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All times Eastern Standard Time


Saturday January 13th, 2024 4:30pm

(5) Cleveland Browns @ (4) Houston Texans                           HOU+2 ½

HOU had a very good season that no one predicted. CLEV had a nice season even though they started 5 QBs. These two teams played in wk 16 @HOU with CLEV beating up HOU 36-22. Don’t let the close score fool you because CLEV was winning this game 36-7 before HOU got 2dummy tds in the 4th qtr to make the final score seem a little closer. But a big footnote here is that HOU QB CJ Stroud did not play in this game due to recovery from a concussion and Davis Mills & Case Keenum played QB for HOU. Keenum started and had 2INTS that did lead to 1td for CLEV and he was sacked 3x. Mills later came in a led the 2drives that led to HOU’s 2 4th qtr tds. Neither team was able to get their run game going and HOU rushed for a total of 72yds while CLEV rushed for a total of 54yds.  CLEV WR Amari Cooper was the star of this game catching 11passes for 265yds & 2tds. Since that wk 16 game CLEV WR Amari Cooper has had a heel problem and has not played. He is a big target and secondaries have a problem defending against him. It would be a big void for CLEV if he does not play. HOU QB CJ Stroud did not play in wk 16 vs CLEV but he has had a tremendous 1st season in the NFL. He definitely has given HOU a bright future to build on. CLEV will see a different HOU team than it did earlier. But CLEV QB Joe Flacco is a veteran who has been to the playoffs many times and won a Superbowl with BALT. He knows that this may be his last go round and that he may not get another chance like this. He has that playoff experience that CLEV was lacking. However, he did have some turnovers that may be of concern. He needs to be a little more careful moving forward. As with the playoffs, turnovers tend to be more costly. The CLEV DEF has certainly played well this season. CLEV #1 TOT DEF w/#11 RUSH DEF & #1 PASS DEF. They have 18 INTS & 49 sacks this season which shows the DEF puts on a lot of pressure and everyone contributes. Jim Schwartz is in his 1st season as the CLEV DC and he has transformed the DEF from #14 in 2022 to #1 in 2023. HOU QB Stroud is not afraid to take charge and throw the ball where it needs to go. He had 23tds & only 5INTS in 15games this season. He also led some 4th qtr comebacks that were impressive for a rookie. He has shown veteran leadership for a team that was lacking in any type of leadership for a few years. HOU is a very young team and they should be battling every year for the playoffs under Stroud but I don’t see them getting past CELV unless CLEV turns the ball over significantly and HOU turns them into quick tds. If Flacco & CO drive up and down the field with 0turnovers and score tds, they will easily take care of HOU. HOU #6 RUSH DEF but gave up over 200yds rushing last week vs INDY. I see CLEV moving the ball with the run & pass vs the HOU DEF. I see this game going down to the wire but CLEV winning by a fg. No blowout here this time as HOU will people on DEF in this game that were injured or not on the field in the week 16 meeting. Take CLEV & lay the points.   


