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The lines are from Sportsbook Review and the home teams are in CAPs.
Cleveland -2.5 over HOUSTON
The QB matchup in this one is the ultimate battle of the ages, with journeyman Joe Flacco taking on rookie sensation C.J. Stroud. Both have been something special this season, with Stroud wowing from early on and Flacco coming off the couch to lead the Browns late in the year. The biggest stat to see here is that in matchups between QBs with playoff experience and first-time playoff starters, it’s the former that holds 35-17-1 record against the spread. The Browns also had Amari Cooper go for an astounding 265 yards and two TDs against Houston in Week 16 and he should play after missing two games with a heel issue.
KANSAS CITY -4 over Miami
The Dolphins are about as banged-up as they come. They’ve lost some real important pieces on defence, which is very welcome news to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, who haven’t exactly lit it up with the ball this season. On offence, the Dolphins also have Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle both dealing with ankle injuries, while RBs Raheem Mostert and DeVon Achane have both been limited in practice. They all might be able to play, but how effective will they be? With temperatures slated to be absolutely frigid, can the warm-weather Fins compete?
BUFFALO -10 over Pittsburgh
A month and a half ago, the Bills were a long shot to even make the playoffs – now they’re probably the No. 2 seed in the AFC after rattling off wins against some pretty impressive competition. Josh Allen can be insanely frustrating at times, but he also is capable of brilliance. The difference between him and Mason Rudolph is about as big as it gets. The Steelers somehow snuck into the playoffs despite having a -20 point differential and being outgained in most of the games they played. Pittsburgh also will be without top defender T.J Watt and, really, should just be happy to have given coach Mike Tomlin another playoff berth.
Green Bay +7.5 over DALLAS
After some early season jitters, Jordan Love seriously put it together down the stretch and looks every bit like the successor to the lineage of great Packers QBs that they need him to be. Love has thrown just one INT since Week 11 to go with 16 TDs. The Cowboys have an incredible record at home this season, but generally have struggled against winning teams this season. In fact, if not for a ref botch against the Lions, the Cowboys would’ve closed the season on a 1-3 slide. Can we rely on Mike McCarthy to not only top his former team, but do it by more than a TD? That seems like a big ask.
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L.A. Rams +3 over DETROIT
The prospects of this game turning into a shootout on Sunday night are thrilling, especially with the two QBs having been traded for each other a few years ago. Matt Stafford’s Rams have been cooking on offence with Cooper Kupp still going strong plus Kyren Williams and Puka Nacua injected some exciting new talent into the mix. The Lions have a rising star RB of their own in Jahmyr Gibbs plus Amon-Ra St. Brown has emerged as a stud receiver. The Lions are getting healthier on defence, but also lost budding star tight end Sam Laporta to rough-looking knee injury. This game feels like it could go either way, so we’ll take the points.
TAMPA BAY +3 over Philadelphia
How can you have confidence in the Eagles to win this game right now, let alone cover on the road? They’ve struggled mightily down the stretch, especially on defence and can be exploited in the passing game. Well, Baker Mayfield is coming off his first career 4,000-yard season and Philly will be in tough to keep Mike Evans in check. On the other side, the Eagles could be without A.J. Brown, who went down in the finale. The Eagles need to stop talking about stepping up and actually do it, but we aren’t going to bet on it.
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Last week: 9-7
This season: 134-130-8
2022 season: 131-133-7
Last playoffs: 5-8