Like so many things in life, at first, I thought I would hate it.
It wasn’t perfect, but why mess with something that was working?
Six teams, two teams get byes — it all made sense.
Little did I know how wrong I was.
The Super Wild Card weekend — three games on Saturday, three games on Sunday — made possible by the NFL adding a playoff team in each conference and making it so that only the No. 1 seeded team gets a playoff bye, is perfect.
And shame on me for not seeing that from a mile away. Long live the Super Wild Card weekend.
Luckily I have clairvoyance when it comes to the bets you should make for this wall-to-wall football bonanza.
We’re going to enjoy the games either way — is there anything better than playoff football — but we might as well make some money in the process, too.
And if you’re looking for another route to make some cash on top of this spread pick, might I suggest the under?
Today, we’ll be focusing on the Sunday games.
Ravens at Titans UNDER 54
I don’t feel any sort of way about this game, but I see more scenarios where this game goes under than goes over.
Let me explain: Both of these teams want to run the ball on first and second down. They’re both good at it, too. And that’s fine. It will limit possessions, though, and that’s key to keeping total scores down.
The one offense that I think could break through and put up a big number is Tennessee because of their play-action pass game. But I love Baltimore’s defense right now and think that they limit the Titans all afternoon long.
I’m only placing one unit on this game. But two rival, tough-as-nails teams, playing in January? Yeah, forgive me for thinking someone’s going to end up in the teens.
Bears +400 at Saints
I’m convinced that the Saints are better off with a quarterback other than Drew Brees at the helm and that Chicago’s defense has two safeties dynamic enough to allow the Bears to play two-high zone, which will help them keep Alvin Kamara in check in the passing game and perhaps even take away those slants that the Saints offense is predicated upon.
In short: the Saints offense is predictable under Brees and I think the Bears can take advantage and turn him over.
Offensively, it’s going to be a challenge for Chicago against an outstanding Saints defense, but the team’s newfound Gary Kubiak offense will keep the ball on the ground and give Mitch Trubisky some clean pockets from which to throw.
Can Trubisky take advantage when his number is called? Yeah, it’s a bold bet.
But there’s simply something off with this Saints team and I’m betting if it starts going bad, it’ll escalate quickly.
Browns at Pittsburgh -6
My bet of the week, with a bullet.
The argument is simple: The Steelers backups nearly beat the going-for-it Browns last week. Yes, Pittsburgh has played one good half of football in the past month, but the Browns are not ready for prime time and only one practice ahead of this game isn’t going to flip that switch for them. Lay the points and laugh to the bank.