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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's NFL Super Wild Card Weekend Analysis/Review

Mike Handzelek's NFL Super Wild Card Weekend Analysis/Review

By: Point Shaver Handzelek     Date: Jan 20, 2023
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Sunday, January 15, 2023 Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -10.5/-110 Buffalo Bills Rating: 8* Mike's NFL 2-Team Steamer Play (WIN off the buy) There's 2 legs left to my 3-team steamer so we'll pound those 2 here! Let's concentrate on money won & NOT value or risk. You play, you win & move on to the next one. We have a Miami team that just ended their 5-game losing streak by miraculously winning without scoring a TD. The Fish will be meeting the Bills (riding a 7-game winning streak in earning their 4th consecutive playoff berth) for the 5th time & first since 1998 when Dan Marino & the Dolphins (Jimmy Johnson HC) edged the Bills (HC Wade Phillips) 24-17 as Buffalo QB Doug Flutie fumbled (Bills' 5th TO) @ the Miami 5 with 17 seconds left. Whether it's the injured Teddy Bridgewater (knee & finger-has a pedestrian 4/4 TD/INT ratio) or their 3rd-string, 7th-round draft pick out of Kansas State QB Skylar Thompson (battling an ankle injury & has a meek 1/3 TD/INT ratio) behind center, they'll be hard-pressed to match the emotional high of the fans & players since hearing the positive news about S Damar Hamlin being released from the hospital earlier this week. Problems have majorly compounded for the Dolphins since last week with RB Raheem Mostert (broken thumb), LB Bradley Chubb (ankle & hand injuries), LT Terron Armstead (toe, pec, knee, hip) RT Liam Eichenberg (hand), WR Jaylen Waddle (ankle), RB Jeff Wilson (illness) & WR Cedrick Wilson (hip, groin). Even though they did split 2 regular season contests with Miami winning in September @ home 21-19 & Buffalo getting the equalizer later in December @ home 32-29, Miami had the luxury of their mobile QB Tua Tagovailoa who remains in concussion protocol for his 3rd stint this season. I'm not expecting many points from the Fish here as they're 1-5 SU the past 6 (averaging 19.1 PPG over that stretch) & have laid excellent defensive blueprints in their latest Jets' 11-6 win last week. My bottom line says Miami DC Josh Boyer will still be employing a 3-4 defensive scheme with bringing a variety of pressures in on Josh Allen. Allen has had great success (against a healthier "D") going 8-2 SU career versus the Fish, a team that's defense ranks 2nd in the NFL in blitz rate. Numbers show (with Tua in the lineup) Buffalo ran 161 plays compared to Miami's 96 with both teams close to full strength. Allen has a full arsenal of receivers with WR Stefon Diggs (1,429 yards & 11 TD's), WR Gabe Davis (836 yards, 7 TD's) & TE Dawson Knox (517 yards, 6 TD's). Crunching the numbers reveal the past 20 years have seen the Dolphins go 0-4 SU & ATS in the post-season including a ticket-ripping 1-8 SU & 2-7 ATS away from Florida (average loss 22 PPG). The opening dagger for us has to be how miserable they are in OUTSIDE stadiums in the month of January in the past 30 years. They've gone a no-show 1-11 SU & 3-9 versus the number in that given situation. The final dagger shows the Fish (when going to Buffalo off a home SU & ATS win) showing no pop left when traveling to the northeast going 2-14 SU & just 3-13 spreadwise. We're rolling up to Orchard Park's Highmark Stadium to play the BUFFALO BILLS (buying to - 2 1/2) with the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (buying to + 4 1/2) as my 8 Star 2-Team Steamer Play! Saturday, January 14, 2023 Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers (NFL) - 4:30 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -10/-105 San Francisco 49ers Rating: 9* Mike's Late Steamer Parlay (WIN) Yes, it's partly true that Seattle HC Pete Carroll has owned SF HC Kyle Shanahan. However, the 2022-23 campaign has seen Shanahan finally reverse the tables with a Week 2 27-7 triumph (- 8 1/2) @ Santa Clara & a 21-13 win (-3) @ Seattle on December 15th. Carroll now takes on a 13-4 SU 49ers' squad (they were 3-4 SU after 7 games) who took on the easiest schedule (32nd) in the regular season. Mr. Pete's post-season numbers are fair to midland posting an 11-10 SU & ATS mark while going 3-6 spreadwise his last 9 as a dog. Kudos are in order to San Francisco's 7th-round draft pick & rookie out of Iowa State QB Brock (tabbed Mr. Irrelevant) Purdy for becoming the 3rd rookie QB to win his 1st 5 games SU since the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger