Top 5 Anti-Spread Picks

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The Wild Card round is a buffet of various carbohydrates and fillers. The divisional round has prime rib and drumstick legs.

That’s it. This is all for die-hard NFL types. Super Bowl … your mom is watching the Super Bowl. Championship Sunday is a big one, but this is the weekend when we have the best group games. The four of them, all of whom live their own lives.

I’ll try to find the top five picks among them in terms of range – and total points.

As I mentioned for the Wild Card round, with so few games to choose from, hitting .600 is a reasonable goal, and I accomplished that last week with a 3-2 record thanks to Dallas’ obvious pick over Tampa Bay and Jacksonville’s easy peasy walk in the park win — and the end – against the Chargers (jeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh).

I overrated Buffalo, underestimated San Francisco, and I might do it again—at least with the latter—starting with…

Click on each game to view the game

5. NFL Playoffs: Dallas in San Francisco

LINE San Francisco -4

Warning, I’m going to underestimate the guy again – it didn’t go well for me.

No, the definition of insanity is NOT doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same result. However, the pick against Brock Purdy hasn’t exactly shown sound judgment so far.

The guy was absolutely magnificent.

If it was, say, Kenny Pickett, or Sam Howell, or even Trey Lance, he would be hailed as the NFL’s next big thing. But because he’s Brock Purdy, and because he’s a third-string option, and because he was Mr. Irrelevant – that whole tag and part annoys me for some reason; does that mean travon walker was mr relevant? – it’s hard to fully buy.

Every NFL quarterback has a bum at some point, but seriously? 67%, 13 touchdown passes, four picks, undefeated as a starter in these big games?

This is more about Dallas.



NFL Mock Draft: Top 23 Rankings and Picks After 2023 Wild Card


Along with the name recognition, if this wasn’t Dallas, and if he didn’t carry all this baggage and all these expectations, he might be favored.

The only major concern I have is the weather. San Francisco played Saturday morning, Dallas played Monday night, and Dallas had to travel. The 49ers are approaching two days of extra rest. It’s a problem, but I’m going with talent.

Dallas has a combination of offensive firepower and defensive play that the 49ers – and Purdy – haven’t dealt with yet. I’d like to get a little more than a four, but I’ll take it.

I’ll probably be picking against Purdy in the NFL Championship as well.

Speaking of digging underdogs on the road…

CFN Expert Pick: Cowboys at 49ers

NEXT UP: The NFL’s anti-spread pick No. 4: Cincinnati at Buffalo

4. NFL Playoffs: Cincinnati at Buffalo

LINE Buffalo -5.5
ATS PICK Cincinnati

Buffalo scares me.

As I wrote in the game review, this is not the Buffalo team of last year at this time. He makes more and more mistakes and struggles to put teams away.

Last year’s team would pick teeth with the Dolphins in that Wild Card game.

But he’s racking up a million points – more on that below – he’s at home and has the game he’s been waiting for. All that, and despite all my whining about how it’s not the same team, they have 13 wins, nine of them by a goal or more.

I just like the Bengals to at least make this fight.

I can’t quite get there and figure them out right away – they weren’t exactly sharp against the Ravens – but they’re in the same boat as Buffalo. This is the game and the moment they’ve been waiting for – in a way.

Buffalo dreamed of righting last year’s offense and playing the Chiefs. The Bengals seem to want this – for now – if I’m overreacting to how both sides seem to be doing.

Cincinnati’s defense is playing well, Joe Burrow won’t mind any noise, and this should come down to a late hit or a big moment.

I’m still picking Buffalo to win – Cincinnati’s offensive line will fail at some point – but 5.5 is good enough.

CFN Expert Pick: Bengals at Bills

NEXT UP: NFL Pick vs. The Spread no. 3 Jacksonville at Kansas City

3. NFL Playoffs: Jacksonville at Kansas City


I refuse out of shame.

Unders can be just as fun as overs if you have the defenses on point. I actually prefer 3-0 in the first quarter under to 17-10 in the first quarter on the over – it’s more satisfying in a way.

Yeah, that doesn’t happen in the Divisional Round of your NFL playoffs.

They can’t quite get there with 48 on Giants-Eagles, but the other three games have the potential to be top-notch entertainment.

Really? Do you think the Kansas City forward who was waiting to get going will limp to 17 points? Only once did he score less than 20 points.

Here’s the worry – Kansas City 27, Jacksonville 17. It was a Week 10 meeting, and the top defense is just good enough to keep the Jaguars from screwing up.

The Chiefs are scoring consistently, but the offense has been a little hit or miss. It should get to 20, but will that be enough?

That. The D has allowed 27 or more in five of its last nine games, and has given up four fewer against the weak offenses of Tennessee (twice), the Jets and Houston. He will give up at least 27.

Nobody throws more touchdown passes than the Chiefs, someone gets to 30 in this one, and there’s a good chance. Patrick Mahomes and company take care of most of the heavy lifting themselves.

But I get it. 52.5 is a big number, so…

CFN Expert Pick: Jaguars at the Bosses

NEXT UP: NFL Pick vs. The Spread no. 2 Dallas in San Francisco, Part 2

2. NFL Playoffs: Dallas in San Francisco


Yes, the Dallas defense is good. He is 12th in the NFL in total and fifth in D scoring.

Yes, San Francisco’s defense is good. It’s partly because he’s upped the ante with plenty of teams watching from their couches, but yes, he’s first in both scoring and total defense.

And that defense was just hit by Geno Smith and DK Metcalf for 23 points.

It is possible to score a hit on this stack. He had an eight-game streak of allowing 20 points or less, but again, it’s not like he was going against Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen during the streak.

Dallas pushed Minnesota’s offense to a 40-3 victory, allowing more than 20 points just seven times.

But come on. You don’t close out a weekend of NFL playoff games thinking this is going to be 23-20.

San Francisco has scored 33 or more in six of its last seven games and seven of its last eight. Dallas doesn’t keep under 20.

You agree with the over at 46.

Speaking of “you’re not going to buy into this”…

CFN Expert Pick: Cowboys at 49ers

NEXT UP: NFL Pick vs. The Spread no. 1 Cincinnati at Buffalo

1. NFL Playoffs: Cincinnati at Buffalo


No way.

You didn’t come this far as a football fan and wait this long for this game to fail. You know you’re going overboard. It is a moral imperative.

Before the nightmare and the cancellation, these two went into a firefight of epic proportions. It won’t hold back and it certainly won’t rely on controlling the clock and running racing games.

As soon as one team starts a sharp, effective scoring action… HE PLAYS.

Both expert staffs know this, and so do you. Don’t bother showing up if you think you’ll make it with 24 points.

Cincinnati has been held under 23 four times in its last 15 games. Buffalo was held under 23 just three times on the year.

Start with this – one side will score at least 30. If you think the loser in this one won’t go past 17, then okay, you might be right. Enjoy the base and 7-layer dip that actually has only 5.5 layers.

This game has the potential to be too much fun not to pass. If it doesn’t work out, enjoy the show, tip your hat and it goes Cowboys-49ers.

CFN Expert Pick: Bengals at Bills

NFL Playoff Predictions by Divisional Experts
Jaguars at the bosses | Giants at Eagles
Bengals at Bill’s | Cowboys at 49ers

The story originally appeared on College Football News

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