Ultimate Pick 6: NFC Playoffs Teams to Continue Making Super Bowl Cases
Week after week the overall record continues to get worse, but I can’t stress to you enough to take a long and hard look at my “Lock of the Week” as that season record continues to steadily climb as the overall record currently sits at 7-2. I will keep this week's intro short and sweet as there is not much I can say after continued poor performances week in and week out other than I must be better.
Hey, it can’t get worse right? A lot of great games this week where I really like the road in a lot of them. Let’s break it down and get right into it:
Denver Broncos +5 vs. Buffalo Bills
For me, this is a bet I feel extremely weird about making. On one hand, you have the Denver Broncos who are coming off a devastating Week 11 loss that saw them blow a multiple-score lead, on the road against a potential playoff team, during a season that has seemingly been over since Week 4. On the other hand, you have the Buffalo Bills who are coming off a solid inner-division win, adding to their overall impressive 7-3 season as their eyes stay focused on the playoffs.
However, some might call me crazy but I just simply think that the Broncos are a better team than the Bills. If you look at the Bills seven wins this year, the best team they have beaten thus far is the Tennessee Titans. Their other six wins came against the Washington Redskins, the Cincinnati Bengals, the New York Giants, the New York Jets and two against the Miami Dolphins. The combined record of the teams they have beat is an astounding 13-47.
As for the Broncos, their 3-7 record is absolutely nothing to write home about, but four of their seven losses were within 3 points or less. A couple missed or made kicks here and there, we could be talking about the Broncos making a push for a 2019 Wild Card berth. Although I do believe the Bills have one of the best defenses in the NFL, I do not believe the Broncos are that far behind them.
Offensively, I think Denver has actually started to click under backup quarterback Brandon Allen, allowing Courtland Sutton to show that he is one of the best up-and-coming wideouts in the game. If the Broncos can force a few Josh Allen turnovers in this one, I think they cover the +5 without a problem.
**The Broncos are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
Oakland Raiders -3 vs. New York Jets
The Raiders are just the better team. In all honesty here, if I really break this down, it’s not so much that I am betting on the Raiders as much as I am betting against the Jets.
The Jets fooled me once already this year after beating a then solid Dallas Cowboys team and then went out and got absolutely embarrassed by the New England Patriots in the following week. The consistency has not been there for me yet to truly buy-in on them when playing a halfway decent team.
Now I know they are coming off two straight wins, but those came against a pair of teams that I would consider to be worse than the Jets this season in the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins.
People are bringing up that the Raiders have won all their games by practically a single possession in each game and having to scratch and claw for each win. I would use that same anecdote to support my case in that I see that as a “gear-up” statement game for where they go out and blow the doors off a much weaker team before starting their big playoff push. John Gruden will have his guys more than ready for this one. I’m taking the Raiders here -2.5.
**The Raiders are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games and 4-1 ATS against the New York Jets. The Jets are 4-8 in their last 12 games.
Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints -10
This season for the Carolina Panthers is beginning to look a lot like last year. A season that included a red hot start in which they looked like a serious playoff threat to a team that was fighting just to stay above .500.
Admittedly, I was a BIG Kyle Allen early on this season, but ever since his game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, he has looked totally incapable of running the offense effectively as his turnovers have seemingly gotten out of control. Unfortunately for the young quarterback, it doesn’t get any easier any time soon as the Panthers are now tasked with having to go into the Superdome to take on division foe and legitimate Super Bowl contender in the New Orleans Saints.
I give the Saints a lot of credit as they took care of business last week by blowing out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a week after dropping an absolute stunner to the near-dead Atlanta Falcons. A loss that could have easily thrown off the momentum on what was at that time a near-perfect season.
I don’t think the Saints take their foot off the gas pedal in this one as their dominant defense will take care of the Panthers’ struggling quarterback, while I see their elite offense taking complete advantage of a defense that ranks in the bottom third of the league in nearly all defensive categories. The Saints continue to their climb for the Lombardi as they cover the -10 easily.
