After 17 weeks we start the final push to the Super Bowl with Wild Card weekend. Saturday and Sunday games will be fast and furious. Should be an interesting set of matchups that will continue to the next round.
Here’s the final results from the 2017 season.
Head to head: 9-7
Against the Spread: 8-7-1
Season to Date
Head to head: 168-93
Against the Spread: 119-87-33
All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com
Saturday, January 6
Tennessee at Kansas City
Line – Chiefs by 8
On offense, this game favors the Chiefs with QB Alex Smith throwing for over 4,000 yards and 26 TD’s this season. Rookie Kareem Hunt rushed for over 1,300 yards and scored 8 TD’s. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce each had over 1,000 yards receiving. Overall, the Chiefs had 375.4 total yards for the year. Compare that with the Titans’ 314 total yards. Marcus Mariota threw for over 3,200 yards and 13 TD’s but he had 15 interceptions on the year. Much of the rushing yards were split between DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry who each had over 650 yards. Delanie Walker was the leading receiver with 807 yards and 3 TD’s. On Defense, the Titans lead in that category with 328 yards given up to 365.1 to the Chiefs. Much of that was on run defense, where they only gave up 88.8 yards per game. Derik Morgan and Brian Orakpo led the team with 7.5 and 7 sacks on the year. Kevin Byard has 8 picks on the year. Chiefs Linebacker Justin Houston leads the team with 9.5 sacks, Marcus Peters has 5 interceptions on the year. The Chiefs are peaking at the right time after a mid-season swoon. They get the home field advantage against a Titans team that struggled to clinch the wild card. Look for the Chiefs to win a tough game with the home field being used to their advantage.
Smooth’s Pick – Kansas City (27-16)
Atlanta at LA Rams
Line – Rams by 6½
The Rams host their first playoff game since 2005 and the first in LA in 24 years. This is a pretty evenly matched offense with both teams getting over 360 total yards. Jared Goff had a 100.5 QB rating with over 3,800 passing 28 TD and just 7 interceptions. Todd Gurley had over 1,300 yards rushing and 13 TD on the season. He also had 788 yards receiving and 6 TD. Matt Ryan threw for over 4,000 yards with 20 TD’s and 12 interceptions. Devonta Freeman scored 7 TD’s on the year with 865 yards rushing. The high powered receiving corps is led by Julio Jones who had over 1,400 yards and 3 TD’s. On Defense is where the difference could be, with the Falcons getting a slight advantage. Defensive end Adam Clayborn leads the team with 9.5 sacks, Deion Jones had 3 interceptions to the team. On the Rams side, Aaron Donald leads the team with 11 sacks LaMarcus Jordan and Mark Barron tie the team with 3 picks on the year. With the Rams able to rest their top players last week, they can take full advantage over the defending NFC champions. But it won’t be easy, the Falcons will have to win all their games on the road to get back to the Super Bowl. If there’s a team that can do it, it’s the dirty birds.
Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (27-24)
Sunday, January 7
Buffalo at Jacksonville
Line – Jags by 9
It’s hard to believe the Bills were able to weather their QB issues and make the playoffs for the first time on 18 years. Offensively they’re over matched against the Jags, Tyrod Taylor had only 2,799 yards passing with 14 TD’s. Much of the offense was on the ground with LeSean McCoy leading the way with over 1,100 yards rushing and 6 TD’s. Receiving has been nonexistent, with Charles Clay one of five players with over 2 TD’s in the air. As for the Jags, Blake Bortles threw for over 3,600 t=yards, 21 TD’s and 13 interceptions. Rookie Leonard Fournette reached over 1,000 yards and scored 9 TD’s on the season. Marquise Lee and Keelan Cole each had over 700 receiving yards on the season with 3 TD’s each. On defense, it doesn’t get any better for Buffalo, as they’re overmatched giving up 355 yards to Jacksonville’s 286.1. The Jags have to big guys with over 10 sacks between them, defensive ends Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue. AJ Bouye leads the team with 6 interceptions. Defensive end Jerry Hughes leads the bills with 4 sacks, while Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer each have 5 picks on the year. On paper it looks like a cakewalk for the Jags, but the Bills will need to slow the pace down and depend heavily on LeSean McCoy, who is day-to-day with an ankle injury. Anything can happen on any given Sunday…just not this one.
Smooth’s Pick – Jacksonville (35-12)
Carolina at New Orleans
Line – Saints by 7
Division rivals will have to face each other to move on to the next round. The Saints are a much better team on offense than the Panthers. Drew Brees leads the way with over 4,300 yards passing 23 TD’s and only 8 Interceptions. He also has a 103.9 QB rating. Mark Ingram leads the team with over 1,100 yards rushing and 12 TD’s. Michael Thomas led all receivers with over 1,200 yards and 5 TD’s. Carolina leads with QB Cam Newton threw for over 3,300 yards passing and 22 TD’s, he also rushed for over 750 yards on the year, leading the team in that category with 6 TD’s Devin Funchess was his go-to guy in the air. He had 840 yards receiving with 8 TD’s. On defense, the Panthers have the edge, 317 to 336 total yards given up. Both teams have given up only 20 points per game on the season. Julius Peppers and Mario Addison each have 11 sacks on the season. Luke Kuechly leads the team with 3 picks on the year. For the Saints, Cameron Jordan is their sack master. He leads the team with 13 on the season. Marshon Lattimore has 5 interceptions on the year. As for the game, this may be the best of the weekend. For the Panthers, it’s going to depend on their versatile QB Cam Newton to win. The Saints look to get their third in a row on the year. A tough task, but it helps to be home to do it.
Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (27-17)
Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.