NFL Picks: Best Game-by-Game ATS Selections For Wild Card Weekend

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 8:42 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 8:42 PM UTC

With NFL odds in full swing for the NFL wild-card round we bring you our game-by-game primers complete with ATS NFL picks. Find out where we’re lining our NFL picks in the NFL playoffs.

Week 17 Recap and Overall ATS Record
At the close of week 17 NFL betting we finished with a solid 10-6 record with our ATS NFL picks. That strong finish brings our seasonal record in 2015 to 131-119-6. It might interest you to know that this record compliments our 148-108-0 SU record on the season and our 132-122-2 record for OVER-UNBER Betting. In short a winning season across the board for our weekly game-by-game NFL picks.

Pop goes the bubbly...

So without too much fuss, let’s get started on our postseason game-by-game NFL picks. Here we bring you our choice ATS NFL picks for your NFL playoff betting thrills.


Chiefs vs. Texans
The Kansas City Chiefs roll into the playoffs with undeniable verve and swagger. Winning ten straight games to finish the season with a stellar 11-5 SU mark, marking one of the best turnarounds in the history of the league after going 1-5 SU to start the season. Over and above their SU record, the Chiefs boast an 8-8 ATS record that includes a 7.4-point winning margin and a plus 4.1-point differential versus the spread. They covered seven of their last ten games, six straight before the last four weeks of the season. In other words, they are just 1-3 ATS in their last four games.

The Texans finished the season with a solid 9-7 SU and ATS mark, highlighted by a 1.6-point winning margin and a plus 2.4-point differential versus the spread. There are several similarities the Texans share with the Chiefs, namely turning around their season. After a 2-5 SU start, the Texans won seven of their last nine games to win the AFC South title and clinch the fourth seed in the playoffs. In their last four games, they are 3-1 ATS, underscored by formidable defending that has conceded just 7.33 points in their last three games.

At face value, the Chiefs emerge as the better team with the more reliable quarterback in Alex Smith, offensive threats such as Jeremy Maclin and a defense that is nothing to sniff at. However, it would be a big mistake to overlook the Texans and what they bring to the table, namely with J.J. Watt and their stout defense. In fact, the defense can be largely credited for the impressive turnaround. What’s more, the Texans offense has been able to put up points behind several quarterbacks, from Brian Hoyer to TJ Yates and so on. It’s been the next man up as far as the shot calling role, which isn’t an ideal situation but should be a source of confidence as far as they’re concerned.

As it is, with NFL betting lines sitting firmly on a field goal across sports betting platforms, the home underdogs strike an attractive pose. There’s a lot to like about the Texans and the way they grinded their way back into the playoffs down the stretch. So much so that it wouldn’t surprise us if they did upend the Chiefs. It wasn’t a long time ago when they dumped the Bengals out of the ranks of the undefeated in the regular season when nobody gave them a shot to do so. They’re at home and in the playoffs as legitimate contenders.

NFL Picks: Texans +3 (+113) Pinnacle

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Steelers vs. Bengals
The highly-anticipated showdown between the Steelers and Bengals is one of the most bet games at early doors, even though for a while there the starting quarterback in Cincinnati was unknown. That’s rather telling.

It’s been announced that the Bengals are preparing for the weekend with AJ McCarron as their starter. That doesn’t mean Andy Dalton is ruled out entirely – it could be game tactics to throw the Steelers off. More likely, though, it is as reported with Dandy Andy unlikely to be ready.

Now, there are those NFL bettors that might argue it’s not be all doom and gloom for the Bengals. After all, coach Marvin Lewis and his fiery-headed starter are a disappointing 0-6 SU in the playoffs with the Bengals outscored 158-74 over that run of poor form. Those optimists might fancy AJ McCarron gives them a punters’ shot to do something they’ve failed to do: win a playoff game.

