NFL Playoffs First Round Picks: Steelers and Browns Clash in AFC North Battle

The NFL playoffs have arrived and for the first time in league history, seven teams from each conference are participating. There are six games on schedule with the Steelers and Browns headlining the action.

Cleveland Browns versus Pittsburgh Steelers

The Cleveland Browns head into the game with an 11-5 record and the Steelers won the AFC North with a 12-4 record. The teams split the two meetings this season and the Steelers are a 1.45 to 2.782 favorite with a line of -4.5 and an over/under of 46.5.  Pittsburgh has a +26 to +21 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and the Browns are “average up” versus “ice cold down” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Totals Predictor indicates that this should be a low scoring game, so betting the “under” is a smart play. Both teams have been  performing according to their favorite/underdog status according to the Team Volatility Oscillator. The Steelers haven’t been playing their best ball, but they have the playoff experience and are at home. Look for them to win and cover.

Indianapolis Colts versus Buffalo Bills

The Colts come into play with a 11-5 regular season record and the Bills won the AFC East with a 13-3 record. The Bills are a 1.31 to 3.46 favorite with a line of -6.5 and an over/under of 52.5. The Totals Predictor shows both teams trending in games over the line, so betting “over” is a good play. The Bills have a +30 to +20 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Both teams have been performing consistently with their favorite/underdog status. Look for the Bills to win the game, but don’t be surprised if the Colts cover the spread.

Los Angeles Rams versus Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks enter the playoffs on a four-game winning streak and were 12-4 on the season. The Rams were second in the NFC West at 10-6 and the teams split the games between them this season. Seattle is a 1.45 to 2.782 favorite with a line of -4.5 and an over/under of 42.5. The Seahawks have a large edge of +28 to +16 on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Seattle has shown considerable more stability throughout the season. Avoid the over/under since the teams are trending on opposite sides of the line. Seattle should have little problems in this one, winning and covering.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Washington Football Team

Washington won the lowly NFC East after a 20-14 win over an Eagles’ team that played most of their backups. The Buccaneers have won their last four and were 11-5 during the regular season. They have a +22 to +3 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average up” on the Team Strength Oscillator.  The Buccaneers are a 1.26 to 3.94 favorite with a large line of -8.5 and over/under of 45.5. The Totals Predictor suggests that betting the “over” is the best play for this game. Washington has been far less stable than Tampa Bay, indicating it’s not best to bet on this game solely on favorite/underdog status. There is little to suggest that Washington can keep up with Brady and the Bucs. Tampa Bay will win by double-digits.

Baltimore Ravens versus Tennessee Titans

Both teams finished with records of 11-5 during the regular season. The Ravens have a +27 to +23 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average up” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Titans have won the last two games between the teams including a playoff matchup. Nevertheless, the Ravens are 1.55 to 2.468 favorites with a line of -3.5 and over/under of 54.5. The Team Volatility Oscillator shows both teams are moderately stable at +7 to +5. The Ravens will avenge last year’s loss and take down the Titans by a touchdown.

Chicago Bears versus New Orleans Saints

The Bears limped into the playoffs with a loss and an 8-8 record while the Saints won their last two and finished at 12-4.  The Saints are huge home favorites of 1.21 to 4.42 with a line of -9.5 and an over/under of 48.5. The Saints are “burning hot” on the Team Strength Oscillator and +22 on the Power Ranking Indicator, while the Bears are “average down” and +19. As as most teams in the playoffs, both teams are showing good stability on the Team Volatility Oscillator. Avoid the over/under on this one with teams trending on opposite sides of the line.  It’s tempting to pick the Bears plus the points, but the Saints are much too strong, particularly at home. New Orleans will win by a couple of touchdowns.

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