NFL Playoffs 2018: Divisional Round matchups, DMan's picks ATS
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will be the winners against the spread in NFL Playoffs 2018’s Divisional Round (Week 19). At least that is how I see it — for entertainment purposes only, of course.
On Saturday, the Eagles play host to the Atlanta Falcons and the Patriots entertain the Tennessee Titans. On Sunday, the Steelers play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Vikings entertain the New Orleans Saints.
In this space, I decline to take the easy route when picking ATS. I pick all of the games, even when I don’t have a good feel for some. At the same time, I am realistic. I think batting .500 ATS — as opposed to straight-up — is an accomplishment, and I make no guarantees. (And don’t yell at me too loudly when I have a bad week(s) because, after all, this is for EPO. We are playing with Monopoly money and Get Out Of Jail Free cards. Thank goodness for that.)
I have researched each team/matchup, but the plan is to rely more on gut than anything else this season.
For continuity’s sake, each week I will use the MGM Mirage lines from vegasinsider.com as of Wednesday afternoon unless noted. For Week 17’s exclusive Sunday schedule, I drew from the lines as of Saturday afternoon.
Games are listed as I came upon them, not by order of certainty. I do not adjust picks even if injuries occur and/or lines change between Wednesday afternoon and Sunday. (Such an approach has cost me more victories than it has saved.) At the same time, I have given myself license to change picks for my best “bets” video Sunday based on updated info; in those rare instances, the original full slate of picks will not change.
I am picking NFL ATS for the third straight season.
- In 2015, I went 122-127-7 in the regular season and 4-6-1 in the postseason.
- In 2016, I went 130-118-8 in the regular season and 9-2 in the postseason.
- Week 1: 6-9
- Week 2: 9-7
- Week 3: 7-9
- Week 4: 6-10
- Week 5: 7-6-1
- Week 6: 5-9
- Week 7: 6-7-2
- Week 8: 6-7
- Week 9: 4-8-1
- Week 10: 5-9
- Week 11: 6-7-1
- Week 12: 7-8-1
- Week 13: 8-8
- Week 14: 9-7
- Week 15: 4-9-3
- Week 16: 7-8-1
- Week 17: 11-5
- Week 18: 2-2
Week 18 recap: I got what I deserved.
@ Philadelphia +3 over Atlanta
Skinny: I get that Nick Foles, not Carson Wentz, is quarterback of the Eagles — otherwise, I’m not getting points. But I trust Foles to manage the game and the Eagles’ D to win it. Eagles, 24-20.
@ New England -13 1/2 over Tennessee
Skinny: Patriots are insulted that the spread isn’t larger, because this is a mismatch from almost every angle. Provided the weather conditions are manageable, Patriots will crab-walk to victory. Patriots, 33-10.
@ Pittsburgh -7 1/2 over Jacksonville
Skinny: My inclination was to take the Jaguars primarily because of the hook. Then what remains of my rational mind kicked in. Steelers have too much skill offensively, and they are at home. I don’t care what happened in the regular-season matchup (Jaguars, 30-9, Week 5 in Pittsburgh). Steelers, 27-15.
@ Minnesota -4 1/2 over New Orleans
Skinny: Vikings are a complete team that is well-coached, and their fans will be on fire. Vikings’ D contains Saints QB Drew Brees. Vikings, 26-21.