NFL – Playoff Wildcard Preview –The NFL Playoffs kick off with the AFC and NFC Wildcard round this weekend. The Bills are at the Jags and the Titans are at the Chiefs from the AFC, with the Patriot and the Steelers with first round byes. The NFC sees the Falcons at the Rams and the Panthers at the Saints, with the Eagles and the Vikings with first round byes.
Titans at Chiefs
The Titans clinched playoff berth last week in their win and will be looking for a solid playoff debut for QB Marcus Mariota. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have been on a roller-coaster this season with their hot start and average end to the year. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has struggled in the playoffs the past few seasons, however his team are much more experienced in a playoff atmosphere, and along with being at home, I believe that will be a lot to overcome for the young Titans.
Chiefs to Win – 24-14
Smith: 285 YDS, 2 TDS
Hunt: 115 Total YDS, 1 Rushing TD
Kelce: 100 YDS REC, 1 TD REC
Skybet Handicap and Total Points – Kansas City Chiefs -7.5 and Over 46.5 Total Match Points – 5/2
Falcons at Rams
In the Primetime game for Saturday night the Highest Scoring offense, with RB Todd Gurley who led the league in scrimmage yards, face the defending NFC Champs in the Falcons. The Falcons clinched playoff berth at the end of the season but haven’t been consistent all year. However, the Rams with their rookie coach, 2nd Year QB, and 3rd Year RB are all brand new to this stage. It does help however being at home, where defense will be the key. Both teams are top scoring offense, but in the first game home in their return to LA I have the Rams winning a close game.
Rams to Win – 28-24
Goff: 225 YDS, 2 TD
Gurley: 145 YDS, 2 TDS Rushing
Skybet Total Points – 49-52 Pts – 11/2
Bills at Jaguars
Both teams have been in playoff droughts, specifically the Bills being in their first playoff game since 1999. The Bills by virtue of a 3 way tie breaker clinched playoff berth last week and will be looking to cause an upset over the Jags. The Jags are a top 3 rated defense and at home I believe that will help against the up and down QB play from the Bills. While the Jags QB Blake Bortles has been up and down himself, expect a heavy dose of their run game.
Jags to Win – 17-10
Bortles: 215 YDS, 1 TD
Fournette: 110 YDS, 1 Rushing TD
Skybet Handicap and Total Points – Jacksonville Jaguars -6.5 and Under 41.5 Total Match Points – 13/8
Panthers at Saints
In the Sunday night primetime game these division rivals meet in the playoffs in what should be an offensive shootout. The Saints beat the Panthers twice during the regular season and behind two 1000 Yard running backs, along with the most experienced QB in the NFC, Drew Brees, they are the favorite to win. Meanwhile, the Panthers two years removed from their Super bowl appearance will be looking to make another run, however haven’t been consistent on offense all year. In the playoffs the hotter team normally wins and right now the Saints are playing better on both sides of the ball, at home I expect them to win and advance.
Saints to Win – 31-24
Brees: 285 YDS, 2 TDS
Ingram: 110 Total YDS, 1 Rushing TD
Kumara: 88 YDS Total
Thomas: 100 YDS REC, 1 REC TD
Skybet Handicap and Total Points – New Orleans Saints -5.5 and Over 49.5 Total Match Points – 5/2