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Mike Handzelek's Wild-Card Round Analysis/Review/Notes

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Jan 13, 2021
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Sunday, January 10, 2021 Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints (NFL) - 4:40 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -10/-108 New Orleans Saints Rating: 9* Mike's Strongest Play On The Board Full Prep (WIN) Both of these teams met in Week 8 @ Soldier Field in a game that gave New Orleans (minus Michael Thomas) a hard-fought 26-23 OT win. The win was HC Sean Payton's 6th straight (career) over the Monsters Of The Midway since losing the 1st four. The Bears had Nick Foles QB'ing then who attempted 41 passes for 272 yards versus the Saints. Now, Chicago has inserted Mitchell Trubisky (2,055 passing yards, 16/8 TD/INT ratio) back behind center who was just the Wildcat QB in the 1st meeting. Yes, he's QB'ed them from Week 13 thru 16 when they scored 30 or more points in each game. Let's get serious Bear backers! How much weight does that carry when they faced lower-tier defenses like Detroit, Houston, Minnesota & Jacksonville. Trubisky now takes on a stingy defense that's given up the 4th-fewest yards & 5th-fewest points in the NFL. Let's size up things on the OTHER side of the ball. WR Michael Thomas is now BACK as well as WR/KR/PR Deonte Harris. Harris was instrumental that 1st meeting putting up a combined 137 KR/PR yards. The scary part was N'awlins still put up 32 PPG without Thomas over 9 games. After you add a super-fresh & stellar all-purpose RB Alvin Kamara (932 yards rushing, 756 yards receiving & 21 TD's) plus back-up Latavius Murray back in the lineup, I think we have more than something brewing. With all this speed back & on a fast track, Chi-Town DC Chuck Pagano's 3-4 alignment must take some risks in trying to manufacture pressure. He's hoping their secondary won't get burned since they lack speed @ OLB. I feel this is where HC Sean Payton should create mismatches by stretching the field horizontally & attacking the open seams. I also look for NO to play hard as this COULD be QB Drew Brees' (2,942 passing yards, 24/6 TD/INT ratio) swan song. Brees missed 4 1/2 games this season & they still went 12-4 SU! Ok, let's dig into some serious analytics. Chicago who backed into the playoffs via after the Cardinals lost QB Kyler Murray & the game (18-7) to the Rams in Week 17, went 2-4 SU versus their division & a perfect 0-6 ATS their last 6 roadies versus winning teams. It's hard to back them going 1-6 SU versus winning teams this season & a collective -9 in turnover differential. Da Bears are also a miserable 6-18 versus the number after taking a double-digit home loss & a no-show 0-4 ATS in January. Chicago is a ticket-ripping 4-21 ATS when on the road against efficient offenses who average less than 14.3 yards per point. Even though the Gold & Black were without Thomas (9) & Brees (4 1/2) for a combined 13 1/2 games, they finished 1st in their conference in point differential with a +145. My bottom line points @ some Wild Card KEY numbers. The outright winner of the past 50 WC games has gone a take-me-to-the-window 44-5-1 versus the number. Since the 2001-02 season, home teams that surpassed the 20-point mark have gone 38-2 SU (only Pitt in 08' & KC in 18' have lost) & 31-8-1 ATS. The key road team scoring number is 17. Teams who score under that total are a no-show 2-23 SU & ATS since 2002. Finally, let's look @ drought teams who are defined as playing in their 1st playoff game in at least 2 seasons going up against a repeat playoff team. The past 8 seasons have seen these teams go a weak 8-15 SU & ATS. Let's tighten that further since these drought teams have also gone a super-ugly 4-17 SU & 4-16-1 ATS if also on the road since 07'. The X-Factor is HC Payton who I feel is a mismatch up against Matt Nagy. The Saints 7-1-1 spread record over their last 9 means this line is slightly inflated. There's also a bit of playoff revenge for NO since the Bears beat them in their 2 career meetings in 90' & 07'. Here's where we're going. The consistent winning scenarios I've put up all point @ grabbing the home team under a TD & laying the juice with a SOLID team. Let's get pumped & ready as we go to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Louisiana to play the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (buying to - 6 1/2) as my 9* Strongest Play On the Board Full Prep! NOTES: How about that first six-game wild card format! I still would love to see 8 teams in each conference make it. Both the NHL & NBA don't give their top 1 or 2 teams a bye. The NFL is a MONEY MACHINE! How did they let ANOTHER 2 playoff games & multi-millions in revenue slip through their fingers? We'll see if they get smart & seize that opportunity next season. It was nice jumping out 6-0 ATS in a NFL Playoffs Contest this weekend as well as winning a 9* on the Saints with my official releases. That New Orleans defense has really kicked it in their past 2 games holding both opponents (Carolina & Chicago) to a collective 122 rushing yards & 16 points. Without a DOUBT, the weirdest stat of the weekend belonged to Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger. It was an NFL Playoff FIRST when he passed for 501 yards AND lost the game SU by double-digits. When you turn the ball over 5 times, you're not going to defeat anyone but yourself. I'll be back on Friday night/Saturday morning with more red-hot NFL selections in my greatest NFL season to date. Thanks again to all my loyal subscribers, followers & friends who understand & know the system. Mike Handzelek's 2021 NFL Playoff Record: 1-0 100% Mike Handzelek's 2020-21 NFL Regular Season Record: 32-12 for 73% VegasTopDogs Regular Season Highest Winning Percentage Handicapping Champion.

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