By that same token, it’s hard to bet on the Bengals in the postseason when they are a constant disappointment. Cooler heads would look to the Steelers and dismiss such notions as hallucinatory. Big Ben and the Steelers’ offense are hot on the trot (with the exception of the Baltimore game in week 16, mind), and they’ve already proven their mettle with a 33-20 win in Cincy only a month ago. Weeks ago the Steelers were dubbed as the AFC team nobody wants to play in the playoffs. It looks like they’ll underscore that notion with a big win in Cincinnati, in turn heaping more postseason misery on Marvin Lewis and the Bengals.

NFL Picks: Steelers -2.5 (-110) Heritage

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Seahawks vs. Vikings
Now that the euphoria of winning the NFC North title has abated, one wonders whether the Vikings should have even bothered to do so. In beating the Packers at Lambeau Field in week 17, the Vikings clinched the third seed in the NFC, earning a date with none other than the beastly Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card round of the playoffs. If that weren’t a formidable task in itself, news is that Marshawn Lynch is slated to make his belated return from injury, just in time for the trip to Minnesota. Happy days!

Minnesota finished the season with a stellar 13-3-0 ATS mark, a league-leading mark no less, highlighted by a 3.9-point winning margin and a plus 4.1-point differential against the spread. Seattle made mincemeat of it a few weeks back when they descended on the Vikings and did a number on them – beating them 38-7 all while putting the 2.5-point line trading on the game to shame.

By the numbers, the Seahawks are just 8-7-1 ATS on the season with a 9.1-point winning margin and a plus 3.2-point differential against the spread. Nobody wants to play them in the NFC though as they’re quite simply the most dangerous team in the field. NFC Champions two-years running, Super Bowl champions two years ago and runners-up last year, this is a team that has proven championship credentials. No matter how good the Vikings have been this season, it just seems an impossible task they’re facing in their quest to persevere in the postseason.

NFL betting lines opened with the Seahawks favored at 5-points at various sports betting outlets, but they’ve already been bet up to -5.5. As news of Marshawn Lynch spreads, this game could potential move towards a touchdown line before the week is out. It’s hard to imagine the Vikings won’t be more competitive this time around, but betting against the Seahawks is a terrifying prospect at the best of times. Take the Seahawks while they are still trading as the lowly 5.5-point road chalk.

NFL Picks: Seattle -4 (+100) Pinnacle

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Packers vs. Redskins
The Green Bay Packers have really fallen out of favor across sports betting platforms. Since a 6-0 SU start on the season began to fall apart at an alarming rate with just four wins in their last ten games, their stock value has decreased in proportion. So much so that they actually descend on the Washington Redskins as the road underdogs on the NFL odds board. Granted they are just minimal road underdogs of +1.5 – the current high at Heritage.

One would think losing the NFC North title decider in week 17 might be something the Packers would rue later on. It so happens, they emerge with the better matchup against the Redskins while newly-minted champions Vikings have the scary prospect of the Seahawks and the Legion of Boom to look forward to. Going on the road has its downside, particularly when the Redskins play rather well in the nation’s capital. But the Packers have experience on their side and a proven Super Bowl winning quarterback in Aaron Rodgers.

Football betting isn’t an exercise in sentimentality. It’s been a bit of a Cinderella season for the Washington Redskins and the emergence of Kirk Cousins does tug at the heart strings but the question NFL bettors must consider seriously is whether the Redskins are legitimate playoff contenders. Let’s face it, they did benefit from a terrible NFC East division. If the firing of Chip Kelly in Philly a fortnight ago and today’s parting of ways with Tom Coughlin in NY isn’t an indication of just how disastrous the state of affairs in the division were, what is.

To be fair, the Redskins did earn their position fair and square and they bring a 9-7 ATS mark into the playoffs with a 0.6-point winning margin and a plus 4.2-point differential against the spread. And the Packers do look to be a bit out of sorts of late – can’t deny that at all. But it would take a really inspired effort by Kirk Cousins and the Redskins to come through as the nominal home chalk. Postseason Aaron Rodgers and the Packers find ways to get it done and we’re not willing to bet against the elite quarterback when so much is at stake.

NFL Picks: Packers +1.5 (-105) Heritage

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