Breaking Down The Lines: A Review Of NFL Wild Card Games

NFL Wild Card Picks DFS

Week 17 wasn’t a great week overall for us. We sat on the fence on a few picks and those pushes probably cost us a winning week. Regardless, it was a 13-15 week, but we achieved out original goal of the year by reaching 53% on the season. Overall, that’s a pretty good year by professional handicapping standards.

2019 record: 256-223 (53.44%)

This week we look to keep the winning ways going in the playoffs. As always, the betting lines listed here come from the BetRivers online sportsbook.

If you have a few minutes, check out Collin’s in-depth predictions and analysis. Got just a minute? Here is a summary of Collin’s picks for the upcoming week.

Matchup/LineCollin's PickTake With the SpreadOver/Under
Bills @ Texans -2.5 O/U: 44Bills 20 Texans 17BillsUnder
Titans @ Patriots -5.5 O/U: 44.5Patriots 27 Titans 20PatriotsOver
Vikings @ Saints -8 O/U: 49.5Saints 38 Vikings 17SaintsOver
Seahawks -1.5 @ Eagles O/U: 45.5Seahawks 23 Eagles 20SeahawksUnder

January 4th (Saturday)

Bills @ Texans -2.5 O/U: 44

The Buffalo Bills grinded out most of their wins in close and often dramatic fashion behind the gutsy play of Josh Allen and the Bills tremendous pass defense. Conversely, the Texans relied on the playmaking of Deshaun Watson to carry them through a good number of shootouts. Though the Texans have the more brand names on their roster, the Bills have a far superior defense and have made strides offensively as the year has gone along.

I like the Bills in this game. Last season, a well-coached Colts team came into Houston and made the Texans look like complete garbage. I think the Texans are the Seahawks of the AFC, meaning they have a dynamic quarterback but subpar play-calling around them.

I’m worried the Texans are going to rely too much on Watson bailing them out on broken plays and I don’t like this matchup against a tough Bills defense. For Buffalo, I like the way Devin Singletary has been playing and Josh Allen can create even more problems for the Texans than they’re equipped to deal with. Bills 20 Texans 17

Titans @ Patriots -5.5 O/U: 44.5

The Titans have been playing some of the best offense in the NFL over the last two months. Though it hasn’t translated into a large uptick in wins, it has been tremendous for the Titans playoff aspirations, considering their status as a one-dimensional offense prior to Ryan Tannehill taking over at quarterback. The Patriots are not the team we thought we knew early in the season.

For months, people were talking about this defense and team as possibly one of the all-time greats. After a strong start, the Patriots went just 4-4 down the stretch. A lot of people think this is the end for the Patriots, but I’m not buying it yet. I understand they’ve looked drastically worse on both offense and defense, but we saw this last year as well. We saw it the year before over a stretch. They certainly seem like a much weaker team, but I just can’t go against Bill Belicheck at home in the playoffs.

I think the Patriots will roll out some things we haven’t seen a lot of this year and they’ll attack the Titans in ways we’ve yet to see this season. We could see a short pass attack where Brady drops back 50+ times or a rushing attack where we see Brandon Bolden and Rex Burkhead run the ball 30 times between the two. Patriots 27 Titans 20

January 5th (Sunday)

Vikings @ Saints O/U: 49.5

The Vikings may be the fools gold team of the year. I look back on their home game a few weeks ago against the Packers as an example. Sure, the Vikings were without Dalvin Cook, but the run blocking was especially atrocious, and when the Vikings struggle to run the ball, their passing efficiency goes way down as well.

The Saints are a little depleted on the defensive line and don’t look like the same stout defensive front we saw stuffing opposing backs each week early in the season. Regardless of the health of the Saints defensive front, it shouldn’t matter much, because the issue for the Vikings will be stopping the Saints offense.

I personally think the Vikings rush defense, which was trounced recently by the Seahawks and Packers, will struggle against the Kamara-Murray duo. I also think Xavier Rhodes is going to be absolutely cooked by Michael Thomas in this game. I like the Saints to win by double digits. Saints 38 Vikings 17

Seahawks -1.5 @ Eagles O/U: 45.5

These teams played earlier in the year in Philadelphia and the result was a low-scoring road victory for the Seahawks. I expect much of the same this time around. In their first matchup on November 24th, the Seahawks relied on a potent rushing attack, which should be limited this time around given the injuries to both Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny.

With the Seahawks light on running backs and the Eagles light on pass-catchers, I am expecting much of the same this time around. I think Miles Sanders and Boston Scott will see plenty of work in this game, as will Dallas Goedert. When it comes down to who I think will win, I can’t see this Eagles team beating the Seahawks with so few weapons.

I realize the Seahawks are just 1-3 in their past four games, but the Eagles just don’t scare anyone offensively and their pass defense has been terrible for stretches this year. Seahawks 23 Eagles 20


Author: Collin Hulbert