The Profit: Wild Card Weekend

A humorous - yet serious - look at the NFL

Let's get to the picks!

WILD CARD Picks

Houston (-3.5) vs. Oakland
This is the toughest game of the week for obvious reasons, not the least of which is the fact that nobody really knows anything about how Cook will play. Ya know, since most people never knew he was on the team until around Sunday evening. I read a great line on Twitter the other day that said this will be the first playoff game in the history of the NFL with zero playoff implications. Couldn't have said it better myself. Oakland probably wasn't quite ready for prime time anyway; now with the Carr injury, they have a built-in excuse for losing. And Houston is still the division champ who was a home underdog against the last place Chargers less than six weeks ago. So yeah they didn't suddenly become good in that time either. Thank goodness the NFL did the right thing and put this game on first on Saturday to get it out of the way. I'm half surprised they didn't just put it on tape delay like the old NBA finals games in the 70s.
Pick: Raiders

Seattle (-8.0) vs. Detroit
Seattle is obviously the weirdest team in this year's postseason. They're arguably as talented as any team in the league, capable of beating the crap out of anyone on any given day. But most people like me don't see any possible way they can put together three straight excellent games to make their way into the Super Bowl. They're not just inconsistent from week to week; they're inconsistent from series to series, and sometimes from play to play. So that makes this game somewhat tough to call, since it's possible this week we get the good Seahawks who go out and drop forty points on the Lions. But if nothing else, Detroit has shown a propensity to keep its games close. And let's be honest, it would be such a Lions thing to do to have them win all these close games all year and then when they get into the biggest game of the year, they give it away at the end in heartbreaking fashion. It's almost impossible to lose a heartbreaker by more than eight points, so here we are.
Pick: Lions

Pittsburgh (-10.0) vs. Miami
This one is pretty simple. Everyone and their mother thinks the Steelers are easily going to win this game. It's why every Steelers player sits atop everyone's playoff fantasy rankings, because they're all but guaranteed two games. And yes, I'm one of those strong believers that Pittsburgh comes out of this game victorious. That being said, double digit point spreads in playoff games are supposed to be reserved for when a dominant team is playing a cupcake. Like ohhhh I don't know, maybe whoever ends up winning the other AFC wild card game against the Patriots next weekend. Stuff like that. I get it that Matt Moore doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence, but when is the last time the Steelers inspired supreme confidence themselves? And it's not as if Miami is some slouch team that squeaked into the postseason. Sure they fell flat against New England in the season finale, but I'm of the belief that the only way the Pats lost that game is if Bill Belichick had been temporarily replaced with Mike McCoy during the game. So I'll give the Fins a pass for that one, assume they show up on Sunday, and keep this one at least relatively close.
Pick: Dolphins

Green Bay (-4.5) vs. New York Giants
Ok, so before you think I went and lost my mind...I still don't like Eli Manning. And yes, the Packers are arguably the official "team that gets hot just at the right time and rolls everyone in the postseason". But I don't see how this is anything other than a field goal game. The Giants didn't even need last week's win against a Washington team that DESPERATELY needed it, and still New York came away victiorious. It can very easily be argued that the Giants are the better team overall, the more complete team overall, and having won in the postseason in Green Bay in recent seasons there's no fear factor there of any kind of mystique. All that being said, I still think the Packers find a way to pull this one out at home. But there's no way you can deny New York's postseason track record and the fact that you're getting a good number of points for a team that's undoubtedly one of the five best teams in the league. If they played each other ten times, Green Bay might win five and the Giants would win five. But there's no way Green Bay would cover a 4.5 line more than once or twice out of ten at best. Take the points.
Pick: Giants

BEST BETS: Raiders, Lions, Dolphins, Giants
LOCK: New York Giants

LAST WEEK

Overall: 9-7
Best Bets: 2-2
Lock of the Week: 1-0

YEAR TO DATE

Overall: 129-127 (50%)
Best Bets: 32-36 (47%)
Lock of the Week: 9-8 (52%)

POWER RANKINGS

Team Name W/L (Prv)
1. Patriots 14-2 (1)
2. Cowboys 13-3 (2)
3. Chiefs 12-4 (4)
4. Giants 11-5 (5)
5. Falcons 11-5 (6)
6. Steelers 11-5 (7)
7. Packers 10-6 (8)
8. Raiders 12-4 (3)
9. Seahawks 10-5-1 (10)
10. Lions 9-7 (9)
11. Dolphins 10-6 (11)
12. Broncos 9-7 (14)
13. Redskins 8-7-1 (12)
14. Ravens 8-8 (13)
15. Texans 9-7 (15)
16. Bucs 9-7 (16)
17. Titans 9-7 (18)
18. Saints 7-9 (17)
19. Cardinals 7-8-1 (19)
20. Vikings 8-8 (20)
21. Eagles 7-9 (22)
22. Panthers 6-10 (21)
23. Bengals 6-9-1 (23)
24. Colts 8-8 (25)
25. Bills 7-9 (24)
26. Chargers 5-11 (26)
27. Jets 5-11 (29)
28. Jaguars 3-13 (27)
29. Bears 3-13 (28)
30. 49ers 2-14 (30)
31. Rams 4-12 (31)
32. Browns 1-15 (32)


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