The opening round of the NFL playoffs is finally here with six games to dig out teeth into between Saturday afternoon and Monday night. While most of those games are expected to be pretty tight, there are two that have spreads that stand out. You can call them a wild card version of a trap game even.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Pittsburgh Steelers +12.5
I am not going to sit here and try to convince you to bet on the Pittsburgh Steelers to outright win this game or that the Kansas City Chiefs are not a far better team. However, I will say that I don’t think they deserve to be such big underdogs on the road in KC. The Steelers have already proven that they have the chops to run with the big boys and have a lot of offensive weapons to try and keep up with the Chiefs.
The Chiefs are going to do a lot of scoring. There is no doubt about that. The Steelers are a top 20 defense, but the Chiefs’ scoring offense ranks fourth in the league. However, I think many are overlooking the possibility that Big Ben goes out shooting and this offense has a big day at Arrowhead. They have two very talented wideouts in Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson and one of the best young rushers in the NFL, Najee Harris.
With all the emotion surrounding this game and the Chiefs up and down season, it would not surprise me at all if this game comes down to the wire.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Philadelphia Eagles +8.5
The Philadelphia Eagles are another team not getting the love they deserve from the oddsmakers. While I am not crazy enough to consider them as good of a team like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I think the margin is closer than 8.5 points, especially when you take into account the current depth of the Buccaneers' offense.
The Buccaneers will be without two of their best receivers in Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown first off. While Rob Gronkowski has done well to step up over the last two weeks, he can’t do it alone. Mike Evans is their only strong option left in the passing game. Even their backups Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson are questionable. There is no No. 4 receiver listed on their depth chart. They are putting a lot of faith in a couple of injured backups and one Mike Evans.
As for their rushing game, currently, Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Le’Veon Bell are listed as healthy on the depth chart. Ronald Jones is out this week and Leonard Fournette is still on IR though expected to play. I think most weeks he would not be suiting up but the Buccaneers need him and his pass-catching abilities. Unfortunately, I doubt he is fully healthy and is at risk of aggravating his hamstring.
While I think the Buccaneers come away with a win, it will be a tight game and a great chance for the Eagles to pick up an ATS win.