Well, the Ravens offense failed to show up last night, it turns out being incredibly predictable against well-coached teams isn't the best way to win games, it was fairly close until Lamar threw a horrible interception and mistakes cost them dearly, but the Bills ran out deserved winners. As did the Packers who took care of business against a bruised Rams side in Lambeau.
Browns +10 @ Chiefs: 57
The Browns won a weird game last week against the Steelers, they were 28-0 up at the end of the 4th quarter after a multitude of mistakes from the Steelers, fair play on the win, but it's obviously not repeatable in that sense. They played well though and I expect them to be able to put up points again here.
Chubb and Hunt are the best running back duo in the league, and they carried on with another 3 TDs between them, strangely the 2 on the ground were from Hunt, and Chubb had the receiving one, it's usually the other way. Hunt will want to put on a show after the Chiefs released him a couple of years back. He'd be a RB1 in most systems so it's no surprise to see him doing well in a team who likes to run and use the pass off of that domination.
Baker has done well with limited weapons, Landry has had a very good season and scored again last week, he makes vital catches, outside of him you're looking at an average cast of Rashard Higgins, Kha'darel Hodge and rookie Donovan Peoples-Jones. Not the most talented but they get the job one and Austin Hooper finished the year with 4 TDs in his last 6 games, gets a good matchup against the Chiefs here.
The Chiefs are coming off a bye week and rested their stars for the final week of the season meaning it's been 3 weeks since Mahomes, Kelce and Hill played. We know they've got the offense to put up 28 points in a quarter and that they should win this one due to that. The team hasn't covered the spread since halfway through the season and while I think it's because they've been cruising, there is the chance that things just aren't working as well this year.
Hill has 17 TDs and Kelce 11, so it's not like they're lacking for scores but the run game has been poor and Clyde Edwards-Helaire isn't expected to play meaning that Lev Bell probably leads the RB group with Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson maybe getting a few carries in relief. Sammy Watkins is out so Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman will probably have increased snaps as WR2/3/4 and even Byron Pringle may get a few targets.
The Chiefs should win this, they may well cover, but the only way I'd be betting would be the Browns covering the 10 points. All things point to the overs.
Lev Bell anytime at 2/1 (skybet) is too good to turn down, and Hooper/Bell both to score is 8/1 on the request a bets on there.
Bucs +3 @ Saints: 52
A rematch from the NFC South finishes off the weekend. The Saints won both in the regular season 38-3 and 34-23 at the start of the season. When teams have played for the third time the winner of the first two is 14-7.
Tom Brady has been great since his bye week and thrown for at least 348 yards in each of his last 4 games, finishing 3rd in passing yards this season. He's got the talent to be able to spread the ball around and even at 43 is still one of the best in the league. Mike Evans led the team in yards last week despite me thinking he'd be limited after his knee injury the week prior while the other two stud WRs, Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin scored the TDs for them against Washington. It was Browns 4th game in a row with a score. Gronk was mainly a blocker and that might be the case today, but equally I wouldn't be shocked for him to show up with a couple of scores.
Ronald Jones was a late scratch last weekend, but seems like he'll be back as RB2 in this one with Leonard Fournette again getting the start, he ran well enough last week for 5 ypc and a TD. He even caught a few passes with his concrete hands.
They rank #1 against the run, and 5th against the pass according to DVOA, but as always this is the best team they play all year.
The Saints dealt easily enough with the Bears last week and they deal with most teams fairly easily. They're well-coached and while I find them boring you can't argue with results. Brees completed 70% of his passes for the 5th year running and will probably be around that with a lot of short passes to Micheal Thomas in the slot and Alvin Kamara out of the backfield, both of whom have good pass-catching matchups against the Bucs LBs in the middle of the field. Thomas returned from injury last week with 5 receptions and a TD, he averages a little over 8 catches per game against the Bucs in his 9 career games.
Outside of the two studs they've got enough around them with Emmanuel Sanders, Jared Cook and a bunch of other WRs who get open enough for their HoF QB to find them.
They rank #2 overall on defense and have got better as the season has gone on, Marshone Lattimore tend to do well against Mike Evans and that will be a key matchup tonight as well.
For some reason I like the Bucs to win and, therefore cover, there's no real statistical logic to it, so I'm in no way advocating it as a bet, but I just see it happening, or maybe want it to happen, I don't know. I've got nothing on the total, but would have to lean under with the teams knowing each other so well and the pressure of playoff football.
Michael Thomas o6.5 receptions – 1/1 (Skybet)