Daily Archives - January 3, 2017

NFL Wild Card Weekend Lock Picks

NFL Wild Card Weekend Lock Picks

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
TV: ESPN/ABC
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
TV: CBS
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

NFL Wild Card Weekend Upset Picks

NFL Wild Card Weekend Upset Picks

2016 and the NFL regular season are both behind us and that means the NFL’s quest for the Super Bowl is here! But first we must weed out the lesser teams and upsets loom as the eight NFL Wild Card teams battle it out this Saturday and Sunday.

NFL Wild Card Weekend Upset Picks

On Saturday, can Detroit take down Seattle in the Great Northwest? On Sunday, is it possible for the Giants to beat Green Bay on Lambeau as a close to +5 underdog? Keep reading for my biggest upset picks during NFL Wild Card Weekend!

Detroit at Seattle
When:  Saturday, Jan. 7 at 8:15 pm ET
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA
Odds: Detroit +7.5
TV: NBC

Analysis: Seattle’s defense has looked horrendous in 3 out of the Seahawks last 4 games. Versus Green Bay on Dec. 11, the Seahawks yielded 246 passing yards and 3 TD passes to Aaron Rodgers on their way to a 10 to 38 loss. Versus Arizona on Christmas Eve, the Seattle D gave up 284 passing yards and a TD to Carson Palmer on their way to a 31 to 34 loss.

Even in Week 17, facing San Francisco, Seattle’s defense didn’t play well. The Seahawks’ D gave up 23 points in a 25 to 23 win over the 49’ers. Are Seattle’s issues on the defensive side of the ball a reason for Detroit to be bullish on their chances of winning straight up?

I think so. Detroit’s offense has no rushing attack. No problem in this game because Seattle’s entire defense is designed around stopping the rush. The Seahawks play zone coverage on almost every play. It works when your players are faster than the other team’s players. It doesn’t work so much when a QB like Matthew Stafford, who had a resurgent season in 2016, can pick and choose whom he wants to throw the football too.

Stafford could have a big day against Seattle’s D. Big enough to where Seattle’s offense can’t catch up. I like Detroit on the moneyline.   

NFL Wild Card Weekend Pick:  Detroit

New York Giants at Green Bay
When:  Sunday, Jan. 8 at 4:40 pm ET
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Odds: New York +4.5

Analysis: Green Bay has become the hottest team in the NFL to win Super Bowl 51. Why not? Aaron Rodgers has been brilliant. The defense has played well. There’s a lot to like about Green Bay going into the 2017 NFL Playoffs.

But, there’s also a lot to like about the Giants. For starters, the Giants’ quarterback, Eli Manning, is a 2-time Super Bowl winner. However badly Eli plays during the regular season, he usually plays equally as well during the playoffs.

Second, the Giants might have the best defense of any team in the playoffs this season. Only 4 teams have scored 20 points or more versus the Giants’ defense since their bye in late October. Philly did it twice, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati each did it once.

Dallas’s awesome offense? 7 points in a 10 to 7 NYG win. Detroit?  How about 6 in a 17 to 6 NYG win. What about Washington who averages 403.4 yards and 24.8 points per game? Washington scored only 10 points in a 19 to 10 Giants’ win that knocked the Redskins out of the playoffs.

The problem that Rodgers and Green Bay’s offense is going to have in this game is that Rodgers has no rushing attack to lean on. Ty Montgomery has turned into a decent running back. He won’t get anywhere against the Giants’ D, though.

New York’s secondary has really improved. I like the Giants to upset Green Bay on the money line.

NFL Wild Card Weekend Pick: New York Giants