Goldie’s Best Bets: Take the Bills over Bill
All Time Record: 290-144-1
Vs. Spread: 218-216-1
21-22 Season: 164-89-1
Vs. Spread: 129-127-1
Week 17 Record: 11-5
Vs. Spread: 8-8
Guarantee Record: 17-15
Upset Record: 18-13
Crazy Uncle Jeff
All Time: 35-15
21-22 Season: 19-14
Week 17: 1-1
#5 Las Vegas Raiders (10-7) @ #4 Cincinnati Bengals (10-7)
Vegas Picks: CIN -5.5
Goldie’s Take: Bengals Win 24-21
In the first of a very exciting slate of wildcard matchups, the red hot Raiders head to Cincy to face low-key MVP candidate Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Some fresh faces in the playoffs in this one, including both starting quarterbacks who are set to make their postseason debut’s. The forecast calls for a cold and ugly game this Saturday, which does not bode well for Raiders QB Derek Carr. Carr is 0-5 in his five career games in temperatures under 37 degrees, and in those games he’s failed to score 17 points each time. Should make for a tough day for that Raiders offense going against a defense who is used to playing in the cold. Giving Raiders a decent upset shot, but picking the home Bengals to fight their way to the divisional round.
#6 New England Patriots (10-7) @ #3 Buffalo Bills (11-6)
Vegas Picks: BUF -4
Goldie’s Take: Bills Win 22-17
There’s no denying Bellichick and the Pats have owned Buffalo for the past two decades. Pats have won nine of their last ten in Buffalo, and have dominated in the process. HOWEVER, this is a different Bills team (and a different Pats team), and this is the day the Bills finally turn the tides. Buffalo enters this one winners of four straight (including one in New England) to secure the AFC East title. Meanwhile, the Pats have cooled down since that hot streak they had in the middle of the season; going 1-3 in their last four contests. Plus Buffalo will have quite the raucous crowd behind them, as this is only the third home playoff game the mafia has witnessed since 1996. Believe in Josh Allen and the loaded Bills offense to outpace rookie Mac Jones in a monumental win for Bills history. After all, nobody circles the wagons quite like the Buffalo Bills.
#7 Philadelphia Eagles (9-8) @ #2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-5)
Vegas Picks: TB -9
Goldie’s Take: Bucs Win 28-16
When these teams first met in Philly during week 6, the Bucs only won by six. Philly stayed tough and hung in the game. However, the Bucs were without Gronkowski and the game was in Philly. This time the Bucs will be at home and Gronk will be healthy. Although I was a strong supporter of the Eagles all season, that was mostly because of their weak schedule; which resulted in the Birds sneaking into the playoffs. Things will be different going on the road against one of the league’s powerhouses. Brady and the Bucs cruise past the Eagles in Wildcard weekend.
#6 San Francisco 49ers @ #3 Dallas Cowboys (12-5)
Vegas Picks: DAL -3
Goldie’s Take: Cowboys Win 33-27
The Cowboys offense has found its groove at the absolute right time, dropping 50+ in two of their last three games to end the regular season. Dak has been clicking with his array of weapons, not to mention the defense has held strong. The Niners offensive attack should have a tough time keeping pace, especially with QB Jimmy Garropolo still battling a thumb injury. Jerry has assembled arguably his best squad since the Aikman/Smith glory days; Home crowd boosts the Cowboys over the Niners in a classic playoff matchup. How ‘Bout Them Cowboys!
#7 Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1) @ #2 Kansas City Chiefs (12-5)
Vegas Picks: KC -12.5
Goldie’s Take: Chiefs Win 33-23
The Steelers won their final two games to extend Big Ben’s career at least one more game. That will be all it is though. One more game. Steelers head to Arrowhead to face a fired up red hot Chiefs team. The last time these two met, KC put a 26 point hammer down on the Steelers. Although I’m expecting another Chiefs win, I do think the black and gold fight hard for Ben’s final hurrah.
#5 Arizona Cardinals (11-6) @ #4 Los Angeles Rams (12-5)
Vegas Picks: LAR -4
Goldie’s Take: Rams Win 32-26
Although the two teams’ records are similar, that does not tell the whole story. Arizona is a fools gold 11-6. After starting the season 7-0, Arizona has finished the season spirally out of control; losers of four of their last five. Now they’re faced with going on the road to face the division rival Rams, a tall task for a team who has not been playing good football of late. The Rams have both the defensive edge and the home field edge. Plus, Matt Stafford gets his first taste of playoff life outside of Detroit, he should be out to prove something in this one. Picking LA to get the home win in the NFL’s first Monday night playoff game since 1998.
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