Connect with us


NFL picks against the spread: Giants try to get revenge for close loss vs. Vikings

The Giants go back to Minnesota for a wild-card playoff game.

News Agencies



It’s hard to say which playoff team got more disrespect this season, the New York Giants or the Minnesota Vikings.

It was probably the Vikings, whose fans had to be reminded every week that their division-winning team had a negative point differential and an absolutely unsustainable record in close games. Like the Vikings, the Giants had to keep hearing how their advanced stats indicated they weren’t nearly as good as their record. The Giants fell off a bit after a hot start, so everyone stopped complaining about them.

Even if both teams have been the subject of some derision during their successful seasons, they might give us the best matchup of wild-card weekend.


The first meeting between the teams, in Week 16, was very good. The Vikings scored with about three minutes left, the Giants tied it with a touchdown and two-point conversion about a minute later, and then Minnesota hit a 61-yard field goal as time expired to win 27-24.

It was a fairly typical Vikings victory, making things closer than they had to be before pulling a win out of the fire. But the Giants outplayed the Vikings for most of the game. They had 445 yards, to 353 for the Vikings. Two turnovers and a blocked punt were the reason Minnesota got a close win. You can’t count on that every week.

The Giants should be rested. Several key players sat last week with the No. 6 seed locked up, which was smart. A pseudo bye week is a gift late in a grueling season. The Vikings’ starters played for much of their game against the Chicago Bears last week with a small hope of getting the No. 2 seed. That won’t make the difference in who wins, but it’s a small edge to the Giants.


The Giants are a 3-point underdog at BetMGM and I’ll take them. I think the Giants can get the straight-up win. I don’t want to pile on the Vikings, who have had a really fun and fantastic season, but we all know this is not a dominant team. The Vikings are beatable. The Giants showed that a few weeks ago. This time, maybe they’ll finish the job.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) and his team get another shot at the Minnesota Vikings this week. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) and his team get another shot at the Minnesota Vikings this week. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

Here are the rest of the picks against the spread for the wild-card round (we’ll save our official Dallas Cowboys-Tampa Bay Buccaneers pick and breakdown for Monday’s Daily Sweat):

Regular-season meetings don’t always predict what will happen in the playoffs, but they can offer clues about the matchup. And the most telling clue from the first two Seahawks-49ers games is that Seattle could not move the ball on San Francisco’s defense.


In the first meeting the Seahawks got just 216 yards and the team’s only points came on a blocked field goal. In the second meeting the Seahawks got 277 yards and the only touchdown came with 3:35 left and the 49ers holding a 21-6 lead. Seattle’s offense was overmatched.

The 49ers have been great lately. They’ve covered the spread in seven of their last eight games. In that stretch only one game was decided by less than eight points. This looks like a big spread for a playoff game but Seattle hasn’t looked very good for many weeks and the 49ers are playing like Super Bowl contenders. Maybe rookie Brock Purdy falls apart in his first playoff game, but you’ve already lost a lot if you’ve been betting on Purdy turning into a pumpkin. Maybe it just isn’t going to happen this season.

Jaguars (+2) over Chargers

It was a little surprising to see the Chargers open as favorites. When the two teams faced earlier this season, the Jaguars won in Los Angeles 38-10. If anything has changed dramatically since then, it’s that the Jaguars have gotten better.


It’s not like the Chargers’ advanced stats are overly impressive. They have a lot of stars and that has shown up at times, but not enough to fully believe this is the year they make a playoff run. The Jaguars did look jittery last week in a win over the Titans, but it was the first huge game for a young team. That experience, playing in what amounted to a playoff game, should benefit them this week.

Of course, the Chargers’ decision to play starters in Week 18 robbed them of the potential advantage of rest. It appears Mike Williams and Joey Bosa avoided major injuries, but they also might not be 100 percent. The Chargers have many good players and perhaps this is their big breakthrough, but a lot of signs point to Jacksonville moving on.

Dolphins (+13) over Bills

This line jumped after Tua Tagovailoa was ruled out, and it’s enough to take Miami. There’s clearly the possibility that Buffalo blows out the Dolphins, like the Bills blew out the Patriots on wild-card weekend last season. But this is a Dolphins team that beat Buffalo 21-19 early in the season and came close to sweeping the Bills but lost 32-29 in Week 15. There will be offensive issues with Skylar Thompson at quarterback and running back Raheem Mostert probably out with a broken thumb. But 13 points is a lot for a playoff game.


According to Stathead, there have been only 23 playoff games with a spread of 13 points or more in the Super Bowl era, and only three since the end of the 2007 season. The bad news for the Dolphins is those huge underdogs are 9-14 against the spread and 2-21 straight up (the two wins: New York Jets in Super Bowl III and New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI). While acknowledging the game could get out of hand and the history of favorites of 13 or more hasn’t been great, I have to take the points with a Dolphins team that has shown it can compete with the Bills.

Ravens (+8.5) over Bengals

It’s hard taking the Ravens without much clarity on their quarterback situation. This is mostly a pick for Baltimore’s defense and John Harbaugh.

The Ravens defense fared well in both meetings against Cincinnati, including in Week 18. It’s fair to say that Cincinnati didn’t put up huge yardage against Baltimore last week because they built an early lead and shut it down a bit after that. But Baltimore will battle, even without Lamar Jackson. There have been no indications that Jackson will play, and that story with Jackson, his knee injury and upcoming contract talks will be a hot one for another day. Tyler Huntley has an injured shoulder, so undrafted rookie Anthony Brown could get the start. That is scary against a Bengals team that was excellent against the spread this season. I just have blind faith in the Ravens figuring out a way to keep it close.


