That was a wild finish to Wild Card Weekend with the Bears kicker hitting the upright and the crossbar on a potential game winning field goal, that keeps the Eagles hopes of a repeat Super Bowl win alive. The four winners from last week now each go on the road as underdogs against the top 4 seeds in the NFL.
I went 1-1 with my spread picks on Wild Card Weekend, so I will look to get in the profit this week.
I will be using SportsInteraction.com for all of my spread picks and predictions throughout the playoffs. You can see our full Sports Interaction review here. I’m increasing to 3 plays this week! I’m only taking a pass on the Chargers vs Patriots game, which I really can’t get a read on.
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs
- Indianapolis +5.5
- Kansas City -5.5
The Chiefs offense has continued to fire late into the season, which is very impressive considering the Saints and Rams each had their own high powered offenses dwindle late into the season as other defenses caught up.
That said, the Chiefs defense hasn’t looked that great of late. They kept the Raiders to 3 points in week 17, but before that the Chiefs had given up 24+ points in 5 straight games, and throughout the course of the entire season they’ve only really been able to slow down weak offenses, instead relying on their own high powered offense to outscore the opposition. That’s a fun way to win in the regular season, but a very tough way to win in the playoffs when opposing defenses are extremely prepared for what is coming at them.
I think Andrew Luck will be able to take advantage of the KC defense and if Marlon Mack can have another 100+ yard rushing game the entire offense will open up for the Colts. If this turns into a shootout I don’t think the Colts will have trouble keeping up.
On the flip side, I actually think this Colts team has a decent shot at slowing down the high powered Chiefs. The Indy D has had a terrific second half of the season including shutting down DeAndre Hopkins in the playoffs last week. If they can do the same to Tyreek Hill, that will take away a lot of big play potential from the Chiefs, and the Colts can then focus on shutting down the depleted run attack. The Chiefs simply don’t have as many elite weapons as they did early in the season. Travis Kelce is going to have to have a monster game for the Chiefs in this one.
I’ll happily take the points here. It’s going to be tough for the Colts to go into Arrowhead Stadium and get a result, but they are trending in the right direction and I think they have the ability on both sides of the ball.
Play: Colts +5.5
Dallas Cowboys @ LA Rams
- Dallas +7
- Los Angeles -7
The Cowboys defense was able to show up in a big way last week against Seattle, giving up just 299 total yards to Russell Wilson and company en route to the win. That performance came after 3 sub par games to finish the season where Dallas gave up 370+ total yards each game. The defenses performances this season have been night and day on the road vs at home. The Cowboys D has given up 291.8 yards/game at home and 367.6 yards/game on the road. That’s a huge difference and going on the road to LA to play the high powered Rams offense, that’s a big red flag.
Todd Gurley should be ready to go on Saturday and getting the run going is an absolute must for the Rams in this game. Seattle was unable to get their high powered run game going last week and it severely affected their offense. That said, I think the Rams run game will get established early and often. C.J. Anderson had two big games to close out the season as well (167 and 132 yards) so he gives the Rams another option out of the backfield as well.
Prescott, Elliott and Cooper each had big games last week against the Seahawks and they will each have to follow it up with an equally, if not better, performance this week to keep up with the Rams. These three account for almost all of the Cowboys offense, and with Hurns out and Beasley banged up it’s going to be on these players shoulders to step up if the Cowboys are going to have any hope of advancing.
I expect Prescott, Elliott and Cooper to have solid games, but it won’t be enough. Gurley will get the run game going and Goff will also be able to find both Woods and Cooks when needed and the Rams should be able to run away with this game.
Play: Rams -6.5
Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints
- Philadelphia +8
- New Orleans -8
The legend of Nick Foles continues to grow in Philadelphia as he lead the Eagles to a big comeback win over the Bears last week, including a fourth down touchdown that kept the season alive.
I actually like the Eagles here in New Orleans. The Saints offense dwindled late in the season and I think the book is out on the offense a little bit. That said, the Saints always find a way to put up 30+ at the Superdome, so the Eagles offense is going to have to keep up.
The Saints D has really been the story in New Orleans this season, but they looked very average against the Steelers in week 16. With Alshon, Tate, Agholor and Ertz all experienced, viable weapons for Foles, I think the Eagles are going to find a way to move the ball in the air against this Saints D. I really don’t think the run game is going to do much for Philly, but if they get behind, I still believe they’ll be able to keep things close through the air and if they get the right big plays at the right times they would even win this game.
That said, I don’t really expect the Eagles to win, but at +8 I will take them to keep this one close. At +320 I don’t think it’s crazy to take another shot on the Eagles to win the game either. If you made the same play last week you’d have some spare change to throw at this game.
Play: Eagles +8