We took a hiatus in week 17 since there are always more factors to consider than any other week. It served us well as we enter the playoffs up 15.43 units ($154.30) on the season. A major problem that inexperienced bettors fall into is upping their bets for the playoffs. The rationale is that there are less games to bet on, so bet more on those fewer games. Another issue is betting on games you normally wouldn’t bet. Just because there are only two games on Saturday does not mean that you HAVE to bet that game. Be smart and follow the lines and the methodology that you have used to get to this point.
3-Stars: 11-7 (+9.03 units)
2-Stars: 20-15-2 (+6.40 Units)
Total: +15.43 Units for a weighted win percentage of 58.87%
Top Play (3-Star)
Eagles +7 (buy the half point)
I’ll go into further detail below in our weekly Eagles prediction, but this is a game that I absolutely love. There may be a bit of bias here, but the Eagles are playing great and the Bears have no playoff experience. In fact, Matt Nagy, their head coach, was involved in the debacle of a playoff game for the Chiefs and seems to be a mini Andy Reid in terms of clock management. I think the Eagles fly high again seeing how they are dogs and seem to relish this role. The Bears last won a playoff game in 2011. I think the Eagles experience, and the fact that the world is against them again, shines through in this one.
Solid Plays (2-Star)
This line is super fishy in my eyes. The Texans have been great all year and are the home team, yet the line opened under a FG and has been bet down ever since. Andrew Luck is playing amazing football right now, and I like his chances in the playoffs over the Texans. The Texans don’t necessarily have the formula to win come January, and I think we see a slight upset in round one. One trend to note here is that divisional rivals meeting in the playoffs don’t fare well as home favorites as they are 7-10 ATS.
Seahawks +2 (buy to 3 if possible)
The Cowboys in the playoffs is a fun thing to watch as Eagles fans. They are 3-7 in the playoffs since 1994 (both SU and ATS) and a measly 1-5 ATS as favorites. I don’t think this is a very good team, and you cannot count on Dak to lead that final drive to win against a team with a lot of experience. I expect the Seahawks to be better prepared and win an ugly game.
Survivor Pool Plays
Our safe plays went 3-1 and we split our risky plays last week. Survivor pools should be done by now.
Safe Plays – Eagles
Risky Plays – Colts and Seahawks
Stay Away – Ravens over Chargers
Pick ‘Em Plays (no spread)
We went 12-4 last week, hopefully putting you in the money.
Colts, Seahawks, Ravens, and Eagles
The Eagles defense did what they should do against the pathetic Washington offense. They now face arguably the best defense in the NFL and an amazing pass rush led by Khalil Mack. I think this is the most important aspect of the game and one I think the Eagles are aptly prepared to stop. The best way to attack pass rushers off the edge is quick hitting passes to tight ends in the vacated area. Cue Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. The RPO’s will be key here and Nick Foles’ quick decision making and quicker throws will neutralize the Bears attack.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears aren’t fully equipped to really take advantage of the Eagles’ weaknesses, especially in the secondary. If the Eagles can get out to an early lead, I think the Bears offense will panic and get themselves into more trouble. The Eagles are my top play this weekend, and I expect them to not only cover the touchdown spread but to win outright. Eagles 24-16.