Who ya got ?
The stakes get higher this week with the winner of these four games off to the Championship game next week – now only 2 wins away from a Superbowl appearance. One prediction – all home teams to win this weekend.
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs 10.35am Sunday NZ time
The Colts are off a one sided victory over the Houston Texans come into Arrowhead Stadium probably affording to being the most relaxed of any team this weekend. They squeaked in and are a team in rebuild so no real pressure. Meanwhile the explosively offensive Chiefs team, having set the bar in the AFC, has a history of playoff chokes hanging over them. They have all the pressure on them. Chief’s quarterback and potential MVP, Patrick Mahomes, has been unplayable for most of the season. Averaging 35 points per game they are close to setting a NFL record from that point of view. Meanwhile their defence is one of the NFL’s worst. Championships are won of defence apparently so the Chiefs have no chance against Indianapolis Andrew Luck’s arm – or do they? The Chiefs are 5 point favourites here. Their luck in playoffs (excuse the pun) has to change. Surely they won’t go out again. Pick Kansas City Chiefs -5
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams 2.15pm Sunday NZ time
Last weekend the Dallas Cowboys were the highest scoring team who played with 24 points against the Seattle Seahawks. Here they come into a Rams team that have one of the better defensive units in the league so scoring points will be at a premium for them. Possibly the weakest in terms of rankings out the 8 teams left they may be able to take advantage of the pressure the Rams are under to win. Having a roster that’s built to win it all another failed playoff run may have the Los Angles organisation wondering where to look next. Dak Prescott whilst not the best in the NFL is certainly someone who can turn it on in Q4 of games so this could be a lot closer than predicted. The Rams will win this though. Pick Dallas Cowboys +7.5
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots Monday 7.05am NZ time
Here we go. Another playoff home game for the New England Patriots. A win is a sure thing right? Hold up – the Patriots are no one near what they once were. They got their bye but their play in the last quarter of the regular season was marginal at best. Are we finally seeing the decline of the great one – Tom Brady? The Chargers made it look easy for most of last week’s victory against the Baltimore Ravens and on paper have a better team match up wise but here they come across one of the best coaches the NFL has seen (and probably the best Quarterback) If anyone can beat the odds the Patriots can and Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn alongside the great Philip Rivers will have to have his team at their very best. The Patriots live for this time of the season. Pick Patriots -4
Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints 10.40am Monday NZ time
There seems to be one thing consistent these days for the Eagles. Backup quarterback Nick Foles will lead them into and through the playoffs. He’s doing it again (albeit it’s only the second season that’s he done this and last year he won it all) Foles was the quarterback current Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid talked out of retirement in 2016 to become his back up at the Chiefs. Released at the end of the season Foles goes back to where he started, to the Eagles, and the rest is history. This week will be a tall order though. The top team in the NFC, the New Orleans Saints, have been great on both sides of the football and veteran quarterback Drew Brees is at the top of his game. Both teams know how to win it all. Of course the Saints are home favourites however this could be cracker. Saints to win but Eagles to run them close. Pick Philadelphia Eagles +8
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