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Betspin's NFL Wild Card Round Picks

Illustration for article titled Betspins NFL Wild Card Round Picks

Here we are, everyone. It's playoff time. After serious struggles early this season, I'm above .500 heading into the playoffs, and hoping to keep it that way with 11 games left in the season. This is my first time trying to handicap a postseason, so let the growing pains begin.


As usual, home teams are in CAPS, spreads are from the LVH via VegasInsider, and betting trends are from SportsInsights.

COLTS (+2.5) over Chiefs

I don't understand what is happening in this game. The line opened at Indy -2.5, which seemed about right given that the Colts are at home, have a better quarterback, and thoroughly undressed the Chiefs when these teams played in Week 16. The line then swung four full points, including a three and a half point move since this morning.


Clearly, this is an indication that the sharps are hitting the Chiefs. Hard. After all, more than half of bettors are on the Colts. Often, this is a sign that the Chiefs are the play to make. However, just like fading the public can often be profitable, sometimes it's a good idea to acknowledge that the sharps may be overthinking things.

Kansas City had a great season, but they are 1-5 against playoff teams this season, with the one win being a victory over the Michael Vick led Philadelphia Eagles. Vick went 13/30 passing that game, and killed an Eagles offense that rushed for 264 yards in the game. Other than that, they were swept by Denver, swept by San Diego, and lost at home to the Colts.


Indy, meanwhile, has wins against the Chiefs, Broncos, Seahawks, and Niners. The last two of those wins may as well be ignored, since those were before Reggie Wayne went down with a knee injury, but they have shown that they are capable of passing these tests.

The Chiefs defense, by the way, allowed 5.52 yards per play this season, only good for 22nd in the NFL despite their reputation for being a lockdown defensive unit. The Colts sit at 23rd in that category at 5.57 yards per play.


This game reminds me a lot of the game between these two teams in the Wild Card round in 2007. Everyone was worried that the Colts simply couldn't stop the Chiefs because of their fantastic running game, but the Colts did behind an inspired performance and a home field that was absolutely rocking. With Alex Smith in his first third career playoff game, that crowd could be a huge factor tonight. I'm going with the home dog.

EAGLES (-3) over Saints

The New Orleans Saints are great at football at home. Like, really great. Unfortunately, they aren't at home tonight, and they are really a tire fire away from the Superdome.


Here is a list of the Saints' road games this year. Just look at how pathetic this is:

  • 16-14 win at Tampa Bay
  • 26-18 win at Chicago (Cutler led)
  • 30-27 loss at New England
  • 26-20 loss at New York Jets
  • 17-13 win at Atlanta
  • 34-7 loss at Seattle
  • 27-16 loss at St. Louis (!)
  • 17-13 loss at Carolina

So, yeah, the Saints lost all of their road games against playoff teams this year, and threw in some losses against the Jets and Rams for good measure.


The Eagles, by the way, lead the league in yards per play, so if you're taking the Saints because "you just don't feel right picking against Drew Brees," you're doing it wrong. I expect the Eagles to win by double digits.

Chargers (+7) over BENGALS

I just don't feel right giving a touchdown or more with Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis, who have yet to win a playoff game yet. That's all there is to it. At the very least, they'll make it interesting.


PACKERS (+2.5) over 49ers

It is going to be approximately negative 700 degrees outside for this game, which will work to the advantage of the Packers. Green Bay's defense is one of the league's worst but, with a bitter cold, wind, and a stadium full of people that should be institutionalized for leaving their houses and risking turning into humansicles, the Niners aren't going to have as easy a time moving the ball as they did in their matchup with Green Bay at the beginning of the year.


We haven't seen Aaron Rodgers play a playoff team at home this season, until now, with the Packers losing at San Fran and at Cincinnati before he got hurt. At the end of the day, it would just be reckless to go against Rodgers and the Packers here.

Last Week: 9-7

Betspin 2013 Regular Season ATS: 74-71-6

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