The National Football League‘s Wild Card Weekend is being super-sized this weekend.
For the first time in the 101-year history of pro football in the U.S., the NFL will hold a ‘Super’ Wild Card Weekend with an unprecedented triple-header of playoff games on both Saturday and Sunday.
But before we get to the wildness that this weekend is sure to bring, I should mention that I wrapped up the season with a 13-3 record straight up and 7-8-1 against the spread.
Overall, my record of picking winners this season was a fairly respectable 172-96-1 and a not-as-great 103-147-6 against the number.
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills (-6.5) At point this season the 11-5 Colts employed the best defence in the NFL but it has been exposed a few times over the last number of weeks. The Bills (13-3) are one of the hottest teams entering the playoffs having won six games in a row (Green Bay has also won 6 straight) and will play in front of their hometown fans for the first time this season. Buffalo 30-23
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) The Seahawks (12-4) are 6-0 in home playoff games under head coach Pete Carroll and are strolling into the post-season on a four game winning run. The Rams, who went 10-6, will either start QB Jared Goff fresh off his thumb surgery or John Wolford, who made — and won — his first NFL start last week. I’m much more comfortable siding with the Seahawks. Seattle 24-20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team (+8.5) Tom Brady’s kryptonite throughout his career has been a dominating front four that can get to the quarterback, which Washington has. The Bucs QB is also 1-3 against NFC East teams in the playoffs — losing three times in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants, twice, and going 1-1 vs. Philadelphia. Ron Rivera’s club may be 7-9 but they know they’re the underdog and should play loose. Even so, they probably won’t be able to outscore the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay 24-17
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans (+3.5) The Titans shocked the Ravens in last year’s playoffs and they beat Baltimore in overtime in Week 11 this season. NFL rushing champion Derrick Henry ran for 133 and 195 yards in those two games and became just the eighth player in league history to surpass 2,000 rushing yards in a season. Baltimore is the No. 1 rushing team in the league, thanks to QB Lamar Jackson’s 1,005 yards on the ground. The third time will be the charm for the Ravens, right? Baltimore 33-30
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-10) This is the biggest number of the weekend, which seems strange because the Bears have clearly turned the corner on offence with Mitchell Trubisky and they took the Saints to overtime in Week 8 before losing 26-23. That game was in Chicago, and Nick Foles started for the Bears. With rumours swirling that Saints QB Drew Brees is going to retire after this season, could this be his last game? I don’t think so, not with running back Alvin Kamara on the field and the talent New Orleans has on defence. New Orleans 27-20
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) Cleveland is in the playoffs for the first time in 18 years and punched their ticket with a 24-22 win over the Steelers last week. However, Pittsburgh rested a few starters, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, so they will be frothing at the mouth this weekend. To make matters worse for the Browns, head coach Kevin Stefanski will not be on the sideline because he’s out with COVID-19. Cleveland hasn’t won a playoff game since 1994 and their drought will continue. Pittsburgh 28-24
Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.