So much for the Josh Allen “can’t play in the cold” narrative and Cincinnati breaks a 31-year old playoff win drought.
Two for two on the sides on Saturday with both favorites covering, which would be a +11 net on the season using unseen injury advantages. Only the Bills/Pats hit the over as we expected despite the cold, but who would have thought the Bengals/Raider would split eight FGs?
Let’s see if we can continue the winning playoff analysis with three Sunday Super Wild Card playoff games.
PHILADELPHIA +7.5 at TAMPA BAY
The Eagles have the biggest health advantage of this round of the playoffs over the Buccaneers. Philadelphia’s 11-point overall SIC score advantage published early this week may have contributed to the FanDuel line moving from 9 to now at 7.5. The Eagles are healthy defensively while the Bucs are without offensive weapons Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones, Chris Godwin, Cyril Grayson, Antonio Brown (cut), and Mike Evans still not 100% from a hamstring issue. Defensively, four key players are trying to suit up but at best will be less than full go. Lavante David is activated to play but his foot injury may have him limited. Shaq Barrett will play with a big knee brace after a MCL and partial ACL tear. Jamel Dean will have the tough task of playing slot CB with a hamstring issue. JPP has dealt with his shoulder issue all season. The weather may also favor the Philly ground attack. Not suggesting the Eagles (+290) are a lock to win but getting over a touchdown seem like the right side when considering health.
DALLAS -3 vs SAN FRANCISCO
The Cowboys are the healthiest team in the NFC and Jimmy Garoppolo’s thumb is improved but will still require the spica tape job and a numbing injection. Offensively, Dallas is completely healthy and SF has lingering defensive issues. The Cowboys defense only misses Keanu Neal and this leads to a SIC score differential that approaches double digits. The 49ers seem to be hot but Dallas is the right side by health here in what could be a high scoring game.
KANSAS CITY -12.5 vs PITTSBURGH
The Chiefs are the prohibitive favorites and perhaps a healthy T.J. Watt is the only chance the Steelers have as he faces a third string right tackle. Kansas City’s offensive line gets to face a steel curtain defense weak at defensive line. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are full go but even without Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Patrick Mahomes has plenty of weapons. The Chiefs defense is also healthy. Najee Harris will play with an elbow brace but may have issues with pass protection, catching and ball security. JuJu Smith-Schuster’s return three months after shoulder labral repair provides a psychological boost but we doubt he is full go and will need to wear a shoulder harness. The 10 point SIC score health advantage should lead to an easy double digit win.