It’s always tough picking NFL Playoff games, given that the parity is a little better than your average in-season matchup. Case in point, who do you pick between a Seattle team on the road without Marshawn Lynch this week, and the Minnesota Vikings and their one-dimensional offense? But no matter how close playoff games may seem, there are always plenty of blowouts each year. That said, take a look at the following three teams, which aren’t great bets to cover the spread in the 2016 NFL Playoffs.
1. Washington Redskins
Plenty of experts are picking the Redskins to beat Green Bay in the Wild Card round, meaning they’d cover or tie their minus-1 spread at GTBets.eu. But despite winning their last four games to close out the season at 9-7, coupled with the Packers’ subpar play down the stretch, it’s hard to give Washington much credit. They haven’t played a winning team in seven weeks, and Kirk Cousins hasn’t faced a quality defense in the same span. The only playoff teams on their schedule – Carolina and New England – beat the Redskins by a combined score of 71-26. Again, Green Bay might not be playing their best football right now and their offensive line isn’t helping Aaron Rodgers much. But don’t believe the Redskins hype that started when they locked up the league’s worst division.
While the Bengals may be playing at home against Pittsburgh, the Steelers are favored on our line at -2.5. A great reason for this is that Cincinnati just don’t seem to win in the postseason. They’re 0-6 under head coach Marvin Lewis in the playoffs, which doesn’t bode well against a tough Wild Card opponent. An even bigger reason for the Bengals being an underdog is that starting quarterback Andy Dalton is still out with a fractured thumb. A.J. McCarron hasn’t played too badly in his absence, tossing 6 TD’s against only 2 INT’s and completing 66% of his passes. However, we wouldn’t bet on McCarron breaking the playoff curse of Lewis – even if he does, the Patriots loom in the Divisional round.
Somehow Denver managed to wrangle the top seed in the AFC, despite losing two of their last four games. Brock Osweiler played well in relief of an injured Peyton Manning, throwing for 10 TD’s, 6 INT’s and completing 62% of his passes. However, Manning talked his way back into the final regular season game against San Diego and let the run game do the work for him. In years past, having No. 18 back under center would be a great thing. But this season, Manning has thrown just 9 TD’s against 17 INT’s and looked every bit his age. Even with homefield advantage, the Broncos defense will have to carry them considering how Manning will be starting again.