Before the Wild Card round of the 2019 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 123-127-6 after going 11-5 in Week 17. First time in a few years I finished under .500. Let’s get to the playoff picks.
Wild Card Games
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-1.5): The Colts might not be the better seed but they’re the better team. Indy ranks eighth in point differential and fourth in weighted DVOA. The Texans rank ninth and 13th, respectively. The Colts also have the better coach and it’s not close. Frank Reich has done a great job this year. Bill O’Brien showed cowardice in his refusal to be aggressive against the Eagles. How am I supposed to take that guy’s side? I’ll also take the more experienced Andrew Luck over Deshaun Watson, especially given how well Indy’s offensive line is playing. PICK: Colts +1.5
Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (-2): The Seahawks are the better team. Seattle ranks 10th in point differential and 14th in weighted DVOA. The Cowboys rank 14th and 19th, respectively. Pete Carroll is a much better coach than Jason Garrett. Russell Wilson is a much better quarterback than Dak Prescott. With all said that, I can’t shake the 2015 Cowboys vs. Lions playoff game where the refs handed Jerry Jones a win in Dallas. Or how the Eagles got screwed in Dallas earlier this season. I’ll try to put the jinx on the Cowboys by taking them in this game. PICK: Cowboys -2
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5): The Ravens are one of the hottest teams heading into the playoffs. 6-1 in their last seven with the one loss coming to the Chiefs IN Kansas City ... in overtime. The Ravens could’ve feasibly won that game if NFL MVP Pat Mahomes didn’t make an incredible play on 4th-and-long. The Ravens beat the Chargers back in Week 16 and that game was on the road. Baltimore could be even tougher with home field advantage working in their favor. Also don’t love the 1:05 PM ET start time for a West Coast team traveling to the East Coast. PICK: Ravens -2.5
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (-6.5): A lot of people out there seem to be assuming the Eagles have no chance to win this game. It’s clear they really did not learn from last year. Counting out the reigning Super Bowl champions is foolish. The Eagles are going to win this game outright because they have great coaching, an edge at the quarterback position, and an ability to control the line of scrimmage. Not to mention a very dangerous “nothing to lose” mentality as underdogs. PICK: Eagles +6.5