NFL Picks: Examining Wild Card Weekend False Favorites & Top Dogs

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 10:46 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016 10:46 PM UTC

We move to the NFL Playoffs and are excited for what looks to be one of the most competitive and unpredictable postseasons in recent memory when taking all 12 teams into account.

For this article and the video that follows, I finished 3-0, taking season record to 33-17-1 ATS, 66 percent. Being a sports betting expert, and a realist, I am not even going to pretend to say I expect to continue at this rate for NFL picks. With fewer choices and more elite teams going head to head, the variables are fewer to have the kind of edges the regular season can provide.

Because of the narrowness of the title of this article, I will alter my selections to fit the NFL odds' situations and do my best to continue season-long success.


False Favorite - Seattle (-5.5) Overvalued on the Road
Listening to radio and TV "experts" in the NFL is hilarious. Every football bettor knows that overreacting to what you just saw will cause you to bleed money when it comes to sports betting. Two weeks ago nobody could figure out what happened to Seattle, as they were manhandled by St. Louis at home. The Seahawks arrived in Arizona ready to play and the Cardinals did not and they blew out the Birds and are officially a "dangerous team." But what about Minnesota? Sure they were destroyed by Seattle 38-7 five weeks ago, but the Vikings are 4-0 ATS since and they will not forget what happened. Expect a much sharper effort from Minnesota, relishing the underdog role with its improved run defense, making this a three-point outcome either way.


Top Underdog - Bet Against Public Line Move on Total in Cincinnati
On Monday, Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton got his cast off on his non-throwing hand. While he will give it a go in practice, it is reasonable to assume AJ McCarron will still be the Bengals' starting quarterback, with Dalton in the bullpen should McCarron stumble. This information has helped lower the total a point to 45.5. The two previous contests this season had totals of 49 and they were split by bettors. Yet, when I look at the skill position players on both teams, I see difference-makers everywhere and Cincinnati having TE Tyler Eifert back, adds a huge weapon to their offense. We understand what Ben Roethlisberger has around him and should also state that the Steelers are on an 8-0 OVER playoff run.


Top Underdog - Money Line Action in Queen City
This is not my favorite play of the week, but I like the factors involved. Cincinnati has a legitimate shot to win this game outright in my humble opinion. I, like you understand the differences at quarterback and Pittsburgh's 20-5 and 19-6 ATS record in Cincinnati. Nevertheless, the Bengals were second in fewest points allowed (17.4) per game and sixth in yards per pass attempt surrendered (6.2). If you examine the Steelers' last 10 games, in spite of the gaudy offensive numbers, they still averaged 2.4 turnovers a game. and in the playoffs, that could be fatal. Pittsburgh was fortunate to have picked D'Angelo Williams when Le'Veon Bell was injured. However, Williams hurt his ankle last week and his exact status is unknown, which could take away Pittsburgh's best runner and an important piece to the passing game. Watch for a big effort from Marvin Lewis' club as they advance, making them a money line play.

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