The NFL divisional weekend is here and we have some interesting matchups. The question that we always hear this weekend is “rest vs rust” for those teams coming off the bye. The stats tend to give the edge to the team coming off the bye but every once in a while you catch a hot wild card team that rolls through them. Let’s get into the preview.
LA Chargers @ New England Patriots (-4)
The Chargers actually come into Foxboro with the better regular season record but the NFL playoff system royally screwed them by making them win in Baltimore to get to play the next week in New England. Then if they win on the road again they will probably play in Kansas City even though they have the exact same record as their in-division rivals.
It’s not like any of this matters though because they are playing the Patriots first. The Patriots are 23-4 off a bye since 2003. You might be doing the math in your head now and thinking “But there’s only one bye per year, how could they have played so many games after byes?’ Well since 03 the Patriots have gotten the 1st round playoff bye 11 times!! The next best team in the time frame got a bye 6 times.
The Patriots don’t lose in the playoffs and the Chargers don’t win in the playoffs so this is an easy money game to pick. I’m taking the Patriots at -4, Good Teams Win, Great Teams Cover.
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs (-5)
From one easy game to pick to another easy game to pick. This one is a little tighter at the spread and you might want to buy the half point but if you are a guy who bets money lines take the Chiefs. Andy Reid posts a 17-3 record after having his bye, best for a head coach in the NFL since byes came into existence. Mahomes has been on fire all season and is in the conversation for MVP. However, this is his first playoff game and the biggest game he has played in his young career.
The Colts are not going to win a shootout so their D will have to step up for them to have any chance. I’m taking the over at 56.5 and the Chiefs -5, parlay them both if you’re confident.
Dallas Cowboys @ LA Rams (-7)
“America’s team” vs Sean McVay’s “genius mind.” There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Rams have a major advantage in this game. They have a better secondary, a better pass rush, a better QB, and about an even running game.
No slight on Zeke there but Gurley has been a monster all season and should get a ton of touches in this game, especially if the Rams go up early. With this being said taking them at -7 seems a little risky and if I were to bet anything on the game I’d take the under at 49.5.
Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints (-8)
Death, taxes and you don’t bet against Nick Foles. The man seems to win every game he plays in. With that being said, the line has already moved from -10 to -8 which is a concern that all the money will be on the Eagles. The Saints have been the best team in the league all year and should come out victorious in this one and we will have a Rams-Saints NFC Championship game like we wanted all year. I’ll still take Philly at +8 but wouldn’t touch it if it goes to 7.
That’s your picks and preview for the weekend, let’s ride.