It's Time For Swinger's Wild Card NFL Picks

Raiders player Connor Cook running

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, January 5, 2017 2:41 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 2:41 PM GMT

The postseason starts this weekend and Swinger is looking to build on his 3-1 ATS performance from last week. Let's review the NFL odds and find the sharp sides in the opening round of the playoffs.

Swinger's Overall 2016 NFL Record: 32-31-1 ATS

We wrapped the 2017 regular season campaign by doing what we should have done much more often which is - cover the number. That's right, the NFL odds makers have not treated us well but then again we have sustained some truly bad beats and were the victims of some very poor officiating. But excuses don't count...results do. So we will take our 32-31-1 record and move on into the postseason.

However, on a positive note we did cash three of four of our NFL picks last week with the Carolina Panthers covering as four-point road dogs over the Bucs, the Saints covering as 7 ½ point road pups in Atlanta, and the total in that Saints/Falcons game soaring over 56 which landed us yet another winner. The lone money burner proved to be the Pittsburgh Steelers as they defeated the Browns but could not cover the 6 ½ point impost. Onward and upward my friends.

 

Oakland Raiders vs Houston Texans 

Derek Carr is gone with a broken leg - this we know. Rookie Connor Cook gets the nod but he will be facing a far less imposing defense than the one clad in orange last week in the Mile High City. Yes, the Texans have two outstanding edge rushers in Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus. However, the rest of their defense is not nearly as formidable as Denver's. Cook could gain traction with quick flare passes out of the backfield to his combo of tailbacks or to his tight ends while also relying on their 6th ranked rushing offense.

Brock Osweiler is back under center for Houston and that is only because he is the team's last option. Tom Savage was concussed last week so the Texans have no choice but to hand the ball to their million dollar baby. Though the Raiders don't have a terrific defense they are capable enough to stop an anemic offense like Houston's. Oakland defeated Houston six weeks ago by the score of 27-20 and to be getting points against a team like Houston whose offense is limited to begin with, and now with what is ostensibly their second-string QB is too tempting to resist.

 

Free NFL Pick: Oakland +4 Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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N.Y. Giants vs Green Bay Packers 

Selfishly I would love to see the Giants win because I want the Patriots and Tom Brady to get one last crack at beating Big Blue in the Super Bowl. However, that will not come to pass as the Giants are facing the hottest team down the stretch in Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Pack has reeled off six straight and covered the number in five of those contests. Earlier in the season Green Bay scored a 23-16 victory over the Giants and covered as 6 ½ point home chalk. So I ask you, was that Green Bay team in October better than this one in January? The answer is a resounding no and meanwhile, New York has stayed pretty much the same.

The bottom line is Aaron Rodgers has been a beast since he's shaken off whatever ailed him earlier this season. The future HOF'er has tossed 18 TD's and no picks over his past seven games and the Packers have thrived because of it. The Giants will get no pressure on this formidable offensive line especially with Jason Pierre-Paul sitting on the sidelines. New York's QB Eli Manning is as enigmatic as they come but he does have Odell Beckham Jr. at his disposal which can atone for a variety of sins. Yet, I still have no qualms about laying the lumber with the home chalk.

 Free NFL Pick: Packers -4½ Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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The Woodman’s Corner (9-8 ATS)

The Woodman concluded his season with the New England Patriots cashing as 9 ½ point road chalk in Miami. Certainly, it was an unusual pick for the Woodman whose penchant for pups is well-known yet he broke from tradition and backed the chalkiest of plays. As we know Brady's boys crushed their AFC East rivals in their own backyard with a 35-14 hammering of the Fins.

But never one to hold a grudge, the Woodman is now reversing course and backing a big dog in the first round of the playoffs with none other than the Miami Dolphins on the highway in the Steel City. The Fish shall keep it close, so sayeth the Woodman.

 Free NFL Pick: Miami +10 Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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