One interesting stat: since moving to the 6 playoff team system, the #1 and #2 seeds were 12-12 in the divisional round up until 2010. Since then? 16-4. Goes to show that the parody of the league is going in the OTHER direction towards top heavy (or as Lou noted, bottom heavy), and that was reflected in all of the faves covering last week.
New England -16
I can’t take the Texans and the points…even though I really should according to the betting numbers. It’s going to be cold, New England is healthy and rested, and the Texans offense is historically bad. It’s also most likely Patriots’ great, and current Texans’ DL’s Vince Wilfork’s, last game….and it will be at Gillette Stadium. Hope he gets a good ovation. But it’s Belichick and Brady at home, and I think they take care of business and cover. On a side note: if the Texans some how win, I would consider this the biggest upset in AFC Playoff history. They are a +900 underdog. Here are some of the other big ML dogs in playoff history:
Biggest #NFLPlayoffs money-line dogs
SD +736 at NE '08
JAX +604 at NE '08
DEN +569 at NE '12
CAR +569 at SEA '15
HOU +900 at NE Saturday pic.twitter.com/gE35dZIve4
— Bet Labs Sports (@Bet_Labs) January 12, 2017
No Jordy Nelson hurts the Pack, but I am taking the most likely MVP candidate and HOFer Aaron Rodgers over a rookie QB making his first start. This game is also indoors, and I think that favors the Packers’ passing game vs a milquetoast Dallas secondary.
No Earl Thomas = bad news for the Seahawks, who nearly lost to these same Falcons at home if it wasn’t for a blown pass interference call on WR Julio Jones back in October. Indoors, I think the Falcons take care of business and put up some big numbers on the board on Saturday afternoon. The X factor for Seattle: Can they run the ball as well as they did last week?
This game got moved back to 8:20pm due to an ice storm (lame). Either way, if you look at Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger’s splits home and away, he’s a totally different QB on the road, losing over 30+ points on his QB rating this year alone as a road starter. Add the still icy/cold conditions, not only do I like KC, I also like the Under at 44.
TEASER: Clemson +7 and Under 52
The quest to go undefeated against the spread during the playoffs has begun! I’ve only known one person who went 9-0-2 (in 2010), and I have never known anyone who went 11-0 against the spread during a playoff season. Always a fun quest, and great for degeneracy bragging rights!
Oakland +4 (-110)
I love that the 4:30pm Saturday NFL Playoff game has become the annual, “AFC South Winner vs Shitty Wild Card Team That You Can Skip On a Saturday Afternoon Bowl”. Have a family? Need to do some errands? Wanna find some time to get a run in? Welp, the NFL just has the time slot for you! Of course, I don’t have a life, or a family, and will probably watch this game alone rooting for a QB making his first NFL start vs another QB who lost his job mid-season to a guy who was one hit away from a nursing home last year in Denver. I think someone wins this game by 3, hence if Houston were to fall to -3 or lower, I might of taken them. But gimme the points here *and* I also like the Over 37 at -105. In the last 30 years, any playoff total of 40, the over has hit 60% of the time, and 38 or lower, the total has hit 65% of the time. I expect fail to equal points here, so I also advise taking a look at the “Defensive TD” and “Special Teams TD” props if you can get them for this game. It should be a blooper reel of bad football fun!
Miami +10 (-110)
Just way too many points. Matt Moore has been good this year, and historically (with the Panthers), ATS all his career. Miami is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games, and the only game they haven’t covered this month was vs New England. Pittsburgh is talented but a bit top heavy; they lack in major depth in most areas and they are just one knock on Old Big Ben’s knee away from the “Not Jarvis” Landry Jones experience. Pittsburgh keeps teams in games unnecessarily because as skilled of a play caller PIT OC Tood Haley is, sometimes he does get too cute and throws the ball too much. The Pittsburgh Front 7 isn’t what it used to be in prior years, and looked awful vs these Dolphins earlier in the year when Lawrence Timmons was puking (vodka from South Beach the night before) onto the field and the MIA RB Jay Ajayi era was born. This line should be from +7.5 to +8.5. We’ll take the points here.
Giants +4.5 (-110)
This started at 7 for the NYG. The Giants have the best playing secondary going into the tournament, and Green Bay is playing at home in cold weather, which actually favors the Giants as it will help them like it did in 2011 vs Rodgers and company. Eli’s arm isn’t the best, but I expect him to keep it close enough to where we see a 3 point game in the final 2 minutes and he has the ball and either throws a TD or throws it to the other team. This, IMO, is the most unbettable game of the week….even more so than the crap fest in Houston. A true toss up and should be a fun contest.
