Home / Sport / Wild-Card Round Bettor’s Guide: Expect Titans to cover the spread

Wild-Card Round Bettor’s Guide: Expect Titans to cover the spread


TITANS at CHIEFS


Sat., 4:35 p.m., ESPN, Chiefs by 8½, 44½


HANK’S HONEYS: While it appears to be a battle of running games, the biggest edge goes to K.C. in QB category. Marcus Mariota has thrown more picks than TDs. Alex Smith has an impressive playoff record with 12 TD passes against two INTs and he’ll have plenty of opportunities to continue the trend against the Titans’ mediocre DBs. Still, while K.C. wins it, Titans should be able to keep things close, at least under a TD. They’re 2-0 against Andy Reid at Arrowhead and last year, they ran all over the Chiefs. K.C.’s ranked 28th vs. the run this year and does not stack up well against big physical teams like Tennessee. Chiefs are 2-6 SU in their last eight home playoff games.


IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Titans and the under.

Marcus Mariota hasn’t played well this season, but the Titans will still cover against the Chiefs.

(Julio Cortez/AP)


FALCONS at RAMS


Sat., 8:15 p.m., Ch. 4, Rams by 6, 49½


HANK’S HONEYS: Toughest pick of week. Falcons are playoff-tested. Rams are not. Rams are rested. Falcons had to fight every week to survive. Rams were only 4-4 SU at home this year but grass slows down Falcons’ attack. Can Wade Phillips out-scheme Steve Sarkisian and take away Julio Jones? Will Jared Goff be patient enough if Falcons take away the deep passing game? Todd Gurley gives Rams a big edge in running game, but Falcons have the better run defense. X-factor matchup: Falcons LG Andy Levitre went on IR this week, putting Ben Garland, with three career starts, up against game-wrecker Aaron Donald. To many questions to lay big money but if you must:


IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Rams and the over.

(New York Daily News)


BILLS at JAGUARS


1:05 p.m., Ch. 2, Jaguars by 8, 40


HANK’S HONEYS: Most everybody feels good that the Bills are back in the playoffs but the fairy tale ends here. It’s too much of a mismatch between the Bills’ sputtering offense and the Jaguars’ dominant defense, especially with Shady McCoy’s sprained ankle. Blake Bortles may run into problems next week (he’s awful in comeback mode) but all he has to do in this one is hand off to Leonard Fournette as the Jaguars’ No. 1-ranked rushing offense faces the Bills’ 29th-ranked run defense. Jaguars lost their last two games of the season but were unmotivated in both. This will be different. They dominate at home as Doug Marrone gets one over on his former employer.


IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Jaguars and the over.

(New York Daily News)


PANTHERS at SAINTS


4:40 p.m., Ch. 5, Saints by 7, 48½


HANK’S HONEYS: It may be tough to beat a team three times in one season, but it’s also true that the Panthers just don’t match up well with the Saints. Saints have figured out how to contain Carolina’s running game — i.e. Cam Newton — and there’s not a lot more to that offense. Saints offense is so explosive that it will force Panthers to the air, where the Saints have great matchups on the perimeter, especially with Marshon Lattimore (who missed both Carolina games) on a hobbled Devin Funchess. Luke Keuchly and Thomas Davis are going to have to be better against the Saints’ dynamic RB duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Saints dinged them for 149 and 148 rushing yards, the two highest totals against Panthers all year.


IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Saints and the over.

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Hank Gola

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