Saturday January 13th, 2024 8:15pm

(6) Miami Dolphins @ (3) Kansas City Chiefs                          MIA+4

MIA had a strong chance to win last week @HOME vs BUFF and capture the AFC EAST. However, there were many players for MIA that were injured and out which put them at a disadvantage. With this said, MIA let BUFF come in and essentially control the game and MIA lost 21-14. This game would have been a rout for BUFF if it weren’t for BUFF self-inflicted wounds that kept them from scoring early & often. MIA has had a problem with beating good teams. This past season, MIA has only beaten one playoff caliber team and it was a 22-20 win @HOME vs DAL in wk 16. MIA played huge here and their DEF limited the highly explosive DAL OFF to 2tds and 2fgs. MIA QB Tua Tagovailoa led a last minute drive that resulted in a winning fg. During the season MIA has lost @BUFF, @PHILLY, @KC, @BALT. All of these teams are currently in the playoffs. MIA’s 10 other wins were vs teams that finished below .500. This is a big problem as MIA has not been taken seriously as a playoff caliber team. KC has had an up and down season to say the least. Inconsistent play on OFF has turned wins into losses for KC. It has set up a scenario, that for the first time in the Mahomes era, they will be playing playoff games on the road. That is, if they get by MIA first. MIA and KC played each other in wk 9 in Germany with KC winning 21-14. In that game KC built up a 21-0 1st half lead and then sat on it while MIA tried to comeback. MIA blew at least a tie on a muffed 4th down play very late in the game. Both of these teams have not been consistent and KC is not playing like the team we have seen the past five years. This season, KC has dropped passes all over the place and lost games that they should have won. But the KC DEF has been consistent this season as they definitely have kept KC in many games because of their top notch play. KC #2 TOT DEF w/#18 RUSH DEF & #4 PASS DEF. As for MIA, right now they have a lot of players that are injured and out on DEF that will surely handicap them for this game. There are playmakers that are banged up on OFF & guys are questionable. As for the DEF, MIA has announced they have signed LBs Justin Houston, Bruce Irvin & Malik Reed. They placed LBs Jerome Baker, Cameron Goode & Andrew Van Ginkel on IR. LB Melvin Ingram was signed in late DEC to try to shore up the D-LINE for MIA and has been activated for the playoffs. KC has to get back into a focused mindset that has led them to the SuperBowl in three of the last four years. KC should be well rested as they did not play a lot of their starters last week in the 13-12 win @ LAC. KC will be pumped up for this game as will the fans. KC has the personnel to win this game but will their minds be somewhere else? MIA has had a bad habit of not been able to compete vs good teams and that is the reputation that precedes them. With Mahomes having been here before and a proven winner, I like KC winning by a td in a hard fought game. MIA will play tough in the 1st half and then find a way to lose it in the 2nd half. Take KC and lay the points here. 


Sunday January 14th, 2024 1:00pm

(7) Pittsburgh Steelers @ (2) Buffalo Bills                               PITT+10

LW, PITT beat a BALT team that didn’t have many starters playing for them either on OFF or DEF. It was more of a practice game for both teams but more realistically, PITT needed the win to get into the playoffs. PITT won the game and hence, here we are. For PITT HC Mike Tomlin, it is his 17th season as the HC of PITT with 0losing seasons. Let’s see how far PITT can go in the playoffs. LW, BUFF was @MIA and beat them to win the AFC EAST title and get the #2 seed in the AFC and finish the season at 11-6. BUFF had been 6-6 and it looked like they were going to be 6-7. They should have lost the game @KC which would have put them at 6-7 but we all know what happened there. Had BUFF been 6-7 we may not be talking about them now but, they have found new life with a 5game winning streak. Right now BUFF has to keep winning or the season will be considered a loss. During the season, BUFF seemed to have played down to their competition, barely beating some mediocre teams and then overpowering some good teams. The late season win @HOME for BUFF vs DAL was an eye opener on how good BUFF could really be if they played smart and tough for a full 60minutes. For PITT to keep this game close or even pull off the upset, there are two things that PITT has to do successfully. First, they need to keep BUFF QB Josh Allen at bay. They must have a spotter that covers Allen all over the field and does not let him run wild. If Allen is able to run successfully, it is over for PITT. With LB TJ Watt out with a knee injury, the rest of the PITT DEF needs to step up. PITT HC Mike Tomlin is a great preparer and schemer and should be able to devise something that will at least slow down Allen. Second, the run game for PITT has to be successful. PITT RBs Najee Harris & Jaylen Warren have to keep running until the BUFF DEF just falls down. They combined for over 1,800 yds rushing in 2023 and need to get things rolling. The PITT O-LINE has to do its job. PITT#13 RUSH OFF vs BUFF #15 RUSH DEF. This in turn will make QB Mason Rudolph’s job a lot easier and he does not feel the need to win this game on his own. Rudolph also needs to be able to read the BUFF DEF and see what’s coming so he can adjust the play accordingly. I don’t think this game will be a blowout by any means if PITT sticks to the plan. Turnovers will be huge in this game as BUFF is great at turning them into points. PITT has to come out aggressive and not be afraid to play their game. If BUFF gets rolling, it will be over at halftime. I see a tightly contested game with PITT hanging around. I like a low scoring game as PITT tends to keep things close. I like BUFF winning 21-17 with PITT failing in a late drive to get a winning td. BUFF will probably win but by less then the spread suggests. I like PITT with the points here.


