NFL Wildcard Weekend: Picks for Every Game
NFL WILDCARD WEEKEND: PICKS FOR EVERY GAME – Of course I had one more losing week in me, as my week 16 picks went 7-8-1 and closed out my terrible season. At least my top games went 2-1-1, with the only loss being the game I called an absolute surefire lock. I couldn’t tell a betting lock from Drew Lock at this point, so don’t listen to me.
Regular Season Total: 113-118
Regular Season High-Confidence Games Total: 41-46
During that week, I was busy with my daughter being born.
Well – ok, I wasn’t really all that busy, I kind of just sat there and watched everything happen, but after that I had to start fathering and that meant taking a hiatus from improperly predicting NFL games.
However that little baby has grown up into a two-week old near-adult, and that means I’m back! TOBY IS BACK YALL LET’S LOSE SOME PLAYOFF GAMES!
GAME 1: CLEVELAND -2.5 @ HOUSTON
This is the official Houston Texans slot, first thing Saturday. And lo and behold, the Texans made the playoffs! So of course they get their usual slot. Was it ever a question which game was kicking off first?
I love CJ Stroud, but this was a team that was projected to win like 4 or 5 games this year. Cleveland, on the other hand, has one of the best rosters top-to-bottom in the entire league.
Plus, Joe Flacco is back! Folks, the playoffs are absolutely Joe Flacco SZN as he has been a machine in the postseason for throughout most of his career, most famously becoming Johnny freaking Unitas during Baltimore’s 2012 Super Bowl run. Excluding his first two seasons, he’s been mostly money in playoff games.
I used to not like Flacco – mainly because he was a Raven – but 2023 Joe Flacco? I love this version, and I’m betting on Joey Flaccs having one more run in him.
GAME 2: MIAMI @ KANSAS CITY -4.5
I hope you already booked this one if you liked it, as the spread has moved two points in KC’s direction since it was released. And I’m not surprised at all, given the weather report for Kansas City this week.
Uhhh…in the famous words of Gucci Mane, “BRRR!”.
That is absolutely frigid. For real, there have been I think three games in NFL history that have been played in legit sub-zero temperatures – obviously the Ice Bowl, the 1982 playoff game in Cincinnati, and the Blair Walsh game in 2015.
If these teams are lucky, this arctic blast will get there a bit later than expected and it will be merely cold rather than bone-chilling. However, if it gets to KC early, well…Sunday in Kansas City has a projected high of -1.
No matter what, this is not the type of weather in which dolphins, a tropical fish mind you, perform at their best. On top of that, this Miami team gets absolutely slapped out of their cleats by most of the truly good teams they face.
I don’t know if this year’s Chiefs qualify as a “truly good team”, but in these conditions I’m going to assume that they do. Liquidate your holdings and put them all on Under 44.0.
GAME 3: PITTSBURGH @ BUFFALO -10
LOL wait the Steelers are in the playoffs? Do we really need to do this again? It wasn’t too long ago that the Steelers lucked their way into a playoff game in Kansas City where they got their doors blow all the way off. Give me the Bills -30.
Sure, they’ve been better with Mason Rudolph (!), as he at least plays QB as if he’s familiar with how the position is meant to work.
But he’s still hella limited as a passer and while it’s not projected to be quite Kansas City level cold this Sunday in western NY – weather reports are calling for a balmy 25 degrees as the high – the forecast does call for some snow along with ferocious winds gusting up to 50 mph. I realize that Josh Allen has treated interceptions like a diabetic treats insulin this year, but who’s arm is going to cut through these cold winds better, his or Mason freakin’ Rudolph’s?
And even if Allen does throw some passes right at Steeler DBs, are they even going to be able to catch them?
If Buffalo manages to lose this game then I think that we really need to start having a conversation about Sean McDermott.
GAME 4: GREEN BAY +7.5 @ DALLAS
Alright, so Dallas is famous now for not coming through in big games and playoff situations. Soooo why would I take them to cover more than a touchdown spread?
I think that Dallas should blow the Packers out but this is a gut-feeling-over-numbers pick.
GAME 5: LOS ANGELES RAMS +3 @ DETROIT
I’m sad that the Lions aren’t outside in some ferocious weather to be the easiest playoff fade of all-time, but even in their toasty dome I’m still going to sprain my betting finger picking against them.
I don’t trust Jared Goff and I don’t trust this team. I like Dan Campbell as a coach and motivator but I do not like Dan Campbell as a game manager, as he is prone to making outrageous decisions on a weekly basis.
This is the third playoff game that will be played inside of a dome, by the way. It is truly shameful that we as a nation even allow this.
GAME 6: PHILADELPHIA @ TAMPA BAY +3
What is this? Saving the worst for last? I’d seriously rather watch the Browns/Texans than watch this dreck. Two of the most boring teams in a race to win 17-14, in one of the most sterile stadiums in the NFL. Jalen Hurts stacking 4 yard scrambles. Baker Mayfield running in a circle and overthrowing Mike Evans. Can’t wait.
As for the bet, well, I think Philly is a zombie team that is going to be quickly put out of their misery, perhaps even as early as this weekend. Tampa has been my “better than you think” team this season, and that’s enough to beat this sad-sack Super Bowl hangover Eagles team.