NFL 2019 Playoff Picks, Round 1

Bills +2.5 vs. TEXANS – This one feels like a tossup to me. The Bills were only +55 on point differential this season – but the Texans were -7. I’ll go with the better defense, which I think belongs to the Bills. ❌

Titans +4.5 vs. PATRIOTS – Of course the Pats are likely to win this game. But I think there’s a greater-than-50-50 chance that either the Titans win outright or that the Pats win in a 3-4-point squeaker and the Titans cover. ✅

I’ve left a lot of money on the table over the years not betting the Under in Bill Belichick-coached playoff games. It’s arguable which team has the best defense in the playoffs, but it wasn’t even close which defense gave up the fewest points this season: the Pats. Was that because their schedule was weak? Maybe. But I’m not betting the Under (43.5 points), because I don’t want to root against the Titans scoring a ton of points.

SAINTS -7.5 vs. Vikings – That’s a lot of points but the Saints are both a better team and seem to have a lot more momentum heading in the playoffs. (The Vikes finished losing 3 of their last 5.) ❌

Vikings-SAINTS OVER 49.5 points – I feel like the Over/Under should be around 54-55 points in this game, but that Vegas has an aversion to breaking that 50-point barrier. Two high-scoring teams playing in a dome. ❌

Seahawks -1.5 vs. EAGLES – The Eagles are so banged up it isn’t funny, and yet they keep winning games they have to win. They’ve effectively been in win-or-the-season-is-over mode since the Dallas game two weeks ago. Commendable! But the Saints have a much better record (but a measly +7 point differential for the season – worrisome), a quarterback with a lot of playoff experience, and they’re just plain healthier. ✅

Last week: 2-3
Season to date: 53-62-2