SportsLine’s Top Weekend Picks: NFL Wild Card Match-Ups

By | 06.01.2018

Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Saturday, January 6, 2018, 4:35 pm ET

KANSAS CITY -9

The Titans have been one of the more frustrating teams to analyze all season long. They limp into the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The key in this game will be avoiding the big mistake, which is very tough to avoid for a young team going up against a Chiefs squad well-equipped for the challenge. Lay the points.

SportsLine Expert: Emory Hunt (41-32-4 in last 77 NFL ATS picks)

Atlanta Falcons vs. Los Angeles Rams
Saturday, January 6, 2018, 8:15 pm ET

ATLANTA +6

The Rams are the better team from top to bottom, but there are factors that should help the Falcons cover the number. First, the Rams don’t have a great homefield advantage, going 4-4 in L.A. this year, mostly due to a spotty effort by the defense. This road trip shouldn’t phase the Falcons after they did it in December of last year (a game they led 42-0 at one point). And this young Rams team could easily come out tight in its first exposure to the postseason. The Falcons’ defense has been improving in recent weeks, and the offense has been here before. In tougher conditions, I might fade them, but this is a great spot for Atlanta.

SportsLine Expert: R.J. White (118-87-8 in last 213 NFL picks)

Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday, January 7, 2018, 1:05 pm ET

JACKSONVILLE -7.5

Would have been nice to grab this at -7, but I’ll still hop on it early in the week at -7.5 with the expectation the line could shoot up if LeSean McCoy looks unlikely to play as the week goes on. The Bills are coming off an emotional high after improbably securing a playoff spot on Sunday, and the offense has had trouble generating points even with a healthy McCoy. Now they have to do it on the road against one of the best defenses in the league. Blake Bortles has looked shaky lately, but those last two games were on the road; his home/road splits are stark, and the Jacksonville offense should have no issues rolling at home.

SportsLine Expert: R.J. White (118-87-8 in last 213 NFL picks)

Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints
Sunday, January 7, 2018, 4:40 pm ET

NEW ORLEANS -7

The Saints seem to be the kryptonite to the Panthers defense. New Orleans has put up 30 points twice against Carolina this season. The biggest key will be to protect the lead once they get it, which has been an issue with the Saints at points during the season. It won’t be in this playoff matchup. Lay it.

SportsLine Expert: Emory Hunt (41-32-4 in last 77 NFL ATS picks)

>>MORE: See all NFL picks

Mack Wilson #30 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with teammates in the second half of the AllState Sugar Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Georgia Bulldogs (National Championship)
Monday, January 8, 2018, 9:00 pm ET

ALABAMA -4

Alabama and Georgia have met only three times in the past decade, and Alabama won all three, covering twice between games in Athens and Atlanta. How is this allowed when both teams are in the SEC? This game is in Atlanta as well, but the Alabama defense is the big difference-maker in this spot. This isn’t the Sooners’ defense. Alabama doesn’t lose to QBs like Jake Fromm, and the Dawgs’ running game will be slowed. The Crimson Tide don’t lose to SEC East teams, either. Two great defenses, but ‘Bama is the better team and gets the cover.

SportsLine Expert: Micah Roberts (9-7-1 in last 17 CFB ATS picks)

>>MORE: See all College Football picks

What NFL picks can you make with confidence?

Join SportsLine now to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, plus see which side of the Falcons-Rams game you should be all over, all from the model that would have won 96 percent of football pools last season!

denver.cbslocal.com

Leave a Reply