MARLBORO, NY– This edition of Cheesy Bruin’s FREE NFL Picks is brought to you by Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey and is surprisingly being written on a Thursday because of one reason and one reason only… this weekend’s opening round of playoffs will suck. Don’t believe me? Taking a look at the four point-spreads for these games, the lowest-priced favorite are the Rams at 6 1/2, which means two things:
1) Vegas is acknowledging the fact that these games will suck
2) At least one – if not two – favorites will fall to back-door covers, which are impossible to predict and I won’t either.
This pessimism aside, there are always other options in which to plop down a couple of greenbacks, and my advice centers on Today’s Over/Under Propositions:
Buffalo at Jacksonville, 1:05 p.m.
Bills running back LeSean McCoy is 33% of Buffalo’s offense but is questionable to play with an ankle injury. DJ Eberle was willing to donate his ankle and said to be calling doctors to perform the first ever ankle transplant in order to get Shady on the field. A savvy gambler would think that the running back is key to wagering on the over/under here, but his absence is just as important. With McCoy, the Bills have the cog in the wheel that makes them roll. Without McCoy, the team will lean on their Plan B; quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who will air things out and surely throw an INT/TD or two, thus setting things up nicely for points to be scored.
Much has been made about the Jaguars ball-hawking defense, and rightly so. However, they have also been prone to the big play as of late. I’m not guaranteeing one or two but if this is to come to fruition there is sure to be an increase in points. Jacksonville has been getting better-than-expected production from QB Blake Bortles and had scored 24+ points in five straight prior to last week’s loss to Tennessee. Add it all up and I think this is an entertaining game.
The Pick? Buffalo/JACKSONVILLE OVER 39.5
Carolina at New Orleans, 4:40 p.m.
These NFC South foes meet for the third time this season and we can learn a few things from the previous two games. Both games were win and “covers” by the Saints and rightfully has them as seven-point favorites in this playoff game. The two games also went over the totals of 46.5 and 48, respectively but only by half a point in the first encounter and four points on a late score in the second. There’s a few things helping me make a prediction as the Saints have become a running back heavy offense and formidable defense while the Panthers run-pass option offense can slow the pace even further. The Panthers are trending ‘under’ in their other four divisional games while the Saints have followed suit in three of four NFC South games. Familiarity is breeding contempt in these contests and you shouldn’t overlook these past performances. The total is a healthy sum and for you sharp bettors there’s only one play in this game. Call it the best bet of the weekend.
The Pick? Carolina/NEW ORLEANS UNDER 48.5.
That’s it… Feel free to comment below and come back tomorrow for euphoric or desolate Bills fan, DJ Eberle. You can find us on Twitter – @CheesyBruin & @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00 and Instagram @MeetTheMatts, as well. And don’t forget to like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.