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Wild Card Round Notes

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  • Wild Card Round Notes

    Awful quiet around here before the big playoff weekend. Had a nice week last week going 6-2 on leans that I'm not counting towards my season long record. I did end up putting a couple of straights in. Took Carolina who absolutely blew it. Went pretty hard on Raiders ML and had my most stressful win of the season. Imagine being a -4000 ML favorite live with that 4th and 21, and being the underdog before the coin clip in overtime. Luckily it worked out though.

    I thought Week 18 would be the most difficult week, but I'm finding this week to be very, very tough.

    There are some trends going around this week that I'm sure many are aware of by now. It's the quarterbacks in their first playoff start. I think they're 11-31 or something. Also, the unders are hitting around 66% this round. Well I don't really believe in those trends. I believe the quarterbacks in their first start stat was 8-31 last year, but those first time quarterbacks went 3-0 ATS last year, and 2-1 straight up (Heinicke, Wolford, and Baker). Also, the over/under was 4-2 last year.

    5 of the 6 games are rematch games, and most of the lines have been adjusted, so it's tough to use that system this week. Last week teams that won the first meeting went 8-7 ATS. So almost a 50/50 split.

    On the COVID front, I just checked the list and the only notable player is Jalen Mills for New England. It looks like he's not going to make it because New England elevated practice squad players.


    Initial Thoughts:

    I probably wrote this too early. I may completely change my picks by tomorrow.

    LV Raiders +5.5 (W3) at Cincy (W4). I'm hearing a lot of talk about the Raiders playing an entire extra quarter last week, and Cincy basically having a bye with the meaningless game against the Browns. I don't read too much into that. The winner of MNF covered their next game like the first 10 weeks of the season on short rest. Also, typically you look for a letdown spot after a team has expelled all their energy to come all the way back and win. That was not the case with the Raiders. Sure it was extremely stressful, but they had the lead almost the entire game. They just had to hold on, then kick that stress free field goal at the end.

    This is a rematch of earlier this season where Cincy won 32-13 at Las Vegas as a 2.5 pt road favorite. Cincy was only winning 16-13, but somehow scored 16 pts in the last 6 mins of the game.

    Cincy hasn't won a playoff game since 1991. They're coming in strong with a signature win against KC. I've been saying for several weeks that Cincy is a better road team than home team this season. I like the Raiders to keep this game close, Derek Carr as flawed as he is, has done enough to keep them in many games this season. The defense has been getting pressure. And this is Burrow's first playoff game. I heard people say Burrow has played in the National Championship, so he's played in big games before. Well this isn't the super bowl it's a first round playoff game, and Derek Carr has been in the league for 7 years. Not exactly inexperienced.

    This is the only game I actually like this week. The rest of the card could change or even flip.

    Tampa Bay -8.5 (W1) vs. Philly (L2). This is a rematch of that Thursday game where Tampa was winning 28-7, and allowed Philly to backdoor it 28-22 as a 7 pt home dog. Really funny game where Philly went for 2 pts for no reason on the last touchdown and covered the game.

    One of my systems is to bet on the team with COVID concerns, and we really haven't had that so far this week. I did hear some chatter about Tampa having some issues, but I forget which players. I see some people calling for the upset here because Tampa is banged up, but I don't really see Philly scoring that much in this game. Tampa is very good vs. the run, and Jalen Hurts has not been able to take advantage of good matchups lately against vulnerable pass defenses.

    Tampa is really the kings of covering lines in the second half. They really don't let up, even in an almost meaningless game against Carolina last week they kept scoring. With what happened on that Thursday Night game, I don't think they make that mistake again. It's the playoffs, you keep your foot on the gas until the end.

    Pittsburgh +13 (W2) at Kansas City (L2). Pittsburgh is maddeningly inconsistent. This is the rematch game that had the biggest margin of victory. KC Beat them 36-10 in a game that wasn't even that close. They were up 29-0 in one of the biggest blowouts of the season. If I'm picking this game, it's purely because of the margin of victory in the first game. We know Big Ben can score pts in bunches in primetime when he's down. He did that against the Chargers on SNF, against Minnesota on Thursday Night, and against Cleveland last year on SNF. Cleveland was winning 28-0, and only won 48-37.

    People don't like laying this much chalk, so I'm seeing people taking the Chiefs first half at -7 or so because Pittsburgh has been so bad in the first half this season. A buddies system likes the under on this game, so maybe it's low scoring, and 13 pts would help a lot.

    Was hearing the key to the game is getting pressure on Mahommes. I was pretty surprised to see T.J. Watt only had one tackle and no sacks in the first matchup. Maybe he was hurt or something, but he played.

