Welcome to the Playoffs! As we enter mid-January, we now embark down the road to glory with our final 14 teams. Starting off with Wild Card Weekend, here are Tondo and I's top picks ATS and Straight up for every game over the next three days.
Basel's Wild Card Picks-The AFC
Saturday Night-Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars
I love the NFL Playoff structure. The 9-8 Jacksonville Jaguars hosting a 10-7 Chargers team due to their division championship is something that football fans should cherish, even if Jags fans are frustrated that their team is still the underdog. Considering the slim margin, and how hot the Jags are right now with their five game winning streak to end the regular season, I have to lean DUUUUUUVAL here. Mike Williams, who has been on and off the injured list all season, is out for this game as well, so gimme Jaguars +1.5 and Jags ML.
Sunday Early Afternoon-Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
I saw Skylar Thompson in person against the Jets this year, and it was not pretty. Against a defense that loves to score like Buffalo's, Thompson is going to have a very tough time, backed up by an offensive line that clearly does not know how to protect quarterbacks. As long as the Bills don't make some monumental mistakes here, I'll give them the nod here ATS and S/U. Bills -13.5 and Bills ML
Sunday Night-Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
Again, even if Lamar plays, the QB situation with Baltimore is too sketchy for me to have confidence in them S/U. The Bengals were really good at home this year, and honestly have what it takes to make another deep run after their 2022 campaign got off to a rocky start. Look for a big stat line out of Ja'Marr Chase as Cincy punches a ticket to the divisional round.
Ravens +8.5 and Bengals ML
Tondo's Wild Card Picks-The NFC
Saturday Afternoon Game-Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
Can Brock Purdy do the unthinkable and put San Fran on a little run? They have the talent, and it's hard to lose to a team three times in one season. Since the 1970 NFL-AFL Merger, there have been 21 instances in which a team swept another in the regular season, then had a third meeting in the playoffs. The sweeping team has gone 14-7 in those games. If there's a game that could surprise some folks, it's this one, so I'll go Seahawks +9.5 and 49ers ML.
Sunday Late Afternoon Game-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
After Christmas Eve, I knew the football script writers would have this as a playoff matchup. Losing to a 61-yarder is poetic, and New York is about to deliver the justice. For the first time all season, everyone is healthy. Not a single guy is on the injury report, and this team is hungry. If you aren't believing what Daboll and New York can do, you're a fool. Giants +3 and Giants ML.
Monday Night Game-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys
Nobody has had a worse year than TB12. Divorce, FTX Collapse, and a losing record. The story writes itself. Brady is going to go for the jugular in this matchup, and the Cowboys will continue their perennial playoff mediocrity. You can't be the first team to win the Super Bowl with a losing record without winning the first game. In a primetime matchup, I'll hammer Bucs +3 and ML.