Well, I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and weeks 16 and 17. The Vikings are officially working towards fall of 2021 and I am excited for the playoffs. I have officially announced on Twitter and Instagram (@RaphikeyDaLEO) that I will be an avid Bills fan for the remainder of the year. I did not post picks for Week 17, so I won’t include them in my overall record. I was enjoying a nice mental break. I did pretty-well yesterday though! I hope everyone else did as well.
Now, I am home and ready for some playoff football! As far as records go, I am going to be wiping the slate clean for the playoffs, and no longer picking as many picks, but just picking the picks I really like and keeping that record.
Thanks for reading!
Week 16 Games Record: 4-5 | Overall: 46 – 41 – 3 (53%) | Week 15 O/U Record: 4-5 | Overall O/U: 10-19 (30%)
Week 16 Pick Summary:
Atlanta +11* / Over 54
Buffalo -7 / Under 46
Titans +3.5 / Over 56
Vikings +7 / Over 51
Browns -9.5 / Under 47
Buccaneers -7 / Over 51
Giants +11 / Under 45
Steelers ML / Over 54
Cardinals -5 / Over 48.5
*Denotes a line change when I entered bets
Regular Season Recap:
Kudos to the NFL and all its players and personnel. Frankly I don’t care how they got it done. But, giving people like me something to care about on a weekly basis while we are responsibly staying home was awesome. It was interesting to see the teams that were able to get ramped up right away, versus some of the teams that came on later in the season. The biggest surprise for me this season was how inconsistent some of the teams were week in and week out. Every year there are upsets, or surprise wins and losses. This year there just seemed to be an understandable level of uncertainty each week. It will be interesting to hear feedback from the players on whether or not four preseason games are necessary and if they think about moving to a 17 game / 18-week season in the future. The NFC East being a complete cluster fuck was funny to me and entertaining. The offseason is going to be just entertaining enough to get us through the summer to next season.
As for the Vikings, the pieces are there. I have engaged in many conversations on Twitter and I think the consensus is that if Kendricks and Barr were healthy all year, we would be a playoff team. Not a Super Bowl team, but a playoff team. I think in order to be a Super Bowl team; the organization needs to get a sense of consistency and discipline. Discipline can’t come without consistency. With Kubiak retiring, that means if we keep Kirk, it will just be another offensive scheme he needs to learn. I think we can make changes in the offseason to get back into the playoffs in 2021, but if we want a Super Bowl, we need to start putting things in place with a long-term approach.
Now let’s get to this week’s games and the picks!
Super Wild Card Weekend Preview and Picks:
Buffalo Bills (-6.5, O/U 51) vs Indianapolis Colts (Saturday 1:05pm)
This is one of the only games I don’t think is going to be close. The Bills have had a bad taste in their mouth since last year’s playoffs. I do not anticipate them letting this game get close. They have been dominant the last the last seven games of the season. They were 11-5 ATS all season and 7-0 their last seven. I think the Bills are going to spread the Colts defense out and make a few big plays to pull ahead and never look back. The secondary for the Colts got exposed when they lost to the Steelers and I bet that will be a target for Josh Allen and the Bills. Then they can turn to Singletary and the running game to ice this thing. I will be on the over, because Rivers will get on the board and be looking to play catch up.
Seattle Seahawks (-3.5, O/U 42.5) vs Los Angeles Rams (Saturday 4:40pm)
This game is so hard to pick, both the spread and the over / under. If the Rams are going to win, they are going to do it on the back of their defense and their running game. For the Seahawks, Metcalf has only scored two touchdowns since November 8th and only had 8 receptions for 87 yards in the two games versus the Rams. If Seattle can get there passing game going and protect Wilson, I think they win this game. For me though, I will side with the team with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. They are going to make Wilson and the Seattle Offense make mistakes. I like the Rams to potentially win this game, so I will take them with the points and under the total.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-9 O/U 45) at Washington Football Team (Saturday 8:15pm)
Speaking of defenses, Washington should be thanking their defense for being in the playoffs. Young and Sweat are monsters on their line. Challenge is, Tampa has been able to do a good job protecting Brady. Also, Tampa’s defense isn’t too bad themselves. In yards per game as a defense Washington was number two in the regular season, while the Bucs were number six. I hate that 60% of the money is on the Bucs, which is why I am leaning towards this potentially being a low scoring game and Washington keeping it close. If I look back at the Bucs success, many of those games were against teams with poor defenses. Brady is lethal if he has time to throw, but if they can pressure him, he will throw some picks. I hate this, but I am going to go with the Washington Football team, and the under. I may also sprinkle moneyline here, because I can see things starting to spiral if there isn’t instant success for the Bucs. AB and TB may have it out on the sidelines.
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5, O/U 54.5) at Tennessee Titans (Sunday 1:05pm)
This game is either going to be the shootout I am hoping for, or a game of errors. I am hoping for a shootout, so I am going to bet the over right out of the gate. No real reason why, except I think there’s a good shot this thing gets out of control up and down the field. I also am going to take the team with the 2000-yard rusher. I just can’t over think this game. The pressure is huge for Lamar in Baltimore to get his first playoff win, and I don’t think that comes this weekend. I think it will put Harbaugh on the hot seat and things in Baltimore will get interesting this offseason.
New Orleans Saints (-10, O/U 47) vs Chicago Bears (Sunday 4:40pm)
I feel bad for the Bears fans. I feel bad, because this could have been the Vikings. Getting ready for a playoff game as a double-digit underdog is hard to do as a fan. You want to believe so bad. You just don’t want to let yourself get too high. Crazy thing is, these two teams played in Week 7 and the Bears lost by three. 66% of the money is on New Orleans right now. For that reason, I will take the Bears with the double digit points as well as the over. If the line shifts though, and it dips back into single-digits, I will be back on the Saints.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-6, O/U 47.5) vs Cleveland Browns (Sunday 8:15pm)
Do we even know who for the Browns is playing at this point? I do know that Hunt and Chubb are playing. I also know that Ben will be on two weeks of rest. The question to me is which QB will rise to the occasion. Will Baker make the most of this playoff appearance, or will Ben take advantage of what may be his last time in the playoffs? I just have so many images of players dropping passes for the Steelers. I may regret this, but I am going to take the points again with the Browns and fade the public. I would not be surprised if the line moves more as more and more people pick the Steelers. I am also going to take the over in what may turn into a game where once one team scores, the flood gates open.
Bills -6.5 / Over 51
Rams +3.5 / Under 42.5
Washington +9 / under 45
Titans +3.5 / Over 54.5
Bears +10 / Over 47
Browns +6 / Over 47.5
I am so excited for this weekend of football with two extra games. I hope it goes well and opens up discussion for a more expanded playoff moving forward.
Thanks again for reading!
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