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NFL – Wild Card Weekend

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Creditos: David Ganhão

Last Week ATS: (6-10) / Season Total ATS: (122 – 115 – 1)

I finished the regular season on a bit of a cold streak; overall, still a solid regular with regards to ATS picks. Now the real season begins, and it’s going to be tough. Last year I was able to go 8 – 5 ATS and 11 – 2 SU with my playoff picks, I honestly do not see that happening this year, but I am going to try.

Saturday – 4:30 PM

Las Vegas Raiders (10 – 7) @ Cincinnati Bengals (10 – 7)

ATS: Bengals -5.5 / SU: Bengals

The Bengals are at home; their stars sat out last week and should be well-rested; simply put, they are the more talented team. The Raiders had a playoff win of sorts last weekend, but unfortunately, the sweet underdog story ends here. I would argue that no playoff team overcame as much adversity as the Raiders this season, but I don’t think they have enough in the gas tank for another miracle. In week 10, the Bengals trounced the Raiders 32 – 13 in Cincinnati.

Saturday – 8:15 PM

New England Patriots (10 – 7) @ Buffalo Bills (11 – 6)

ATS: Bills -4.0 / SU Bills

Here comes the third meeting of the seasons between these long-time divisional rivals. The Patriots won in Buffalo; The Bills won in New England. I am a die-hard Patriots fan, and they have done a heck of a job to get to this point with a rookie QB. The Bills are the better team; they have some playoff experience now, losing last year in the AFC Championship. Buffalo will win this game if the weather stays as is, which is cold and not very windy. Bill and Josh will give Buffalo all they can handle, but in the end, they fall short.

Sunday – 1:00 PM

Philadelphia Eagles (9 – 8) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13 – 4)

ATS: Eagles +8.5 / SU: Buccaneers

This season, the Eagles played some decent football, and they belong in the playoffs. They will show up and make things tough for Tampa, rebounding from their embarrassing beat down from Dallas last weekend. Tampa is banged up with some key late-season injuries, which will make this a closer game than the oddsmakers predict. In the end #12 will get it done with the supporting cast he has at his disposal. The Buccaneers beat the Eagles 28 – 22 in week 6 on the road.

Sunday – 4:30 PM

San Francisco 49ers (10 – 7) @ Dallas Cowboys (12 – 5)

ATS: 49ers +3.0 / SU: 49ers

There is no easy way to put it; the 49ers are not a team anyone wants to play right now. They will go into Dallas, play their brand of smashmouth football, and come away with the win. San Francisco has won 4 of its last 5 games, only losing by a field go to the Titans (AFC #1 Seed) by a field goal. Last week when it looked like they were going to lose, down 17 to 0, they stormed back to beat the Rams. Dallas is slightly better rested and healthier, but this one has that upset feel. 

Sunday – 8:15 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers (9 – 7 – 1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (12 – 5)

ATS: Steelers +13.0 / SU: Chiefs

All the teams deserve to make the playoffs, except the Pittsburgh Steelers! They made the playoffs because of a last-second field goal Las Vegas got last weekend. I will admit sometimes the Steelers show up to play. This won’t be one of those times. Kansas City thumped Pittsburgh just a couple of weeks ago by almost 4 touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger, long-time hall of fame QB for Pittsburgh, joked that the Steelers didn’t belong. I mean, who jokes about stuff like that. Kansas City is one of the top 5 teams in the NFL. They have had to battle more this year and play in more meaningful, closer scoring football games, which will serve them well. They take their foot off the gas, and Pittsburgh gets a late score for a backdoor cover

Monday – 8:15 PM

Arizona Cardinals (11 – 6) @ Los Angeles Rams (12 – 5)

ATS: Rams -4.0 / SU: Rams

What we have here is the most challenging game for me to pick. These two teams combined for 23 regular season wins. This will also be their third match-up against each other this season. The Cardinals won in Los Angeles the first time they played earlier in the year. Los Angeles was able to win a close one on the road in Arizona near the end of the season.   There will be close to 60 points scored in this game, but the Rams will find a way to get it done. I will give Arizona an advantage in the sense that it’s Superbowl or bust for the Rams, meaning Los Angeles has a lot more pressure on them. Both teams didn’t play well down the stretch, but the Rams will pull this one out. It should be a great game on Monday Night!

Adam Care/MS

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