Despite the Pittsburgh Steelers failure to make the playoffs, the NFL has inexplicably decided to continue on with the 2018 season regardless and first up on the schedule are two Wildcard matchups that have the Houston Texans hosting the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks travelling to the Dallas Cowboys.
After 17 weeks of steering you in the wrong direction with our weekly game picks, while Jeff Hartman was the clear winner in our head-to-head competition both against the spread and versus the totals, neither of us will be quitting our day jobs to become professional gamblers anytime soon. However, that won’t stop us from having another go at getting it right this weekend, starting with Saturday’s contests.
The Texans are currently listed as 1.5-points favorites for the game having opened as 2.5-point favorite earlier in the week, with the totals position showing at 48.5-points as of Saturday morning.
SC Prediction - The Texans might not have much of a post-season pedigree, but they should win their matchup against the Colts at Reliant Stadium on the back of their defense this Saturday. Giving up just 17-points a game at home this season, Houston are a difficult team to score against on the road, while their +13 turnover differential bodes well for their success in the playoffs. The total has gone under in 12 of the last 17 games between these two teams, according to oddsshark.com, and a total of 48.5-points seems rather high for a game featuring two teams that rank among the Top. 10 in scoring defense in 2018.
Pick: Texans -1.5 and Under 48.5 points.
JH Prediction - For once the Wild Card games seem to be stellar from start-to-finish, and the opening game vs. AFC South rivals should be a good one. The regular season saw these two teams go 1-1 against each other, and the Texans are giving 1.5 points to Andrew Luck and company. When looking at this game from a gambling view, I like the Colts to get the win on the road.
Pick: Colts win straight up, and getting the 1.5 points. I’ll also take the OVER thinking this game will be higher scoring than many think.
The Dallas Cowboys opened as 2.5-point favorites on Sunday and are still available as 2-point favorites at the time of writing, while an initial over/under of 41.5-points has been replaced by a more common offering of 43.5-points with most sportsbooks.
SC Prediction - The Cowboys have been far from convincing this season and it would not be a surprise to see them struggle at home to a team they lost to earlier in the season. Dak Prescott has been erratic at times and is sure to feel the pressure against a Seahawks team with more playoff experience. With Seattle leading the NFL with a +15 turnover differential, mistake should be expected from an inexperienced Cowboys team. Given the Seahawks have not scored less than 20 points since Week 9, the over looks good value regardless of the team you pick to win.
Pick: Seahawks +2 and Over 43.5 points.
JH Prediction - I’ve never been a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, and I have to say I feel this has swayed my picks from time-to-time. However, in the playoffs you have to pick with your brain, not your heart. Luckily for me, my head and heart agree in this one with the road team going into Dallas and getting the win. I like the Seahawks’ ability to run the football, and Russell Wilson’s battle-tested abilities on the road against a very inconsistent Dak Prescott and Cowboys unit.
Pick: I’ll take the Seahawks straight up, all while getting points. However, I’ll take the under in this one, thinking scoring will be at a premium.
Please feel free to add your selections in the comments section below and we will tally an overall winner at the end of Wildcard weekend.