With the NFL still insisting on continuing the postseason without the Pittsburgh Steelers, it is another weekend without the Black and Gold as we reach the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Improving slightly on our regular season form, Jeff Hartman was an impressive 4-0 against the spread for the Wild Card games, but a disappointing 1-3 versus the totals. While I was 4-0 versus the totals and a pedestrian 2-2 against the spread.
Saturday features two home teams as solid favorites for games they look good value to win on paper, but both with starting quarterbacks who have never won a playoff game. First up on the schedule is the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Indianapolis Colts, a contest the Chiefs are favored to win by 5-points with the totals position set at 57-points.
SC Prediction - While the Chiefs have been almost unstoppable this season, their games have been far less once sided since issues with Kareem Hunt emerged and his subsequent release. Kansas City have struggled to stop most teams offensively all year long and face a surging Indianapolis outfit with one of the NFL’s best offensive line in 2018. A potential recipe for disaster against Andrew Luck. Given Andy Reid disastrous playoff record and the history of young quarterbacks in their postseason debuts, the Colts should be considered for the outright win on Saturday.
Pick: Take the Colts to win against the spread with +5-points and to win straight up, with the total going under 57-points.
JH Prediction - These divisional round games are tough to pick, especially vs. the spread. The Chiefs’ offense will be the main talking point, but I just feel they lost some luster when they parted ways, rightfully so, with running back Kareem Hunt. The one, and only, thing the Chiefs’ defense does well is sack the quarterback, and the Colts have been doing a tremendous job protecting Andrew Luck. I have a feeling this game is going to go down to the wire.
Pick: I’ll take the Chiefs to win their first home playoff game since Joe Montana was the quarterback there, but I’ll take the Colts getting points in this one. As for the totals, I’ll take the UNDER as the weather conditions are going to be dicey.
An opening line of 7-points has stayed constant throughout the week and the Los Angeles Rams remain a touchdown favorite for their matchup with the Dallas Cowboys as of Friday night, while the totals position is showing at 49.5-points.
SC Prediction - Having struggled to believe the Cowboys would get past the Seattle Seahawks at home, it is impossible to recommend backing them on the road against a much stronger Rams team. Just like the Chiefs, Los Angeles have not been as convincing as they were through the first 13 weeks of the season, but their defense should be far too much for Dallas to handle on Saturday if they play to form. Averaging 32.9-points a game, second in the league only to Kansas City, the Rams should have no problem outscoring the Cowboys at home.
Pick: Rams to win the game outright and against the spread with -7-points, with the total to go over 49.5-points.
JH Prediction - If you listen to mainstream media, you would think the Cowboys were favored in this game. However, the Rams are a team that is going to be tough to beat, especially at home. You can talk about how the Cowboys will have a lot of fans there, or even how their defense is one of the most improved units in the NFL, but when it comes to strength vs. strength, you have to think the Rams offense vs. the Dallas defense will be the marquee matchup. In the end, I think this game will be a close one too, but I like the Rams offense to win out.
Pick: Again, I’ll take the Rams straight up, but will take the Cowboys getting a monster touchdown spread. As for the totals, I’ll take the under as weather could impact the productivity of both offenses.
Please add your selections in the comments section below and we will tally an overall winner at the end of postseason.