2018 NFC Wild Card Betting Picks

Atlanta Falcons @ Los Angeles Rams - Saturday, January 6th, 2018 @ 20:15 EST.
This may just be my personal favorite game of the weekend. The red-hot Falcons head into L.A. for the first playoff game in the City of Angels this millennium. Can Jared Goff get it done in his first playoff game? Or will his nerves prove too much to overcome. I don't want to take away anything from what the Rams have accomplished this year, but they simply aren't a legitimate contender. And after the most epic collapse in Super Bowl history last season, the Falcons just have too much to prove. I'm going with the Atlanta Falcons ML.

I don't think there's any doubt that Sean McVay has earned coach of the year accolades. Todd Gurley morphed from a complete bust into a legitimate MVP candidate. McVay has also turned Jared Goff into a franchise QB. The Rams haven't won a playoff game since 2004. This is California after all. The drought continues.

Matty Ice has simply too many weapons in his arsenal-most notably, arguably the best receiver in the game today in Julio Jones. The more undercover element is how sneaky good Atlanta's defense has been all year. We're going to hear all week about Aaron Donald and the Rams pass rush, but keep in mind that it's Atlanta's defense that ranks in the top ten in both points and total yards allowed/game. This will be the first and only upset of the weekend.

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints - Sunday, January 7th, 2018 @ 16:30 EST.
On paper, this is going to be an offensive shootout and quite possibly the most exciting game of the weekend. Killa Cam Newton against the journeyman Drew Brees. This game is simple for me. The public will be all over both bets but even a broken clock is right twice a day/weekend. Take the New Orleans Saints ML parlayed with the Over.

This will be the third meeting of the season between these two division rivals. The Panthers lost both of those matchups while allowing the Saints to lace them for thirty points or more. They're going to need to slow down the Saints duo-headed monster of a run game. The Saints ranked second overall behind only the Patriots in total yards and fifth overall on the ground. Carolina has to slow down Ingram and Kamara if they want to have a chance. Luckily, they boast the third ranking rushing defense. Unfortunately, that still leaves Drew Brees to contend with.

Not only are the Saints better on offense, they're arguably better on defense. Luke Kuechly is a beast and he deserves the air time he'll receive this week. But Marshon Lattimore is the most underrated cornerback in the league that you've never heard of. I'm expecting a huge day for the rookie. It may not be as spectacular as his "butt-ception" pick he had in week sixteen. But this kid will be hyped for this one and will make his presence felt.