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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Litwin’s Locks: NFL divisional round playoffs

Heather Newberry

An Arizona player holds a football prior to the UA-ASU rivalry game on Nov. 25, at Sun Devil Stadium.

This sentence hurts to type, but we only have seven more football games remaining to be played. I’ve got no idea what I’m going to do when I wake up on a Sunday morning without a football game to watch. There are plenty of games from the early 2000s to rewatch. Maybe I will do a little studying. My mom has told me I could’ve gotten into the honors college if I’d focused as much energy on school as I did on sports. Luckily, I didn’t listen. Happy divisional round.

NFL (Lines According to ESPN Daily Lines pulled on 1/14/2021 @ 2:47 p.m. MST)

Saturday, Jan. 16

Los Angeles Rams (+260) at Green Bay Packers (-320)

Line: Packers -6.5, Total: 45.5

Rams quarterback Jared Goff has earned my respect for a gutsy performance in last week’s wildcard win over the Seahawks. Goff was not supposed to play in that game due to a broken thumb, but was thrown into the game after starter John Wolford got hurt. The Rams’ defense is punishing on all three levels. Aaron Donald is one of the best football players on the planet. Unfortunately, for the Rams, this game is not going to be played indoors or in decent weather. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is going to win the MVP award and he plays great in the cold. This Packers defense is not as good as the Rams but an above average unit that will harass Goff and the Rams’ offense. Pick: Packers -6.5

Baltimore Ravens (+125) at Buffalo Bills (-145)

Line: Bills -3, Total: 50

The touchdown run by Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was jaw-dropping. Not only is he the fastest player on the Ravens, he is faster than almost every player on the opposing team’s defense. Some snow could be in the forecast in Buffalo and Jackson has not played in a snow game, so that should be interesting. The Bills play with so much energy that they will be a force in the American Football Conference for years to come. I have flipped on this game so many times. I’m just going to pray it doesn’t snow. Pick: Ravens +3

RELATED: What to expect from new football defensive coordinator Don Brown

Sunday, Jan. 17

Cleveland Browns (+400) at Kansas City Chiefs (-500)

Line: Chiefs -10, Total: 57

Ok, I hate the Cleveland Browns, but I hate the Pittsburgh Steelers a little more, so I was happy to see the Browns dominate in last week’s wildcard game. What the Browns did without a head coach and key players due to COVID-19 was incredible. They have a better chance to win this game than most people think because they can run the ball and control the clock. For the Chiefs, the recipe for victory is simple: stop the Browns’ running game to stop the Browns. The Chiefs will stop Browns’ running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt just enough to get to the next round, but this game will be inside of 10 points. Pick: Browns +10 


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+145) at New Orleans Saints (-165)

Line: Saints -3, Total: 52

The Saints looked like a complete football team last week in their win against the Chicago Bears. It was against the Bears who, despite making the playoffs, are a stinky poo poo football team in my opinion. But, and there is always a but, it is incredibly hard to beat a team three times in a season and even harder to beat Tom Brady three times in a season. For that reason only, I love the Buccaneers. If I had the option, I would put my parents house and my brother’s college savings on the line because I love TB12 so much this week. Pick: Buccaneers +3 

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