Against the Spread: NFL Wild Card Weekend

Wild Card Weekend. Playoff Football.
It is time

If you are looking for in-depth football analysis, you want @kscors2199 article on the games posted yesterday morning. This is for all of us who follow our guts at the window. Those of us who can hear the board speaking with no need for analytics or sabermetrics.

As we live through the proliferation of sports gaming, this little corner of the internet deserves a slice of the pie, and right here, we will have it. We have the first two National Football League playoff games today and those games and have spreads and totals, and they are speaking to me and to you.

Can you hear them? They’re saying, “Reader, you know the game. You know these teams. You watched 17 straight weeks of RedZone and fantasy matchups. Why not whet your beak a little?”

Whet our beaks we shall.

Buffalo Bills 10-6 @ Houston Texans 10-6 (-2.5) O/U 43.5

Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills travel to Houston to play a Texans team that no one really knows if they are good or not. But the good news for the Texans is that no one really knows if the Bills are good or not either. The Bills just lost to the God Damn Jets last week. The Texans lost to the Panthers and Kyle Allen AND whichever BUM started for Denver when they played them. Both these teams seemed to have had up and down weeks when they needed the opposite the most.

Here’s what we know about Houston:

  • Deshaun Watson is a monster
  • Houston’s Offensive Line cannot protect Deshaun Watson
  • If Watson even gets a moment of time, he has absolute freaks at wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Kenny Stills

Here’s what we know about Buffalo:

  • They run the ball very well with Josh Allen, Devin Singletary, and Frank Gore
  • They play very stout defense
  • They have one (1) win all season over a team that finished over .500 and that was against Marcus Mariota who lost his job to Ryan Tannehill

The Pick:

I am a SUCKER for the old adage that defense and run games travel. Defense and run games win championships, and while I love that Houston offense when everything is clicking, I just do not think Watson will have the prerequisite time to find his world class receivers against an aggressive Bills defense. Not only do I like the Bills to beat the spread, I expect them to win outright and for no one in the City of Buffalo to work on Monday. Bills +2.5

You can also trust that an offense that runs through what’s left of Frank Gore’s knees to hit the over in a game. The pick here is the Under 43.5.

Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots (-5.5) O/U 45

Somehow Ryan Tannehill is good, and not just good in a fantasy football garbage time hero sense. In an actual, he’s winning games and making the right decision sense. It’s almost as down right bananas as a Patriots team that just blew its chance at a first round bye to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami Dolphins. The Pats offense STINKS, but they are undoubtedly #StillHere.

Here’s what we know about the Titans:

  • People do not want to tackle Derrick Henry this late in the season. He is enormous and defenders would much rather see Dion Lewis than him
  • Tennessee literally won in Houston last week
  • Mike Vrabel seems to be the only Bill Belichick disciple who can defeat his own boss

Here’s what we know about the Patriots:

  • Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all-time
  • Bill Belichick is the greatest coach of all-time
  • If you say, “Ryan Tannehill went in to Gillette and beat the Patriots,” you immediately chuckle to yourself

The Pick:

What a great run it has been for Ryan Tannehill and Mike Vrabel. I am excited to see the Chicago Bears or Tampa Bay Buccaneers piss away a third of their cap space on Marcus Mariota for some reason this offseason. As for tonight’s game, I know New England is coming in banged up and you can smell their offense through your television screen, but I cannot fathom a dimension that exists on this plane where Ryan Tannehill keeps it to within a touchdown of Tom Brady at home. Pats -5.5

45 flat feels like a joke in New England. A couple years ago these teams played in the playoffs and the over hit, and that one was 48.5. There’s not going to be any “Tom Brady is done or looking to leave New England” filler content on Monday. This is going to be a good old fashioned New England Patriots beat down. The over 45 is the play here.

Life’s too short to bet the under.

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