After 17 grueling weeks of the regular season, this weekend the NFL playoffs kick off with four games that at least on paper look to be fairly competitive. The eight teams playing in the NFL’s Wildcard Round come into the postseason with varying levels of momentum. Buffalo, for instance, will have to come down from the clouds after their near-miraculous playoff qualification. On the other hand, the Tennessee Titans enter the playoffs after closing the season in a 1-3 swoon. Here’s a quick look at how the weekly NFL Swarm sized up the games this weekend.
Saturday’s first game features the Titans at Arrowhead Stadium against the Chiefs. Kansas City seems fully recovered from their mid-season swoon, with rookie Kareem Hunt again gobbling up yards in chunks. The swarm made this its second-most confident pick of the weekend. In the replay below, you can see they go to “High confidence” with a magnet consensus on the Chiefs’ side of the hex.
The Saturday night game is on the West Coast, where the Los Angeles Rams host their first playoff since moving back to California. Atlanta played well down the stretch, while the Rams showed some occasional struggles. Although the swarm pick Los Angeles to win, this is a low confidence, high risk play in any event that will be an entertaining game to watch without any other stake involved.
Turning to Sunday’s action, the early afternoon game is in Jacksonville, where the Jags meet the Buffalo Bills. The NFL Swarm envisions that perhaps the stout Jaguars defense will be the clock striking midnight on the Cinderella Bills. This was the swarm’s highest-confidence pick. The replay sees the swarm take the puck to a “High confidence” prediction with a great deal of consensus. The swarm also assigned this game it’s highest hypothetical wagering confidence.
The final game of the Wildcard weekend might be the most intriguing of the lot. The Saints host the Carolina Panthers in a matchup of bitter NFC South foes. These two teams have met twice already this season, with the Saints winning both previous matchups. Perhaps for that reason, the swarm chose Drew Brees and company yet again for this playoff contest…but also maybe mindful of the challenge of beating the same team three times in the same season, the confidence was a bit muted, as the replay shows. For that reason, this is a game we rate as one to approach with caution.
To wrap things up, with an NFL Swarm gathered at the beginning of the playoffs, the Unanimous researchers couldn’t resist asking them to get a little bit speculative. Beyond just this weekend’s Wildcard games, how did they think the rest of the playoffs might play out? We ask this because almost exactly a year ago at the start of the playoffs, a similar swarm predicted the Pats would go all the way. And with that in mind, this year’s swarm thinks there are decent odds we get a repeat in 2018.
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