Wildcard Weekend Picks ATS and SU

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans -3

This game has upset written all over it.  The Texans are three point favorites mainly due to the home field advantage they will take into this game. Being at home may not actually be an advantage for the Texans.  Houston was 5-3 both home and away in 2019 but has only covered the spread in two of those eight games.  

DeShaun Watson has struggled over his last three games throwing five interceptions in those games. Matching up with a Buffalo defense that is giving up just 16.19 points per game this season. Buffalo is tough to move the ball against and they will need to jump out to an early lead to control the tempo of the game.  Buffalo will have a Tre’Davious White shadowing the DeAndre Hopkings throughout the game which should limit his big play ability. If Watson can utilize his secondary options he will be successful, that has not always been great for Houston though. Watson is in a tough spot, he will have to carry the offense.

Josh Allen and the Bills offense has been inconsistent at times but the emergence of Devin Singletary has given Buffalo a versatile offensive threat that opens up the big play ability  of John Brown. Relying totally on the Bills offense would worry me if they didn’t have such an advantage on the defensive end. 

Pick: Bills ML

Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots -5

A nightmare of a matchup for any team, the Tennessee Titans will enter into a context with the greatest QB of all time as well as arguably the best coach of all time. The Titans have found something in former Miami cast off Ryan Tannahill.  Tannahill has found a way to elevate the entire roster making a star out of rookie AJ Brown. Derrick Henry has thrived with the new addition of a passing game. Henry walked away with the leagues rushing title.  

The Patriots have found trouble moving the ball.  They will have to find a way to establish the running game as the Titans have given up 117 yards per game over their last three.  The Patriots will have to lean a lot on Sony Michel. He and Rex Burkhead helped New England average 151 rush yards over its last three contests. 

The Patriots are struggling on both ends.  They still possess a dominant defense, Stephen Gilmore will most likely be matched up with AJ Brown.  If Gilmore can shut down the rookie that will allow the Pat’s defense to focus on shutting down Henry. The Titans will hang around but the Patriots have enough to pull this one out.  Don’t get wrapped up on the loss to the Dolphins, this is still a capable Patriots team. 

Pick: Pats win, Titans Cover

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints -9

This game is hard to ignore the underlying narrative of the Case Keenum miracle throw to Stefon Diggs just two years ago.  With Kirk Cousins now behind center for Minnesota you immediately have questions about his big game performances of the past.  The Saints are the superior team, but with Dalvin Cook most likely available in this game it seems like nine points is just too much.  

I don’t have much of an opinion on this one, should be the most lopsided game of the day.  Late garbage time touchdown gets the cover for the Vikings.   

Pick: Saints win, Vikings Cover

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles +1.5

A battle of injury riddled playoff teams will come down to which quarterback will be able to overcome those injuries in order to establish their offense.  Carson Wentz has been phenomenal this season becoming the first ever quarterback with 4,000 yards in a season where not one of his wide receivers had over 500 yards.  

Russell Wilson has a legitimate argument for MVP of the National Football League.  The Seahawks lost a lot in week 16 and 17. Most notable they will be without Chris Carson.  Marshawn Lynch and Travis Homer took over the backfield duties last week against the stout 49ers defense.  Even with Carson out the way you beat the Eagles is by throwing the ball. Wilson will have to connect with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf to open up the running lanes for Beast Mode and company.  Surprisingly the Eagles defense has been great at home and should force pressure on Wilson.  

The biggest question coming into this game will be the health of the last man standing, Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz.  While injuries to Lane Johnson and Miles Sanders are important, Wentz has always relied on Ertz and if he is healthy enough to play he will at the very least be a great decoy to open up one on ones for Greg Ward and Dallas Goedert.  I am least confident in this pick, I am taking Eagles -1.5.

Pick: Eagles -1.5

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