2018 NFL playoff picks: Falcons cover in Philadelphia; all of Pete Prisco's Best Bets
But then it leveled off. I missed on the two Sunday games when the Jaguars and Saints didn’t cover as favorites, and split on my two over-under picks, nailing Jaguars-Bills under and missing on the Falcons-Rams to go over.
That put me at 3-3 for the week for a .500 start to the postseason.
That’s not good enough.
So as the NFL Divisional Round gets going this weekend – the best weekend in sports – I hope to move past this middling start to the postseason with an undefeated week.
Falcons -3 at Eagles
This number is so weird when you consider it’s a No. 1 seed at home getting points from a No. 6 seed. But that tells us the value of Carson Wentz. With Wentz, the Eagles would be a 6-point favorite. With Nick Foles, they are getting points. Atlanta’s defense is the better of the two in this game, which is why I will lay the points on the road.
Titans +13 at Patriots
The Patriots have been off and they are rested, while the Titans are playing on the road for a second straight week. That’s tough to do in the playoffs. But they ran the ball well last week against the Chiefs, and the Patriots are 31st against the run in terms of yards-per-rush. I think Derrick Henry will have another big day to control the clock and keep Tom Brady off the field. The Titans won’t win it, but it will be close. Take the points.
Jaguars +7 at Steelers
The Jaguars blew out the Steelers, 30-9, in Week Five when Ben Roethlisberger was picked off five times. That won’t happen again this week, but the Jacksonville defense is a young, cocky group that will keep this game close. The Jacksonville offense needs to be better than it was last week, and I think it will be. Look for more passing. Yes, more passing. Steelers will win it, but it’s tight.
Saints +4 at Vikings
This is a rematch of a Week One game that the Vikings won 29-19, but these are far different teams now. The Saints are a much better running team than they were that day, which will help open up their passing game. But I think the New Orleans defense will be the difference here. I think they limit the Vikings offense and the Saints go into Minnesota and pull off the upset. Give me the points.
Bonus: Jaguars-Steelers over 41
With the way the Jacksonville defense is playing, this might seem odd. But I think this is a game where the Jacksonville offense will open it up and play a lot looser. That will mean more points as they throw on early downs. The Steelers won’t get shut down like they did in the first meeting. Take the over.
Bonus: Titans-Patriots under 47.5
This is a game where the Titans will run the ball and control the clock. That will keep Tom Brady from rolling up big numbers and points against a Titans defense that is vulnerable to the pass. Take the under. The run game will keep it that way.