It is time for my Stone-Cold Locks of the Week! I’ve been baking these bad boys in the oven all week, ready to make some dough off these picks.
Overall record: 58-45-2
Wild-Card Weekend in the NFL, so we only have 6 games to choose from, but I love the fact that I can really dive into each one and be more selective. Its so difficult to sift through all the NFL, all the CFB, to determine what you’re in love with. This is much more simplified. Now, I’m not picking all the games. But I have 4 bets that I am really excited about. Let’s get to it!
Jags (+2) hosting the Chargers- So here I get a team that got their bad play out of their system last week in Jacksonville. That game against the Titans was not their best ball, that was a young team playing really tight because they knew what was at stake. Now, they can settle in, and take on a team that has to travel east, a team in the Chargers that they know they can beat, because they’ve done it already. Tozzi brought up the stat this week, the team that is able to control the ground game in the playoffs wins at a rate of something like 70%...well, the biggest weakness the Chargers have is stopping the run. Doug Pederson will dial up the RPO’s until the Chargers don’t know what to do with themselves anymore, I expect a big game from Etienne. I’ll take the Jags +2, lock it up.
Bucs (+3) hosting the Cowboys- My how life comes at you fast. I never would’ve thought I’d be confidently taking the Bucs in round 1 several weeks back, but here we are. This is more of a play against the Cowboys than it is a vote of confidence for the Bucs. I always try and stay away from irresponsible favorites, and that’s exactly what the Cowboys are. It’s not like they just played a bad game last week, they’ve been playing bad football for a month, now they go on the road, and they’re favored? And on top of that, they’re favored against a QB that doesn’t flinch, and a coach that has his own issues but is really good at 1 thing…dialing up a blitz that confuses QB’s. If the Bucs D comes to play, this one might be a rocking chair bet. I’m all over the Bucs, but make sure you get the +3 and not the 2.5, just in case the Bucs lose on a FG. Lock it up!
7-point teaser: Giants +10/Bengals -1- I never hand out teasers. I think teasers are for suckers, almost every time I bet a teaser, I regret it. You lose so much value on your bet. But, this is a special circumstance. Now, for those that don’t know…a teaser is when you take 2 teams in different games and you add or subtract points from the regular spread, you do that for both teams you choose, but the catch is that you have to nail both or you lose your bet. Another key to a good teaser bet is to make sure both lines cross key #’s, like 3, 7, or 10. This one is perfect, you get the Bengals at essentially a pick em, I can’t imagine they lose to Baltimore without Lamar. And then, you get the Giants as 10 point underdogs in a game that you know is going to be decided by a final possession. 2 team teaser special, lock it up!
49ers vs Seahawks, under 42.5- Veering off my normal path with this one as well, I love this under play. Some factors here to consider. 1- This is a divisional rivalry, these teams know each other well, that usually leads to less scoring. 2- QB’s making their first ever playoff start typically struggle with that added pressure, its something you have to get used to, and neither Geno or Brock have started a playoff game. 3- The weather might be terrible for this game. I like the under either way, but I’ll like it even more if they go to the coverage on Fox @ 4:30 and there’s a monsoon on the screen. These 2 teams have met twice this season, the totals in those games were 34 and 34. Take the under and run. Lock it up!
Picks I’d recommend but won’t be betting myself- Ravens +8, 49ers -9.5, Bills -13