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Mike Handzelek's NFL Wild Cards & CFB National Championship Analysis/Review

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Jan 10, 2019
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Monday, January 07, 2019 Clemson vs. Alabama (NCAAF) - 8:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -5.5/-110 Alabama Rating: 8* Mike's CFB National Championship Playoff Winner (LOSS) Don't believe for 1 second that Alabama is suffering from fatigue. They still control the line of scrimmage. However, they did put it in cruise control with a 28-0 lead over the Sooners & coasted the rest of the way. The key here is a healthy QB in Tua Tagovailoa whose deadly when on. Tagovailoa has a 69.5% completion rate & an unreal 41/4 TD/INT ratio. Even though both sides have depth @ running back, I'll take the Crimson Tide defensive line to make the difference. For this matchup, the Tigers' "D" will certainly miss DT Dexter Lawrence unlike last game. I'm not too sure if last season's 24-6 is out of the question. At any rate, I'll side with Nick Saban as I feel True Frosh QB Trevor Lawrence will experience growing pains in the battle for it all. Not expecting a boat load of points, but Bama covers the number here! Let's go to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara to play the ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (buying to - 2 1/2) as my CFB National Championship Playoff Winner! Sunday, January 06, 2019 Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears (NFL) - 4:40 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -270 Chicago Bears Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Public Missed Perception Play (LOSS) They'll be great familiarity among HC's since both Doug Pedersen & Matt Nagy come from the Andy Reid coaching tree. What speaks loads to me is how effective a questionably-motivated Bears' squad handled & sink the last playoff hopes of a highly-motivated Minnesota team that could only generate 164 total yards of offense. For this matchup, Iet's zero in on QB Nick Foles who will get the start despite getting bruised ribs in the Eagles' 24-0 win @ Washington in Week 17. It will get much tougher this week versus a Bears' defense that's ranked #1 in scoring "D" (17.7) & in takeaways in the NFL. The dial-up pressure by DC Vic Fangio that's recorded 50 sacks & has 27 interceptions is going to take its toll on Foles throughout who won't be that mobile when the pocket breaks down. This pressure will effect his rhythm that was so vital to him the last 3 games versus the Rams, Texans & Redskins. The Chicago "D" is giving up an all-important 16 PPG over their past 4 home games. Why is that number so significant? After I dug deeper into the Wild Card database for the past 16 years, I found out that road teams who fail to exceed 16 points in this round have gone an almost automatic 1-23 SU & ATS! My bottom line says that certain home favorites have had their advantages too. Entertaining chalk of a TD or more has gone a window-cashing 11-1 SU & 10-2 ATS. In addition, look for Nagy to stay aggressive & innovative despite the 10 MPH winds @ Soldier Field. There's no doubt his play-calling is better than last season's since Trubisky got much better. Expect the Bears' running game to be sneaky good taking advantage of the numbers when they present themselves with power-runner Jordan Howard & speedy scatback Tarik Cohen. On the flip side of the ball, DE Khalil Mack (leads team with 12.5 sacks) takes the defense that's been more than opportunistic up against a Philadelphia team that went 3-5 SU & 1-7 ATS against teams with a winning record this season. They were out-gained by 95 YPG & had a -5 turnover ratio in those games. In comparison, Chicago's 5 games against foes with a winning slate saw them go 4-1 SU & ATS while out-gaining them by 71 YPG & enjoying a +2 in turnover differential. This team is super-motivated & excited since making their 1st playoff appearance since 2010. The dagger has to be the Bears' lasting power as they'll take on Philly whose making their 4th road appearance in 5 weeks! Let's go to legendary Soldier Field to play the CHICAGO BEARS (no backdoor covers here) as we get the guts & glory for my NFL Public Missed Perception Play! Saturday, January 05, 2019 Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans (NFL) - 4:35 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 2/-110 Indianapolis Colts Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Wild Card Smart Play (WIN) Here's a game between 2 hot QB's as DeShaun Watson is 11-2 SU his last 13 while Andrew Luck is 9-1 SU his last 10. However, playoff games are won or lost for the most part in how well you can protect the QB. Watson has been sacked for a league-high 62 times while Luck just a mere 15 in that category. The biggest reason for the Colts' success has to be DC Matt Eberflus & how he turned a defense that was ranked 30th in scoring "D" last season to a Top 11 defense that's yielded a shade over 14 PPG their last 5 games. For this one, there's no doubt HC Frank Reich is SUPER-MOTIVATED to get that bad taste out of his mouth from the 1st meeting with Houston @ Indy. Instead of playing for OT, Reich went for it & missed on 4th down from his own 43 yard-line that resulted in a late Ka'imi Fairbairn FG for 37-34 win. My bottom line has to the impact left on the Texans who will be without receivers Will Fuller & DeMaryius Thomas. The Indy defensive schemes should generate more pressure than normal flushing Watson led by rookie sensation & MLB Darius Leonard (out of SC State). Having those receivers healthy earlier, Indianapolis still registered 12 total sacks on Watson in 2 games. Let's not forget what kind of job OC Nick Sirianni & HC Frank Reich have done with Andrew Luck in getting him to recognize coverages & getting rid of the football in timely manner. That's led to a Colts 9-1 SU record & a season-high in sacks yielded with less than 1 per game. As far as the Houston "D" is concerned, Reich has gone to school in the film room on how the Eagles put up 32 points on them 2 weeks ago. Numbers are with us here! Luck comes in being 20-8-3 ATS versus the AFC South, 9-0 SU & 7-1-1 ATS if that divisional foe is off a SU win & a perfect 5-0 SU off a double-digit Colts' win. The first 2 meetings saw Luck pass for an 431 passing yards & 3 TD passes per game. Luck's 39 TD passes ranks 2nd in the NFL behind KC QB Pat Mahomes. The past 10 meetings of this series has clearly been a road-dominated one with the visitor going a window-cashing 7-1-2 ATS. Ok, here's the daggers! Number 3 seeds (Houston) in the Wild Card Round that were an underdog or less than a 3-point favorite have lost 8 consecutive games outright while covering just 1 of them. The last dagger looks @ divisional match-up road teams in this round. The past 11 of these games resulted in 8 ATS covers by the road team with 5 outright wins. Are you ready? I strongly feel this is a FG game similar to meeting 1. Let's go to NRG Stadium in Houston to play the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (buying to a key + 3 1/2) as my NFL Wild Card Smart Play! Mike Handzelek's 2018-19 NFL Overall Record: 30-15 ATS for 67% #1 in Winning Pct. @ VegasTopDogs.com Mike Handzelek's NFL Record Since December 2nd: 9-2 for 82% Mike Handzelek's CFB 2018-19 Final Overall Record: 29-18 for 62% Finished in a Tie For 2nd in Winning Pct. Mike Handzelek's CFB Bowl Record: 5-6 for a disappointing 45%

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