NFL playoffs: 4 picks against the spread for the Wild Card round
Zach Brunner makes his NFL betting picks for the first round of the NFL Playoffs, with four picks against the spread.
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No. 6 seeds have performed well in the playoffs over the past four years, going 8-0 against the spread in the Wild Card round. I like the Patriots in this game, along with another No. 6 seed later.
New England has been been running the ball really well, while the Bills’ run defense has been suspect. If the Patriots get an early lead and can control the tempo with their running game, I don’t trust Josh Allen to be efficient enough and make the right decisions to cover the spread. In fact, he could lose outright.
The Eagles’ strength is their running game. The Buccaneers have been known for their tough run defense over the past couple of seasons. If the running game for Philadelphia isn’t working, they don’t have much else offensively.
Jalen Hurts cannot win the game with his arm, though that is likely what he will be forced into trying to do. In this situation, I love Tampa to take full advantage.
In my opinion, the 49ers are the most dangerous team in the playoffs. They run the ball well, stop the run and rush the passer. They should be able to fully shut down the Dallas running game.
That puts the pressure on Dak Prescott, and I don’t trust him with the way he has played the back half of this season. Look for the 49ers to win at the point of attack on both sides of the ball.
While I expect the Chiefs to win at home, the Steelers will not roll over for Patrick Mahomes. The Pittsburgh defense will rush the passer well, likely forcing a mistake or two.
However, the main reason I like betting Pittsburgh with the points is that their biggest weakness, the offensive line, will not be much of an issue. The Chiefs are weak against the run and don’t rush the passer well. As a result, the Steelers will be able to keep the game close enough.