**The Saints are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games
Seattle Seahawks +1.5 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
This is another line that I just don’t quite get. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Philadelphia Eagles do have a significant home-field advantage in this one over the Seattle Seahawks as Lincoln Financial Field is one tough place to play, but not enough to where the Eagles kickoff this game as the favorite.
In my opinion, I think the Seahawks are legitimate threats to win the Super Bowl this year, whereas I don’t even think the Eagles should be considered a Wild Card threat going forward. Much like I did in the Broncos vs. Bills game, I want to take a look at the team’s records here.
The Seahawks are an impressive 8-2 with their only two losses coming to two teams who will be right up towards the top when this season is all said in done in the New Orleans Saints and the Baltimore Ravens. Although the Eagles do have a nice quality win on the road against the Green Bay Packers, their only other wins came against a weak-scheduled Buffalo Bills team and three other teams that are well below .500 in the Chicago Bears, New York Jets and the Washington Redskins.
As I’m handicapping this game I realized the theme for this week and that is to just keep it simple. The Eagles are not even in the same class as the Seahawks, especially with Alshon Jeffery, Lane Johnson and Jordan Howard being questionable. I’m sticking with the potential MVP in Russell Wilson in this one and hammering the Seahawks +1.5 and the ML.
**The Seahawks are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games. The Seahawks are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 games as an underdog. The Seahawks are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
Green Bay +3 vs. San Francisco 49ers
FRAUD ALERT! This one is even worse than hackers selling your Disney+ account. We call it a Jimmy Garoppolo.
Now, I know that we are talking about the starting quarterback for a team that’s tied for the NFL’s best record, but I just cannot and will not get behind him.
Anytime you turn the lights on for this guy, he falls apart under the pressure. Anybody who watched their game two weeks back on Monday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks knows exactly what I’m talking about, as turnovers and ill-advised throws became a serious problem late.
If you tell me I’m playing a team that’s 3-7, then sure I’d love to have Jimmy as my quarterback, but when it comes down to playing another NFL contender, I’m staying far away from him. Oh, in fact, that’s exactly who his San Francisco 49ers are going up against this week, the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers. A team quarterbacked by one of the greatest big-game playmakers of all time in Aaron Rodgers.
Let’s also not forget that the Packers had an extra week to prepare for this game as they had a bye last week while the 49ers were barely getting by the Arizona Cardinals at home.
I just can’t get my mind off of the Seahawks game from Week 10, which proved to the league that the 49ers are beatable at home. I think Rodgers walks into this one and shows Garoppolo what it looks like to be a winner. I’m all over the Packers +3 and the ML in this Sunday night matchup.
**The Packers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games. The Packers are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games.
Baltimore Ravens -3.5 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Week 12 wraps up with what should be a great matchup on paper between the Baltimore Ravens and the Los Angeles Rams, but after watching both of these teams the last few weeks, I’m not sure it will be. The one thing the Rams still have going for them is the fact that their defense is still very good despite currently having a lot of new faces at a lot of different positions compared to when their season started.
However, their offense just hasn’t repeated the successes we’re used to seeing over the last few years. In their defense, they haven’t really had the opportunity to keep their dominant receiving trio in Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp healthy at the same time. It's possible that Woods and Cooks come back this week and change that. My only problem is with the guy getting them the ball in Jared Goff as he has failed to impress more often than not.
Unfortunately for the Rams, they won’t have any time to work on getting that chemistry back as they will be tasked with keeping up with another potential MVP candidate and likely front runner in Lamar Jackson. The Ravens have just looked so good in every area that I just don’t see where the Rams could get an edge here. If the Ravens can get by LA’s formidable defense by putting up at least 20 points I think they win this one without any sort of problems. I’m planning on the Ravens to crush any post-season hopes the Rams may still have by beating them by a score or two and covering the -3.5 in the process.
"Recep-back. Just lounging at the crib." 🗣 pic.twitter.com/6Y9n06FJsD— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 20, 2019
Season Record: 23-37
Lock of the Week 7-2
Cover photo provided by Packers.com