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Wild Card Picks

January 4th, 2019

Well, I ended the regular season on a shockingly high note. And that’s got to point to a rough go of it with my wild card picks.

I somehow managed to get out of a typically odd week 17 with records of 12-4 picking straight up, and 10-6 against the spread.

That means I finish the regular season at 163-91-2 (.641) straight up, 124-122-10 (.504) with the points.

Not bad.

So bad comes next. Here’s what not to expect as the playoffs get underway.

Indianapolis (+1.5) at Houston
Each of the regular season matches between these division rivals this year went to the visitors. And while I think the Texans should be able to reverse that trend, I don’t think they’ll pull it off. Houston succeeds by stopping the run and rendering opposing offenses one dimensional. That puts the Colts at a rather odd sort of advantage here as Indy comes in with an offense that’s one dimensional to begin with. I expect an exciting game that goes down to the wire. And I expect to see Adam Vinatieri yet again put the winning points on the board in the closing seconds of a big game. Colts by two.

Seattle (+2) at Dallas
I don’t think I’d have much trouble picking this game if it were being played in Seattle. And not because the Seahawks beat the Cowboys handily there back in week three. That’s way too long ago to actually matter. It’s because the Seahawks are still the better team, with a balanced offense that should be able to adjust to the Cowboys D as the game wears on. Thing is, I’m not sure that’s going to be enough to carry the Seahawks in Dallas. I’m still taking Seattle, mainly because I just don’t see anything that would let me feel great about picking Dallas. But I’m expecting a nail-biter (or I would be if I actually cared about which team wins; I guess I’m really just expecting a close game). Seahawks by a field goal.

LA Chargers (+2.5) at Baltimore
Things didn’t go well for the Chargers when these teams met in Los Angeles just two weeks ago. I’m not sure a whole lot has changed since then. Baltimore by seven.

Philadelphia (+6) at Chicago
The Bears in this postseason are going only as far as the NFL’s best defense will carry them. Chicago has a quarterback who wilts when he faces tough competition.

That’s guaranteed to catch up with the team sooner or later, whether it’s here, next week in Los Angeles or two weeks from now in New Orleans. It won’t be in the Super Bowl, because the Bears aren’t getting past the Saints. I won’t be at all surprised if the Eagles pull off an upset here. But in the end, I think the Chicago D will be just a bit more than Philadelphia can handle. Bears win a low-scoring game by a point.

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