Straight Cash Homey: 2014 NFL Wild Card Round

Posted: January 3, 2014 in Football, Gambling, Sports, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

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Welcome to a new column on the blog called Straight Cash Homey.  Occasionally I will serve up some betting ideas for certain games throughout the year.  This column also serves a homage to the greatest soundbite in sports history.  Without further ado, here are my picks for the 2014 NFL Wild Card Weekend.

chiefs-colts-wild-card-odds

Chiefs @ Colts

Line= Colts -2.5

Only a few months ago, the Chiefs were in the conversation for the title of Best Team in Football.  However, since their bye in Week 10, the Chiefs have gone 2-5.  They went 2-0 against teams picking in the top 5 of the 2014 NFL Draft and 0-5 against teams in the 2014 playoffs.  The Colts are the opposite.  The have played bad games against bad teams, but seem to play their best against the NFL’s best.  Wins over the Seahawks, Broncos, 49ers, and these Chiefs have me thinking that the Indiana Lucks are going to win this game by more than a field goal.  As long as they can neutralize Jammy Charles, the Colts will win this game by 7+.

Pick: Colts -2.5

saints-eagles-wild-card-odds

Saints @ Eagles

Line= Eagles -2.5

There has been a lot of talk this week (and rightfully so) about how much better the Saints are at home.  Betting against the Saints on the road has been a strategy I have used all season.  However, I am going against this policy for this game for a few reasons.

  1. I think Sean Payton is a much better NFL coach at this stage of his career than Chip Kelly.
  2. I trust Drew Brees a lot more than I trust Nick Foles, regardless of where the game is played.
  3. While the Saints have trouble winning away from home, the Eagles recently have had trouble winning AT home.  While I don’t think this is a huge deal, it’s not like the Saints are marching into Seattle on a Monday night this week.
  4. The Saints seem to be a better team according to Football Outsider’s tremendous rating system of DVOA.
  5. The only playoff team the Eagles beat this year were the Packers when Aaron Rodgers was out.

This should be a high scoring game, with the Eagles controlling the ball on the ground and the Saints trying to win it with the pass.  But for the reasons above, I am leaning heavily towards the Saints.

Pick: Saints +2.5.  I’d even consider the Saints money line at +117.

chargers-bengals-wild-card-odds

Chargers @ Bengals

Line= Bengals -7

The annual Chargers see-saw has made its way back into the playoffs.  With ball control victories against teams like Denver and Indianapolis, the Chargers have shown to be a potentially dangerous team when they need a win.  But they also needed a missed field goal and overtime to beat the Chiefs Junior Varsity team in Week 17.  This Chargers team was also beaten at home by the Bengals in Week 13.  The Bengals are 8-0 at home and have scored 49, 41, 42, 42, and 34 points respectively in their last five home games.   I like the Bengals to win this game, but I would personally stay away from it for betting purposes.  The ball control offense that the Whisenhunt/McCoy/Rivers team can throw at Cincy can make this a very weird game, even though I think the Bengals will walk away with the victory.

Pick: Bengals -7, though I’d rather stay away.  

49ers-packers-wild-card-odds

49ers @ Packers

Line= Packers +2.5

It seems like a lifetime ago, but 49ers/Packers was the premiere game of Week 1 of this NFL season.  After the Packers were thrashed by Colin Kaepernick and the read-option in last year’s playoffs, everyone wanted to see how Dom Capers and his defense would adjust in the rematch.  They “contained” Kaepernick to 22 yards rushing, but were destroyed through the air to a tune of 412 yards and 3 touchdowns.  A lot has changed since that game.  Kaepernick has had some struggles, the Packers have discovered a reliable running back in Eddie Lacy, and the Packers have gotten back their best offensive player from injury (Aaron Rodgers) while losing their best defensive player to injury (Clay Matthews).  The vaunted 49ers defense has not inspired the same awe and fear that they did in 2012, but this is still a very good unit.  They have not allowed a 100 yard rusher this year and rank number 5 in the NFL in total defense.  Eddie “Gouda Buddha” Lacy has been impressive, but I think San Francisco should be able to keep him in check.  Meanwhile, the Packers are 24th against the pass and 25th against the run.  Having Rodgers back will help Green Bay limit the damage their defense can do to the scoreboard, but I just don’t see how they really get things going.  I think San Francisco has the perfect make-up of a team that can go into Green Bay and win a playoff game.  The McCarthy-era Packers have a history of losing to ball-control, defensive teams at home in the playoffs.  I see this game going the same way.  Kaepernick, Gore, Crabtree, and Davis will be too much for the Pack to overcome against that defense.

Pick: 49ers -2.5

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