Forecaster Frank's Picks 2021 Wild Card Weekend

I ended the regular season on a sour note, posting an awful 5-11 record in Week 18, the most challenging week of the year to pick. Overall I am 135-136-1 .498. Let's hope the playoffs go better. 

Saturday

Cin -5.5 (o/u 49)

Bengals 37 Raiders 27

Expect fireworks as Joe Burrow makes his playoff debut. Derek Carr is also making his postseason debut, having been injured the last time the Raiders made it. Look for the Bengals to get the edge and win as Ja'Marr Chase scores at least two touchdowns. After the game, a fan will send the first text to celebrate a playoff win in Cincinnati, as texting did not exist the last time the Bengals won a playoff game. 

NE +4 (o/u 44)

Patriots 20 Bills 3

The Buffalo Bills are intimidated by the Patriots. Once they see that flying Elvis, they are frozen in place, unable to move or make the big plays. This will be a defensive battle, with the Patriots getting a turnover to turn the game in their favor. 

Sunday

TB -8.5 (o/u 45.5)

Buccaneers 31 Eagles 10

The Eagles made the playoffs by taking advantage of a soft schedule. They played teams at the right time that were injured or dealing with COVID and played bad teams to make their late-season playoff push. The Buccaneers are the defending champions and know how to win in January, especially with the GOAT Tom Brady. 

SF +3.5 (o/u 51)

Cowboys 20 49ers 17

The Cowboys are the team that could make a big run to the Super Bowl or fizzle in the Wild Card; they have the talent to win but have the reputation of struggling in big games. The 49ers' defense could keep them in the game, while Elijah Mitchell and the Niners' rushing attack could steal the game in Dallas. It will be close, with Dallas winning in overtime on a field goal. 

KC -12.5 (o/u 46)

Chiefs 38 Steelers 13

Despite Ben Roethlisberger being well past his prime, the Steelers scratched and clawed their way to the playoffs. When they played the Chiefs three weeks ago, it was a blood bath; I expect the same to happen this time around. The Chiefs will win the game easily as Patrick Mahomes is ready for another run to the Super Bowl. 

Monday

Ari +4 (o/u 49.5)

Cardinals 24 Rams 20

The Cardinals have played better on the road all season, posting an 8-1 record away from the desert. This includes a 37-20 win at SoFi Stadium early in the season. The Rams have their holes as Matthew Stafford has been erratic at quarterback. Look for Kyler Murray's quickness to keep the Rams pass rush off balance for the road win.