The playoffs are finally here! This is my favorite time of the year, there is nothing like playoff NFL football. Wildcard weekend will feature 4 games, 3 of which have a spread of 3 or less points. The home teams are favored in all but one of the close spread games and normally Vegas gives the home team three points so Vegas is basically saying those two games are pick'ems. I finished the season above .500 against the spread but barely. This is my time to shine and I am predicting I will have a better than .800 record during the playoffs. Let's get down to business...here we go...
Saturday, January 8th - 4:30 PM - New Orleans Saints (-10.5) at Seattle Seahawks - Mole & Meares Show Pick - Seattle Seahawks
At first blush this line seems really big, especially considering both Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory are done for the season. The Saints running game will have to rely heavily on Julius Jones and Reggie Bush to step up or they will become one dimensional for the entire playoffs. The Saints will win this game, especially considering the quarterback situation with the Seahawks. Both Hasselbeck and Whitehurst have been sharing reps in practice this week meaning they have yet to decide on who will start the game. I am not confident that the Saints will cover the spread though, mainly due to Seattle being at home and the Saints having to rely heavily on the pass. I will take the points and take the Seahawks to cover.
Saturday, January 8th - 8:20 PM - New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) - Mole & Meares Show Pick - New York Jets
This game is a rematch of last year's AFC Championship game where the Colts came out on top. This is a completely different Colts team who, although they have won four straight games, is no where near the caliber of team they were last year. Injuries have taken their toll on both sides of the ball and if it wasn't for Peyton Manning the Colts would have been 4-12 this year. I like the matchup of the Jets defense against a depleted Colts offense and although I don't think the Jets will put up many points I believe they will put up enough to win this game outright. I will take the two and a half points and take the Jets to win on the road.
Sunday, January 9th - 1:00 PM - Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Kansas City Chiefs - Mole & Meares Show Pick - Baltimore Ravens
There are a lot of factors going in the Chiefs favor in this game. First they are 7-1 at Arrowhead stadium this year which is a very difficult place for opposing teams to play. Second, they are basically playing with house money as no one expected them to be in the playoffs this year let alone host a first round game. Third, they have the leading rusher in the NFL this season in Jamal Charles. With all of that said I believe experience is going to play a huge role in this game. The Ravens have been here before and they know how to win a road playoff game in a hostile environment. The Ravens offense is much improved from a year ago with new weapons at the wide receiver position and Ray Rice can bruise opposing defenses with the run. The Ravens defense will need to find away to shut down Charles and force Cassel to beat them through the air which I don't believe he can do. I will give the three points and take the Ravens on the road.
Sunday, January 9th - 4:30 PM - Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) - Mole & Meares Show Pick - Philadelphia Eagles
This is the marquee game of the weekend. The Green Bay Packers were a lot of people's preseason pick to represent the NFC in the Superbowl. Since then they have been decimated with injuries but have found a way to make it to the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers is having a great season when he is able to stay healthy and on the field. The Packers have absolutely no running game and are basically a one dimensional team. The Philadelphia Eagles, on the other hand, were not on anyone's radar before the start of the season, they were supposed to be in a rebuilding year. But Michael Vick has proven he can still play quarterback and is perhaps playing better than when he was in Atlanta. Even though the Eagles defense has been brutal this year I believe they can game plan accordingly for a team that is only going to throw the ball. The x factor in this game is Vick, can the Packers contain him and keep him bottled up? I like the Eagles to pull this one out at home so I will give the two and a half points and take Philadelphia.
There you have it, my wildcard playoff game picks against the spread. I have a good feeling that I am going to get off to a great start in this year's playoffs. Do you see the games going differently? Let me know by leaving a comment below. Also, on my site, www.moleandmeares.com, we are running a playoff contest for a chance to win a great prize. You have to pick the participants in both the AFC and NFC championship games, the teams in the Superbowl and the eventual Superbowl winner. Make sure to sign up before Saturday and Good Luck!
Mole & Meares