Lions +8 (-110)
Lou has me scared shitless because as he knows from past experience, he knows Matt Stafford is always throwing one TAINT away from a miracle cover scooping up one’s bankroll as a Josh Wilson Pick-6 did so in 2009. That being said, Seattle limps into the playoff only covering one single line the final month of the year (vs LA…not saying much) and is really missing all world safety Earl Thomas both emotionally and physically. I have confidence that Lions OC (and best name ever) Jim Bob Cooter will call the game he’s called all year for Stafford: to keep the game close, throw the ball sideways (which actually is how you beat Cover 3 that Seattle runs), and keep the clock running. Lou likes the under at 43 (and so do I), which is another reason why I like the 8. Seattle offense has been wretched the last few weeks, mostly because they may have the worst OL going into these playoffs. And also, Matt Stafford might know a thing or two about helping one achieve a miracle cover as well:
I am also taking all dogs this weekend. I dunno if its the smartest thing I’ve ever done, or the stupidest. But this has been a wacky year for NFL betting, so it sounds about right.
BTW, Podcast #4 is up, with our leans for the NFL Playoffs Prop Odds and WNBA, and NCAA CFB Final:
Podcast #4 is up in time for the NFL Playoffs! Lou and I talk the NFL Conference Props, the Wild Card lines for the weekend, and some thoughts on WNBA and NCAA COllege Football Bowl betting (for those of you who care: AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE).
Two teams unders that I bet on are in play this week…so I have some sweet hedge money for the two games below:
Philadelphia -4 (-110)
Denver -1.5 (-115)
Buffalo -3 (-135)
The Jets suck.
Cruz by decision +120
Tampa Bay +3 (EVEN)
The Bucs head into New Orleans needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. New Orleans’ defense stinks like Bourbon Street’s world famous piss aroma during Mardi Gras. This game maybe close, but I don’t expect the Saints to blow out a Tampa team who beat them a few weeks ago.
Cleveland +5 (-110)
I’ve bet this team every week the last few weeks, and my bankroll has suffered because of it. Their game at home vs San Diego maybe their last chance to get a win. I expect Cleveland to go down with a fight; Joe Haden and Terrelle Pryor Jr. are both playing this meaningless game hurt, so you know the team cares about this shit and will make an effort at least.
Bears vs Washington Football Team Under 47 (-115)
Washington is prime for a late season collapse, and the Bears have played well the last few weeks ATS. The game is in Chicago, so it will be windy and cold as fuck most likely. The Washington Football Team’s offense is different when Jordan Reed isn’t in the lineup, and you can see Cousins’ accuracy is affected as a result. Someone wins this game 19-17, IMO.
Baltimore -6 (-105)
Baltimore, coming off a lackluster loss vs New England last Monday night, welcome the banged up and depth depraved Philadelphia Eagles into town. As we all know, Philly has a rookie QB, and rookie QBs who have their first start vs a John Harbaugh coached Ravens team at home are 0-7 , both straight up and ATS, with a QB passer rating of 52.3. I expect the Ravens to bounce back with a vengeance this Sunday vs a Philly team who has been on fumes the past few weeks, and is waning on offense since losing one of the best 3 Down Running Backs in football, Darren Sproles, to injury.
Arizona -3 (EVEN)
Arizona hasn’t been playing all that well the last few games, but have still kept things close despite their dysfunctional season. Why I like them this week: the Saints come into Glendale banged up as 2nd Half rookie WR Michael Thomas, who has played well, is most likely to miss the game, and QB Drew Brees has been shut down the last few weeks and was rested this week in practice due to a sore calf ailment (it’s called: “the olds”). The Saints were essentially eliminated from playoff contention with their loss in Tampa last week, and I expect them to take a giant dump on the road vs a Cardinals team who still has plenty of weapons to attack the league’s worst defense.
Cleveland +11 (-110) and ML +480
We continue banging our heads against the wall (like most sharps in America) and taking this team week after week, hoping for the eventual breakthrough that covers up all the losses the past few weeks. Miracle Covers contributor (and Buffalo Bills fan) Nick reports that the Browns always play the Bills tough, the Bills might already be tuning out their coach and they are essentially out of the playoff hunt, and Bills (and Karna’s Fantasy Team) QB Tyrod Taylor is banged up. Add the fact the weather in Buffalo this weekend is calling for snow showers, I expect this to be a closegame, so I’ll take the line “bigly” and place a small side wager that they’ll win the game as well. The Browns owe me one (hundred thousand dollars).
Green Bay -6
Kansas City -5.5
Seahawks at Packers Over 46.5
It’s going to be cold in Green Bay on Sunday, but I expect points to be scored in this one as both teams lost big defensive players to injury (SS Earl Thomas for the Seahawks; LB Nick Perry for Packers). RB Thomas Rawls comes back for the Seahawks vs the Packers’ milquetoast run defense. These games are always competitive and back and forth. One of the great slate of games for this week.
Miami -1 (-105)
The Arizona Cardinals make a cross country trip for a 1 o’clock game vs a team who plays in hot weather that got their ass kicked last week. The Cardinals are one of my “Teams Already Packed Up for the Holidays” and will most likely be partying the night before at the various wonderful establishments on South Beach. SS Tyrann Mathieu is out for Arizona. Miami is still in the WC hunt and needs a win, and I expect one here.
Washington -1 (-105)
The Eagles’ young team has been reeling the last few weeks as their lack of depth is now catching up to them. Washington gets super route runner TE Jordan Reed back for this game, and I expect a rebound for Kirk Cousins and company.
