Last week: 11-4
Against the Spread: 16-11-1
Arizona Cardinals (11-5) +6.5 vs Carolina Panthers (7-8-1):
The Cardinals have struggled over the final fourth of the season because Ryan Lindley is not a threat at the quarterback position and they do not have an adequate running game to supplement their great defense. Unlike the Cardinals, the Panthers have played great down the stretch because their whole team has stepped up when it has mattered the most, which makes them a dangerous team this postseason.
Panthers win 17-13
Cardinals with the points
Baltimore Ravens (10-6) +3.5 vs Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5):
The Ravens will play their main rival in the first round for the third time this season. The Ravens will rely on their dominant defense and hope that Flacco is in rhythm and has the type of game that led them to a Super Bowl. The Steelers are everyone’s dark horse in the AFC because they have a Super Bowl winning quarterback and an offense that can score on anyone, if Le’Veon Bell can play.
Steelers win 27-24
Ravens with the points
Cincinnati Bengals (10-5-1) +3.5 at Indianapolis Colts (11-5):
The Bengals were able to prove that they can win in primetime, but they still need to show that can win a playoff game. The Bengals have the talent on offense and the physicality on defense to upset Andrew Luck and the Colts. The Colts rely totally on Andrew Luck to force passes into tight windows because they have difficulty running the ball and their defense is not the same against top offenses.
Colts win 24-17
Detroit Lions (11-5) +6.5 at Dallas Cowboys (12-4):
The Lions would have been in serious trouble without Suh, but he is part of a great front four that can create pressure on quarterbacks without blitzing. In addition, the offense has found a quality running attack with Joqiue Bell. The Cowboys will be playing their first playoff game in a long time and need to continue relying on their great offensive line to stymie opposing defenses.
Dallas wins 27-17