NFL Betting: Wild Card Weekend Value Picks on Every Game

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, January 8, 2016 10:50 PM GMT

The NFL Playoffs are here, and here we are with our selections on all four games during wild card weekend, featuring two totals for Saturday and two side selections for Sunday.

Well, the 2015 NFL regular season has come and gone very quickly, but that only means that it is time for most exciting month of football of the year, the NFL Playoffs, culminating with the Super Bowl on Phoenix on February 7th. We kick things off this week with the wild card round, and we are here giving to give you one NFL pick for each of the four games!

These picks are comprised of two sides and two totals, and as it turns out, we are not afraid to go against wild card playoff history. That history says that the ‘under’ has been a good bet during the wild card round since the current playoff format started when each conference went to four divisions in 2002, going 29-22-1, 56.9 percent. And yet, both of our total selections this week are on the ‘over’!

Also, all favored six-seeds have gone 3-0 ATS during the wild card round and 6-1 ATS throughout the entire playoffs since 2002, and yet one of our side selections goes against a favored six-seed.

So without further ado here are our selections for wild card weekend, and as usual, all of these NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.

 

Saturday, January 9th
Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans ‘over’ 40 (-105) (4:35 ET):
This selection may fly in the face of public perception as these were two of the better defenses in the NFL over the second half of the season, but there is a method to our madness. First of all, these teams did go ‘over’ in their regular season meeting with the Chiefs winning 27-20 here in Houston way back on Kickoff Weekend, but that is only a secondary reason for us liking the ‘over’ here. No, the primary reason is that both of these teams would ideally like to establish the run, but we do not feel that either team will do so successfully vs. the very good opposing run defenses, thereby forcing both quarterbacks to throw the ball more than either team would probably like. Neither of these teams exceeded 100 rushing yards in the regular season meeting, and we see a replay of that here. However, these teams are not as helpless passing the ball as some may think, so we see that passing leading to a relatively high scoring game compared to this posted total. The Texans boast one of the top receivers in all of football in DeAndre Hopkins, and he was a key reason why journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer was able to post the best numbers of his career, completing 60.7 percent of his passes while throwing for 2606 yards in 11 games (nine starts) with 19 touchdown passes vs. seven interceptions. And as for Alex Smith of the Chiefs, remember the last time he started a playoff game vs. the Indianapolis Colts two years ago? Smith threw for 378 yards that day while completing 30-of-48 passes, so airing the ball out here should not be detrimental to the Kansas City offense. Besides, offensive coordinator Doug Pederson did such a great job allowing the Chiefs’ offense to evolve from the Stone Age after Jamaal Charles was lost for the season by getting Jeremy Maclin and the other Kansas City wide receivers more involved in the game plan that he is now a candidate for the open head coaching position in Philadelphia.

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Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals ‘over’ 45½ (+102) (8:15 ET): We are very well aware that the ‘under’ has had strong tendencies during this wild card round since the AFC and NFC went to four divisions each in 2002, and we know we are bucking wild card history with this, our second ‘over’ in as many wild card game selections. However, that does not really bother us as we put more of an emphasis on the matchup on the field than in what history tells us, and in this particular case, since DeAngelo Williams is almost certainly out for the Steelers, we expect Ben Roethlisberger to throw the ball early and often and would not be at all surprised if he finishes with more than 40 pass attempts. Still, once the Steelers got the help they needed with the Jets losing their regular season finale allowing Pittsburgh to sew up this playoff berth with their win in Cleveland, sixth seeded Pittsburgh was instantly dubbed “the most dangerous team in the AFC.” And much of that has to do with the passing tandem of Big Ben to Antonio Brown, who may be the best receiver in the NFL right now, not to mention a great supporting case in wide-outs Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton, as well as tight end Heath Miller. That offense can score on anyone and it has demonstrated that it can even do so even with a one-dimensional passing attack. Now, the Bengals would like to be more conservative with A.J. McCarron making his first ever playoff start filling in for the injured Andy Dalton, but the makeup of the Pittsburgh defense may force McCarron to the air more also, and with some success! That is because the Steelers have a stout front seven that is formidable against the run allowing a measly 91.1 rushing yards per game on 3.8 yards per carry, but Pittsburgh finished the regular season dead last in the NFL in passing defense surrendering 271.9 yards per game through the air.

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Sunday, January 10th
Minnesota +5 (-109) over Seattle Seahawks (1:05 ET):
This is the third play in our first three wild card round selections where we are bucking history, this time the history that says favored six-seeds have been great bets in the playoffs including going a perfect 3-0 ATS during the wild card round. Additionally, similar to the sixth-seeded Steelers in the NFC, the two-time NFC Champion Seahawks are another team that “nobody wants to play,” and in this specific case, this is a regular season rematch where Seattle came here to Minnesota and annihilated the Vikings 38-7 in Week 13 with the only Viking score coming on a kick-off return. And yet, we are willing to buck all of that for several reasons. For starters, Minnesota was without three big defensive starters in the regular season meeting in Linval Joseph, Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith, all of whom are Pro Bowl caliber players. Barr and Smith are already back and there is also a chance that the questionable Joseph could return for this game. Also, since that first meeting got out of hand so quickly with Minnesota so short-handed defensively, Adrian Peterson carried the ball only eight times for 18 yards. Expect a heavier workload for Peterson here, and while Seattle certainly has a great run defense, remember that Todd Gurley did rush for 83 yards when the Rams upset the Seahawks two weeks ago, so the leading rusher in the NFL in Peterson could certainly have success even if he does not reach his usual standards, allowing Minnesota to shorten this game a bit by controlling the clock. Finally, the improvement of the Seattle offense compared to early in the year has been keyed by playing at a faster tempo since Marshawn Lynch went down with his sports hernia. “Beast Mode” is back this week, but in a twist of irony, will Lynch’s return actually upset the timing of this new, fast paced Seahawks’ offense?

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Washington Redskins -1 (-107) over Green Bay Packers (4:40 ET): More than a few experts feel that the wild card Packers drew a favorable matchup here by losing their season finale at home to the Vikings and thus failing to win a sixth straight NFC North title, as the 9-7 Redskins are generally considered to be the weakest NFC team in the playoffs. Well, that might be true, but by the same token this could be a matchup of the two weakest NFC playoff teams given how off the Green Bay offense looked this year, so we actually have no qualms about backing a hot Washington team at a cheap price at home. The knee-jerk reaction would be to automatically back Aaron Rodgers in what is close to a Pick’em game vs. Kirk Cousins, but the fact of the matter is that Cousins actually had the better numbers this season! This does not take away from the greatness of Rodgers, who is still one of the best quarterbacks in the game when he has his full supporting cast, but the loss of Jordy Nelson during the preseason proved much more of a big deal that was originally thought, and the inability of the Packers to establish a consistent running game as well as a struggling offensive line made it practically impossible for Rodgers to play up to his abilities. Furthermore, that offensive line could be under siege here vs. a Washington defensive line that recorded 17 sacks over the last four games. Thus, expect a Green Bay offense that scored 30 points just twice in the last 13 games to struggle again with Rodgers under constant pressure, and we simply feel that the Green Bay defense is not good enough to carry this team to victory here.

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