Sunday January 14th, 2024 4:30pm

(7) Green Bay Packers @ (2) Dallas Cowboys                             GB+7 ½

GB QB Jordan Love did what Aaron Rodgers & Brett Favre couldn’t do. He led GB to the playoffs in his 1st season as a starter. GB has had an up and down season but ended the season on a high note beating CHI to get into the playoffs. The key to GB is RB Aaron Jones. When he has a good game running the ball, this takes a lot of pressure off of Love and he is able to spread out the OFF and GB wins. Without Jones, Love has to win the game on his own. GB RB AJ Dillon is a good running back but more of a supplement to Jones and not relied upon to handle the bulk of the running plays. Also, the DEF for GB has been a little topsy turvy. They look good in one game and then disappear in another. GB #17 TOT DEF w/#28 RUSH DEF & #9 PASS DEF. GB could have certainly won games that they lost this season. They lost @ATL, vs DET, @LV, @DEN, vs MINN, @PITT, @NYG & vs TB. There are four games there that GB should have won and would not have had to win the last game of the season vs CHI to get into the playoffs. DAL finished the season 12-5. But, this is a tail of two teams. DAL was 8-0 @HOME while 4-5 AWAY. Plus, the teams that they lost to on the road were mostly playoff caliber teams. Five out of the eight teams that DAL beat at HOME didn’t make the playoffs. For DAL to win, the DAL run game needs to be effective for QB Dak Prescott to be successful. Somehow, DAL needs to run the ball decently or Prescott will need to throw the ball more than usual. Prescott has had trouble reading defenses and with his accuracy. He has plenty of targets on this team but, WR Ceedee Lamb & Brandin Cooks are his go to guys. Last season DAL HC Mike McCarthy did not win in his return to GB in wk 10. DAL lost 31-28 in OT. In this game, DAL will let lose and GB will not have any answer. We all know that DAL has an explosive OFF. It certainly will be tested this week for sure. DAL #3 PASS OFF vs GB #9 PASS DEF. QB Jordan Love will only get better and this will certainly be a learning experience for him. But right now, DAL is the better team. Look for LB Micah Parsons to run havoc on the GB OFF. He needs to make sure that GB RB Aaron Jones doesn’t get going. DAL HC Mike McCarthy is playing for his job. If DAL loses this game he may be fired. The reason why is that he would be perceived as not being able to get to the SuperBowl after 3straiight 12-5 seasons. I like DAL to come out like gangbusters in this game. I like DAL to win by at least 14pts. GB will start off by giving a valiant effort but DAL is on a mission for at least this week. Lay the points here as DAL rolls.


Sunday January 14th, 2024 8:15pm

(6) Los Angeles Rams @ (3) Detroit Lions                                    LAR+3

