2019 NFL DIVISIONAL WEEKEND
2019 NFL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS (ATS)
All times Eastern Standard Time
ALL SPREADS ARE COURTESY OF CAESARS HOTEL IN LAS VEGAS @ THE TIME OF ANALYSIS
Saturday January 11th, 2020 4:35pm
(6) Minnesota Vikings @ (1) San Francisco 49ers MINN+7
LW, MINN surprised everyone & NO by beating them in NO 26-20 in OT. The fact that the game was so close and not a blowout by NO surprised everyone except MINN. I also thought NO would win in a blowout. MINN said that they didn’t like hearing all week that they had no shot vs NO and that MINN QB Kirk Cousins falters in big games. Well, as it turned out, NO was flat and NO QB Drew Brees mad two crucial turnovers that added to the MINN party on Bourbon Street. Cousins played a great game and NO, which were great vs the run all season had no answer for a well rested MINN RB Dalvin Cook. He rushed 28x for 94 yds and 2TDS. MINN WR Adam Thielen who was banged up and didn’t play for most of the 2nd half of the season probably had his best game of 2019 vs NO. He caught 7passes for 129 yards and NO had no answer for this guy. Thielen also caught a crucial over the shoulder pass from Cousins in OT to set up the winning TD. SF barely won at SEA in wk 17 to secure the #1 seed. I liked SF in that game but I didn’t think it would be so close. But, give SF credit for holding on. SF had a 26-14 lead late in the 4th qtr but it seemed that SEA would find a way to win. SF DEF didn’t make stops late and only won by a hair, literally. SF may have lost only three games during the regular season but one of those losses was @HOME to ATL. MINN needs to look at that game and see where SF is vulnerable. SF has a beast at the TE position in George Kittle. He was named ALL-PRO and should give the MINN some trouble. MINN needs to keep an eye on him so that QB Jimmy G has to look around. Kittle has become the favorite target of Jimmy G and if MINN has a chance here they have to shut Kittle down. The DEF for SF are no slouches either as they are very good. SF #2 TOT DEF w/#1 PASS DEF. SF is vulnerable vs the run and MINN should take full advantage of that. SF #17 RUSH DEF. I like MINN HC Mike Zimmer and SF can be beaten. SF doesn’t have too much playoff experience except for say CB Richard Sherman and MINN is playing with a chip on their shoulders because everyone is counting them out. MINN is much better with a rested Dalvin Cook and WR Adam Thielen in the lineup. Don’t be surprised if MINN throws another shocker this week. No one believes in them and many are already counting SF as the NFC team in the SuperBowl. I like MINN to keep things close and Cousins will play well. This is why they gave him all that guaranteed money. I wouldn’t be surprised if MINN wins outright because almost everyone is picking against them. Take MINN & the points because they will be raring to go.
THE PICK: MINN+7 5 STARS
Saturday January 11th, 2020 8:15pm
(6) Tennessee Titans @ (1) Baltimore Ravens TENN+9 ½
LW, TENN played a very good game. The TENN OFF relied very heavily on RB Derrick Henry. He delivered with 34 rushes for 182 yards and 1TD. TENN QB Ryan Tannehill was 8-15 passing, 73 yards & 1TD, 1INT. I don’t think those are the type of stats that will beat BALT. BALT #5 RUSH DEF. I liked TENN @NE because NE hadn’t shown that they were like NE in the past and TENN has a lot of ex-NE players that still have a grudge to settle. TENN beat up NE in 2018 and I felt it would be more of the same. The TENN DEF did their part as well, limiting NE all over the field and not letting Brady get comfortable in the pocket. BALT is well rested and QB Lamar Jackson has been sensational in his first full season as the BALT starting QB. He hasn’t made too many bad decisions over the course of the season and generally takes what the opposing DEF gives him. He has thrown 36TDs & only had 6INTs. RB Mark Ingram who currently has a calf strain but is probable for the game is backed up by RB Gus Edwards who is very capable of rushing through DEFs. He has proven that this season filling in for Ingram. BALT #1 RUSH OFF. How will the TENN DEF handle that? The play option PASS for BALT is brutal for opposing DEFs because Jackson is so good at displaying both. It is one thing for the TENN DEF to defend against a pocket QB such as Brady but, a duel threat such as Jackson will have TENN guessing and guessing wrong a lot of times. Just look at what he did to other teams this season and you get the picture. TENN may be in a shootout that they cannot win. The BALT secondary is stacked with experience that makes you think guys are open when they are really not. CB Marlon Humphrey & CB Marcus Peters were named ALL-PRO & S Earl Thomas was named to the Pro-Bowl. BALT has shown that they can score on both sides of the ball and take teams out early in games. TENN has had a nice run and they need to add a few guys to upgrade certain positions in the off-season but this is where their season ends. I like BALT here big time because this is what they have been waiting for and they will give it all they have. Lay the points here as BALT wins BIG and TENN goes home.
