– Gary Segars (twitter: @proseveregary)
Last week, I went with the Raiders, but then picked all 3 of the other home favorites in the Wild Card round, which led me to a 3-1 record. On the other side, Chris took all 4 road dogs, and came away with an 0-4 record.
This week, we’re flipping the script on that…
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Saturday, Jan 14th
Seahawks @ Falcons (-4.5)
Seattle is the great unknown – they’ve had 4 weeks where they couldn’t even score a touchdown in the game (and actually won 1 and tied another!), and then they have weeks where they put up 30+ regularly. Their defense shut down a hapless Lions team, but this week they go to Atlanta to face the #1 offense in all of football.
I think Seattle is the more playoff proven team – Russell Wilson has proven he knows how to win the playoffs, and Matt Ryan has not shown that he can do that yet. The Falcons are known for choking in the playoffs, so I’m going with Seattle to at least keep it within the 4.5. Chris thinks the Seahawks are a fraud this year, and believes that Atlanta has the most complete team left in the playoffs, so he’s rolling with Atlanta to cover the spread.
Gary’s Pick: Seahawks +4.5
Chris’s Pick: Falcons -4.5
Texans @ Patriots (-16)
The Houston Texans have been awful this season. But still… a 16 point spread in a playoff game is just crazy. Texans QB Brock Osweiler has been really bad all season, and the Patriots have done what they do… but the issue is that, with last week’s win over Oakland (even though they were missing their MVP candidate QB), the Texans have a bit of confidence, and their defense has some other-world kinda athletes on it. This defense could definitely slow down the Pats, if superstar Jadeveon Clowney and that secondary shows up… but the Patriots have a way of attacking teams weaknesses, and if Osweiler gets happy feet and throws the ball to the wrong colored shirts, this could get ugly in a hurry.
The Texans defense scares me enough to take the 16 points, and while it scares Chris, he can’t go against our mantra, which is never bet on bad football teams. He’s rolling with the home team and laying the 16.
Gary’s Pick: Texans +16
Chris’s Pick: Patriots -16
Sunday, Jan 15th
Steelers @ Chiefs (-1.5)
This is the absolute most pick’em game there is on the schedule this week. The Steelers are rolling right now, winners of their last 8 straight, and this is the first playoffs where they’ve had LeVeon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Big Ben all healthy for a playoff push. The offense is clicking, and the defense is finally starting to get a lil nasty on teams. The other issue for this ballgame: weather. There’s supposed to be an ice storm in Kansas City this weekend, which could make field conditions insane.
Chris loves Andy Reid coming off a bye week (19-3 in his career!) and he thinks an Arrowhead Stadium playoff crowd will be the difference, but I think Pittsburgh is the hottest team in the NFL right now and they’ll find a way to pull this one out.
Gary’s Pick: Steelers +1.5
Chris’s Pick: Chiefs -1.5
Packers @ Cowboys (-4.5)
I absolutely hate it when Vegas sees the majority of money coming in on one side, and then moves the line the opposite direction. This line opened at 4, there’s 66% of the spread money (and over 70% of the money line) coming in on Green Bay… so rather than move the line down to get more people to bet on Dallas, they moved it up, so even more people will bet on Green Bay.
I still don’t care though. I think Green Bay is on absolute fire right now, and I don’t know what Dak and Zeke are going to do in their first playoff game as NFL rookies. Aaron Rodgers has been lights out in this 7 game winning streak, and I expect that to continue against a not-as-good-as-they’ve-looked defense in Dallas. If Green Bay’s defense can slow down the running game, that puts Prescott in bad situations. Chris thinks the Packers defense won’t be able to do that, so he’s going against the public and taking the Cowboys, but I’m riding on the A-A-RON TRAIN right now and taking the points with Green Bay.
Gary’s Pick: Packers +4.5
Chris’s Pick: Cowboys -4.5
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