Highlighting Wild Card Weekend Betting Value For Your NFL Picks

Kevin Stott

Monday, January 4, 2016 7:45 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 7:45 PM UTC

The NFL’s Regular Season ended on Sunday night, so now it’s on to the Wild Card Round. Let’s look at some particulars and come up with some raw NFL picks for these Wild Card games.

Saturday, January 9, 2016
AFC Wild Card Round: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Houston Texans
Point Spread/Total: Chiefs -3, 40½ (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Money Line: Chiefs -180, Texans +160 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Site: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas
Playing Surface: Grass
Weather: Rain Showers in Morning, Sunshine in Afternoon, 68°, Winds NNW 12 mph, 50% chance of Rain
Time: 4:35 pm EST/1:35 p.m. PST
Chiefs SU, ATS Record Seed: (11-5 SU, 8-8 ATS, #5 seed—Wild Card)
Texans SU, ATS Record Seed: (9-7 SU, 9-7 ATS, #4 seed—AFC South Winner)
Head Coaching Showdown: Andy Reid (3rd year) vs. Bill O’Brien (2nd year)
QB Matchup: Alex Smith vs. Brian Hoyer
WR Showdown: Jeremy Maclin vs. DeAndre Hopkins
Chiefs Defense: #7, 5,269 yards, 329.3 ypg, 17.9 ppg
Texans Defense: #3, 4,963 yards, 310.2 yards, 19.6 ppg
Chiefs Offense: #27, 5,299 yards, 333.2 ypg, 25.3 ppg
Texans Offense: #19, 5,564 yards, 347.8 ypg, 21.2 ppg
TO Differential: Chiefs #2, +14, Texans Tied #10, +5
Last Meeting: Week 1, Chiefs 27 @ Texans 20 (KC -1, 41)
Fun Facts: The Chiefs have W10 straight after a 1-5 start; Kansas City averaged 25.3 ppg despite having the 27th ranked overall Total Offense in the Regular Season; both teams stud RBs, Arian Foster and Jamaal Charles have been and are Out.

The Big Thing Here: The Texans are still better than the General Public and NFL Odds think. Always caught up in the Record, the meek Division (AFC South) the QB problems (Hoyer Concussion protocol, switching starters, trading QBs), the injury to star RB Arian Foster and people thinking this team is all about JJ Watt, many overlook how good Houston really is, and has been since trailing 41-0 at Halftime in Miami. WR DeAndre Hopkins (111 receptions, 1,521 yards, 11 TDs, 13.7 ypc) is overshadowed by the greatest cast of WRs in NFL history and the Defense lets the Texans hang with anyone and this Point Spread seems like it should be more like a Pick ‘em. With upcoming RB Alfred Blue, WR Nate Washington, WR Cecil Shorts III, WR Jaelen Strong and QB Hoyer along with guys on the Defensive side of the football like the aforementioned Watt, LB Brian Cushing (110 tackles), LB Jadeveon Clowney and DB Andre Hal (4 Interceptions). Houston will be thinking they should win this game and it was a bad draw for both of these teams to actually get each other as the way both have been playing, shocking the NFL this weird season is a possibility and either the Broncos (#1 seed) or defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (#2) will have their hands full in the next round with the winner of this game.

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NFL Pick: Texans +160 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


