The NFL playoffs are off and running and we are down to the elite eight of the league. It used to be when making NFL picks you find the one underdog who could win and you could play the favorites and be good, not anymore with six of the last eight Super Bowl champions coming out of the wild card round. I hope you have followed this segment all season, since I am 29-15-3 ATS, which includes beating the sportsbooks with an 18-4-2 spread record to close the season. The pickings may be slim, but opportunity still exists.
An early look finds Indianapolis drawing almost 60 percent support to hang around with New England after their miraculous comeback over Kansas City. Presently, enough of those reviewing the betting odds are convinced the momentum will carry over for the Colts. And when you look at the Patriots 25th ranked total defense and Tom Brady running a less effective New England offense, why can’t Indy cover?
Here is why they will not. The Indianapolis defense was butchered for 44 points and 513 yards against a Chiefs offense which did not have Jamaal Charles. While comebacks are great, they are also emotionally-draining and having to reach the same fever pitch without a quality defense is an immense task.
Here is the clincher, playoff teams that score 40 or more points before the conference championships are 3-10-1 ATS since 1998. The Colts will fail to cover!
Free NFL Pick: New England -7
When San Diego went to the Mile High City on Thursday night 13 days before Christmas, you would have found few NFL football handicappers which would have given them a chance to make the playoffs.
The Chargers were 6-7 and hanging by a strand to make the playoffs. But on that night, San Diego got physical with the Broncos and upset them 27-20 and have reeled off five consecutive victories.
That was when San Diego started to believe, as the running game began to make life easier for Philip Rivers and the defense jelled and began to make life tougher on the opposition.
The Chargers might be the largest underdog of this round of the playoffs, but do not expect them to be intimidated by the NFL odds or the Broncos, since they are 7-1 SU and ATS at Denver.
Free NFL Pick: San Diego +9.5
When these teams met just over five weeks ago, the total was 48 and it was never threaten, with Seattle nailing New Orleans 34-7. Since then, the Saints run defense has taken a major step forward in allowing less than 80 yards per game rushing in their pasting three outings.
At the same time, the Seattle offense has been stymied since that night, averaging just 19.2 points per game (26.1 for the season) and the running game is down almost 30 percent from the first 10 games of the season (153) to 109 yards a contest.
With a released total of 48, I expect the New Orleans offense to be better and the Seahawks not quite as good and will not ignore the Saints are 11-3-1 UNDER against NFC competition. With this value-based sports pick I will stay below the number.
Free NFL Pick: Play Under