2021 NFL Handicapping/Picks: Wild Card Playoffs
Last week/Week 18’s results…
Blazing Five/top 5 picks: 4-1 (80.0%)
Best Bet: 1-0 (100%)
Survivor Pool: WIN (TEN)
Overall ATS: 12-4 (75.0%)
No spread picks: 10-6 (62.5%)
Calling Underdog outright winner: 1-0 (100.0%), 1-0 ATS (100.0%)
Blazing Five/top 5 picks: 46-44 (51.1%)
Best Bet: 12-6 (66.7%)
Survivor Pool: kicked out Wk9 (LAR-GB-CAR-BUF-NE-PIT-ARI-CIN-DAL-TB-CLE-BAL-IND-SEA-MIA-LAC-SF-TEN)
Overall ATS: 146-125-1 (53.9%)
No spread picks: 174-97-1 (64.2%)
Calling Underdog outright winner: 18-16 (52.9%), 21-14 ATS (60.0%)
This week’s picks (will update as injury news hits or a big spread change):
SF at DAL (-3.0) *UNDERDOG OUTRIGHT WIN*
The Computer says… SF by 2.4 (a 5.4 spread differential)
I’m not anti-Dallas but I think this is a bad spot for them facing a heating up 49ers team with their defense getting healthy. In a big game spot, I’ll take Shanahan over McCarthy. San Francisco enters this game as maybe the hottest team (outside of GB) in this playoff, with their defense getting all healthy at just the right time.
LV at CIN (-5.5)
The Computer says… CIN by 9.9 (a 4.4 spread differential)
You may already know that I think the Bengals are the best team in the AFC and have been chirping about it for several weeks…then I was turbocharged on it with their beating of the Chiefs. Cincy is better than Vegas in every way, at every position just about. Add in Cincy essentially took a week off Week 18 while Vegas played an emotional overtime game and now play on a short week (Saturday), and in colder weather…not good for a West Coast dome team. Everything points to Cincy here.
ARI at LAR (-4.0) *UNDERDOG OUTRIGHT WIN*
The Computer says… ARI by 0.2 (a 4.2 spread differential)
Both of these teams are flawed, so I’ll take the one with the better QB and the better cohesion versus the pick-six prone QB and team bubbling dissention issue with Jalen Ramsey and OBJ now as big voices in the locker room – the Rams will regret this mercenary team they’ve put together.
PIT at KC (-12.5)
The Computer says… KC by 14.8 (a 2.3 spread differential)
The Steelers don’t belong in the playoffs. End of analysis. You saw what happened the last time these two teams matched up a few weeks ago. It might be worse this game.
NE at BUF (-4.0)
The Computer says… BUF by 5.0 (a 1.0 spread differential)
Buffalo is just better than the Patriots because of the gap at QB. When NE beat Buffalo earlier in the season, it was due to a bizarre weather event where the QBs were taken out of too much of the game, but we’re getting a version of that weather again in the playoffs…5 degrees feels like zero. I’ll stick with the Bills with home field, but the weather makes this a pick not a bet.
PHI at TB (-8.5)
The Computer says… TB by 8.1 (a 0.4 spread differential)
You always go with Brady for the win, but Philly is pesky with a good O-Line and decent defense and a never-say-die, hard to contain highly mobile QB who tends to keep games close. Possible rain on and off rain only helps the Philly cover case…but I wouldn’t bet on it. Just a pick.
**College Football Metrics 2022…new season sign ups have begun**
The new season of CFM will be starting up in January, as always. A little different schedule this year as the NFL extended their season by a week and the Senior Bowl was bumped back a week as well. We should have a Senior Bowl, NFL Combine…it looks like it will be a normal scouting year!
The NFL Draft, Dynasty Rookie Draft, and regular season ahead rookie analysis all gets started through CFM in January with our usual season starter -- the past two years/2020-2021 Mock Rookie Draft re-do, along with in-depth Senior Bowl analysis, and full QB scouting reports and much more as we build towards the NFL Combine and all the other positional scouting reports. Football study never ends…
Thank you for your support of CFM for the past decade now…wow, time flies.
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