Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at 12:00 AM
NFL WILD CARD PLAYOFF GAMES - THE SUNDAY SHOWDOWNS
Let's rock-n-roll our way through the remainder of this NFL Wild Card Playoff Weekend:
On Sunday, it's ...
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (12-4) at BALTIMORE (10-6) - 1:05 p.m. ET, CBS / Line: Baltimore - 2.5 and 42 points
Folks in/around the LA Chargers are calling this one "instant revenge" because - as we know - the Ravens went out to the left coast just two weekends ago and battered this AFC West crew 22-10 and that wound up costing the Bolts a numero uno seed in the conference playoffs. Now, the Chargers want payback against the league's top-ranked defense - Baltimore surrendered less than 300 yards per game (see 292.9 ypg) and that's saying something in this modern-day NFL. If Chargers' slinger Philip Rivers (4,308 yards passing with 32 TDs) can't get heated up here, then any/all hope for LA will come in the form of stuffing the Baltimore ground game and elusive rookie QB Lamar Jackson (695 yards rushing / 4.7 ypc). Spread Stuff - The Chargers are 7-4-1 ATS (against the spread) as underdogs under second-year boss Anthony Lynn while the Ravens enter their first post-season bash since 2014 with a wobbly 4-10 ATS mark as betting favorites since late 2017.
Folks, Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers have this weekend's NFL Wild Card Playoff winners on Sunday, after going 4-0 in last year's Wild Cards and starting THIS season 2-0 with the Colts and Seahaks on Saturdy, just call us on game days at the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here and also cash in with NBA / NCAA hoops / Monday Night's NCAA Football National Championship Game!
PHILADELPHIA (9-7) at CHICAGO (12-4) - 4:40 p.m. ET, NBC / Line: Chicago - 6.5 and 41.5 points
Gotta go all the way back to 2011 to find the last time that a defending Super Bowl champion lost its first playoff game the following year: Green Bay won it all back in 2010 and then were rubbed out at home in '11 in a 37-20 loss to the New York "Football" Giants ... so there! Now, the Philly Eagles hope to avoid that "distinction" and yet Doug Pederson's crew is a near-TD underdog for this clash in Chitown where the Bears sport the league's best rush defense, third-best overall "D" and one of the fiercest pass rushes in the land. Did you know the Bears have 10 players with two-or-more sacks including mega-star Khalili Mack (12.5)? On the flip side, Chicago QB Mitchell Trubisky (3,223 yards passing) - who threw 12 picks this year -- needs to avoid the wrong-way throw here against an Eagles' secondary that's paper-thin these days. Spread Stuff - Chicago's rolling into these playoffs with nine covers in its last 10 games while Philadelphia has covered nine of its last 13 games when in the dog role.
NOTE: Complete coverage of Monday's College Football National Championship Game between #2 Clemson vs. #1 Alabama in the next edition of Jim Sez, plus get all the NFL Playoff updates too!