Hello Friends! It’s playoff time! We finished the regular season off hot by hitting all our teasers, including our 4-way bonus teaser. We will be looking to ride that momentum into the playoffs. With fewer games, it was harder to fill in all the picks, so for the bonus teaser, we double-dipped. With lines in the playoffs so tightly set by Vegas you can make an argument for every side in every matchup.
The over/unders did not fare as well last week, but hopefully, they will be more predictable this week with only the best teams left playing. There is also lots of weather to keep an eye out for, which can affect the totals (Bills vs Steelers) in a big way, so keep an eye on those until game time.
Well try to keep the fire burning this week going into the playoffs and go for the ever-elusive perfect week, good luck and happy winning!
6-point Teaser of the Week
Dolphins (+11) at Chiefs – There is a lot not to like about the Dolphins this week. They have to go play on the road, it should be freezing, and have a plethora of injuries. Luckily for them, they play a Chiefs team that has not been able to blow anyone out this season, as their offense has taken a step back from previous seasons.
While the Dolphins do have a lot of injuries on defense, they should still be able to put Jalen Ramsey on Rashee Rice while bracketing Kelce with multiple defenders. This should lead the Chiefs to a run-heavy approach, keeping this a close game. The Dolphins should be able to match with their own explosive run game and, along with Tyrek Hill, should be able to keep this game within single digits. While it is scary to take Tua and a team from Miami in freezing temperatures, this line has gotten too large; go Fins!
Texans (+8) vs Browns – It is hard to bet on a rookie QB/head coach both making their first playoff starts against the hottest QB in the NFL right now in Joe Flacco, but getting CJ Stroud at over a TD at home feels like stealing. The Browns have been one of the hottest teams in the league since Flacco joined them, but they haven’t exactly been taken down world beaters as Flacco only beat one playoff team in that stretch, and it was the Texans who started Case Keenan with Stroud out hurt.
The Texans have shown the ability to shut down the run this year, which should force Flacco to throw at a high rate. Flacco still tends to throw lots of 50/50 balls, which could lead to some Texans turnovers and short fields. If the Texans can figure out a game plan for containing Amari Cooper, then they should be able to pull off the upset here. Now, with Stroud back, the Texans offense should be able to keep up with the Browns offense and keep this within a one-possession game.
7-point Teaser of the Week
Packers (+14) at Cowboys – Grabbing 14 points with any team in the playoffs is amazing, but the Packers have a real chance to win this game outright, so two touchdowns don’t seem like much of a sweat. I don’t think the Packers will be able to slow down the Cowboys too much, but Jordan Love and the Packers have proven they can at least keep up in shootouts.
The Packers have actually passed the Cowboys in offensive DVOA, ranking 6th vs the Cowboys 9th. Jordan Love has been playing at an elite level since November, with a 21:3 touchdown touchdown-to-interception ratio in that span, leading the Packers while using a plethora of pass catchers, making it hard to defend. The Packers also now have Aaron Jones back, who can still be the best player on the field when feeling fully healthy like he is now. While I don’t think the Packers can keep up with the Cowboys at home long enough to win outright, I do think they will cover the 14 points easily. Unless Mike McCarthy tries to run up the score on his old team.
Lions (+4) vs Rams – This is the primetime match-up this weekend, and for good reason. Stafford is coming home against his old team, Goff is going against the team that traded him, McVay vs Campbell, and Detroit is getting its first playoff home game since 1993! With the highest over/under of the week, this looks to be a classic shootout between two teams that love to pull out all the stops on offense and go for it on 4th downs (or two-point conversions) when necessary.
While the Rams have been pounding the rock all year with Kyren Williams, this may be a tough matchup to do that as the Lions have ranked top 5 in rushing defense all year. This should force the Rams to throw early and often, and while Kupp and Puka should both have nice games, the Lions and their #1 ranked in QB hurry rate, QB pressure rate, and QB knockdown rate. On the offensive side of the ball the Rams should have a hard time stopping a Lions offense that is firing on all cylinders. While the Sam LaPorta injury is huge, expect St. Brown and Gibbs to get a lot more looks, as Detroit should feed its playmakers in this huge game.
