January 6, 2017

NFL wild-card picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams in CAPs.

Oakland +3.5 over HOUSTON

Connor Cook vs. Brock Osweiler in a playoff game is just about as bad as it gets. The Raiders looked absolutely awful without Derek Carr last week, but the Texans look awful with Osweiler all season and didn’t improve much when it was the now-concussed Tom Savage in at QB. The Raiders have the better all-around team and let’s not forget that the Texans are only here because their division is a tire fire.

SEATTLE -8 over Detroit

Both of these teams have some pretty big flaws. Neither can run the ball very well and their offensive lines have issues. The Seahawks are also lacking playmakers thanks some injuries and have had to turn to veteran free-agent Devin Hester to return kicks for them. The two biggest advantages that the Seahawks have are simple: Home-field advantage and experience. Despite what many perceive as a down season, Seattle still went 7-1 t home this year. As for experience, while many will point to the Lions’ many fourth-quarter comebacks this season as proof they are battle-tested, that’s not the same as Super Bowl experience. After all, there is a reason that Detroit trailed late in so many games – it’s not that good.

PITTSBURGH -10 over Miami

The Steelers’ Killer Bs are rested and ready for a Miami team that should struggle in Pittsburgh for many reasons. First of all, Matt Moore isn’t good enough to carry a team to a playoff victory. He’s an ample regular-season replacement, but this is a whole different monster. Next, the Steelers have been much better at home this season than on the road – especially Ben Roethlisberger. Also, Miami hasn’t played a game under 8C this season and temperatures will be literally freezing. The wild-card here is Jay Ajayi. The Dolphins’ breakout running back had three 200-yard rushing games this season and one was against Pittsburgh.

New York Giants +4.5 over GREEN BAY

Unquestionably the game of the week. These two teams have a history in the playoffs and are coming in hot. Aaron Rodgers and Co. have been dynamite down the stretch while the Giants defence has become one of the league’s best. While the Pack do have home-field advantage, it shouldn’t be enough to dissuade us from a team that has taken the long road to a Super Bowl before. At the very least, this one should be close, which means we’ll take the points, sit back and enjoy.

Last week: 11-5

This season: 137-106-8

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