NFL Playoffs Odds & Picks: Odell Beckham Jr. vs. The big, the Dalton Kincaid TD, the sneak in the Akron CBB bet and more
Then there were four. NFL playoffs, that is. There are eight teams left and we still have those two, John Greenberg and Zach Jackson, trying to pick games.
Greenberg (0-2 last week, 58-65-2 overall): You know what they say, the playoffs don’t really start until the Cleveland Browns are eliminated. This means it usually starts on the weekend, but was delayed by a week this season.
The natural order of the universe has returned and you are free to watch football matches on your couch, binging on football, food and gambling, and not in that order.
I think we can all agree that last week was bad. There was only one interesting match and I can’t be the only one who lost most of my bets. Some were horrific losses — like the takeovers by Cleveland and Dallas — while others were just wasted, like the loss in the Eagles-Bucs game Sunday night.
Can we right the ship and build the account before the Super Bowl? This is the goal of every gambler now.
So, we have four games to focus on with nothing else to distract us. Maybe we should take PTO? No, wait, we’ve done the work.
So lets get it.
Game 1: Texans at Ravens on Saturday. Baltimore, the favorite out of the AFC, is a 9-point favorite against C.J. Stroud and Houston. I just witnessed him desecrate Cleveland’s defense. Are you on board with Houston +9? I think I am.
Jackson (2-1 last week, 55-59 overall): Not my favorite game. The Ravens have been one of the better teams in first-half scoring and first-half point differential. They are fresh, have a real home advantage and are facing a rookie quarterback. Now, Stroud is far from a typical rookie. But last week he lit up a Browns defense that wasn’t adjusting, and this week he gets perhaps the most versatile defense in the league in terms of creating pressure.
If you think the Texans are covering that number through the back door, I can be sold. But I’m more inclined to believe the Ravens first half is -6.5 or the Ravens team is over 27.5 (+110).
There’s actually one choice I actually make in this game: Odell Beckham over 34.5 yards. Why did the Crows give Beckham so much money? For the qualifiers, and for the biggest matches. He’s only scored seven goals over his last three games, but I think he’ll be a big part of the game plan here. I love a good “comfort vs. rust” debate in the bigger picture, but I think new legs help a lot of older players – and veteran offenses.
Looking at Saturday night’s game, Christian McCaffrey is -300 to score a touchdown. That’s an absurdly high number you rarely see in the NFL. But he’ll probably be the one who hits.
Greenberg: First, I think I’ll listen to you on More than 27.5 for the Ravens’ total.
But in the night game, you can get better odds by going for McCaffery to score and the Niners to win. This bet is -200.
It’s funny how Saturday’s schedule was set up with two first-year QBs, everyone was busy facing the top seeds and best defenses in the playoffs. Just like Stroud and the Texans are to the Ravens, Jordan Love and the Packers are 9.5-point underdogs to the 49ers. Niners star Nick Bosa is already talking about making love “uncomfortable.” The biggest factor will likely be San Francisco’s offense wearing down Green Bay’s defense.
The 49ers have won 12 games this season, only one of them by fewer than 12 points, a 30-23 win over the Rams in Week 2. So, 9.5 points isn’t really that much, right? I would still buy half a point, if necessary and take Packers +10 For only a very small amount of money because it would be boring to just root for your favorites.
What do you like here?
Jackson: I find it interesting that some Packers money has lowered that number from 10. In their last 15 playoff games with double-digit odds, the favorites are 11-4 ATS. I think it’s usually because the favored – and generally comfortable – team is better. But in this case, I think you make a good point about young midfielders emerging on the other side. I don’t really have a strong feeling about either.
The Niners are better than the rest of the NFC. They must record the complete set on the packages. Is 30-21 at least a semi-likely outcome (outside of which is the implied score by the line and the total)? certainly. If I were playing once in this game, I’d be looking at two touchdowns for McCaffrey (+145) or 49ers over 29.5 (-140). I don’t hate putting that.
I like the Bills to win. Their time has finally come. So moneyline bonuses with the Bills and No. 1 seeds are something to consider.
On that Bills-Chiefs game, my game comes into the weekend: Dalton Kincaid anytime landing +250. The kid is a weapon, and Josh Allen is looking for him when it comes time to score. I also like Kincaid’s 40.5-plus yards-110 (he’s well exceeded that in three straight games), but a touchdown at this great price is mine.
Like most weekends, I’ll try not to lose all my money before Kincaid takes the field. I know most of our readers are as excited about Akron-Kent State’s first half on Friday night under 67 as I am.
Greenberg: Tell Dustin Ford I said hello.
I think I’ll also go with More than 50.5 At Packers-Niners in a small to moderate amount. My wife and I have dinner plans that night. Do you think I can sell it on BW3s?
You’re going out of order here. We have to discuss Sunday afternoon’s game, Pirates-Lions, first.
The Detroit crowd will be insanely excited for this event. Imagine the reaction when they show Eminem and start playing “Lose Yourself.” But if there’s one game where I feel comfortable beating the underdog, it’s here – with the Bucs getting a 6.5. As our resident Baker Mayfield expert, do you trust him in this game? Am I crazy for liking Box?
Jackson: You are not crazy. You’re a big loser according to the loyal commenters, but you’re not crazy.
I almost picked the Eagles in our draft last week, but in the end I thought they were toast. I didn’t follow that up by taking the box, but at least I didn’t lose. What does last week mean for this week? Will Mayfield be offered to open players again?
I think both teams will attack heavily, and I think they will both score. I’ll go with More than 48.5 In that game. The Lions’ game was supposed to go up last week. Mayfield has good weapons, and both teams have middle-of-the-road pass defenses (at best). It’s the only game we can be sure the weather won’t be a factor in, and I think we’ll see big games. I feel good about seeing the points.
Greenberg: Guess they didn’t like the Dallas-7 pick last week? There’s a reason I don’t go into the comments. My self-esteem is low enough that I look at my story metrics 10 times a day. Then I look at my bank account and my waistline and it’s gotten really bad.
Speaking of bad feelings, I wonder how many Eagles before the game asked if they had to actually leave Florida to come back and pack their bags or if they could start their offseason right after? They were cooked and they knew it.
I won the Lions -3 last week, so I was a bit upset that they won by one point. maybe More than 48.5 It’s the play. I’ll talk to you about it and take it Box +6.5 also.
As for the Bills-Chiefs game, I think I’ll go with the underdogs on the road, Kansas City +2.5. I don’t trust Matt Nagy — the joke in Chicago is if you want to know what Patrick Mahomes will look like in a Bears uniform, it’s this season with Kansas City — but I do trust Mahomes and Andy Reid. I’ll take yours Dalton Kincaid TD Bet, as well.
Let’s have fun.
Are shots of Detroit’s minor celebrities (not including Eminem, who is still a star in my book) and that old guy who’s been a season ticket holder for 60 years overdone?
(Top photo: Ryan Kang/Getty Images)
(tags for translation) Baltimore Ravens