Against the Spread: Sunday NFL Wild Card Games

A new dawn, a new day, and a new board.
A new dawn, a new day, and a new board.

Okay. So my picks yesterday stunk, and instead of ruminating on the Bills spiking the ball with a punter, and the Pats losing to Ryan Tannehill, we’re just going to look at today’s board. A lot to like in desperate hopes to break even.

If you are looking for an in-depth breakdown of the games, head on over to @kscors2199 blog, and soak in all of his hard work. This blog learns no lessons and seeks no cover (except in regards to the spread). So lets take another haphazard look at Sunday’s games and settle into a nice couch stupor.

Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints (-7.5) O/U 49.5

Just a couple of dome teams squaring off in the one o’clock hour to cure your playoff football hangover. We had a couple of good games yesterday, and we deserve a couple today. Sadly, I do not believe this will be one. Kirk Cousins doesn’t win big games. He’s 0-Tuesday in primetime. The Vikings lost to the Bears twice this year. Mitchell Tribusky, a league-wide laughing stock, defeated a playoff team twice. The Vikings beat one team with a winning record all year. They had a brief period of looking great offensively after the wide receivers had a full blown mutiny. That team now faces Drew Brees.

Here’s what we know about Minnesota:

  • Dalvin Cook has the juice
  • Kirk Cousins is likely a fraud but somehow we have a conversation every year over whether or not he’s actually good. He’s the Tennessee Titans of quarterbacks
  • This Vikings team has positive playoff experience against this very same Saints team

Here’s what we know about New Orleans:

  • The Saints front office finally went out and got Drew Brees a defense in his old age to take some pressure off of him
  • Alvin Kamara has struggled at times this season
  • @YouCantGuardMike is more than just an Instagram handle, no one in this league can stay with Michael Thomas. He broke the league record for receptions in a single season this year

The Pick:

A touchdown plus home favorite is a DANGEROUS line. Drew Brees is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, but following his thumb injury he has appeared to a be a fraction of his former self. Kirk Cousin’s reprehensible record against decent teams has to be a little bit of bad luck, no? Like when JR Smith would miss his first six or seven threes but half of them rattled out on bad bounces? This whole game feels like a trap. I feel like Kirk Cousins is Mr. Backdoor Cover, and that the extra half point is going to be MASSIVE in determining the gambling outcome of this game. Give me Minnesota +7.5.

The over/under also seems like a trap. 49.5 is feeding off our dumb desires to see a high scoring game. Like we’re due for one after two very good but low scoring games yesterday. I am a sucker and like rooting for more points over less points and have complete faith in Kirk Cousins orchestrating a fake comeback the beats the spread and pushes to the over.

Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles (Pick) O/U 45

A game that will feature the Eagles three wide receivers with names you see in Madden since they can’t use NCAA players names in the draft, and a Seahawks team who had no running backs and was forced to bring Marshawn Lynch out of retirement. This game has all the makings of being a sloppy, fun playoff game, which you would think favors the Seahawks because that seems to be the only kind of game they play.

What we know about Seattle:

  • My favorite part of any season is when Pete Carroll stops trying to run an actual offense and just lets Russell Wilson scramble around for five seconds and play sandlot football
  • Marshawn Lynch lit a joint off of Al Davis’s eternal flame
  • They won a million more games than Philadelphia but Philly gets to play the Redskins and Giants twice a year so now they get to travel across the country and play on the road

What we know about Philadelphia:

  • We don’t know if Carson Wentz is actually good or actually bad, but he did propel them past a Dallas team hellbent on missing the playoffs
  • Boston Scott and Miles Sanders are becoming a serious NFL backfield at the exact right moment in time
  • Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedart are big time outside weapons

The Pick:

A straight up you pick’em to close out this glorious weekend of NFL Playoff football. What have we done to deserve such an honor as fans? No stress or math in figuring out what we need to cover or beat the spread here. In any and all pick’em games, I favor the home team. Something about home field playoff advantage that I can get behind, and Philadelphia will be rocking the Linc after a surprise playoff birth won in Weeks 16 and 17. I’m taking Philly and please forgive me Beast Mode.

We didn’t see a single over on Saturday, and I think we only get one today. These teams are battered and bruised at essential skill positions. Both teams bring with them strong defensive corps that have the opportunity to take what little weapons the other side has away. I don’t think we will get to 45 points unless Russell Wilson does something spectacular. Give me the under to close out a great opening weekend of playoff games.

Mike’s playoff record is 1-3.