I finished the regular season sub .500. Not happy about it, but, money is money…and the playoff wins count all the same. Let’s review. My record: 29-32 entering post season play.
1.Bucs -8 @ Washington
Boy did I go back and forth on this one. I see all of the reasons why Washington could and should keep this game close. They are really good at doing the one thing that gives Brady fits, rushing the QB with elite defensive linemen. It’s always been a bug-a-boo for brady. And I think it will be in this game. For about 2 quarters. Here’s the problem, the Bucs have the fire power to pile it on, I could see a situation where this is a game in the 3rd, and then in the 4th quarter, the Bucs pull away and win by 16. Last 4 games, Washington has averaged just 18 ppg, that’s not going to cut it in this one. Take the Bucs, minus the points.
2.Colts +6.5 @ Buffalo
Let me ask you a question…when did Josh Allen become the Mesiah? This man can do no wrong in the eyes of football fans right now. It’s like we’ve ditched our love affair for Mahomes and traded it in for Allen love…am I wrong if I’d like to see something first…like, I don’t know, a playoff win?! He was brutal in the playoffs last year. And I’m not saying he will be this year, I’m just saying the confidence level is too high. I don’t love their defense and they can’t run the football. Meanwhile, the Colts are underrated defensively, rank #1 in the league in turnover differential, and have JOHNTHAN F’ING TAYLOR. Take the Colts +6.5.
3.Ravens -3 @ Tennessee
On first glance, this is obvious. Titans, right? And I understand, we’re all in love with Derrick Henry and no one can tackle him, and yadda yadda…but there appears to be a big difference between the Titans as a whole…Henry is great…but the Titans are not as red-hot as they were going into the playoffs last season. Tennessee has won 3 of their last 4 but they only covered the spread in one of those games…which is troublesome since their final 3 wins were against the Lions, Jags, and Texans…and the one loss they suffered in their final 4 games, was a GB beatdown on national TV, 40-14. The Ravens, not the Titans, have the #1 rushing offense in the NFL, and the difference between the 2 teams is that Baltimore actually ranks top 10 as a run stopper on defense. Revenge, stats, betting history – it all points to Baltimore. Take the Birds.
4.Bears +10 @ New Orleans
I just don’t trust the Saints in this spot. I’m sure all of the #’s and the metrics say to take the Saints but I just can’t do it. Brees isn’t the same guy he was years ago, Michael Thomas is going to try to play, but he’s banged up…and the biggest reason I like the Bears is that not only can they “ugly” up a game with their defense and run game, but they have nothing to lose. They have a head coach on the hot seat, and a QB on a hotter seat. The Bears will throw everything and the kitchen sink at the Saints in this one. Saints win, but take the points.
photo: getty images