You also can’t forget about how crazy this crowd will be finally having a playoff home game again. McVay and Stafford have put together a great year, but the Rams overall may be a bit overrated, going 1-6 against other playoff teams. This feels like the spot where Detroit finally restores the roar!
Bonus Teaser of the Week: Texas Two-Step Teaser (7 points)
Cowboys (ML) vs. Packers / Cowboys at Packers (over 43.5) – Yes, we technically already picked against the Cowboys earlier, but I believe that while the Packers will cover the large number of 14, the Cowboys will also win this game. If this turns into a shootout, it’s hard to bet against Dak and CeeDee Lamb, who have looked like the best duo over the second half of the year, with other weapons like Cooks and Ferguson clicking, too.
The Packers offense should do more than enough to hit the over but the young QB making his first playoff start on the road should struggle just enough to get the Cowboys out of the wild card round. The Cowboys turnover turnover-happy defense should make a play or two that will be the difference in the fun shootout.
Overs of the Week
Rams at Lions (Over 51.5) – Well, this is going to be a fun one. Matthew Stafford is returning to the team that drafted him and watched him grow up facing Jared Goff, looking for revenge against the team that cast him aside. There should be fireworks all over in this one, as both offenses have been on a tear to end the season, while both defenses have left things to be desired.
While the Lions have been hot, they could have some trouble without Sam LaPorta dominating over the middle and with McVay knowing Goff so well. It will be key for the run game to click for the Lions so they are able to take the pressure off Goff. Another big factor of this game will be the Lions’ home-field advantage, with Detroit getting their first home playoff game since 1993. The Lions’ offense has played as well as any offense at home this season. While this is a high total these seem like the two teams ready to play a high scoring back and forth game, and it helps that it is also in a dome!
Browns at Texans (Over 44.5) – This is a fascinating matchup between the hottest young rookie QB going up against 38-year-old Joe Flacco, who, while a former Super Bowl winner, was on the couch earlier this season because no one wanted him. Somehow a matchup between a rookie and a “washed up” vet has become the second most interesting game this weekend (Lions vs Rams has as many storylines as an episode of All My Children).
I love this number for lots of reasons but the QBs are the main one. Also the fact that this will be indoors and the Browns will be playing on the road (Browns overs are 8-0 when they play on the road this season) are two more spectacular reason to grab this over. These two teams also already met three weeks ago and the over soared with a 36-22 final score, and that was with Case Keenan starting for Houston! It always good for the NFL playoffs to start with an over, Flacco/Stroud should get us there.
Unders of the Week
Dolphins at Chiefs (Under 44) – With freezing weather coming to Kansas City, it will be interesting to see how the high-powered Miami offense responds. It appears that Kansas City will likely lean on Pacheco and the run game which should help our under, will the Dolphins try to match with their running game? If so, this under should hit for sure, as it will turn into more of a defensive battle than a high-scoring shootout.
These two teams matched up earlier this season in a dome (granted, it was in Germany) and only got to 35 points. So, with bad weather, a tighter game plan for the playoffs, and more rushing for both teams, this seems like the right call. The Chiefs are 12-5 to the under this year, and you may want to sprinkle extra money on just the 2nd half under, where the Chiefs hit at a 15-2 clip during the regular season.
Eagles at Buccaneers (Under 43.5) – Weather will unfortunately be an issue in this one as well, along with a plethora of injuries. The Eagles’ big three of Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, and Davante Smith will all be coming into this one banged up with different levels of injuries, while Baker Mayfield hasn’t looked healthy in weeks with speculation he’s playing through rib injuries.
The Buccaneers were only able to muster 9 points against the lowly Panthers last week as Baker missed some throws he usually makes, showing how hurt he is. The Eagles better hope Hurts, and his weapons are healthy enough to produce in the passing game, as Tampa’s top 5 run defense should be able to bottle up the Eagles’ run game. Expect some gross offense in some gross weather; we’ll take the under in the last playoff game of the weekend.
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