Like some of the NFL teams did with their players, I rested last week. That awful showing you saw with my picks came from my backup. It wasn’t me. Blame the backup. He was terrible. I was getting ready for the postseason.
OK. It was me. I played, and I got abused. LOOOOOOSER.
That certainly is not the week I wanted heading into the playoffs. I went 7-9 ATS, 8-8 straight up and 2-4 with my Best Bets as part of the Pick Six Podcast. That brings my season records to 144-125-3 ATS, 168-103-1 straight up and 59-54 with my Best Bets.
I do like the Super Wild Card Weekend games this week, so I am getting back on track.
My backup did a terrible job last week when I sat out, so I am ready to go.
Bring on the playoffs.
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
The Raiders got into the playoffs by beating the Chargers on Sunday night, while the Bengals are coming off a loss where they rested most of their top players. That’s an edge to the Bengals. Cincinnati has an explosive offense, but the Raiders counter with a wicked pass rush. This will be decided by how well the Bengals can protect Joe Burrow. I think they do it well enough to win the game, but it will be close. The Bengals win their first playoff game since the 1990 season.
Pick: Bengals 27, Raiders 24
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)
This is the third game featuring these two this season, with each winning on the other’s field. New England won the first meeting in a wind storm in early December, while the Bills dominated the Pats at their place in late December. The weather is expected to be cold, but not that windy. That means Josh Allen can have success throwing the football. The Patriots haven’t been the same team on the road, especially quarterback Mac Jones. Look for the Bills to take away the run and dare him to beat them. He won’t. The Bills will be moving on.
Pick: Bills 30, Patriots 17
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Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs beat the Eagles, 28-22, in Week 6 on a Thursday night. The Eagles were struggling at the time, especially running the football. But it was after that game that their run game took off when they made a commitment to it, resulting in them leading the league in rushing. That will be the key here, but the Bucs are good against the run. Tampa Bay did give up 109 rushing yards per game in the last three, well over their season