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NFL 2011 Wild Card Playoffs Gambling Preview

NFL Wild Card Weekend Playoff Previews

It’s Wildcard Weekend as the first round of the 2010-11 NFL playoffs begins this Saturday with four great games on tap. Here I take a look a quick look at each of the match ups, giving you some early insight that will help make your NFL wagers winners.

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SAT, JAN 8 TIME (ET)

New Orleans at Seattle 4:30 PM NBC

The NFL Playoffs kick off in the Pacific Northwest as the NFC West Champions the Seattle Seahawks host the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. The Hawks are in the playoffs and hosting this one despite their losing record while the Saints, who battled the injury bug for most of the season, quietly made it back to the playoffs, in spite of not winning the NFC South. Drew Brees had another huge season while Chris Ivory did well filling in for Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush who were both injured for most of the season but are ready to return for the playoffs. Meanwhile, a dinged up Matt Hasselbeck should give it a go here after missing last week’s game.  These teams played in November in New Orleans in a game won by the Saints in the Big Easy 34-19. I expect that trend to continue in this one.

New York at Indianapolis 8:00 PM NBC

In a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship game, the New York Jets visit the Indianapolis Colts for the first round of the AFC Playoffs. It’s been an up and down year for the Colts who normally would be resting its starters this weekend. Peyton Manning has been less than stellar at times but still got his numbers while the Colts defense has been decimated by personnel shifts and injuries. Joseph Addai missed a good chunk of the season but he is back while Reggie Wayne once again showed why he is a future Hall of Famer. As for the Jets, they didn’t win their division and they backed into the playoffs following a loss to the Chicago Bears. Mark Sanchez had a solid start to the season, but faded down the stretch, while LaDanian Tomlinson showed he still has something left in the tank. The Indy defense has been suspect and the Jets, who are so proud of their defense, have been lit up of late. I don’t see why it doesn’t happen again here. betED

SAT, JAN 8 TIME (ET)

Baltimore at Kansas City  1:00 PM CBS

Day two of the first round of the 2011 NFL Playoffs kicks as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Baltimore Ravens. The Chiefs entered the season with modest expectations after last year’s 4-12 finish but concluded the 2010 regular season campaign with a 10-6 record while capturing the AFC West title. KC’s Matt Cassel, although not stellar, made major improvements from a disappointing finish just one year ago. Cassel’s turnaround can be partially if not fully credited to the help of Kansas City’s explosive running game that ranked No. 1 for nearly the entire season. Meanwhile, the Ravens are back in the playoffs once again behind the solid efforts of its aging defense. Uncharacteristic of previous years, the Baltimore defense were able to catch their wind with a little more help from an improving offense. If the ageing Ravens legs can keep pace with the relentless pounding and chasing of the KC rushing attack, they may give Flacco some time to orchestrate some productive drives. However, the deafening minions of Arrowhead will play an important factor here, as I expect Cassel to come up big in this one as the Chiefs edge out the Ravens to keep their postseason dreams alive.

Green Bay at Philadelphia 4:30 PM FOX

The Green Bay Packers visit the city of Brotherly Love as they take on the Philadelphia Eagles in the final playoff game of the first round of the2010-11 NFL Playoffs. The Eagles won the NFC East but then lost their finale to the Minnesota Vikings losing their first round bye. Andy Reid’s decision to go with Michael Vick has proved to be the right decision while LeSean McCoy has come up big after stepping in for a departing Brian Westbrook. As for the Packers, who battled through a roster full of injuries and a brutal schedule, they needed a win in their final game of the season at home against the Chicago Bears to make it to the postseason. Led by QB Aaron Rodgers, who has clearly established himself among the NFL’s best leading, the Pack will have to win three games away from Lambeau Field if they plan on getting to the Super Bowl, a seemingly daunting task for a team that had a losing record on the road this season. The Packers were fortunate to beat Philadelphia 10-6 in Week 1 after Vick nearly led a second-half rally, but I don’t see that happening again.


Matt Martz is a freelance writer located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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