THE PICK: BALT-9 ½ 5 STARS
Sunday January 12th, 2020 1:05pm
(4) Houston Texans @ (2) Kansas City Chiefs HOU+9 ½
LW, HOU got away with one. I said that HOU would be one and done and HOU HC Bill O’Brien could add this HOME loss to his resume. It looked like I was right on until after halftime. BUFF was leading @HOU 16-0 in the 3rd qtr when HOU finally woke up. HOU started to take control of this game midway through the 3rd qtr. BUFF had their chances but, BUFF did not make the stops and they did not sustain drives and add points that would have put HOU away. HOU QB Deshaun Watson played a lot better down the stretch than he did in the 1st half. However, BUFF did sack Watson 7x. So, don’t blame it on the guys upfront. Also, Watson was more successful rushing the ball than were either RBs Carlos Hyde or Duke Johnson. That has to change if HOU wants to beat KC. KC should be well rested. KC is the #2 seed after NE lost to MIA in wk 17 which upgraded KC from the #3 seed to #2 seed in the AFC. KC has weapons on OFF and the DEF has certainly gotten better over the course of the 2019 season but, KC can be beaten. These two teams met @KC in wk 6 with HOU beating KC 31-24. The final score was close because KC was up 17-3 in the 1st qtr but HOU never stopped fighting. HOU scored 3TDS in the 2nd qtr and it looked like it was going to be a dogfight. The KC DEF had no answer for HOU receivers and RB Carlos Hyde rushed for 116 yds and 1TD. HOU as a team rushed for 192 yds. KC rushed for 53 yds. HOU WR Will Fuller will be playing in this game. He was not available because of an injury that kept him out of the game vs BUFF. This will certainly add to the OFF on HOU. Also, HOU WR Kenny Stills was not on HOU for the 1st meeting, so he is another receiver that KC has to keep an eye on. HOU #9 RUSH OFF vs KC #26 RUSH DEF. HOU should run the ball every chance they get. We all know the playoff record of KC HC Andy Reid. He seems to over prepare for games that causes his teams to lose in the playoffs. I expect him to stay the course and HOU should not only keep it close but should win this game outright. HOU HC Bill O’Brien is on a lucky run but it will end in the AFC Championship game. I can’t see this game being a blowout by either team. HOU DE JJ Watt is fresh because he doesn’t have a whole season of wear and tear on him because he was out for so many weeks with his injury. LW vs BUFF he looked good. I’m sure that he will be pumped here. KC QB Pat Mahomes has an uncanny ability to make a play out of nothing but the HOU DEF needs to show him different looks and keep TE Travis Kelce from making 1st downs. It will be a good game but I like HOU to either keep it close or win outright on the upset.
THE PICK: HOU+9 ½ 5 STARS
Sunday January 12th, 2020 4:40pm
(5) Seattle Seahawks @ (2) Green Bay Packers SEA+4
LW, SEA did what they had to do @PHILLY to get the win. People will say that because PHILLY QB Carson Wentz got injured that doomed PHILLY because QB Josh McCown came in and hadn’t touched the football in three months. I beg to differ in this one because Wentz has an ability to turn the ball over when pressure is put on him and McCown didn’t turn the ball over 1x when he came in for Wentz. McCown made solid decisions, even though he may have been rusty but PHILLY players dropped some passes. SEA did what they had to do without having to flex their muscles. Ironically, the final score was the same score of the game that was played in wk 12. PHILLY was able to move the ball on the ground vs SEA which should have GB taking notice. SEA WR DK Metcalf was the star of the SEA OFF with 7 catches for 160 yards & 1TD. The rushing game for SEA was basically nil except for SEA QB Russell Wilson scrambling and rushing for 45 yards. GB is well rested and has something to prove. GB QB Aaron Rodgers knows that he may not have a lot more years to be in this position in the playoffs so he is going to make the most of it. GB RB Aaron Jones is also well rested and should be looking forward to running wild vs SEA. SEA #22 RUSH DEF. Also, this is not the Legion of Boom back there for SEA and Rodgers should be able to exploit it. SEA #27 PASS DEF. There is a little bit of a rivalry between these two because of the way this series has played out. L5 GB (H) vs SEA, 5-0 SU & 4-0-1 ATS. L5 SEA (H) vs GB, SEA 4-1 SUATS. HOME TEAM 9-1 SU & 8-1-1 ATS. In the playoffs in 2014 SEA won 28-22 in OT @SEA after GB had a 19-7 lead in the 4th qtr. Rodgers doesn’t forget anything and he will probably remember that one for sure. SEA has won a lot of games this season getting away with beating teams with inexperienced QBs. But Rodgers is the best QB they will face this season. SEA’s season comes to an end in GB and GB will advance to the NFC Championship game. Lay the points here as GB rolls.
THE PICK: GB-4 5 STARS