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NFL picks against the spread: Wild-card weekend

Let’s see where you should put your money

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills
The Bills are in the playoffs!
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

It’s playoff time! And the Giants couldn’t be further away (once you discount the Browns), and this weeks of games are honestly some of the least memorable matchups in recent history. There are a lot of big favorites in wildcard weekend, but hopefully it won’t be a snooze fest.

Tennessee Titans (+8.5) at Kansas City Chiefs

The Titans are heading out to Kansas City to a team that has struggled as of late and really hasn’t been the same since teams have dialed in more on Kareem Hunt. His total yardage per game has dipped pretty significantly from the beginning of the season (4 of his first five games were over a 100 yards rushing alone and then only twice more the rest of the season) and not coincidentally the Chiefs have scored less points.

On the other hand come in the Tennessee Titans who have a negative point differential practically the entire season, but continue to win behind a good young quarterback a solid run game and just solid play all around. Demarco Murray will miss this game, but I don’t think the drop off to Henry is all that great, though they are different style players and Murray is better as a receiver out of the backfield.

Both quarterbacks are pretty careful with the football and both teams are better running teams than passing teams. I think for that reason I would expect a close game and I’ll take the points.

Pick: Titans cover the spread

Atlanta Falcons (+6.5) at Los Angeles Rams

It’s surprising to see the Rams as such big favorites considering they are the young inexperienced team and the Falcons out-edge the Rams in pretty much every significant category on both offense and defense (except for points scored). I think the biggest concern I’d have here is that the after a very long season last year and getting back to the playoffs the Falcons might be running on fumes, but this could very well be a close game either team would win so I’ll take the points

Pick: Falcons

Buffalo Bills (+8.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Another large point spread for a team that I don’t trust offensively. If McCoy doesn’t play and the Bills got shut out it wouldn’t be all that surprising because Kelvin Benjamin is on a bum ankle and they don’t have a whole lot of offensive weapons to begin with, but I just don’t trust the Jaguars offense to beat up a pretty good team to favor them by more than 8 points.

Pick: Bills

Carolina Panthers (+6.5) at New Orleans Saints

The Saints are the better team overall, but the Panthers have big nasty men up front on both sides of the ball and are in every game. I always like big point spreads with divisional opponents and I like it even more in a playoff game.

Pick: Panthers