DET should be 13-4 instead of 12-5 but, that is besides the point. DET HC Dan Campbell has hopefully turned the corner on the losing ways in DET. He has brought an excitement and enthusiasm that hasn’t been seen in DET for a long time. DET QB Jared Goff has certainly turned his career around after being traded to DET. He now has an HC that believes in him and feels that DET can eventually get to a SuperBowl. But, the first test is getting past LAR. LAR has had a surprising season in that no one thought they would even make the playoffs after the bad season they had in 2022. Most people felt that LAR would be in a rebuild and that the playoffs would come next year. LAR RB Kyren Williams has been a pleasant surprise in helping to alleviate any pressure off of QB Matthew Stafford with having a breakout year rushing for over 1,200 yds. WR Puka Nacua had an outstanding rookie season with 105 catches & 1486 yds which takes some of the coverage away from WR Cooper Kupp. The O-LINE worked well in that Stafford was only sacked 30x in 15games. DT Aaron Donald continues to play at an ALL-PRO level even though he consistently gets double-teamed in coverage. Stafford likes to throw the ball and in front of his old crowd he may be able to have a great day because the secondary for DET is no that good and gets burned a lot. LAR #10 PASS OFF vs DET #27 PASS DEF. DET has gotten better in their coverages over the course of the season but is still susceptible to good QBs. Would Stafford like to beat his old team in front of the DET HOME crowd? Would Goff like to beat his old team that discarded him in favor of Stafford? Both teams will be ready for this game but Stafford is a better QB than Goff. The LAR DEF has to be able to stop the RB tandem of Jahmyr Gibbs & David Montgomery who rushed for a combined 1,960yds and 23td. DET #5 RUSH OFF vs LAR #12 RUSH DEF. This game may be more of a shootout but I think Stafford is a better QB than Goff. When pressured, Goff tends to make mistakes in the form of fumbles and errant thrown INTs. I think this is a game that will come down to the wire with LAR winning by a td late. Turnovers will be crucial and is Goff turns the ball over deep in his own territory then LAR may run away with this game. But I like LAR here with the points as LAR advances. DET has something to build on and they need to tweak a few things before being able to go deep into the playoffs. Take LAR and the points. 


Monday January 15th, 2024 8:00pm

(5) Philadelphia Eagles @ (4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers              TB+3

PHILLY started out the season 9-1 and it was looking like no one was stopping them. It looked like they would easily have the #1 seed in the NFC. But a HOME game vs BUFF exposed the PHILLY DEF and PHILLY was lucky to get a win in OT, 37-34. After that, the roof caved in for PHILLY and the OFF went stagnant and the DEF looked lost every week. PHILLY lost 5 of their last six and ended up the season 11-6. The last two games of the season, PHILLY lost @HOME to ARZ & then @NYG. Neither ARZ or NYG made it to the playoffs this season but both teams found big holes in the PHILLY DEF. TB started the season 3-1 and then went on to lose 4straight and suddenly they were 3-5. With only one win in their next three games, TB was now 4-7. But, TB resurrected their season and won 5out of their last 6 to end up 9-8 and capture the NFC SOUTH. These two teams played each other in wk 3 @TB with PHILLY winning 25-11. But since then, PHILLY has fallen fast and their OFF & DEF problems can’t be fixed within a week. They really need a lot more time to dissect and correct. PHILLY QB Jalen Hurts has fallen into some bad habits and the OFF has suffered because of it. The PHILLY DEF can’t seem to cover the middle of the field. TB has been playing well lately and QB Baker Mayfield has been playing well enough for TB to think that they may have found themselves a long term solution at QB. TB has lost against some good teams this season and beaten up some bad teams. From week to week, you don’t know what TB team will show up. PHILLY is banged up. QB Jalen Hurts has a sore finger on his throwing hand & WRs DeVonta Smith & AJ Brown are both questionable for this game. Brown left the game vs NYG with a knee injury that isn’t believed to be serious. PHILLY RB D’Andre Swift is also questionable for this game after being held out of the last game @NYG. As for TB, if they can get the ball to the receivers, they can win this game. A motivational factor for TB may be the loss in wk3 @HOME to PHILLY. Neither team has a great PASS DEF. TB #29 PASS DEF & PHILLY #31 PASS DEF. This game may be a shootout with whoever has the ball last, wins the game with a fg. I like the HOME team here with the points.