Well, here we are in the Elite Eight. A nice set of back-to-back doubleheaders to highlight a three-day weekend. We are heading into the final seven games of the football season (We don’t count the Pro Bowl around here) so here are my picks for this weekend.
Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 • 4:35 p.m. ET • NBC
Broadcast Team: Al Michaels (PBP), Cris Collinsworth (Analyst), Michele Tafoya (Reporter), Heather Cox (Reporter)
Line: Falcons -2.5
The Falcons are the proverbial ‘team you don’t want to face if they get into the playoffs’ team that you always hear about and I don’t think that’s going to change. Falcons’ linebacker Dion Jones and Co. will be trouble for Nick Foles and the Carson Wentz injury finally brings the terminal result for Philly that we all saw coming when it happened. Matty Ice and Julio make enough plays to come out of the City of Brotherly Love with a 21-13 win so take Atlanta on the moneyline (-2.5) and the under.
Tennessee Titans (10-7)
New England Patriots (13-3)
Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 • 8:15 p.m. ET • CBS
Broadcast Team: Jim Nantz (PBP), Tony Romo (Analyst), Tracy Wolfson (Reporter)
Line: Patriots -13.5
As much as I would love to see the ESPN.com report ring true, I’m all in on the Patriots for this one to clear the moneyline on the over with a 41-10 win. If anything, Belichick-Brady-Kraft thrive amid controversy and this serves up too well for them as motivation. The Titans were 15th in the league against tight ends during the regular season, but I think Gronk will have a big afternoon to make up for missing New England’s last postseason run.
Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6)
Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 • 1:05 p.m. ET • CBS
Broadcast Team: Ian Eagle (PBP), Dan Fouts (Analyst), Evan Washburn (Reporter)
Line: Steelers -7.0
I think the Three B’s can make some plays against Sacksonville, but I KNOW Jacksonville will struggle to move the ball against the Steelers’ D so I predict the Steeler’s on the moneyline, but with a score that will be under, 27-10.
New Orleans Saints (11-5)
Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 • 3:40 p.m. CT • FOX
Broadcast Team: Joe Buck (PBP), Troy Aikman (Analyst), Erin Andrews (Reporter), Chris Meyers (Reporter)
Line: Vikings -5
I think Case Keenum will come down to earth and Saints upset the Vikings with a score on the over, 31-14. Drew Brees has been here before and the entire Vikings’ has not. We all know that Minnesota cannot have nice things.