Is there such a thing as a lock pick in the NFL playoffs? Yes, yes there is. This NFL Wild Card Weekend, there are two teams that I betting on as locks. Who is the lock pick in the battle of backups when Houston faces Oakland at home as a close to 4-point favorite? Can Pittsburgh possibly cover a 10-point spread against Miami at home on Sunday, Jan. 8?
NFL Wild Card Weekend Lock Picks
Oakland at Houston
When: Saturday, Jan. 7 at 4:35 pm ET
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Odds: Houston 3.5
Analysis: Houston hasn’t been great this season. But, the Texans have something that a lot of other teams in the NFL don’t have, two legitimate starters at QB. A lot of analysts believe that neither Tom Savage nor Brock Osweiler are good enough to take the Texans to the Super Bowl.
I’m not so sure. Osweiler came in after Savage suffered a concussion and played well. He wasn’t great but the type of game he had, 21 out of 40 for 253 yards and a TD, was a perfect game for the Texans. That’s the way Houston’s coaching staff wants Osweiler to play.
Oakland, on the other hand, may have to start rookie QB Conor Cook. Cook was terrific at Michigan State. But even versus weak Big Ten defenses he made mistakes. What’s going to happen when Cook faces one of the better defenses in the NFL?
Bad things if you’re a Raider fan. Houston should cover the spread in this game.
NFL Wild Card Weekend Lock Pick: Houston
Miami at Pittsburgh
When: Sunday, Jan. 8 at 1:05 pm ET
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Odds: Pittsburgh +10
Analysis: Miami travels to Pittsburgh as a huge +10 underdog. Giving 10 points to a team in the NFL Playoffs is foolish. Unless, you give 10 points to a team with a terrible defense. Such is the case with this game where Miami’s defense has no shot of stopping Pittsburgh’s offense.
How bad is Miami’s defense? The Dolphins gave up 30 points or more in 5 games this season. They gave up between 20 and 30 points in 7 games this season. That’s 12 games of giving up 20 to over 30 points per during a 16 game season.
Sure, the Fins upset Pittsburgh 30 to 15 on Oct. 16. Since the upset, Pitt has gone 7 and 3 straight up including winning 7 games in a row. What it means is that Pittsburgh is hot and that Miami caught the Steelers at the perfect time when they beat them in October.
Pittsburgh’s defense has allowed only 2 teams to score 24 points or more during the winning streak, Cleveland, and Baltimore. Pitt’s offense averages 372.6 total yards. The Steelers average 110 yards rushing and over 262 yards passing per game.
Pitt faces a defense that allows 382.6 total yards per game on average. Miami’s D also allows an average of 24 points and 140 rushing yards per. I think that Pitt rolls on Sunday.
NFL Wild Card Weekend Lock Pick: Pittsburgh