Four games this weekend. Four chances to payoff those post Christmas bills.
CHIEFS plus-5 over the PATRIOTS:
It’s hard to bet against Tom Brady in a home playoff game at the Razor. Brady is 14-3 at home in the playoffs. But this looks like a spot for the underdog. The Chiefs have won 11 in a row and come into Foxboro a confident team. Their defense is outstanding giving up 17.9 points a game, third in the league. They have a league best 22 interceptions and a plus 14 turnover differential. Great stats for an underdog. Plus they can run the ball averaging 122 yards per game.
And what about Alex Smith the so called game manager? Well in his four career playoff starts Smith has been sensational. He has thrown 10 touchdown passes and only one interception and last week completed 70 percent of his passes against the Texans.
For the Patriots to win the game, and beat the spread they need a fast start and get a lead as the Chiefs are not built to come from behind. But I see this as a field goal game so with the five points, I have to take the underdog.
BRONCOS minus-3 over the STEELERS:
If Ben Roethlisberger were healthy and we knew if Antonio Brown could play I would love the Steelers in this game as Gentle Ben is 4-1 on the road in the post season. But Ben is hurting and will not be able to get the ball downfield. They played earlier this year and the Steelers erased a 14 point halftime deficit to win 34-27 as Ben went 40 for 55 for 380 yards. With a bum shoulder that will not happen again. The Broncos can rush the passer and there is real doubt in my mind whether Roethlisberger will be able to finish the game.
CARDINALS minus-7 over the PACKERS:
I think the Cardinals are the best team in the NFL. Their offense has been unstoppable this season scoring 30 points a game while averaging 408 passing yards a game. Thats incredible!
Don’t let the Packers win last week over the Redskins fool you. The Redskins are not a good football team and the Packers have been a fraud team all season. Before losing their last two games against the Cardinals and Vikings they won three in a row against the little sisters of the poor, the Raiders, Lions and Cowboys.
This is a big boy game on the road and the Cardinals have too much speed and skill players on both sides of the ball for the Packers. This is my best bet of the weekend.
SEAHAWKS plus-3 over the PANTHERS:
Toughest game of the weekend to handicap. Went back and forth over this game. While the Panthers come into this game well rested the Seahawks played in frigid Minnesota last weekend then have to travel across the country to play a 1:00pm game on the east coast. Big negatives. But if any team can overcome that it’s the Seahawks. They have been as good as anyone team down the stretch winning 6 of their last 7 games. Defensively they have the speed to at least slow down Cam Newton. But the Panthers are good, very good. This will be a close game and moist likely the best game of the weekend. I give the edge to Seattle getting points.