The NFL playoffs have arrived and with them apparently so has Tremendous Wild-Card Weekend. That is the title the NFL is giving this weekend, which is nice, as a result of it options three video games every day and induced a number of individuals (ahem) to cancel their youngsters’s birthday events for work. Such is life in a soccer full pandemic. Make certain and watch me/us stream on Twitch earlier than the sport (12-1 p.m. ET) on the CBS Sports activities HQ channel. Please do it so my son will not hate me eternally. Your livestream might save a life or one thing.
Verify that out and ensure to take heed to our Decide Six Podcast finest bets present for every little thing you could learn about this weekend’s video games.
No. 7 Indianapolis (11-5) at No. 2 Buffalo (13-3)
Saturday, 1:05 p.m. ET (CBS)
Unimaginable opening recreation for the 2021 NFL Playoffs and it occurs to be on CBS. Fortunate us! This matchup is fascinating from an X’s and O’s perspective, as a result of the Colts largest energy on offense matches up with the Payments largest weak point on protection. The Colts like to pound the soccer within the run recreation, whereas the Payments are a contact undersized up entrance. Jonathan Taylor was a monster down the stretch, operating for 741 yards in his remaining six video games. Buffalo is backside 10 within the NFL by way of five- (thirty first) and 10-yard (twenty fifth) runs allowed throughout impartial recreation scripts in response to Wealthy Hribar of Sharp Soccer. In different phrases, if the Colts do not find yourself trailing by double digits early, they’ll most likely do what they wish to do on offense by way of their recreation plan. After all, A well-known Mike Tyson phrase most likely applies right here: the Payments have been the very best crew in soccer over the past month or so. They despatched a MESSAGE to the Patriots and Dolphins regardless of already clinching the division in Week 15. Indy bought fats and pleased down the stretch on some questionable groups and Buffalo does not have a nasty loss, so this feels slightly shaky, however I will take the Colts in a big-time upset spot. Matt Eberflus can vault his title to the highest of each teaching want checklist if he cooks up one thing to decelerate Josh Allen and Co. right here. If for some purpose DeForest Buckner does not play, I am out on this wager, by the best way.
The Decide: Colts 24, Payments 21
Greatest Bets: Colts +6.5 (desire +7 duh)
No. 6 L.A. Rams (10-6) at No. 3 Seattle (12-4)
Saturday, 4:40 p.m. ET (Fox)
Can somebody clarify this unfold to me?? The Seattle Seahawks, captained by Russell Wilson, are going up in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams, who’re lacking their quarterback and trotting out John Wolford and the Seahawks are simply 3.5-point favorites? That is RANCID. (It is doable Jared Goff, who’s listed as questionable performs. Is he undoubtedly an improve?) I am actually to see how the Rams strategy this recreation on offense. Clearly they will not open issues up, however I’m wondering if Sean McVay will set up some read-option ideas with Wolford and Cam Akers within the backfield to try to throw the Seahawks protection off from the get go. The whole right here is wildly submerged at 42, nevertheless it may not be low sufficient, truthfully. The Rams know they will not be placing up an enormous quantity on offense on this matchup — the Seahawks protection has been a lot better down the stretch (albeit in opposition to weak competitors) and Los Angeles solely mustered 34 factors whole within the common season.
The Seahawks weren’t lobbing out massive scores both, although. They scored a complete of 36 factors in opposition to the Rams within the common season. We’re simply going to see Pete Carroll run the ball a TON — except he utterly modifications his strategy within the postseason — and that is going to result in plenty of punts and the clock melting.
In opposition to my higher judgment I am taking the Rams to win this recreation outright, however the beneath is the play I desire greater than something. Additionally, if Wolford performs, they cannot set his prop on dashing yards excessive sufficient for me to not take the over. R.J. White talked about on the Decide Six Podcast he likes Russell Wilson beneath 1.5 go touchdowns and I have a tendency to love that as properly, particularly because it’s plus cash.
The Decide: Rams 19, Seahawks 17
Greatest Wager: Underneath 42, Over John Wolford dashing yards
No. 5 Tampa Bay (11-5) at No. 4 Washington (7-9)
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Just like the Seahawks-Rams recreation, this can be a spot the place if the favourite will make some modifications, they may roll. However do you consider the Buccaneers will completely bail on Bruce Arians’ offense and simply beginning throwing beneath to Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin impulsively after throwing vertically greater than anybody else within the NFL? In the event that they try this, it might severely mitigate the strain Washington can placed on Tom Brady. Try this and all of a sudden this turns right into a blowout with the Bucs feeding Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette within the second half. However the Bucs struggled in opposition to good defensive traces this 12 months. Of their 5 losses in opposition to good defensive groups (all of whom made the postseason), the Bucs scored 23, 19, 3, 24 and 24 factors. That has to present you pause with this matchup, even when Brady is rolling into the postseason as one of many hottest quarterbacks within the NFL. Tampa scored over 90 factors over the past two weeks however I do not suppose they’re doing it right here. Give me the beneath and Washington.
