NFL Playoff Upset Picks - Divisional Round

NFL Postseason Upset Picks – Divisional Round

I am going against the grain for my 2016 NFL Divisional Round playoff upset picks this year. That’s right I am picking against two of the best teams from the regular season. The first one with the points, the second straight up. Keep reading to find out who I picked and why. Happy Hunting!

NFL Playoff Upset Picks – Divisional Round

Will New England cover what’s shaping up as a close to two TD and two 2-pt conversion spread against lowly Houston? How will Green Bay fair against Dallas in a road battle without WR Jordy Nelson? Keep reading to find out!

What: Houston Texans (9-7) at New England Patriots (14-2)
When: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Start Time: 8:15 PM ET  
Where: Foxboro, MA
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
Spread: Patriots -16
Moneyline: Houston +850 vs New England -13000
Game Total: 45
Watch: CBS
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Houston vs New England

Analysis: New England is a ridiculous 15.5-point favorite over the Houston Texans for this Saturday, Jan. 14 game. What’s crazy is that even though the spread favors New England by so many points, 56% of football handicappers are laying the points. Nobody really believes that Houston has a shot.

That’s crazy. Houston’s defense is much better than any defense the Patriots have faced this season. This includes the Seahawks, who beat New England 31 to 24 on November 13. The Patriots should win the game, don’t get me wrong. 

But, it’s crazy to believe that New England will score enough points over Houston to beat the Texans by 16 points. I don’t see it happening. The Texans only allow 301.3 total yards as it is. This includes allowing an NFL second-best 201.6 passing yards to go along with 99.7 rushing yards.

Don’t be surprised if the Patriots game plan is to rush the football with LeGarrette Blount. If that happens, it’s going to be even more difficult for the Pats to cover such a daunting spread. 

Pick:  Houston with the points.

What: Green Bay Packers (10-6) at Dallas Cowboys (13-3)
When: Sunday, January 15, 2017
Start Time: 4:40 PM ET  
Where: Arlington, TX
Stadium: AT&T Stadium
Spread: Cowboys -3.5
Moneyline: Green Bay +165 vs Dallas -195
Game Total: 51.5
Watch: FOX Sports
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Listen: Green Bay vs Dallas

Analysis: Dallas is all the rage going into the 2017 NFL Playoffs. They should be. The Cowboys only lost 2 games this season. Both losses were to the New York Giants, whom Green Bay was kind enough to obliterate 38 to 13 in their Wildcard Game win.

Dallas pummeled the Packers 30 to 16 early in the regular season. Why would anyone believe that things have changed?  One of the reasons to believe that things will be different is because Aaron Rodgers wasn’t nearly as sharp in the loss to Dallas early in the regular season as he is right now.

Rodgers was unbelievable against the Giants during the victory. He threw for 362 yards and 4 TDs. Although Dallas’s defense is great versus the rush, it, like the Giants’ defense, has trouble defending against the pass.

Dallas’s D is ranked first against the rush when allowing 83.5 yards per game. The Cowboys’ defense ranks twenty-sixth against the pass when allowing 260.4 passing yards per game. That’s a bad stat going into a game versus Aaron Rodgers.

Even without WR Jordy Nelson, who’s unlikely to play, Rodgers has enough weapons for the Packers to score at will against Dallas’s defense. I like Green Bay’s chances to not only cover against the spread but to also win this NFL Divisional Playoff game straight up.

I’m going Green Bay on the moneyline.

Pick:  Green Bay straight up

NFL Playoff Lock Picks - Divisional Round

NFL Playoff Lock Picks – Divisional Round

Every NFL favorite took it home against the spread during Wildcard Weekend. What that means is that there are some great match ups this Saturday and Sunday in the NFL Divisional Playoffs. Can 2nd seed Atlanta hold Seattle at bay on Saturday, Jan. 14? What’s going to happen when favored Kansas City hosts Big Ben, Le’Veon, Antonio, and the rest of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Jan. 15?

NFL Playoff Picks – Divisional Round

What: Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1) at Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
When: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Start Time: 4:35 PM ET  
Where: Atlanta, GA
Stadium: Georgia Dome
Spread: Falcons -4.5
Moneyline: Seattle +185 vs Atlanta -220
Game Total: 51
Watch: FOX Sports
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Listen: Seattle vs Atlanta

Analysis: Seattle beat Detroit 26 to 6 to not only win their Wildcard Game, but to also cover the spread as a -8 home favorite. But, the Seahawks must travel to the Georgia Dome to take on the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.

The Falcons only lost 5 games during the regular season. One of the losses was a 24 to 26 game against Seattle on the road. That game occurred back on Oct. 16. Since that time, Atlanta has improved on both offense and defense.

