Expert Picks: NFL Wild Card Round

The 2016 NFL playoffs get underway this weekend, and it is all about the road favorites. All four games feature the road team favored, with Green Bay the smallest at one-point, and Seattle the biggest at four points. I think we see a split of the road favorites. Over the last 30 years, playoff home underdogs are 17-14 ATS, but just 6-25 SU, according to the OddsShark database.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans (Line: Chiefs -3)

This is a game where one notable injury could swing things. The Houston Texans lost left tackle Duane Brown to a torn right quad, and will start career backup Chris Clark on Brian Hoyer’s blind side. The Chiefs are getting back Justin Houston, which bodes extremely well for their pass rush. The Chiefs have not won a playoff game since 1994, which coincidentally enough was at Houston. The Texans tempted me, but this injury coupled with Houston’s return has me thinking Chiefs win big.

Pick: Chiefs -3

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals (Line: Steelers -3)

This line opened with the Steelers as one-point underdogs, and the public jumped on it in a hurry. The Steelers are now a three-point favorite, and public money is now backing the Bengals to a slight degree. The Bengals have lost six straight wild card round games, and are 2-12-1 ATS in their last 15 home games against the Steelers, according to the Odds Shark database. The Steelers won big at Cincinnati in A.J. McCarron’s first appearance, and I think their offense is too much for Cincinnati this weekend, even at -3.

Pick: Steelers -3

Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings (Line: Seahawks -4)

This could go down as the one of the coldest playoff games in NFL history. The Seahawks are getting heavy public money, having already won easily in Minnesota in early December. They are expecting Marshawn Lynch back, which is a boost, but I think the Vikings can keep this game close. I like getting that extra point over the field goal, and I’ll take advantage of an overzealous public.

Pick: Vikings +4

Green Bay Packers at Washington (Line: Packers -1)

The Packers stumbled into the playoffs, blowing a chance at a home playoff game with a Week 17 loss to Minnesota. Washington has won four straight under Kirk Cousins. It has been against bad teams, but the Packers are not exactly playing great football right now. Washington is 5-2 ATS in their last seven wild card games, according to the OddsShark database. I think they build on that with an outright home win.

Pick: Washington outright

Editor's Note: David Fucillo is a member of Team OddsShark and the Sportsbook at the end of 17 weeks for our team in the Sportsbook SuperContest. Picking five teams a week (ATS) during the NFL regular season, Fucillo finished with 53 out of a possible 85 points (62 percent), and tied for 24th overall in the record field of 1,727 SuperContest entrants. Each week during the NFL playoffs, the SBNation writer will bring you his picks for the weekend’s action.

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