Wild card weekend is upon us and there are 4 games to be played starting Saturday afternoon. The first game features the Texans Vs the Bills with Houston at home in the match up as they won their division and earned a home game. Both teams finished the season with a 10-6 record. Just eyeballing these teams the Bills got here based on their stellar defense while the Texans have a more balanced team with a decent offense and a decent defense. I believe the Bills would probably win this game if they were at home but I have to go with the home team in this game. 1. they are less than a 3 point favorite meaning if they win, they likely cover. 2. They have the better offense and as long as they get chances I expect them to put up some points. The Bills have had some trouble scoring the ball all year and tend to play a ball control/defensive style and while that can win you some games I don't think it's going to work in the playoffs where you will inevitably face better teams. In the end I think the Texans hold serve at home and win what might be a relatively close game. Final score prediction Texans 20 Bills 13.
The Saturday night game has the upstart Titans travelling to Foxboro to take on the Patriots. The Patriots looked like a falling star to end the year having lost 3 of their last 5 games coming into the playoffs including a huge loss last week to the Dolphins that kept them from earning a bye week. The Titans came on strong late in the year after changing QBs from Marcus Mariota to Ryan Tannehill. They also feature the leagues leading rusher in Derrick Henry. I already hear and see the talk online about how the Patriots are done and that the Titans are going to beat them come Saturday night. They just might but my hunch is that it goes the other way, this is the playoffs, this is Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at home in a night game. I expect that Patriot defense to show up big, and for them to game plan an offense and for them to take away what the Titans do best. I expect the Patriots to come out and win this game at home and likely by more than the number.
The first Sunday game has the Vikings taking on the Saints in New Orleans. The spread on this game is a whopping 8 points. The Saints are a very good team but the Vikings have a good team as well and I think they are more than capable of keeping this game close. Their chances likely hinge on the performance of Kirk Cousins and that might prove to be the difference in this game as I would take Drew Brees in that matchup all day. I think the Saints ultimately win the game but not by 8 or more points.
The game to cap the weekend off has the Seahawks going to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. These 2 teams already played this year and Seattle came out on top in that one 17-9. One thing I always look for in playoff matchups is whether the teams played during the regular season. Typically it's a wise strategy to the opposite way in the playoff rematch but this line is shaded more towards Philadelphia. Typically teams with a better record are favored going into the game by a wider margin than just 1 point. This usually gives some great value on the underdog but you don't really get that here. I think this game will be very close and could end with either team winning. Seattle has been pulling out close games all year though and they could get this one too. In the end I'll just go with my strategy of taking the underdog although there isn't a whole lot of value to be had, which is why I have it listed as my lowest confidence points play of the weekend.