2016 NFL Postseason Betting Predictions
Just one team has clinched a playoff spot in the NFL through Week 14: the Dallas Cowboys, and they looked very vulnerable on Sunday in a loss at the New York Giants as Big Blue swept the season series and prevented Dallas from clinching the NFC East Division for one more week. Here are some of my postseason NFL betting predictions.
2016 NFL Postseason Betting Predictions
Cowboys Won’t Win NFC
No team has won the Super Bowl with a rookie starting quarterback, and I don’;t think Dallas even wins the NFC even though it’s likely to get home-field advantage throughout. All of a sudden, that Dallas offense is struggling. While rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott continues to play at a high level, QB Dak Prescott is having issues. In Week 13, the Cowboys squeaked by the Minnesota Vikings, when Prescott passed for a season-low 139 yards. In Sunday’s loss 10-7 loss, Prescott completed 17 of 37 passes for 165 yards, with two interceptions. He had season-low 45.4 passer rating to punctuate Dallas’ first loss since Week 1 – also against the Giants. The Cowboys converted just 1-of- 15 third-down opportunities, alarming because it followed the game against the Vikings in which the Cowboys converted just 1-of- 9 third downs. Yet Cowboys coach Jason Garrett echoed owner Jerry Jones in maintaining that he never considered trying to get a spark from Tony Romo – who lost his job to a red-hot Prescott while recovering from a fractured bone in his back. “We just feel good about where Dak is right now,” Garrett said. But things change quickly in the NFL and if Prescott struggles again this week vs. Tampa Bay, we might see Romo. The Cowboys are still NFC betting favorites and I can see them losing to Green Bay, Atlanta or Seattle in the playoffs.
Dolphins Won’t Make Playoffs
Miami is 8-5 but currently is on the outside of the playoff field looking in. The team allowed Arizona to stage a big comeback and tie Sunday’s game late, but backup Dolphins QB Matt Moore then drove his team down the field for the winning field goal as time expired. Huge win indeed, but the team also has lost starting QB Ryan Tannehill to a torn ACL that will end his season — at least that’s what the Dolphins fear. No official word has come out as of this writing. He became emotional on the sideline after the third-quarter injury and was seen receiving encouragement from teammates. Tannehill likely knew the extent of his injury and the influence it could have on the Dolphins’ season. So it’s Moore’s team now. He entered Sunday having attempted 11 passes the past three seasons. The 32-year- old hasn’t started a game since 2011 when he took over in Miami for the final 12 weeks. Tannehill isn’t that great, frankly, but he’s a lot better than Moore is. Miami has three AFC East opponents remaining, and two of those games are on the road. Since 2012, the Dolphins are 10-12 in December games, 4-7 in December division games, and 2-3 in December division road games.
Raiders Will Be Wild-Card Team
Oakland entered last Thursday’s game at Kansas City tied for the AFC’s best record at 10-2 and would have been the No. 1 seed in the conference playoffs had it won out. But the Raiders lost to the Chiefs and now wouldn’t even have a home playoff game. Kansas City is also 10-3 and swept the Raiders so the Chiefs would win the division if the teams finish with the same record. Thus that means the Raiders are likely to be a wild-card team and will head on the road for the postseason. They better not hope it’s a cold-weather outdoor team they face, either, as QB Derek Carr was really off at frigid Kansas City. Remember, he’s playing through a finger that was dislocated on his throwing hand and can’t take direct snaps from center because of it. It doesn’t help Carr that his receivers keep dropping passes. Oakland leads the NFL with 34 drops, and Carr, who has already passed for 3,492 yards, has lost a league-high 286 yards through the air due to said drops. Carr was just 17 of 41 passing for 117 yards and a passer rating of 49.1 against the Chiefs.