The NFL playoffs start on Saturday, and there are two terrific AFC matchups to dive into between the Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns and the Miami Dolphins taking on the Kansas City Chiefs.
The freezing weather in Kansas City has been a major story this week, and it's possible that it gives the home team an edge, as Miami's franchise has struggled in cold weather games for quite some time.
In Houston, the Browns and Joe Flacco are looking to keep his perfect wild card record (5-0) going against Texans rookie quarterback CJ Stroud.
I have a pick for both of these games, and there's a great way to cash in on these plays as a new bettor -- no matter which side you want to bet on.
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Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans Prediction and Pick
The Browns are slight favorites in this game, and while their defense has been much worse on the road than at home, I think it can be the difference in this game.
CJ Stroud has been terrific this season, but facing Cleveland's elite pass defense is a tough test .Plus, there is a major trend that is going against him and the Texans on Saturday:
Rookie quarterbacks, or first time playoff quarterbacks are just 17-35-1 against the spread (32.7 percent) and 17-36 SU since 2002.
Given Flacco's wild card success -- and playoff experience -- I think Cleveland can cover this short spread and advance.
Miami Dolphins vs. Kanas City Chiefs Prediction and Pick
There are so many reasons why I like the Chiefs in this game that go beyond the weather.
For starters, the Dolphins have all sorts of issues, starting on the defensive side of the football. Miami comes into this game down Bradley Chubb, Jerome Baker, Andrew Van Ginkel, Jaelan Phillips and Cam Goode on defense. The team is also expected to be without star cornerback Xavien Howard.
Patrick Mahomes is 10-2 straight up in his home playoff career, and now he gets to take on a Miami team that is 1-5 straight up against teams over .500 this season.
I am worried about the weather limiting both offenses, especially since the Chiefs allow just 17.3 points per game – the second best mark in the NFL.
If the Dolphins' offense isn't able to thrive through the air, I don't see it getting enough production to knock off Mahomes and company at Arrowhead.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.