have realized that statistically, SF is a superior offense. I know you’ve likely heard the story, “Jimmy Garoppolo has never completed a pass in a game less than 40 degrees.” I don’t think that really matters. Cold doesn’t necessarily effect games as much as wind does, and despite the 1 degree temperature, there are winds predicted only between 5-10mph. Now add in the fact that the 49ers rank 5th in the NFL in rushing attempts per game and are going against the 31st ranked defense in yards per carry. I think San Fran is able to control this game on the ground and chew clock to keep Rodgers on the sideline. You hear it all the time: how do you beat guys like Mahomes, Brady, Rodgers? You keep them on the sideline. Garoppolo is dealing with injuries, and rumors are that Trey Lance might start this game, so currently the line has moved to 6.5. Jump on this while you can. I will sprinkle the money line also, just like last week.
Pick: SF +6.5 & ML +205
LA Rams @ Tampa Bay
|OFFENSE||Tampa Bay||LA Rams|
|Yds per play||4th||3rd|
|Yds per completion||14th||2nd|
|Yds per rush||19th||26th|
|Defense||Tampa Bay||LA Rams|
|Yds per play||7th||6th|
|Yds per completion||2nd||9th|
|Yds per rush||16th||5th|
These teams are very similar. Tampa has the slight edge on paper, however there is more to it than that. Tampa is currently without their top 2 RBs, their #2 & 3 WRs, their secondary has been struggling and thin all year. Now, add to the fact that 2 starting offensive lineman were injured in last week’s game: C Ryan Jensen and RT Tristan Wirfs. Backup tackle Josh Wells also dealt with a quad injury during the game. Injuries on the o-line make me nervous when Aaron Donald and Von Miller are on the other side of the ball. As a life-long Patriots fan, I can tell you that the key to stopping Tom Brady has always been to get pressure in his face up the middle. Assuming Matt Stafford doesn’t give the game away with INTs (that’s a big IF), I think the Rams probably pull this off.
Pick: LAR +3
Buffalo @ Kansas City
|Yds per play||2nd||8th|
|Yds per completion||7th||13th|
|Yds per rush||7th||5th|
|Yds per play||28th||1st|
|Yds per completion||21st||3rd|
|Yds per rush||30th||11th|
Offensively, these teams are very similar. Defensively, however, the Bills are far and away the better team. Take this into account: Arrowhead is a raucous environment, and the home team usually gets an “automatic” 3pts according to some people, so it should be telling that this opened as KC -2.5 and has come down to 1.5 at some books. I think the resurgence of KC’s offense has made people forget how bad their defense actually is. Just look above, they rank in the bottom third in 3 categories. This Buffalo team also isn’t afraid of the cold or the wind. They are battle tested. They are the superior team and I think they go into Arrowhead and pull off a W.
Pick: BUF ML +110