VSiN’s NFL knowledgeable makes his choices for 2 of the playoff video games on Sunday’s slate.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (-12.5, 46.5)

Are the Steelers one of many worst wild-card groups ever? Pittsburgh comes into this recreation minus-55 in level differential with a Pythagorean win-loss document of 7-10. The Steelers are minus-0.7 in yards per play differential and are the primary playoff staff for the reason that 2017 Payments to have fewer than 5 yards per play on offense.

Pittsburgh has the league’s worst run protection by yards per carry allowed. The one saving grace for the Steelers appears to be T.J. Watt and the cross protection. Pittsburgh ranks twenty fourth in factors per drive, twenty eighth in yards per drive and has one of many worst passing offenses of any playoff staff.

This unfold isn’t solely deserved, however I believe ought to be even increased. These two groups simply performed Dec. 26, and Kansas Metropolis gained 36-10. That unfold was Kansas Metropolis -10 despite the fact that the Chiefs had quite a lot of COVID-19 considerations. The Chiefs outgained the Steelers 5.7 to 4.3 within the yards per play division. Pittsburgh scored one landing in 4 red-zone journeys, whereas the Chiefs scored 4 touchdowns in six journeys. Patrick Mahomes was hit solely 3 times and the 2 sacks had been for simply 4 yards.

Patrick Mahomes
Getty Pictures

Kansas Metropolis is clearly the superior staff, however there’s a excessive chance the Chiefs will probably be up by a number of scores within the second half and put the sport in cruise management in order to not compromise something for the next week. Kansas Metropolis led that the majority current recreation 23-0 at halftime. I’d count on one thing comparable right here.

Fairly than fear in regards to the again door being open, we will go forward and take the first-half line and assume Kansas Metropolis will begin quick in opposition to an overmatched, fraudulent opponent. Discover a -7 in the event you can, as a result of that could be a lot higher than -7.5, which is the prevailing quantity on the market. I’m undecided if it issues, however you all the time need to get within the behavior of getting the perfect line, particularly in apparent circumstances like this.

Decide: Chiefs -7.5 first half

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5, 45.5)

The Eagles and Buccaneers will battle wind gusts up within the 30-mph vary. These two groups performed earlier this season, and the Bucs led 28-7 within the third quarter earlier than the Eagles scored a few beauty touchdowns to make the sport look higher.

In that recreation, Tampa Bay was on the street and had a 186-yard edge. The Bucs had 27 first downs to 16 for the Eagles. It was a reasonably thorough beating, particularly when you think about that Tampa Bay ran 26 extra offensive performs.

The Eagles are a greater staff now. On the time, the win bumped the Bucs to 5-1 and dropped the Eagles to 2-4, however Tampa Bay didn’t cowl the 7-point unfold. This line sits at 8.5. If the climate had been higher, the Buccaneers could be the choose for me, however they do have to throw the ball to be as efficient as potential, and that will show to be troublesome.

The whole has already fallen on this recreation, however the difficult climate situations and the considerations about Philadelphia’s offense nonetheless go away sufficient meat on the bone to take it. The Eagles are a reasonably one-dimensional offense, as a result of Jalen Hurts isn’t a lot of a passer. Philadelphia will hit the occasional deep ball, however that’s unlikely to occur in wind.

The Bucs aren’t as stout in opposition to the run as we’ve seen previously, and the Eagles had 5.3 yards per carry within the first assembly, however I see Tampa Bay taking part in keep-away with the identical effectiveness that it did in Week 6 — the Bucs had the ball for simply shy of 40 minutes.

This appears to be like like an Below to me, each by the climate and the movement of the sport.

Decide: Below 45.5

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