did it in 2004 & Pittsburgh's Mike Kruczek accomplished the same feat in 1976. He's also the first rookie QB to be at least a 7-point favorite (since Roethlisberger in 2004 who was -9 versus the Jets but only won by 3). Purdy (13/4 TD/INT ratio) has been consistent hooking up with his receivers for multiple TD's over the past 6 games. His favorite receiver to hook up with so far has been TE George Kittle whose hauled down 7 TD passes the past 4 games. But SF's offense is much deeper than that as they have all-purpose RB Christian McCaffrey who ranked #1 with 1,880 scrimmage yards amongst playoff RB's. Beside CMC, the 49ers have Deebo Samuel & Elijah Mitchell who fresh off an injury. The Red & Gold are sound all around chiming in @ 4th on both offensive & defensive yards per play. They come in @ 2nd overall in DVOA (Defense adjusted Value Over Average). DC DeMeco Ryans has the best "D in the league in PPG yielded & total yards allowed. Edge Rusher Nick Bosa (18 1/2 sacks), MLB Fred Warner & S Talanoa Hufanga are the best in the business @ their defensive tiers & should generate at least 1 or more turnovers from Seattle surprisingly-good QB Geno Smith (30/11 TD/INT ratio-3rd franchise QB to reach 30+ besides David Krieg & Russell Wilson) whose compiled 4,282 passing yards this season. Keep in mind that Seattle with their 2 talented WR's in DK Metcalf & Tyler Lockett (combined 2,081 receiving yards & 15 TD's) could only generate 1 TD combined in their 2 meetings with the 49ers this season (the offense generated just 6.5 PPG). My bottom line crunches some key numbers that dictate -- since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, teams that were 2-0 SU going into their 3rd meeting in a playoff game have gone 14-9 SU overall & 12-6 ATS if they are @ home. SF is a perfect 8-0 versus the number versus the NFC West (6-0 this season). These Wild Card Home Favorites of 9 or more have been perfect going 11-0 ATS. However, the past 8 seasons have seen playoff divisional underdogs post an outstanding 8-2 spread mark. Our strong suit we'll feast on looks @ SF @ Levi Stadium where they've gone a lights-out 12-1 SU since midseason 2021 (only blemish a 44-23 setback to Kansas City). The dagger for us undercovers that home teams in their 1st NFL playoff contest (who lost @ home in a conference championship game last season) are a take-me-back-to-the-window 27-2 SU (21-7-1 ATS) if they won a dozen or more games last season. The weather could make things sloppy but SF comes in with bad tastes in their mouths & highly motivated after the Rams eliminated them right here last playoff season. Let's go to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara to play & lay the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS buying to -2 1/2 & combining them in teasers with the Buffalo Bills ML & Tampa Bay buying to + 7 1/2 as my 9 Star Late Steamer Parlay! Los Angeles Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) - 8:15 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: -1.5/-110 Los Angeles Chargers Rating: 8* Mike's NFL Barking Out Loud Dogger (WIN off the buy) Kudos to Jacksonville HC Doug Pederson for helping elevate QB Trevor Lawrence to the next level. He's consistently hit WR Christian Kirk, WR Zay Jones & TE Evan Engram who combined for 2,697 receiving yards & 17 TD's. This squad became just the 5th NFL team since the AFL-NFL 1970 merger to go from worst record in the NFL to divisional champ the next season. However, let's remember the teams they compiled Lawrence's stats & the Jags' 9-8 SU record against. They were up against the worst division in football with 3-13-1 SU Houston with QB Davis Mills, 4-12-1 with QB Matt Ryan & 7-10 SU Tennessee with QB Joshua Dobbs. Some of the mushes point out Jacksonville's 38-10 white-washing of the Chargers earlier in Los Angeles. Upon further examination, LA QB Justin Herbert (in the pocket & immobile) was playing banged up with injured ribs after their KC battle plus had O-Line starters out. The Chargers were dealing with missing key defensive cog OLB Joey Bosa who watched from the sidelines. LA's offense was dynamic this season with Herbert (up against a challenging AFC West) hitting a record 5 receivers who compiled over 500 yards receiving. I believe the secondary of the Jaguars can be had MORE than that of Los Angeles' whose built to PREVENT the 20+ yard completions downfield. My bottom line looks @ some key numbers. Even though HC Brandon Staley has been highly criticized for some questionable decisions, the Chargers are a very solid 7-2 ATS on the road