The suddenly resurgent Falcons come into Philly this weekend as road favorites (Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

With the exception of the Jacksonville/Buffalo game, Wildcard Weekend was a pretty entertaining kickoff to the NFL Playoffs. The Divisional Round has three VERY juicy matchups, and one game (Titans/Pats) that has about a 20% chance of being entertaining. I have faith in Derrick Henry, though.

Mike Procopio did pretty well last week ATS (3-1); I’m looking to kick it up a notch this week.

Voodoo’s postseason record:
Against the spread: 2-2
Straight up: 2-2
Over/Under: 1-3
 
Mike Procopio’s postseason record:
Against the spread: 3-1
Straight up: 3-1
Over/Under: 2-2
 

 
DIVISIONAL ROUND:

Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles (+3)
Saturday January 13th @ 4:35pm ET

Over/Under: 41
Temperature: 38°
Wind: 4-9mph
 

Now that the playoffs are in full swing, I am going to cry myself to sleep every night until February 4th. Why? Because I know the Eagles would steamroll their way to the Super Bowl if Carson Wentz didn’t blow out his goddamn knee in Week 14. Now, would they be able to beat the Patriots? That would be a tough task, but it would be a game. Steelers? Most likely. Jags? Sure thing. As a Philly fan with a “what-if” mindset, seeing the remaining landscape hurts. This Eagles squad was a very good team in a season full of average Joes. We were finally going to get our best shot at a Super Bowl. But here we are, trotting out our shaky backup QB against a battle-tested Falcons team. Even though Atlanta has struggled this season, they still have the core group from their Super Bowl run. If they are clicking on all cylinders, this game could be over by the 3rd quarter. But I have total faith in the Eagles D — they’ve been the backbone of this team all year, and the Falcons haven’t clicked on all cylinders yet this season. So an Atlanta rout is not very likely. What IS likely is a defensive battle that comes down to turnovers, field position, and whoever runs the ball more effectively. Can Doug Pederson stick with a run-oriented gameplan? Or will he make Nick Foles toss it 50 times? The Eagles made a move for Jay Ajayi mid-season — now is a good time to give him 20+ carries. If that happens, the Eagles should win. If Doug gets pass-happy, though the Eagles open themselves to turnovers, 3-and-outs, a tired defense, and an eventual loss. Please, Doug, stick with the run, and get this team to the NFC Championship… one step at a time.
Philadelphia 20 – Atlanta 13

Voodoo’s picks:
Against the spread: PHL
Straight up: PHL
Over/Under: Under 41
 
Mike Procopio’s picks:
Against the spread: PHL
Straight up: PHL
Over/Under: Over 41
 

 
 
 

Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots (-13.5)
Saturday January 13th @ 8:15pm ET

Over/Under: 48
Temperature: 46°
Wind: 7-12mph
 

Another first round layup for the Patriots in the Divisional round. Has any great team ever had an easier road to the Super Bowl, year after year? Not only are they gifted with a 6-win head start every season by playing in the AFC East, but they get to play a team that really isn’t playoff material — again — after a bye. Don’t get me wrong, they’re one of the greatest dynasties we’ll ever witness. But do they really need this red carpet treatment? It’s nauseating. I like Derrick Henry in this game for all the FanDuelers out there. Other than that, this game is a foregone conclusion, with the most exciting part of the game being a backdoor cover by Mariota & Henry.
New England 31 – Tennessee 20

Voodoo’s picks:
Against the spread: TEN
Straight up: NE
Over/Under: Over 48
 
Mike Procopio’s picks:
Against the spread: TEN
Straight up: NE
Over/Under: Under 48
 

 
 
 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)
Sunday January 14th @ 4:40pm ET

Over/Under: 41
Temperature: 31°
Wind: 4-9mph
 

Jacksonville’s D is the obvious dominant factor in this game, but this isn’t the best matchup for them. Pittsburgh’s ability to hurt you via ground or air on offense is the perfect way to neutralize the Jags D. What about the Jags offense vs the Steelers D? Well, the Steelers D is pretty good, not great. But the Jags offense is inconsistent at best, and impotent at worst. That showing against Buffalo last week was unwatchable. Clear advantage to the Steelers on that side of the ball. This game will be competitive, and Jacksonville could definitely pull off the upset if their offense shows up (a couple big plays by Dede Westbrook, perhaps?). Blake Bortles needs to have a monster game though, and I wouldn’t put my money on that.
Pittsburgh 24 – Jacksonville 20

Voodoo’s picks:
Against the spread: JAX
Straight up: PIT
Over/Under: Over 41
 
Mike Procopio’s picks:
Against the spread: JAX
Straight up: PIT
Over/Under: Under 41
 

 
 
 

New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings (-5)
Sunday January 14th @ 1:05pm ET

Over/Under: 46.5
Temperature: Indoor
Wind: Indoor
 

This game opened up with the Vikings as 3.5 point favorites, and has settled at 5 points. Am I missing something here? That’s a pretty big move for a Vikings team that — although VERY good — is unproven at just about every key position… and is playing against a Saints team led by a HOF Super Bowl winning QB / head coach tandem; and brings a very lethal running attack that can be matched by a precision passing attack if necessary. The Saints are the most dangerous team in the playoffs right now, and are my pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. This does not take anything away from the Vikings, of course. They probably have the most balanced & dominant defense in the NFL, and their offense can put up points in a hurry. I just think the QB/Coach experience will play heavily in this game. I expect it to be a battle down to the final minutes — advantage Brees.
New Orleans 27 – Minnesota 23

Voodoo’s picks:
Against the spread: NO
Straight up: NO
Over/Under: Over 46.5
 
Mike Procopio’s picks:
Against the spread: MIN
Straight up: MIN
Over/Under: Over 46.5
 

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Voodoo Brown
Voodoo Brown started playing fantasy football way back in 1994 — when you had to manually add up scores with the Monday edition of USA Today (yes, that’s how it was done). Since that time, he has amassed 16 championships and 7 runner-ups, with most of his success coming after 2003 (avg. participation of 2-3 leagues per year). These accomplishments are evidence that Voodoo steadily adjusts to the ebbs & flows of the ever-changing fantasy landscape. It’s a different game now than it was in 1994 — hell, even 2004. Rarely finishing as a doormat, Voodoo’s teams are always in the mix. If you want any roster or lineup feedback, you can message him at vb@voodoobrown.com, or hit him up on Facebook or Twitter (@VoodooBrown)

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