AFC Wild Card Round: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Money Line: Steelers -130, Bengals +118 (Pinnacle)
Site: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Weather: Cloudy Skies with periods of Light Rain, 38°, Winds NW 6 mph, 60% chance of Rain
Time: 8:15 pm EST/5:15 p.m. PST
Steelers SU, ATS Record Seed: (10-6 SU, 9-6-1 ATS, #6 seed—Wild Card)
Bengals SU, ATS Record Seed: (12-4 SU, 12-3-1 ATS, #3 seed—AFC North Winner)
Head Coaching Showdown: Mike Tomlin (9th year) vs. Marvin Lewis (13th year)
QB Matchup: Ben Roethlisberger vs. AJ McCarron or Andy Dalton
WR Showdown: Antonio Brown vs AJ Green
Steelers Defense: #21, 5,809 yards, 363.1 ypg, 19.9 ppg
Bengals Defense: #11, 5,453 yards, 340.8 yards, 17.4 ppg
Steelers Offense: #3, 6,327 yards, 395.4 ypg, 26.4 ppg
Bengals Offense: #15, 5,728 yards, 358.0 ypg, 26.2 ppg
TO Differential: Bengals #3, +11, Steelers Tied #15, +2
Last Meeting: Week 14 (Dec. 13.2015), Steelers 33 @ Bengals 20 (CIN -1, 49)
Fun Facts: Two of the NFL’s most tenured coaches meet here; Rumor has it that Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams (Ankle) will undergo an MRI on Monday and his status will be determined later, and if he can’t go, Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman will get the bulk of the carries with star RB Le’Veon Bell being Out for Pittsburgh. Also, injured Cincinnati starting QB Andy Dalton may practice this week, so don’t be surprised if Big Red gets the call here on Saturday at Home against their rival, Pittsburgh. The Bengals were the NFL Point Spread Champs this Regular Season with a very profitable 12-3-1 ATS mark.

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Point" total:="">The Big Thing Here: The Big Thing Here and the reason the Steelers are even favored in this spot in the Queen City is the fact that Andy Dalton (Knee) may miss this game for the Bengals and that AJ McCarron may have massive responsibility and expectations placed upon him in the toughest start of both his collegiate (Alabama) and pro career. And that includes the BCS Championship game against LSU where the now 25-year-old McCarron was absolutely brilliant and led the Crimson Tide to the national championship in his sophomore season in a 21-0 win. With Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh will have that swagger and confidence on every snap while Doubt and Fear will probably comprise 15% on the Bengals snaps if McCarron is in. That dreaded Pressure has always been on Cincinnati in the Playoffs and despite having the best Roster and best Defense they’ve had maybe ever, the Bengals may have no QB. A big problem. And, the Confidence Pittsburgh got from winning here in Cincinnati last month will matter, but again, the (obviously) really big thing here is whether or not Bengals injured starting QB Dalton will be healthy enough to give it a go. Even if he does, Roethlisberger will be throwing the ball to WRs Brown, WR Martavis Bryant and WR Markus Wheaton as well as TE Heath Miller all night long, so this seems like a game where both teams top the 24-point mark and the team with less doubt gets through to the next round.

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NFL Picks: Steelers -130 & Over 46½ 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Sunday, January 10, 2016
NFC Wild Card Round: Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings
Point Spread/Total: Seahawks -4½, 42 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
Money Line: Seahawks -230, Vikings +205 (Pinnacle)
Site: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis Minnesota
Playing Surface: FieldTurf
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 14° F, Winds NW 5-10 mph, 10% chance of Snow, 52% Humidity
Time: 1:05 pm EST/10:05 a.m. PST
Seahawks SU, ATS Record Seed: (10-6 SU, 8-7-1 ATS, #6 seed—Wild Card)
Redskins SU, ATS Record Seed: (9-7 SU, 9-7 ATS, #4 seed—NFC East Winner)
Head Coaching Showdown: Pete Carroll (6th year) vs. Mike Zimmer (2nd year)
QB Matchup: Russell Wilson vs. Teddy Bridgewater
WR Showdown: Doug Baldwin vs. Mike Wallace
Seahawks Defense: Seattle #2, 4,668 yards, 291.8 ypg, 17.3 ppg
Vikings Defense: #13, 5,507 yards, 344.2 yards, 18.9 ppg
Seahawks Offense: #4, 6,058 yards, 378.6 ypg, 26.4 ppg
Vikings Offense: #29, 5,139 yards, 321.1 ypg, 22.8 ppg
TO Differential: Seahawks Tied #6, +6, Vikings Tied #10, +5
Last Meeting: Week 13 (Dec. 6. 2015), Seahawks 38 @ Vikings 7 (SEA -2½, 43)
Fun Facts: Vikings Unders were 11-4-1 ATS in the Regular Season; RB Marshawn Lynch may return for the Seahawks; Russell Wilson 12-11-1 ATS on Road, 4-3-1 this season, W3 ATS); Seattle’s Defense ranks #1 in Points Allowed (17.3 ppg), #1 in Rushing Yards allowed (81.5 ypg), #2 in Passing Yards allowed (210.2 ypg) and #2 in Total Yards allowed (291.8 ypg).