this season. Remember, since 2017, the ROAD TEAM in the Wild Card & Super Wild Card weekends have combined to go 13-11 SU & 16-8 ATS. The Chargers hold the advantage ranking 3rd in the NFL in passing offense (Jags are 10th) & passing defense where LA's chimes in @ 7th (Jax come in a distant 28th). Take into account the Jaguars are unproven in BIG games & will have a tough time pulling away from LA similar to the Tennessee game (& that was with a 3rd-string QB). The last 5 trips to Jacksonville have seen the Chargers leave with a perfect 5-0 ATS mark. Here's where we'll play this. We're going to TIAA Bank Field in Florida to play the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (buying to a key + 3 1/2) as my NFL Barking Out Loud Dogger! Monday, January 16, 2023 Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFL) - 8:15 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: 3/-110 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rating: 9* Mike's Super-Wild Card Smart Play (LOSS) The mushes are PILING in on the Cowboys saying he's washed up & other asinine statements that are based on team records (Dallas @ 12-5-Tampa Bay @ 8-9) and age of QB's (Prescott-29 & Brady-45). Let's not forget that Brady passed for 4,694 yards this season, set an NFL record for completions with 490 & that was with a banged up O-Line. Speaking of the O-Line, this will also be the 1st week Tom Brady will have his all-important Center back in Ryan Jensen (out since a July 29th knee injury). Another key cog on the O-Line now back is All-Pro OT Tristan Wirfs. These 2 will be monumental in establishing protection & a resemblance of a running game. This is key for Brady to have effective RPO's & stretching the field in targeting his 2 - 1,000+ yard WR's in Chris Godwin (104 receptions, 1,023 yards & 3 TD's) & Mike Evans (77 catches for 1,124 yards & 6 TD's). Some compare Brady's 9 INT's to Prescott's 15 misfired salvos as not being too big of a gap. That's a big falsehood since Brady threw close to twice as many passes (733 to 394) as Prescott. Prescott's 15 tied him for the NFL's worst in INT's (that was in just 12 games) with Houston's Davis Mills. I look for the Cowboys to use RB Tony Pollard (1,007 rushing yards, 8 TD's) & WR CeeDee Lamb (107 snags for 1,359 yards & 9 TD's) to the fullest with RB Zeke Elliott in more FB-type spots on short yardage situations. My bottom line starts to look @ the questionable progressions in the pocket & the regressions of Dak Prescott. Not only has he thrown an INT in 7 straight games, but has also given away 3 Pick 6's in his last 4 games. When it comes to playing on grass, Dallas can't play on it for a rat's ass! This is clearly shown with their 20% SU & cover rate on it. The last time the Cowboys won a road playoff game was in their Super Bowl-winning year of 1992 with HC Jimmie Johnson when they won 30-20 @ San Francisco for the NFC Championship. Then there's the matter of NUMBERS! Tom Brady is 7-0 SU versus Dallas in his career & 7-3 ATS as a post-season underdog. With Brady never being a home dog in a playoff game, he's been pretty solid in that role in the regular season posting an 11-2 spread mark & not too shabby 9-4 SU record. In their career in the playoffs, Brady is 35-12 SU (5-1 SU with Tampa Bay) while Prescott chimes in with a perfect 0-4 ATS credentials. One solid system states to play AGAINST a road squad in the WC Round if they are coming off a loss of 14 or more (against Dallas). The past 15 times this system has kicked in has seen it win 14 times ATS for a deadly 93% accuracy. Two more needing to stress involve losing teams in the playoffs (Tampa Bay). SU losing teams in the playoffs are a perfect 3-0 ATS @ home but the hosting team is an even more impressive 6-0 spreadwise if the game has a SU losing team. Remember, the Cowboys' defense has slowed down (and now are on grass!) & its offense is far more turnover-prone that its been all season. Another big deal has to be Buccaneers' co-DC's Larry Foote & Kacy Rodgers will have a high-pressure 3-4 alignment that has 2 key pieces now back here - NT Vita Vea & CB Carlton Davis. With Dallas 1-5 SU & ATS mark as a career road favorite, there's only 1 way to go. Let's go to Raymond James Stadium to play the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (buying to a strategic + 7 1/2) forcing a double-digit loss to sink us as my 9 Star Super-Wild Card Smart Play! Mike Handzelek's 2022-23 NFL overall Record: 43-30 for an up & coming 59% Mike's NFL Playoffs Record: 3-1 for an out-the-gate 75%
 


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