NFL Wild Card Best Bets Steelers/Bills, Eagles/Buccaneers

The regular season is behind us and it is time to win or go home. There’s a really good slate of matchups this weekend and a couple of opportunities TSI shows value in that my gut agrees with. Miami traveling to Kansas City to face Patrick Mahomes in the 0 degree tundra will be an interesting storyline to keep an eye on, as well as the late-rising Jordan Love-led Packers taking on the Cowboys, not to mention rookie sensation CJ Stroud hosting the Cleveland Browns in his first playoff start. I’m genuinely excited to watch this slate of games and even more excited to hopefully cash a couple of bets along the way.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills (-10), O/U 35.5

It’s not often you see a total in the mid-thirties with a team laying double digits, especially in an NFL playoff game and especially when that underdog is Mike Tomlin’s Pittsburgh Steelers. TSI projects this game as Buffalo -8, so getting a key number of 10 is crucial here. Even without my numbers validating this play, my gut tells me that Buffalo laying 10 points against Pittsburgh is too many, but the fact that TSI reinforces my thought makes this a play for me. While the Bills finished the regular season power rated fourth and the Steelers just twenty-first, that only equates to a 5.9 point difference on a neutral field, and I’m not buying that there’s a four point home field advantage for the Bills. 


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Pick: Steelers +10 or better

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Philadelphia Eagles (-3), O/U 43.5

My guess is, most of the recreational betting world saw this line and thought, “Eagles are only laying 3 against the Bucs?!” Tampa Bay has not been the sexiest team this year, and the Eagles have Jalen (freaking) Hurts, but the T Shoe Index actually projects Tampa to win this game outright with a Tampa -2 projection. My numbers have been lower than market on the Eagles pretty much all season after Philly started the season as my #1 team and quickly dropped as they won games but didn’t perform to the model’s expectations. TSI has the Bucs #10 and Eagles #11 overall, separated by less than a point so factoring in the home field advantage tips the scale in favor of the Buccaneers. If the Eagles manage to win and cover, feel free to call me an idiot for backing Baker Mayfield here, but I’m doing it.

Pick: Buccaneers +3 (Play to +3, -132)

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