The playoffs are upon us and Wild Card weekend starts this Saturday with a full slate of three games. The new NFL playoffs format added a team in conference adding an extra Wild Card game (Updated 2021 NFL Super Bowl Odds).
Coach Rick identified the Titans as a teaser bet last week and it paid off. Tennessee was a 7.5-point favorite against AFC South rival Houston. The Titans won on a last-second field that bounced off an upright to secure a 41-38 victory.
This week, the Titans find themselves a 3.5-point underdog at home against Baltimore. Remember, a year ago, Tennessee beat a 14-2 Ravens team in the Divisional Round. The Titans also beat Baltimore 30- 24 earlier this season.
With NFL leading rusher Derrick Henry (2,027 yards, 17 TDs) and QB Ryan Tannehill (3,819 yards passing, 33 TDs) leading Tennessee’s powerful offense, the Titans should be able to keep this game close and maybe even pull the upset.
There is a reason why Tampa Bay is an 8.5-point favorite in this Wild Card game. The Bucs have an explosive offense led by future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady. Their defense is one of the best in the NFL and they are playing a Washington team that didn’t even have a winning record in the regular season. The saving grace for the Football Team is that the game is outdoors in cold January Washington, D.C., weather. The Under in outdoor playoff games in January is 81-60-4 and the Under is 10-5-1 for Washington this season.
The Football Team has a solid defense of its own and in a low-scoring affair points matter. Teasing this one to -2.5 covers the important numbers – 3 and 7 – and ensures a cover this weekend.
The Bills won the AFC East Division supplanting the New England Patriots who had won the division the 11 previous seasons. Buffalo earned the No. 2 seed in the AFC finishing 13-3 in the regular season.
Buffalo didn’t just finish the season. They finished on fire. After a midseason funk where they lost two straight, the Bills turned up the heat. Since Week 9 of the regular season, Buffalo is 8-0 against the spread. They covered those eight games by a ridiculous average of 14.8 points.
The Bills went 11-5 ATS this season and keep in mind that Buffalo QB Josh Allen is 26-12-2 ATS as a starter in the NFL.
The Colts are a team that was just good enough to beat all the bad teams on its schedule. Indy did beat Tennessee and Green Bay in back-to-back games, but the rest of their wins are much less impressive.
There is no doubt Buffalo wins this game, but Indianapolis RB Jonathan Taylor ran for 253 yards last week and QB Philip Rivers (4,169 yards, 24 TDs) is hot and cold. If the Colts offense is on, they might be able to keep this game to within a touchdown. The tease guarantees a Bills cover.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.