Team Degenerate goes into the playoff on an absolute tear following last week’s 5-1 week that gained another 10 units. Darren Waller, Justin Jefferson and A.J. Brown all hit their personal milestones they were going for, Jerry Jeudy caught a 92-yard touchdown to help him fly over his total and the Packers easily dismantled the Bears per usual. The only loss was Mike Evans, who had 46 of of 65.5 yards needed in the first half before getting injured.
For the regular season, Team Degenerate finished with a 71-36-2 record — a smashing success at 66 percent when our goal for the season is 55 percent — and a gain of 53 units. The playoffs are the best time of the year to bet, so it’s a new season and hopefully our run continues. The playoffs are nice because there are not as many hidden factors to consider. Every team is max motivated, so it really comes down to the matchups.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks under 42.5 3 units
These two teams have played twice this year with the totals being 39 and 29 for those games. Teams that know each other well in a third matchup tend to play lower scoring games as it is. In the last 10 years, the 70 NFL wild card playoff games have gone under the total an astounding 50 times.
We still don’t know who the Rams will start at quarterback, and they have scored just one offensive touchdown in the last three weeks. Seattle’s defense has been a top 10 unit in DVOA in the second half of the season. That coincides with the addition of Carlos Dunlap and Jamal Adams getting healthy. If Jared Goff plays, he did not throw for a touchdown in either game against Seattle this year and has thrown for less than 6.5 yards per attempt in four of his last five games.
Meanwhile, Seattle has gone back to its old style of ground and pound on offense once Russell Wilson turned into a turnover machine in the middle of the season. The Rams have Jalen Ramsey to shadow D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett has not been the same receiver down the stretch of the season for some reason.
In eight games against the Rams since Sean McVay has gotten hired, Wilson has thrown for more than 250 yards against the Rams just once. The Seahawks are on an 7-1 under run and six of those eight games have gone under this total.
Washington Football Team +8.5 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 unit
I would have more units on this game and give Washington a good chance at an outright upset if not for Alex Smith being injured. Smith had zero mobility last week against the Eagles and the talk of Taylor Heinicke getting the most snaps in practice means it is not getting any better.
However, Washington has been a different team when Smith starts and has averaged over 26 points per game in those contests. A team scoring 26 points per game with the defense that Washington has really would be a top 10 team in the NFL, but obviously nobody talks about Washington that highly.
Their defense is the perfect match to stop Tom Brady with Chase Young, Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen being able to get after him without a blitz. Washington is third in defensive DVOA and has been outstanding against the pass. Devin White will miss this game for Tampa and I would expect Mike Evans to be hobbled. In prime time games this year, Brady is 0-4 ATS and 1-3 straight up and normally goes to bed when these games begin.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Team Under 45 3 units
I do not see where the points are coming from in this game. The eye test said Alex Smith is not healthy and Washington has been awful this year against defenses that pressure the quarterback. The Football Team has faced three teams in the top 11 in blitz rate and combined to score four offensive touchdowns in those games. We know how much Todd Bowles loves to blitz.
Knowing Washington isn’t going to score much, the only way this loses is Tampa going for over 30 points, which I don’t see. Brady is not the same when you can rush four and pressure him. In a clean pocket this year, Brady is completing 71 percent of his passes for over eight yards per attempt, but that drops to a 44 percent completion percentage and five yards per attempt when pressured. This is also not a game I see Tampa Bay going aggressively to get margin in.
Baltimore Ravens -3 over Tennessee Titans 1 unit
There were two teams I’ve had it in my head for a while that I would want to fade on wild card weekend, and Tennessee is one of them. Everybody is talking about Baltimore dominating a cupcake schedule to end the season, which is fair and true. However, the last two good teams the Titans have played — Green Bay and Cleveland — have been absolute blowouts.
The Titans have not only the worst defense in the playoffs, but one of the worst defenses in the NFL overall. That’s just not a recipe for postseason success. The last time these teams played when Tennessee won in overtime , Baltimore was without Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams and Lamar Jackson was still dealing with COVID. The Ravens get rid of their negative playoff narrative here and get revenge on the Titans.
Pittsburgh Steelers -6 over Cleveland Browns 2 units
The other team I wanted to fade is Cleveland and I got the perfect matchup in order to do so. The Steelers have dominated the Browns the same way the Packers have dominated the Bears. They almost won last week with their backups against the Browns in a must-win game.
I’m not sure the line has adjusted enough for the Browns being without several coaches. Look at what happened to Clemson in the college football playoffs without their play caller. Then you have the facility being closed all week impacting practice. I don’t think the line has jumped enough to reflect these disruptions.
Baker Mayfield is averaging 4.5 yards per attempt under pressure and over eight yards per attempt in a clean pocket. Pittsburgh has one of the best pass rushes in the NFL and the Browns will be without Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio. Going against quarterbacks making their first career playoff start has also been very profitable.
Tom Brady under 292.5 passing yards 3 units
The analysis for this has already been covered in the game preview, but one thing to add is that Tampa’s resurgent offense down the stretch has come against Atlanta twice and Detroit. This is about 20 yards high in my opinion. Washington gives up 191 passing yards per game.
Russell Wilson under 252.5 passing yards 2 units
See analysis above
Antonio Gibson over 12.5 receiving yards 2 units
Tampa Bay allows a league-high six catches per game to running backs and Alex Smith loves to check down as much as anybody in the NFL. Gibson cleared this total in six of eight games before injuring his toe against Pittsburgh.
Stefon Diggs over 90 receiving yards 1 unit
It’s a high number, but Diggs has been the best wide receiver not named Davante Adams this season. Diggs hasn’t seen fewer than eight targets in a game since Week 14 and had hit this total in seven of his last eight games prior to Week 17. Indy’s pass defense has been awful down the stretch of the season and Diggs should have no problem picking their zone apart.