Houston +6.5 (-110)
I hate taking this shitty Texans team on the road, but in this shitty AFC South division vs a shitty Colts team where it’s a must win for both of these shitty teams, I expect a low scoring, close, shitty game.
Browns ML +290 and TEASER: Browns +12.5 and Under 43.5
As we talked about on the Miracle Covers podcast a few weeks ago, the Browns win in their schedule comes against the lowly Bengals…and we said this BEFORE they lost WR A.J. Green and RB Geo Bernard. The Browns get Robert Griffin III back (I dunno if that’s good or bad) but they are coming off a bye (in Week 13?) and it either this game, or when the Chargers come into Cleveland in a few weeks, that is the *win* in this season. The Browns are not the 2008 Detroit Lions, IMO the worst team of all time. They are a bad team, but they aren’t *that* bad; at least they have some talent like WR Pryor Sr, LB Jamie Collins, RB Isiah Crowell, etc. It’s also going to be snowing Sunday in Cleveland, so I am going to put the Browns line (+6.5) in a teaser with the under as well. Disclosure: I may have a gambling problem.
GB/SEA Over 46.5
Marc Diakiese vs Frankie Perez Under 1.5 Rounds +145
Max Holloway -200
Pettis missed weight today by 3 lbs this morning. Holloway is the best 145 lb guy in the division now that McGregor has moved up in weight. I’ll pay the juice and Holloway gets the belt here, IMO vs Pettis who is 1-3 in his last 4 fights.
Army vs Navy Under 47
The Under in this game has hit 10 out of the last 11. Also, a good tip: its +EV to take a under in an Armed Forces college derby, as these teams play for the “Commander’s Cup” each time, as well as the fact that Armed Forces team usually have run-heavy option attacks due to recruiting issues.
Baltimore -3 (-125)
This has bounced back from -3 to -3.5/-4 (+105). Miami has been on a roll lately, winning 6 straight…..but they are a flawed team that gave up a lot of big plays to Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers last weekend. They are due for a loss, IMO. Baltimore has always played stout at home, and their defense is top 5 in the league and should be able to keep Ryan Tannenhill and Company at bay enough. The only variable, like last week: can the Baltimore offense score enough to cover the line? Against a defense like Miami who is clearly waning in play due to lack of depth (and add in a pick 6 maybe from Tannenhill), I like the Ravens and will give the points here.
New Orleans vs Detroit Over 53.3 (-110)
New Orleans Overs at home have hit at a 66% rate this year, and the two that didn’t hit were only off by a few points. Both of these defenses stink, and the offenses have QBs who are playing at a high level. This is an important game for both teams, so I expect a fun, back and forth competitive affair that also has some fail in between.
Green Bay -7 (+105)
This is more about the juice, and the opponent for the Packers, more so that whether or not they are an actual good team who can cover the 7. The Packers are quite flawed; Rodgers is playing well but his teammates aren’t fans of his showing up his teammates on the field, and both Green Bay’s running defense and offense has been shoddy this year. Rodgers and this team reminds me of James Harden and the Rockets: you have this one great individual player who racks up huge stats each week, but the shortcomings of the team eventually bites them down the road in the playoffs where not even a great scorer can overcome a more balanced opponent. Houston, who somehow still leads the AFC South and is now tied with the Titans, comes into town as one of the worst road teams in the league both in the record and ATS. Houston Texans’ QB Brock Osweiler, who they gave a shit ton of money too, is having his job security questioned by fans and beat writers from some guy named Tom Savage, who I think was in a tag team with the Macho Man back in the WWE. DeAndre Hopkins is on milk cartons across America because he is missing each and every week. Gimme Aaron Rodgers at home here.
TEASER @ +260:
NO vs DET Over 53.5
Parlay Special @ +280:
Green Bay -7 (+105) (NFL)
Univ of Washington ML -380 (NCAAF)
Demetrious Johnson -1000 (UFC)
Rob Font -280 (UFC)
Baltimore -4 (-115)
This started at -4.5 and is falling, I dunno why. Cincy lost their 3rd down back in Geo Bernard and their #1 WR in A.J. Green. Their LB corps are banged up and playing on fumes, and the secondary is not as good as they were last year. The Ravens are coming off a loss at Dallas they could of had, and will be playing pissed and motivated vs a Cincy team one loss away from throwing the season in (yes, we had the over #doh). I am wary of the BAL offense as it has struggles putting teams away, but I fully expect a Dalton giveaway and maybe some Cincy special teams fail to help the Ravens take care of business at home.
Jacksonville at Buffalo Over 45 (-110)
Did you know Buffalo has been the best “Over” team all year? Who knew! They didn’t hit last week, but that’s because McCoy left with an injury. HE comes back this week vs a Jacksonville team that can score in bunches (and also go quarters without points) vs a back four in Buffalo who, while is playing better, has given up big plays in the passing game all year. Tyrod Taylor should have no problem moving the ball at home, WR Sammy Watkins comes back from injury, and this could end up being a fun game with big plays and hilarious fail.
NO vs LA Over 45.5
Dan Kelly +220
Brunson vs Whittaker Fight Goes the Distance? – YES @ +200