Annually it is the best weekend of the year. The fringe playoff teams have been removed from the mix, and only the eight best teams remain, all with the ability to win the NFL Super Bowl.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs (-8.5)
The Jacksonville Jaguars spent the first 30 minutes of their Wild Card game against the Chargers looking like a team that had picked No. 1 overall in the last two NFL drafts. They spent the final 30 minutes looking like a team that can pull off an upset in Kansas City. Who shows up this Saturday?
Probably a team that is in-between. We will see a Jacksonville that definitely belongs, and is definitely on the rise, but they simply don’t yet have the consistency of the Chiefs. And especially at Arrowhead. The rested Chiefs get a big NFL day from Patrick Mahomes and win this game by 10 points.
New York Giants (-7.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
We’re not going to take it as far as predicting a Giants win, but Daniel Jones has been on a tear since he and the Giants were beaten badly by the Eagles in NFL Week 14, and Jalen Hurts isn’t 100 percent. Just how much pain Hurts’ shoulder is still causing is unclear, but in Week 18 he admitted that he was causing him issues.
The rest of the Eagles team is better than the Giants, and that will be enough to get Philly to the NFC Championship. But look for New York to make it a closer game than expected.
Cincinnati Bengals (+5) at Buffalo Bills
When the Bengals and Bills were stopped in Week 17, Cincinnati was up 7-3 and Joe Burrow was looking on point. But since then the Bengals have lost two more offensive lineman, and they head into Buffalo more short-handed than in the Monday game that was canceled.
Both NFL teams struggled to put away backup quarterbacks in the Wild Card round, but Josh Allen’s turnovers are becoming a problem. Even with the offensive line issues Burrow will take advantage of that, just like Miami, and Cincinnati will make this a very close game.
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers (-4)
Will the real Dallas Cowboys please stand up? Are they the team that struggled against the Commanders and got beat in Week 18, or the team that blew out the Bucs? They are both, and that is the problem for them in this matchup.
San Francisco has been the most consistent NFL team over the final two months of the season, and on both sides of the ball. Even if the good Cowboys show up, it won’t matter. The 49ers are a machine, and they will cover this spread.
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