We made it to the playoffs! Now we can look back at the regular season and see how we did. We ended the season by tying our highest pick percentage at 12-4, or 75%. Not bad! And most of our props hit. Bonus!
On the season we went 155 of 263, which is 59% accurate. That’s less than what I had hoped for, but there is a bigger story here.
13 weeks above 50% accuracy which is good.
2 weeks were pushes at 50% – Week 8, and Week 16
Our worst week was Week 7 at 3-10
In the first half of the season, we were 69 correct of 129, or 53%.
In the last half we went 86 of 134, or 64%.
In these past 3 weeks we have gone 31 of 48, or 70.5%. It took a whole season to zero in, but it looks like we got there. Now it’s time to ride!
The Wild Card Games
Cleveland at Houston
We got ourselves a warm-weather game here. It looks like Houston will be 64 degrees and clear at kick off. Even though this stadium has a retractable roof, it’s not well insulated from the cold. The weather and location should make a great playing environment and for the cleanest game of the weekend.
These two teams played in week 16 but it was a period where Stroud didn’t play. This was also the game that Amari Cooper went off for 265 yards and 2 TDs.
This time Stroud is back, the Cleveland secondary is dinged up, and someone will probably cover Cooper this time around. Things look up and will likely be closer than the last game (14 points)
The machine still likes Cleveland in a close, lower-scoring game.
Miami at Kansas City
This game is tragic. By all accounts it appears that Miami is the better team. But the weather has to be addressed. It’s looking like wind chill of -25. That means that in 24 hours the Dolphins go experience a 95 degree drop in temperature as they travel from Miami to KC. That will be extreme in any case, but then they have to play a high stakes game.
Both teams will probably lean on the ground game more than usual to take pressure off the QBs.
I have to mention that Tua hasn’t won a game under 50 degrees yet in his career. KC will likely win handily in a sloppy game.
Pittsburgh at Buffalo
While 15 degrees and snow is almost balmy for Buffalo in January, Pittsburgh is able to handle it just fine.
The surprise here is that Pittsburgh is much closer of a matchup than expected. As of late, Rudolph has bumped up the passing game to existent levels not seen in years. While it’s not going to scare Buffalo’s defense, it at least opens up the offense and gives them a chance.
The Pittsburgh defense is set to cause problems and get after Josh Allen. He will need to escape and scramble to keep drives alive. But in sloppy weather it looks like lots of sacks and maybe a few turnovers will decide this game.
Ultimately it looks like Buffalo prevails, but -9 seems absurd.
Green Bay at Dallas
On paper this doesn’t look like much of a match up. It’s the only game this week where one team is superior in every stat category that I track. Dallas looks like a clear favorite. Lucky for them, they are playing inside which will negate the Wisconsin weather that the Packers brough with them. This should be a safe Wild Card round for Dallas which will hopefully set up a quality path for a deeper playoff run.
Los Angeles at Detroit
Here is another game that is indoors. And it’s our only game this week where both offenses crush the opposing defenses. It’s looking like a shoot out! Both offenses have tons of weapons, and both defenses have very little history of stopping quality offenses. Over 51.5 looks like money.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay
Finally, our sloppiest game of the week is also the warmest. Tampa is looking like 66 degrees and rain which complicates and already complicated picture. This outcome depends entirely on Jalen Hurt’s ability. If he plays like himself the Eagles won’t have an issue. However, a dislocated middle finger on his throwing hand might not allow him to grip, throw accurately, or even throw at all. This is especially important on a wet, slippery ball.
If Hurts plays and is 75% of his ability or less, or not at all, then Tampa has a real shot to win. Philly did just lose handily to the Giants who is a decent comparison to Tampa. All-in-all, Tampa Bay at anything greater than +3 seems like a steal. Mike Evans should also be a big start this week.
A 7-seed has not won a playoff game since the seed was introduced in 2020. But this is the perfect scenario for Tampa to pull the ultimate Wild Card upset.
The Wild Card Picks
Cleveland over Houston
Kansas City over Miami
Buffalo over Pittsburgh
Dallas over Green Bay
Detroit over LA Rams
Tampa Bay over Philadelphia ***
*** Assuming Hurts cannot play.