January 12, 2019
For the gambling degenerates, here are my NFL divisional round picks. To note, the team logos indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.
Last week, we picked three underdogs to win, and they all did! This week, it's straight chalk.
Colts at Chiefs (-5.5): Last week, all three quarterbacks starting in their first ever playoff game -- Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, and Lamar Jackson -- were bounced. There are now 34 active NFL quarterbacks who have started at least 1 playoff game, and only 10 won their first playoff start. There's only one quarterback in the divisional round of the playoffs, the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, who is set to make his first playoff start this weekend.
I like Mahomes' chances better than the others, because (A) he's freaking awesome, and (B) the Chiefs are much better than the three teams with first-time playoff starters that lost last weekend. He should be just fine with explosive weapons around him, in a home environment.
Of course, the Colts are very dangerous. After starting 1-5, Frank Reich and the gang have since gone 10-1. This season, a common Colts story has been Andrew Luck's arm strength, or lack thereof. I personally don't have a strong opinion there, but it should be put to the test Saturday in cold, potentially windy conditions at Arrowhead. While I don't know how Luck's arm will fare in those conditions, I have no such concerns with Mahomes.
On a side note, while Andy Reid has certainly suffered his share of crushing playoff losses, he is usually masterful when his teams have an extra week to prepare for their next opponent.
Cowboys at Rams (-7): The Rams allow 122.3 rushing yards per game (23rd in the NFL), and 5.1 rushing yards per attempt (worst in the NFL). On paper, that makes them a bad matchup defensively against a team that loves to pound the run, shorten the game, and control the clock. Of course, the Rams will have a huge matchup advantage of their own on that side of the ball, as rookie LG Connor Williams, who was not awesome this season, will see his share of star DT Aaron Donald.
On the other side of the ball, while the Rams' offense faltered a bit down the stretch in losses to the Bears and Eagles, it is still a powerhouse when Todd Gurley is healthy. Gurley did not appear on the Rams' injury report this week. To be determined how close to 100 percent he is.
Chargers at Patri*ts (-4.5): The Chargers are better than the Patri*ts, however, they are at a huge disadvantage heading into matchup, on multiple scheduling fronts. To begin, this will be their third straight road game, which is not easy. They played in Denver Week 17, in Baltimore in the wildcard round, and now they'll have to make a second consecutive trip to the east coast to play a 1:00 p.m. EST game. That seems kind of ridiculous for a team that tied for the best record in the conference.
Otherwise, it's January football at Gillette Stadium, which means it's #CheatingSzn up in New England.
Eagles at Saints (-8): Here are 10 reasons why the Eagles are in better position to beat the Saints this Sunday than they were back in November:
So do the Eagles have hope? You bet your ass they do. Still, I'm taking Brees at home.
• Picks against the spread: Cowboys (+7).
• Eagles picks: 10-7
• 2018 season, straight up 169-92-2 (0.646)
• 2018 season, ATS: 41-34-2 (0.545)
• 2017 season, straight up: 181-86 (0.678)
• 2017 season, ATS: 36-32-2 (0.529)
• 2016 season, straight up: 171-94-2 (0.644)
• 2016 season, ATS: 41-34 (0.547)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)
• Last 4 years, ATS: 164-130-6 (0.557)
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports
Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader