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NFL Picks Against the Spread 2018: Wild Card Playoff Games

Here are some suggestions when trying to beat the odds.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Before the Wild Card round of the 2018 NFL playoffs kicks off, let’s have some fun by taking a look at the spreads for today’s games. (Click here for Wild Card picks without regard to the spread.)

Here are suggestions when trying to beat the odds. You can find all of today’s NFL betting lines and more via SB Nation. My regular season record finished at 111-101-9. Let’s get to the picks.

Wild Card Games

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-9): The Titans aren’t a good team. Tennessee ranks 18th overall in DVOA and 16th in point differential. Mike Mularkey is on the hot seat despite making the post-season, and rightfully so. Marcus Mariota hasn’t made progress in the his development. If anything, he’s gone backwards. So yeah, the Titans, they’re just not good enough to take on the road here. The Chiefs went through a rough patch earlier this season but Andy Reid has his team back on track. Kansas City should be able to take care of business at home. PICK: Chiefs -9

Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Rams (-6): This line opened with the Rams as 5.5 points and hasn’t shifted much since then. The sense is that the Falcons have a chance to pull off the upset, or at least cover. Los Angeles isn’t really a tough place to play compared to other playoff environments. Make no mistake, the Rams are a very good team. I also think Atlanta is arguably the least threatening team to the Eagles in the NFC playoffs. But again, I think there’s upset potential here, so taking the points is tempting. I believe in Sean McVay, Todd Gurley, and Wade Phillips. Jared Goff really isn’t scaring me still, though. PICK: Falcons +6

Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars (-9): The Bills are in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Congrats, Buffalo. Your reward is that you’re nine point underdogs on the road to a team quarterbacked by Blake Bortles! Speaking of Bortles, he’s the reason why I’m leaning taking the points here. You just can’t rule out an awful performance from him. I don’t think Buffalo wins this matchup, but I do think they could keep it to a one-possession game. It’d be pretty weak if the Bills went down easily in their first post-season game in forever. PICK: Bills +9

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-7): The Saints beat the Panthers twice in 2017: 34-13 in Week 3 and 31-21 in Week 13. Those weren’t fluky wins, either. The Saints looked like the better team for the entire game. New Orleans isn’t flawless but they’re very clearly a legitimate team. The Panthers, meanwhile, have some fraud vibes to them. I’m not saying they’re going to get blown out, but I have no confidence picking them on the road. I like New Orleans to cover and win here. PICK: Saints -7

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