Last week: 9-7

Final regular-season record: 138-127-4

Continue Reading


Breaking News

Editor Pick’s

Latest Entertainment

Entertainment2 hours ago

Shemar Moore and Girlfriend Jesiree Dizon Welcome a Baby Girl: ‘Very Happy and Healthy’

All About Shemar Moore’s Girlfriend, Jesiree Dizon Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty, Jesiree Dizon/instagram Shemar Moore is officially a...

Entertainment3 hours ago

Paris Hilton Is a Mom! Star Reveals She and Husband Carter Reum Have Welcomed a Baby Boy

Paris Hilton and Carter Reum Kevin Mazur/Getty Paris Hilton and Carter Reum Paris Hilton is starting 2023 with a new title...

Entertainment4 hours ago

What Tom Hanks, Kaia Gerber think about the nepotism baby debate, plus more stars weigh in

Hollywood stars are divided over the latest buzzword: “Nepo baby.” Short for nepotism or the practice of favoring friends and family...

Entertainment5 hours ago

Riley Keough shares last photo with mom Lisa Marie Presley: ‘Grateful’

Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley and Riley Keough attend the Handprint Ceremony honoring three generations of Presley’s on June 21,...

Entertainment6 hours ago

Anne Heche’s son Atlas, 14, issues statement 6 months after her death: ‘Brightest person I’ve ever known’

Anne Heche with her sons Atlas Heche Tupper (left) and Homer Heche Laffoon (right) in May 2022. (Photo: Anne Heche...

Entertainment7 hours ago

Adult Swim fires ‘Rick and Morty’ co-creator and star Justin Roiland over domestic violence charges; show will go on

Justin Roiland visits Comic-Con International in July 2019. (Photo: Araya Diaz/Getty Images) A little more than a week after Justin...

Entertainment7 hours ago

Lloyd Morrisett, co-creator of ‘Sesame Street,’ dies at 93: ‘He will be sorely missed’

Lloyd Morrisett, co-creator of the iconic children’s television series “Sesame Street,” has died. He was 93. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit...

Entertainment8 hours ago

‘Industrial-scale ticket scalping.’ Senators grill Ticketmaster over Taylor Swift concert fiasco

WASHINGTON – The Taylor Swift ticket debacle took center stage during a Senate hearing Tuesday, which examined the lack of competition...


Latest Sports

Sports24 mins ago

Raptors’ O.G. Anunoby reportedly ‘wants out of Toronto’

Longtime radio host Bob McCown said Tuesday that O.G. Anunoby "wants to be traded" away from the Raptors.

Sports54 mins ago

Bucks may be the team to beat with Middleton

Khris Middleton is like a great bass player to Giannis Antetokounmpo's lead singer. His return means Milwaukee can get in...

Sports1 hour ago

Georgetown beats DePaul, ends 29-game Big East losing streak under Patrick Ewing dating to 2021

Georgetown's Big East losing streak encompassed multiple seasons.

Sports2 hours ago

Colts target two hot candidates for second interviews as NFL coaching searches ramp up

The coaching search cycle appears to be waiting for its biggest domino to fall: Sean Payton

Sports2 hours ago

NFL playoff injuries: Latest on Patrick Mahomes, other stars

Patrick Mahomes has the most notable injury ahead of conference championship games on Sunday. Here's the latest news across the...

Sports3 hours ago

Stefon Diggs defends behavior following Bills’ season-ending loss

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs broke his silence Monday after being criticized for abruptly leaving the stadium following a...

Sports3 hours ago

Former top recruit Emoni Bates scores 29 straight points, gets love from LeBron James

Bates finished with a career-high 43 points Tuesday.

Sports4 hours ago

Most Cowboys coaching contracts have expired

When explaining that both Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his son and team COO (among other titles) Stephen Jones were...

Technology Hot News

Technology6 days ago

Led by "Amazon" and "Microsoft" .. the technology giants are planning to lay off 64,000 employees

After 10 years of driving the stock market bull run, big tech companies are racing to downsize staff to adapt...

Technology7 days ago

Apple introduces MacBooks with new M2 processors

Yesterday, Tuesday, Apple unveiled MacBooks powered by the new, faster “M2 Pro” and “M2 Max” processor chips, in a surprise...

Technology7 days ago

All you need to know about the upcoming Galaxy S23 phones from Samsung

Samsung has officially announced that the (Galaxy Unpacked 2023) event will be held this year on Wednesday, February 1, which...

Technology1 week ago

FTX Exchange Announces Hacking and Stolen $415 Million in Cryptocurrency

Bankrupt American cryptocurrency firm FTX announced today, Wednesday, that $415 million in cryptocurrency has been hacked and stolen from the...

Technology1 week ago

Because of a "fraudulent tweet"… Elon Musk's trial begins

Elon Musk's trial began Tuesday in San Francisco with the selection of jury members who will have to decide whether...

Technology1 week ago

An electric spoon replaces salt and spices, but with conditions

Experts have developed an electric spoon that is able to replace spices and flavors and affect the taste buds in...

Technology1 week ago

The biggest dangers of using tracking devices.. so you can escape?

If you spot an unknown Bluetooth tagging device, there are ways to disable the device so it can't track your...

Technology1 week ago

New Twitter.. For You tab to web version

The Twitter platform announced that it will bring the new tab (For You), which launched last Tuesday for iPhones and...