The Big Thing Here: The Seahawks Postseason compared to Seahawks Regular Season is like NASCAR compared to IndyCar and although the Vikings have gotten an incredible season from RB Adrian Peterson (1,418 rushing yards, 10 TDs) and have some nice unheralded Skill Position guys like RB Jerick McKinnon (48 rushes, 256 yards; 18 receptions, 140 yards), super Rookie WR Stefon Diggs (Maryland, 51 receptions, 712 yards, 4 TDs, 14.0 ypc), TE Kyle Rudolph (49 receptions, 495 yards, 5 TDs, 10.1 ypc) and WR Jarius Wright (32 receptions, 421 yards, 13.2 ypc) as well as Free Agent signee WR Mike Wallace (38 receptions, 451 yards, 2 TDs, 11.9 ypc). But there’s just something about the Seahawks from November to February and with RB Thomas Rawls and WR Doug Baldwin having nice seasons to accommodate for the loss of the production the injured Marshawn Lynch (Questionable, expect him to be ready) and TE Jimmy Graham (Out), And notice how Seattle’s Offense ranked a surprising 4th in the NFL this year while the Vikings were 29th out of 32 teams. Perception is a funny thing. If Seattle can bottle up Adrian Peterson early on and frustrate the hosts, it could be a long afternoon in Minneapolis for Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings. Seattle is in that Beast Mode again make them for NFL pick.

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NFL Pick: Seahawks -5½ 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


NFC Wild Card Round: Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins
Point Spread/Total: Redskins -1, 46 (Pinnacle)
Money Line: Redskins -115, Packers +104 (Pinnacle)
Site: FedExField, Landover, Maryland
Playing Surface: Grass
Weather: Rain developing, Low 53° Fahrenheit, Winds E 5 mph, 89% Humidity
Time: 4:40 pm EST/1:40 p.m. PST
Packers SU, ATS Record Seed: (10-6 SU, 9-7 ATS, #5 seed—Wild Card)
Redskins SU, ATS Record Seed: (9-7 SU, 9-7 ATS, #4 seed—NFC East Winner)
Head Coaching Showdown: Mike McCarthy (10th year) vs. Jay Gruden (2nd year)
QB Matchup: Aaron Rodgers vs. Kirk Cousins
WR Showdown: Randall Cobb vs. DeSean Jackson
Packers Defense: #15, 5,547 yards, 346.7 ypg, 20.2 ppg
Redskins Defense: #28, 6,090 yards, 380.6 ypg, 23.7 ppg
Packers Offense: #23, 5,5353 yards, 334.6 ypg, 23.0 ppg
Redskins Offense: #17, 5,661 yards, 353.8 ypg, 24.3 ppg
TO Differential: Packers Tied #10, +5, Redskins #14, +4
Last Meeting: Sep. 15. 2013, (Week 2), @ Packers 38-20 (GB -7, 47½)
Fun Facts: Green Bay Unders 11-5, Redskins 6-2 SU at Home, 5-3 ATS, Redskins in NFL Playoffs.


The Big Thing Here: The Big Thing Here and pretty much all season for the Packers is the absence of WR Jordy Nelson. Without Nelson, Green Bay is just not the same on Offense, just not the same football team overall and it is quite evident by the looks on QB Aaron Rodgers (35-30 ATS on Road, 5-3 ATS this season) face all season long. He ain’t happy. Without Nelson, teams have been able to focus on the other half of the Packers’ dynamic WR duo, Randall Cobb and although Free Agent signee James Jones has filled in admirably, without Kansas State product Nelson’s productivity, these Cheeseheads just aren’t the same. Nelson hurt himself on the Steelers infamous Heinz Field surface in a Preseason game in Pittsburgh of all things. Still, Green Bay’s pedigree and Defense and Rodgers should be enough to advance although Cousins has proved his teammates right he’s the man to lead this team and not Robert Griffin III.

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NFL Pick: Packers +104
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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