The Decide: Buccaneers 24, Washington 17
Greatest Wager: Underneath 45
No. 5 Baltimore (11-5) at No. 4 Tennessee (11-5)
Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN)
That is the Lamar Jackson playoff recreation to finish the narrative. We have forgotten this usually occurs with NFL quarterbacks. They battle early on of their playoff careers after which break by when everybody is admittedly beginning to rely them out. Lamar enjoying the Titans once more after final 12 months’s debacle will not assist the narrative because it ramps up. I like the Ravens right here. I believe they arrive out firing, I believe they convert within the purple zone, I believe Lamar will get free together with his legs and finds Marquise Brown down the sector and I believe J.Okay. Dobbins will get free as properly. This Titans protection shouldn’t be final 12 months’s Titans protection. You possibly can put up factors on them, and I am undecided forcing Lamar to throw to the hashes will work prefer it did final 12 months. Tennessee is not ever left for useless — they got here again down 10 within the fourth quarter in opposition to Baltimore this 12 months — however the Ravens will truly lean on the bottom recreation with a lead this time round, forcing Tennessee to get away from Derrick Henry.
The Decide: Ravens 38, Titans 31
Greatest Wager: Ravens -3, Over 54.5, Marquise Brown over receiving yards (48.5), Lamar Jackson over go TD (1.5), Lamar over rush yards (something as much as 85)
No. 7 Chicago (8-8) at No. 2 New Orleans (12-4)
Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET (CBS/Nickelodeon/Amazon Prime)
New Orleans Saints
That is simply probably the most troublesome recreation to handicap on the wild-card slate. Do you belief the Bears? After all not! They have been the most important rollercoaster in soccer, beginning out 5-1 earlier than cratering to 5-7 with six straight losses after which rallying to win three of their final 4 video games to complete 8-8. What a experience it was and I might *guess* that it culminates in New Orleans. It appears like possibly the Bears are a stay canine right here at first look, and 10 factors actually appears like a bit a lot, however the Saints aren’t only a higher general crew, they’re additionally getting more healthy on the proper and have method fewer weaknesses. The Bears listed Roquan Smith as questionable on Friday, which means he may not be capable of play on Sunday. Alvin Kamara seems to be a full go (based mostly on his tweets and the timing of his COVID state of affairs) and that is an issue for the Bears as a result of Roquan is the man who could be protecting the dynamic operating again. I do know a single damage alone should not shift the best way you’re feeling a few recreation, however I am so involved about how Sean Payton will assault this Bears protection with Kamara if Roquan is lacking that I will take the Saints laying double digits right here. I additionally suppose this recreation goes to remain beneath as a result of each defenses are above common (even sans Roquan) and neither offense is essentially explosive.
The Decide: Saints 28, Bears 17
Greatest Wager: Alvin Kamara receiving yards (37.5)/receptions (4.5) over
No. 6 Cleveland (11-5) at No. 3 Pittsburgh (12-4)
Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC)
One other recreation that confuses me. COVID hits the Browns, Kevin Stefanski is dominated out, they lose Joel Bitonio, the road goes off the board with the Steelers favored by 5 factors and naturally it re-opens at … Steelers -6? Was the COVID stuff already baked in??? Are the pinnacle coach of an NFL crew and a Professional Bowl lineman actually solely price one or two factors to the unfold? That appears loopy to me. And there is purchase again in some spots on the Browns. I like Pittsburgh right here. Ben Roethlisberger bought to relaxation after discovering one thing in opposition to Indianapolis a couple of weeks again and I simply do not suppose Cleveland’s going to maneuver the ball very properly with the restricted personnel they’ve and a complete lack of observe till Friday afternoon. Perhaps I am mistaken and Nick Chubb is ripping off massive gainers. In the event that they get him and Kareem Hunt going early and might get downhill on the Steelers from the get go, this might be a distinct recreation. It is the last word “nobody believes in us” recreation as a result of nobody is backing the Browns right here. But when the Steelers get a lead and Baker Mayfield has to throw a ton in opposition to this defensive entrance? It might be curtains for an unbelievable Browns season.
The Decide: Steelers 24, Browns 10
Greatest Wager: Steelers -6