The San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens are easily the two biggest favorites to face off in the Super Bowl. With the first playoff action of the season underway this week, the Niners and Ravens can enjoy the fruits of their regular-season success by enjoying a BYE. The rest of the teams in the postseason, on the other hand, face a win or go home weekend.
Odds for all the games are available on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Here are Marc’s picks:
Texans over Browns: DeMeco Ryans and CJ Stroud have already made their first season with the Texans a massive success. However, I don’t think it’s going to end quite yet. Joe Flacco has been a shocking upgrade at Cleveland, who already had an exceptional defense. I’m just skeptical that Flacco’s magic is actually going to sustain into the postseason.
Kansas City over Miami: Two teams entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations, but underwent unexpectedly tumultuous regular seasons face off in the playoffs. I still think Kansas City’s chances for a deep postseason run remain underrated. Despite the offense’s struggles, they still have Patrick Mahomes and the franchise’s best defense in years. I’m going to be hard pressed to pick against them unless they face the Ravens.
Bills over Steelers: Wouldn’t it be something for Mike Tomlin to pull off this upset? Josh Allen’s erratic play always makes me tempted to pick heavy underdogs against him, after all Buffalo is -500. It’s just hard for me to get behind Mason Rudolph as a playoff threat.
Packers over Cowboys: This is easily my biggest “riding the vibes” of the end of the season. Jordan Love is a different quarterback than he was in Week 1 and looks like a viable franchise quarterback. The Cowboys have been really good this season, despite some stinkers against the 49ers and Bills, but Green Bay quietly finished the season 7-3 and I like their chances at +285.
Lions over Rams: I’d have probably picked the Rams in any other first-round matchup in the NFC. However, the Lions are the one team playing this week that I am confident predicting to send Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford home for good this season.
Eagles over Bucs: This was the toughest pick of the week. The Eagles have been a terrible team over the closing weeks of the season and are clearly amiss. They just lost to the Giants after all. Yet, I still believe the talent on their roster is closer to their 11-6 record than current perception. That said, I won’t be shocked if Baker Mayfield ends up getting a playoff victory.
Here are the six games to pick (times in Pacific):
Browns @ Texans, 1:30 PM (Saturday)
Miami @ Kansas City, 5:00 PM (Saturday)
Steelers @ Bills, 10:00 AM (Sunday)
Packers @ Cowboys, 1:30 PM (Sunday)
Rams @ Lions, 5:15 PM (Sunday)
Eagles @ Bucs, 5:15 PM (Monday)