Atlanta averages 415.8 yards and close to 34 points per game. The defense gelled towards the end of the season. Even though the D allowed the Saints to score 32 points against it in Week 17, New Orleans only had 13 points at the end of the third quarter.

I just don’t see how Seattle keeps pace on offense in this game. Seattle’s offense has looked terrible in plenty of match ups this season. Atlanta should beat the Seahawks by at least 6 points on Jan. 14.  

Pick:  Atlanta

What: Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
When: Sunday, January 15, 2017
Start Time: 1:05 PM ET  
Where: Kansas City, MO
Stadium: Arrowhead Stadium
Spread: Chiefs -1.5
Moneyline: Pittsburgh
Game Total: 45.5
Watch: NBC
Stream: NBC Sports Live
Listen: Pittsburgh vs Kansas City

Analysis: Pittsburgh beat Miami 30 to 12 in their Wildcard Game victory this past weekend. But anybody who watched the game knows that the Steelers got the better calls in the first half. There was an obvious call that the refs missed where a Steeler defensive player targeted Miami QB Matt Moore. Not only did the refs not throw the flag, but they also gave Miami RB Jay Ajayi an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for defending his QB.

I doubt Pittsburgh gets the calls at Arrowhead Stadium on Jan. 15. Yes, RB Le’Veon Bell is unbelievable but the Pittsburgh defense isn’t as good as the score over Miami indicates it is. Facing Miami with QB Matt Moore, is much different than facing a loaded KC team. I don’t feel that Pittsburgh’s offense, save for Bell and Antonio Brown, played all that particularly well in the win over Miami, either.

KC is well-rested. They’re the better overall team with the better defense by far. The Chiefs have no excuses not to beat Pittsburgh by at least 4 points in this game.

Pick:  Kansas City

NBA Picks Jan 9th-15th

NBA Picks Jan 9th-15th

2017 continues to see great matchups in the NBA. This week it all starts on Wednesday, Jan. 11. Can Memphis control Russell and the high-scoring Oklahoma City Thunder in a tough road matchup? On Friday, is it going to be Boston or Atlanta down in Georgia that gets the win? Memphis is back in action on Sunday, January 15. Can the Grizzlies hold off Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls? 

NBA Picks Jan 9th-15th

Memphis at Oklahoma City
When:  Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Chesapeake Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
TV: ESPN

Analysis: After a two-game losing streak, the Grizzlies came out like gangbusters against NBA Championship favorite Golden State on Jan. 6. Memphis beat Golden State 128 to 119 in overtime. That’s not a good sign for the Warriors. If they can’t beat Memphis by outscoring them, what chances do they have of beating Memphis in a defensive battle?

In any case, Memphis took down Utah 88 to 79 on Jan. 8. Could the Grizzlies make it 3 in a row on Wednesday, Jan. 11?  I think so. Memphis is one of the few teams, maybe the only team, in the NBA that can contain Russell Westbrook. The last time Russell faced the Grizzlies, he was good for only 21 points and 5 boards. He had 0 assists while he turned the ball over 6 times.

I like Memphis.

Pick: Memphis

Boston at Atlanta
When:  Friday, Jan. 13 at 8:00 pm ET
Where: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA
TV: ESPN

Analysis: Boston has won 4 in a row going into this week. But, there’s something to consider about Boston’s winning streak. First, the Celtics beat Miami, Utah, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. Second, Boston beat Miami, Utah, Philadelphia, and New Orleans all at home

This week could be much different for the Celtics. On Jan. 10, they take on the Raptors in Toronto. Then, on Jan. 11, they battle Washington at home. That’s two tough games before throwing down with the Hawks in Atlanta on Friday.

Atlanta is 21 and 16 to start the week. The Hawks lead the Southeast Division. They should beat Boston and cover the spread in this Friday match up.

Pick:  Atlanta

Chicago at Memphis
When:  Sunday, Jan. 15 at 9:00 pm ET
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
TV: ESPN

Analysis: Chicago versus Memphis on Saturday could be an entertaining game just because the Bulls play tough defense like Memphis. Jimmy Butler, the Bulls’ best all-around player, was held to 5 points, 2 boards, and 4 assists the last time he faced Memphis.

That’s not a good sign. Another bad sign for the Bulls in this matchup is that by the time that they take on the Grizzlies on Sunday, they would have had to battle Oklahoma City on Jan. 9, Washington on the road on Jan. 10, New York on the road on Jan. 12, and New Orleans at home on Jan. 14.

I don’t believe Chicago’s going to be in any position to hang with the Grizzlies this Sunday.

Pick: Memphis