Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

I went to the dogs last week, and my picks were a lot like what comes out of a dog when you walk them.

They stunk just as bad, too. 

It was not a good divisional round for me. I went 1-3 both straight up and against the spread. 

That’s bad. I called for the Green Bay Packers to upset the San Francisco 49ers, a game I should have gotten right. It was my only ATS winner.

For the season, I am now 172-110 straight up and 140-131-11 ATS.

You would think after last week I would avoid the dogs. But I am going right back to them when it comes to my ATS picks — and I think one will win the game outright. 

I just hope they don’t stink like they did a week ago.

Sunday, 3 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

This is Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes, the likely MVP this season for a second time against a guy who has won two already. The difference is Mahomes has Super Bowl rings, while Jackson is just trying to get there.

The Chiefs won a tough road game at Buffalo on Sunday, but the defense had some issues with the Buffalo run game. If that’s a problem against Jackson and the Ravens, it will be a long day. Jackson will run it, but he will hit shots off it.

I think that Chiefs defense will play better this week, which will force Jackson to win it with his legs but mostly his right arm. He is more than capable.

As for Mahomes, he will be facing a defense that throws a lot of looks at a quarterback. But he’s seen them all — and had success against them all. I think he will be patient here as the Chiefs run it and he takes his shots off the run. The Chiefs did a nice job in protection last week, and that will carry over, thanks to the run game. 

Look for both quarterbacks to play well, but I think the postseason experience for Mahomes will shine through. Look for the Chiefs to advance to another Super Bowl as Mahomes has some late-game magic to win it. 

Pick: Chiefs 28, Ravens 26

If you want a more analytical approach to your NFL picks, then I highly suggest that you check out the SportsLine Projection Model, which has been on fire this year. Check it out if you want to know which side to bet for every game in the divisional round.

Detroit Lions (+7) at San Francisco 49ers

Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

The Lions come into this game facing a steep challenge against the NFC’s best team. But the Lions have the offense to keep up with the 49ers, who should have success against the Lions defense.

I think the key to beating the 49ers is to block them up front and take shots at a so-so secondary. That’s what the Packers did last week, which is what the Lions will do in this one. 

They have to stay out of third-and-long situations, which means throwing on early downs, which coordinator Ben Johnson loves to do. I think they will look to take advantage of a strength.

The problem is the Lions have issues on defense, especially at corner. While Brock Purdy didn’t play that great last week, he is capable of getting hot and lighting up this Lions secondary. With Christian McCaffrey good as both a runner and receiver, the Lions have to key on him. That will open up the passing game for Purdy down the field. I think Brandon Aiyuk will have a big game.

This has all the makings of a shootout in my mind. I think Jared Goff will play well for the Lions, but in the end it will be the 49ers heading to the Super Bowl. It just won’t be easy.

Pick: 49ers 34, Lions 31

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