Wild Card Weekend Lock Picks

Are you ready for the NFL Wild Card Weekend? I’ve got my picks lined up for the AFC and NFC Wild Card Playoff and let me assure you you’d be a fool not to pick them up right now!

Wild Card Weekend Lock Picks

What: AFC Wild Card Playoff – Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans
When: Saturday, January 07, 2017
Start Time: 4:35 PM ET
Stadium: NRG Stadium
Spread: Texans -3.5
Moneyline: Texans -180 vs Raiders +160
Game Total: 36.5
Watch: ABC

Analysis: Back in Week 11, the Raiders put one over the Texans defeating them in Mexico City on Monday Night Football. It was a close game filled a slew of controversial calls which ended in a 27-20 score and left the Texans with a huge chip on their shoulders.

Things are mighty different this time around; the Raiders will now enter this game hobbling due to injuries suffered by its players the worst of which is probably to their quarterback Derek Carr who cracked his fibula in Week 16. Now, as if things couldn’t get worse for the Raiders, their backup quarterback Matt McGloin also suffered an injury in Oakland’s game against the Denver Broncos in Week 17 which means their third-stringer Connor Cook will have to take the field with no previous experience under his belt in a game of this importance.

Houston on the other hand is on the up and up but still has some dark clouds looming on the horizon. The Texans are expected to start with a quarterback that took the reins late in the season that is if he gets over a concussion he suffered in his last game. Tom Savage might not take the field in this game, which effectively means that Brock Osweiller will start, along with the problems he had in leading the offense up until Savage replaced him. You should recall that Osweiller and top receiver DeAndre Hopkins didn’t mesh well and that created all sorts of problems for Houston’s offense.

The biggest X factor in this game will be on defense though; games like this are usually decided by which team plays better on defense and Houston right now tops the NFL despite playing nearly the entire season without top defensive end J.J. Watt. That’s not to say Oakland doesn’t have its own defensive wares, they do have one of the NFL’s best pass rushers in Khalil Mack who could also win defensive player of the year, but the Texans’ D is much, much better overall.

Pick: This will be another game that will have its ups and downs for both teams. More likely it’ll turn out into a drawn out battle with the better defensive team making the difference. Count on Houston to take home the bacon; Texans win and cover.

What: NFC Wild Card Playoff – Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks
When: Saturday, January 07, 2017
Start Time: 8:15 PM ET
Stadium: CenturyLink Field
Spread: Seahawks -8
Moneyline: Seahawks -360 vs Lions +300
Game Total: 43
Watch: NBC

Analysis: The Seahawks are counting their lucky stars considering it probably can’t get any better than the scenario against the Lions this weekend. After doing away with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday (Jan. 1) and the Lions losing to Green Bay, the Seahawks not only clinched the NFC West but also secured home-field advantage in the Wild Card round.

Keep in mind, the Lions lost their last three regular season games, while Seattle has won its last nine home playoff games and never lost in the postseason in Seattle with Russell Wilson leading the offense. This doesn’t bode well for the Lions to say the least; CenturyLink Field doesn’t exactly treat its visitors with a comfy experience, it’s more an ear-splitting and confusing experience for offensive linemen.

Detroit is vulnerable through the air and its running game is non-existent which gives Seattle a clear advantage to exploit. The Seahawks also have the edge on offense with Russell Wilson leading the way.

Pick: My money is on Seattle to win a cover. It’ll be a tough road ahead once they win, but they’ll fight that battle when they get there.

What: AFC Wild Card Playoff – Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers
When: Sunday, January 08, 2017
Start Time: 1:05 PM ET
Stadium: Heinz Field
Spread: Steelers -10
Moneyline: Steelers -430 vs Dolphins +360
Game Total: 47
Watch: CBS

Analysis: After contemplating the possibility of not making the playoffs this year, the Steelers are now blazing a trail off a seven-game winning streak along with a big chip they’ll want to take off their shoulders after losing to the Dolphins earlier this season. With a recovered Ben Roethlisberger leading the offense, along with juggernaut Le’Veon Bell, and none other than Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh is arguably the most dangerous team to knock off even the top-seeded New England Patriots from its perch. Miami may turn out to be just another obstacle to overcome if they’re hungry enough (and they are).

Miami’s inexperience in this spot might prove to be a big factor. It’s the first time the Dolphins make the postseason since 2008 and quarterback Matt Moore has never taken a snap in the playoffs. Even if running back Jay Ajayi is no one to sneer at and could have a big game, he’s facing a be Steelers defense that’s the best since previous coordinator Dick LeBeau left.

Pick: It’s a big 10-point spread favoring the Steelers. That should give you some insight into what linesmen are expecting the game will end at. Most of the public is betting on Miami, I think otherwise and expect the Steelers to cover.

What: NFC Wild Card Playoff – New York Giants at Green Bay Packers
When: Sunday, January 08, 2017
Start Time: 4:40 PM ET
Stadium: Lambeau Field
Spread: Packers -4
Moneyline: Packers -215 vs Giants +185
Game Total: 44.5
Watch: FOX

Analysis: These two aren’t strangers to say the least; however, the Giants are led by none other than head coach Ben McAdoo who spent sixteen seasons with Green Bay as an assistant and coach which means New York has some insight into how things at Green Bay work.

Both teams have a couple of titans as quarterbacks; the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, while the Giants have Eli Manning. When you have three Super Bowl titles between the two, the least you can expect is one heck of a competition. Arguably, Rodgers is playing better this year which could be one big factor in Green Bay winning this game if not for the Giants’ formidable defense.

The Giants spent more than a fair share of money to load up on defense, hiring defensive linemen Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon, along with cornerback Janoris Jenkins. This gives New York as much stopping power as it needs to get Rodgers in very hot water.

Pick: The Packers are playing at home, but the Giants are much better on defense. Count on New York pulling a win.

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