Pete Prisco’s NFL picks for wild-card spherical: Lamar Jackson nabs first playoff win, Steelers ship Browns house


Because of Doug Pederson’s resolution to put down within the fourth quarter Sunday night time, I did not fairly finish the season at .500 choosing NFL video games towards the unfold.

Sure, I had the Eagles. I do know the quantity was bloated to round seven when the sport kicked off, however once we made our picks final week it was at 1.5. So I bought caught with a loss.

That meant I did not end the common season over .500, however as a substitute wound up 123-124-1. That is OK as a result of I have been on slightly roll, going 9-5-1 final week.

So far as the Finest Bets on the Choose-Six Podcast, I did end because the regular-season champ. I went 4-2 final week to up my document to 59-41-1. That’s one thing to brag about, particularly contemplating our total group had a fantastic season.

Now it is playoff time, a time of 12 months I often do my finest. 

Newest Odds:

Buffalo Payments
-6.5

The Colts protection has waned within the second half of the season, which needs to be a priority dealing with Josh Allen and the high-flying Buffalo offense. Indianapolis was as soon as the top-ranked protection within the league, however they fell off in an enormous approach within the closing six video games. Allen, in the meantime, continues to mild up defenses and he’ll do the identical right here. The perfect plan for the Colts is to pound Jonathan Taylor and preserve Allen off the sphere, however what occurs when the Colts get down? Buffalo is rolling, however they are going to be challenged early right here. In the long run, Allen will get it going together with his arm and transfer to the subsequent spherical. 

Choose: Payments 30, Colts 20

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Newest Odds:

Seattle Seahawks
-3.5

These two break up their video games within the common season, with every successful at house. Seattle beat the Rams two weeks in the past in a sport the place Jared Goff harm his thumb. The Rams had probabilities in that matchup, even with Goff banged up. The Rams protection all the time appears to present Russell Wilson issues — that would be the case right here. However Seattle’s protection has picked up its play in an enormous approach. That may make for giant issues for the Rams offense, irrespective of who begins at quarterback. Seattle will win a low-scoring sport. 

Choose: Seahawks 20, Rams 18

Newest Odds:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-8.5

Tampa Bay has been spectacular on offense the previous three video games, however this protection will current an enormous problem. Tom Brady‘s points over time have come towards fronts that may stress. This group can do this. I feel they are going to decelerate Brady some. Washington has issues on offense. Alex Smith was simply OK final week, and there’s discuss of utilizing each him and Taylor Heinicke this week. That will be odd. Tampa Bay’s protection ought to be as much as dealing with this offense. I feel it is a lower-scoring sport with Washington hanging round behind the entrance 4. 

Choose: Tampa Bay 21, Washington 17

Newest Odds:

Baltimore Ravens
-3.5

These two make no secret about what they need to do on offense, which is to pound the soccer. Baltimore was the highest speeding group within the league, whereas the Titans counter with Derrick Henry, the NFL‘s main rusher. Tennessee beat Baltimore earlier this 12 months and likewise beat them final 12 months within the playoffs in an enormous upset. This time round I feel the Ravens get revenge of types. Their protection is significantly better than the dangerous unit the Titans placed on the sphere. Lamar Jackson could have an enormous day to advance the Ravens. 

Choose: Ravens 33, Titans 23

Newest Odds:

New Orleans Saints
-10

The Bears appeared to return alive on offense in December, however that was towards dangerous groups. They did not do a lot towards Inexperienced Bay final week, but right here they’re within the playoffs. The Saints have a troublesome protection that can current an enormous problem for Mitchell Trubisky. New Orleans’ offense hasn’t been as explosive this 12 months, which is why I feel the Bears will cling round on this one. It is not like we have not seen the Saints blow a playoff sport on this function prior to now. This time, they are going to maintain on to win it. But it surely’s shut. 

Choose: Saints 26, Bears 21

Newest Odds:

Pittsburgh Steelers
-6

The Browns beat the Steelers final week to get into the playoffs, but it surely was a Steelers group that rested a whole lot of gamers, together with Ben Roethlisberger. This shall be far more of a problem, particularly with out Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, who’s out with COVID-19. The Browns’ plan will nonetheless be to pound the soccer on the Steelers to regulate the clock and let Baker Mayfield make performs on the transfer. However the Steelers protection will reply to that and play nicely right here. Roethlisberger got here alive within the second half of his final sport towards the Colts and I feel that can carry over towards the Browns. The Steelers personal the Browns in Pittsburgh and that can proceed. 

Choose: Steelers 27, Browns 17



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