The Steelers' defense hasn't been the same since Ryan Shazier's injury, and the Jaguars can win outright if Blake Bortles avoids committing multiple turnovers. But that factor will be tested in all four Divisional Round games. The key will be the play of Marcus Mariota. The run game will keep it that way. In short, the public bets National Football League playoffs probably more than any other sport at any other time, allowing Vegas to leverage the lack of knowledge that most sports bettors have.
Lastly, a ticket on Tennessee represents a free roll in a sense, as Brady's health two months removed from an Achilles injury remains a major question mark.
The other two wild card games I was pretty much on the nose.
Something's gotta give, and if it's any indication DVOA's #1 defense has only been an underdog of a touchdown or more twice in this decade. The Steelers have won three of their last four against Jacksonville, although the Jaguars won their matchup earlier this season - a 30-9 victory in Pittsburgh in Week 5. And for good measure, the low total of 41 increases the relative value of each point. The Eagles have one of the NFL's best defenses and an underrated secondary.More news: Listen to Carrie Underwood and Ludacris' Unholy Super Bowl Anthem "The Champion"
Believe it or not, there are already odds on who will win the 2019 Super Bowl.
On the other side of the NFC bracket, former Kamehameha-Kapalama star Kamu Grugier-Hill and the Eagles host the Falcons Saturday at 11:35 am HST. And with this being a best bet, there's more to it than that. The Falcons come to Philadelphia with an explosive offense behind Matt Ryan, but they are facing the fourth-ranked defense overall. This game features two evenly matched teams and should go down to the wire, but in the end I think that Brees and his extensive playoff experience will prevail. The defending conference champs are not your usual 6 seed and look like they are starting to play their best football of the season. That spread is one point too many. The Steelers have the third-ranked offense, according to ESPN, this season led by veteran Ben Rothlisberger.
Now we are down to the NFL's Elite Eight in the Divisional Round.
And as much as anything, this pick boils down to line value and the concept of betting numbers, not teams. I realize it was a huge comeback for the Titans last Saturday.
I feel bad for the Eagles fan base.
Prior to the Falcons' Wild Card Weekend win in L.A., the consensus had them as one- to two-point favorites in this matchup.More news: Are Hedge Funds Betting Against First Solar, Inc. (FSLR)?
As predicted, the Falcons took care of the young and inexperienced Los Angeles Rams, and they'll do so again this week in Philadelphia.
Thanks to two outright upsets and no favorite winning by more than seven points, wildcard weekend was a teaser's dream. Prediction: Eagles 17 - Falcons 14.
"I would imagine your first time, your first experience playing in a playoff game is going to be a little bit more hard", Bortles told reporters Wednesday. Efficiency is king when it comes to fantasy quarterbacks, and only one quarterback left in the playoffs score more fantasy points per pass attempt over the final six weeks of the season than Keenum.
This brings the theme of the week full circle.More news: Bill Cosby references #MeToo movement after meal at Philadelphia restaurant