Beating the Book: Wild Card Round

Beating the Book: Wild Card Round

This article is part of our Beating the Book series.

Last week was good, as I went 12-4, won my best bet (Buccaneers) and went 3-2 to close out the SuperContest. I've been running well of late on the season's final week – 42-21-1 over the last four seasons, but I checked the previous four and was only 31-31-2 from 2014-2017. 

This week, I especially like the Steelers who are getting way too many points in Kansas City, probably due to recency bias as the Chiefs blew them out in Arrowhead a few weeks ago. 

SATURDAY GAMES

Raiders +5.5 at Bengals

I think this is roughly the right line, but I'll lay the wood here after the Bengals had a virtual bye last week while the Raiders were in a war for five quarters Sunday night. 

Bengals 31 - 17

Patriots +4 at Bills

My first instinct was to take the Bills, but their offense has been inconsistent of late, and the Patriots are built for cold weather smashmouth football. Take the points. 

Bills 20 - 19

SUNDAY GAMES

Eagles +8.5 at Buccaneers

The Eagles have done most of their damage against the league's weaker teams, but the Bucs are thin at receiver, and their secondary is only okay. Give me the points – the Eagles offensive line just needs to hold up reasonably well. 

Buccaneers 23 - 20

49ers +3 at Cowboys

The Cowboys have the league's best roster, but they seem to lack heart, beating up on bad teams, then no-showing at home against Arizona two weeks ago,

Last week was good, as I went 12-4, won my best bet (Buccaneers) and went 3-2 to close out the SuperContest. I've been running well of late on the season's final week – 42-21-1 over the last four seasons, but I checked the previous four and was only 31-31-2 from 2014-2017. 

This week, I especially like the Steelers who are getting way too many points in Kansas City, probably due to recency bias as the Chiefs blew them out in Arrowhead a few weeks ago. 

SATURDAY GAMES

Raiders +5.5 at Bengals

I think this is roughly the right line, but I'll lay the wood here after the Bengals had a virtual bye last week while the Raiders were in a war for five quarters Sunday night. 

Bengals 31 - 17

Patriots +4 at Bills

My first instinct was to take the Bills, but their offense has been inconsistent of late, and the Patriots are built for cold weather smashmouth football. Take the points. 

Bills 20 - 19

SUNDAY GAMES

Eagles +8.5 at Buccaneers

The Eagles have done most of their damage against the league's weaker teams, but the Bucs are thin at receiver, and their secondary is only okay. Give me the points – the Eagles offensive line just needs to hold up reasonably well. 

Buccaneers 23 - 20

49ers +3 at Cowboys

The Cowboys have the league's best roster, but they seem to lack heart, beating up on bad teams, then no-showing at home against Arizona two weeks ago, in a game that would have gotten them the No. 2 seed. Their defense could make life miserable for error-prone Jimmy Garoppolo, but I'll take the points. 

49ers 24 - 23

SUNDAY NIGHT

Steelers +12.5 at Chiefs

I made this line 8.5, as the Steelers are well coached, have a good defense and plenty of playoff experience. The Chiefs defense might decimate a weak Steelers offensive line, but Kansas City hasn't really solved its offensive woes all year – even when they score a lot of points, they haven't had many big plays to Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill. Take the points. 

Chiefs 24 - 20

MONDAY NIGHT

Cardinals +4 at Rams

I see these as roughly equal teams, and as such, this could go either way. Give me the Cardinals, who have played better on the road this year, getting four. 

Rams 24 - 23

Last week, I went 12-4 ATS to go to 139-130-3 on the year, won my best bet (Buccaneers) to go to 12-6, and went 3-2 in the SuperContest to go 46-43-1.  Last year my record was 118-130-8, my best bet record was 5-12 and I finished the Supercontest 35-48-2. In 2019, I finished 127-123-6 on the regular season, 8-9 on best bets and 43-40-2 in the Super Contest. From 1999-2020, I've gone 2,808-2,626 (51.7%), not including ties. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Liss
Chris Liss was RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio from 2001-2022.
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