FOX sports betting analyst
It’s time to bet on the NFL Playoffs. Separating the hopefuls from the contenders in the league’s second season is always a fascinating task.
Our best bets (41-37-1) are on the green, and I’m rolling with four putts on the weekend. This space is also not the place for a million picks or to talk about five teams. These are my favorite games.
Let’s work with the odds courtesy of FOX Bet.
No. 7 Seattle Seahawks (9-8) in number 2 San Francisco 49ers (13-4), 16:35, FOX and FOX Sports app
San Francisco 49ers
Look at the weather forecast.
It will be a wet and windy Saturday in San Francisco, with the highest gusts reaching 20 miles per hour around the start. This is obviously far from ideal for explosive passing plays, and I expect Brock Purdy and Geno Smith to work with mostly conservative game plans in the elements.
It’s no secret that Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll loves to run the football, and he’ll likely use Kenneth Walker III quite a bit. If Seattle can successfully butter the floor, it will melt that precious clock and keep the Niners’ versatile offense on the sidelines.
San Francisco’s defense is the star of the show, and this group is rebounding at the perfect time. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw and defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw were full participants in Thursday’s practice, which is great news for a unit that ranked first in DVOA on Football Outsiders.
This one would be low and slow.
COLLECT: Under 42 points at FOX Bet
COLLECT: 1H Under 20.5 on FOX Bet
No. 6 New York Giants (9-7-1) in number 3 Minnesota Vikings (13-4), 4.40 p.m., FOX and FOX Sports app
New York Giants
The Giants have given us a lot of bread this year.
New York (13-4 ATS) was the best team in the NFL against the spread, and the old adage goes that good teams win and great teams cover. Big Blue also topped the season win total, which was 6.5 O/U at FOX Bet.
But sometimes you have to know when to flip it.
Minnesota finished with a 13-4 record, and most bettors still think they’re bogus. Are the Vikings good enough to win a Super Bowl? Probably not. But can they send Daniel Jones and an average Giants offense to the death star? Absolutely.
Remember, these two teams met in the regular season in late December, and the Vikings closed as 4.5-point home favorites. So now you can buy even lower on a team that no one respects to essentially keep the service at home.
count on me
COLLECT: Vikings (-3 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 3 points
No. 5 Dallas Cowboys (12-5) in number 4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9), 8:15 p.m., ABC/ESPN
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I’m drinking the Tom Brady Kool-Aid.
Las Vegas bookies opened Dallas as a 3-point favorite, and most shops are already down to -2.5. Pro money poured into the market right away on the Bucs, and I expect that to continue into the weekend.
There’s a strong chance Dallas closes at -1 or -1.5 early on Monday, which of course will lower the price on Tampa’s moneyline.
Brady has never lost against Dallas (7-0 all-time), and Mike McCarthy’s demise is one of my favorite pastimes. Brady’s ability to handle playoff pressure cannot be understated, and I expect the Bucs to play fast and throw the ball 45 times. Quick and accurate throws are crucial against the Cowboy pass rush.
Don’t let me down, Tom.
Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He will probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
COLLECT: Buccaneers (ML +115 at FOX Bet) to win outright
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