    Najee Harris has a bad elbow but he'll probably play. Juju Smith Schuster is probably going to make his return from IR. That'll be a nice sure handed receiver in the slot. Claypool and Diontae Johnson are mainly wide receivers with bad hands.


    Undecided:

    These two games I'm pairing together because I think one of the underdogs wins, and one of them loses. May be worth a chase strategy. These games are extremely similar.

    The home teams were favored by 3.5 at one point this week. Both have rookie QBs on the road. Both road teams played excellent for much of the season, but are limping into the playoffs, while the home teams have started getting hot towards the end of the season. Both are division games where they played each other twice already and split the series, with the home teams winning the last time they played.

    Also, QBs in their first start ON THE ROAD are actually about .500 vs. the spread.

    New England (L1) at Buffalo (-4.5) (W3). I haven't really decided on this game yet. These teams played twice this season and split. New England winning the snow game on MNF throwing 3 passes, and Buffalo beating them handily in New England a few weeks back. Mac Jones was 3-0 in primetime games leading up to that crappy game he had against the Colts.

    The weather in this game will not be as bad as the first game, but it will be below 0.

    Buffalo ML is a very popular pick this week. Makes me want to lean New England, but I also kinda like the over. I feel like it will be New England + Over, or Buffalo + Under this game. When New England has lost, it has typically gone under. And I feel like people will want to take the over due to the weather.

    This game has no pick for now, but small lean to New England and over.

    Arizona +3.5 (L1) at LA Rams (L2). I'll probably be taking the ML here if I play Arizona. The Rams don't really play close games when they win. These teams have played each other twice this season and split. The away team won both the first two meetings. Cardinals won the first game 37-20 in a game that wasn't that close, and Rams won the second game 30-23 in a game where they really should have had a chance to win at the end of the game if it wasn't for Matt Prater missing an extra point and a chip shot FG.

    The cardinals are a mess without Hopkins. I've been saying that for weeks. Also, James Connor was a big part of their offense in the second game, and he's a game time decision this week. JJ Watt will be back, and hopefully they can get some pressure on Stafford.

    Matt Stafford is 0-3 in the playoffs. The Cardinals have the best record overall vs. teams in the playoffs, and went 7-1 on the road this season.

    I guess one of my angles is that the Rams went all in on this season. And I feel like when teams do that they typically don't do well. The Rams had an injury to one of their safeties this week, so they had to sign Eric Weddle off the street after being retired for 2 years. That shouldn't matter because the Cardinals have no receiving threats without Hopkins anyways.

    This is a game where Kyler Murray needs to take over and put his body on the line. He's the most dangerous weapon they have, and they need to run him as often as possible. Also kinda like the under in this game, but I never bet unders.



    Probably No Play:

    San Francisco (W2) at Dallas (-3) (W1). This game initially jumped out at me. I thought this line would be in the 6-7 range, but no way it was less than 5.5. I was shocked that Dallas wasn't even giving the hook! So I was all over San Francisco initially, but this is the public dog for this week. I see a ton of cappers on them, and several in the media calling for the upset. It doesn't make sense to me, but probably just Dallas haters or something. Or the fact that Dallas has been kinda inconsistent since their bye week.

    So although I do like San Fran, I will lay off this side. If I had to pick something I may take the over. People think San Fran is gonna wanna run the ball, and running the ball typically leads to low scoring games. But if you've got the right team, that's not the case. Games where Dallas has not covered have typically gone low though.


    At this moment, I believe the top 4 will be plays, and the bottom 2 are just leans or no plays. But I may change my mind.



    2021 Regular Season
    36-29 plays, 25-31 leans

    2020 Playoffs
    6-2 Plays, 0-1 Leans

    2020 Regular Season
    18-16-1 Plays, 18-18-1 Leans

    2019 Regular Season
    15-8 plays, 7-6 leans, 2-1 Heavy MLs
    Last edited by recovering77; 01-15-2022, 11:29 AM.
    2021 Regular Season
    36-29 plays, 25-31 leans

    2020 Playoffs
    6-2 Plays, 0-1 Leans

    2020 Regular Season
    18-16-1 Plays, 18-18-1 Leans

    2019 Regular Season
    15-8 plays, 7-6 leans, 2-1 Heavy MLs

  • #2
    First 4
    Las Vegas +6
    New England +4.5
    NE/BUF Over 43
    Tampa Bay -9.5

    Back with more later
    2021 Regular Season
    36-29 plays, 25-31 leans

    2020 Playoffs
    6-2 Plays, 0-1 Leans

    2020 Regular Season
    18-16-1 Plays, 18-18-1 Leans

    2019 Regular Season
    15-8 plays, 7-6 leans, 2-1 Heavy MLs

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