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NFL FOOTBALL



NFL PLAYOFF SELECTIONS


SUPER BOWL LIV (54)
Sunday, February 2, 2020

San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) Total 54 - Look I can go through an entire position by position analysis, but guess what, we all know what we are getting here! The Chiefs are a high-flying offense that just keeps coming at you, it doesn't matter the type of pass rush or if it's man or zone, they have players that can handle both. A lot of what QB Pat Mahomes does is in broken situations where he escapes pressure and slides to open passing lanes. Sure, the 49ers defense is as good as it gets and can create pressure with four, which I'm sure could include a "NASCAR-type" package of defensive linemen, but again, unless you can keep Mahomes contained, it may not matter. On the other side, San Francisco's offense has a very good running game, but overload the box and Jimmy Garappolo can find open receivers, so stop all the talk that the Niners don't have a good passing attack. They play to their strength and isn't that what football is about? For me, I think that Mahomes will make the difference, as well as the amount of skill players that can be successful in  the Chiefs offense and get the win - going 38-31, so it's a give!


CHAMPIONSHIP  ROUND

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7) TOTAL 52.5 - Look the Titans are on a roll, primarily behind the running of Derrick Henry, but how long can that last as this game is a completely different situation. The reason, the Chiefs offense is pure and simple, explosive and was on display last week, scoring 51 points! Yes, Tennessee defeated KC earlier this year at home by a field goal, but again, this is a different time and place, and I think that there could be another result this go around. What the Titans haven't gotten enough of, is sizable production in the passing game and that should be needed in this spot. The only chance the visitor has here is to get in front early, but even that may not be enough. I'm looking for KC to do what it does best, score and score some more, and take this one by just over the touchdown offered - laying the points!

 

Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers (-7.5) TOTAL 46.5 - Another game which will be a rematch of a regular season contest in which the 49ers blew out the Packers 37-8. Not sure it will be as big a spread between the teams this time around, as Green Bay is playing better on both sides of the ball. Still, I really think the bye week helped San Francisco a lot and the defense looked energized last weekend, seemingly in Kirk Cousins face all day, while the linebackers and defensive backs fed off that. Yes, there is always the Aaron Rodgers factor to consider as he's the type of player that can have such a big influence on a game, but I really believe the Niners are a better team, will dictate play with the running game, then find lanes to throw the ball as needed. Never a fan of the hook, but going to look for the San Fran to win and cover - it's a give.


 
DIVISIONAL ROUND

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers (-7) TOTAL 44.5 - The Vikings pulled off an upset last week, but at the same time, they needed a little help from "the zebras" which always seems to be the case when playing the Saints. However, this week is different, the 49ers lost only three times this season and two of those were to teams that are playing this weekend. That is as big a statement as anyone can make and I'm sure San Francisco's players were woken up by what they watched Minnesota do last weekend, so they will be more than ready. While many say Vikings QB Kirk Cousins finally won a marquee game, that is all well and good, but I'm still not sold on him in these "bright lights" situations. This time around the Niners explain with their play on the field, just what they are this season - laying the points.

Tennessee Titans @ Baltimore Ravens (-9) TOTAL 47 - Much like what I wrote above, the Ravens were elite this season and haven't lost since Week 4 of this campaign, which was their second straight setback, and of those two losses, one was to a team still alive this weekend. That's 12 straight wins if you are counting and even more impressive, going 9-2-1 ATS! I give the Titans all the credit in the world for the season they have had and the win over the Patriots last weekend. While that is a big win, let's face it, New England was not at their usual level this season and Tennessee really didn't beat any teams that are still alive this weekend. The Ravens have had plenty of rest for this and will put the pedal to the metal - it's a give 

Sunday, January 12, 2020
Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) TOTAL 51 - The Texans showed a lot of heart overcoming a 16-point deficit last week to advance to the next round behind the big-time play of QB Deshaun Watson. The Chiefs are certainly not the Bills and have so much more to defend on the offensive side of the ball than Buffalo offered up so that is definitely a concern. Yes, Houston showed earlier this season it can run with KC, winning a mid-October meeting 31-24. If anything, I think this one will offer up a lot of points, the question remain is if the Chiefs can keep the Texans off the scoreboard enough at this point of the season if they have all their weapons (injuries at WR).
  I think KC is playing better defensively now then in the first meeting and can turn the tables on Houston. Certainly think the over is in play and looking for the Chiefs to just get the job done - giving  the points.   

Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers (-4) TOTAL 47 - The Seahawks got by the Eagles in the Wild-Card round, but a lot of that was after Philly QB Carson Wentz got injured, so just not sure how much to invest in that victory. Still, Seattle has a good nucleus, led by Head Coach Pete Carroll and QB Russell Wilson and anytime the 'Hawks have them, they have a big chance. What I am most impressed about Seattle this season is the ability to win on the road this season, going 8-1, including playoffs, so I will remove that from the equation, unless the elements play a big factor. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to figure out how the Packers got to 13-3 and a first-round bye, but upon closer examination, the schedule certainly played a role in the success. Green Bay faced four playoff teams all season and if you remove the two wins over the Vikings, they went 1-3 against that competition, with the lone victory over a Patrick Mahomes-less Chiefs. So what to make of this success? Look, the Packers are strong at home and that is big, plus they have gotten solid defensive play, so I think they come away with the win and while I respect Seattle, not sure if they can stay within the spread - it's a give
   

WILD-CARD ROUND



Saturday, January 4, 2020

Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans (-2.5) TOTAL 44 - This looks like a game that will come down to who makes a last stop on defense. Certainly this has been a very positive season for the Bills for the most part, although they did lose three of their last four (two against playoff teams and the finale where they rested players), so they need to shake that off and go back to playing winning football in this win or go home situation. The Texans opened the season 4-3, then finished at 6-3 to reach their 10-6 mark, most importantly, following up every setback with a win. They also had nothing to play for in Week 17, so not going to make too much out of that loss. I think that Houston can find some holes in the Buffalo secondary, where they do play a lot of zone, especially in the mid-range routes and that could be key late in the game - laying the points as a field goal decides it.

Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots (-5) TOTAL 44.5 - Everyone is just waiting for the Patriots to crack this season and just break apart. Looking at their 12-4 record, the Pats went 3-3 versus playoff teams, although 1-3 versus division winners (0-3 against AFC Div winners). What they didn't do, was lose to bad teams EXCEPT for the season-ending one at the hands of the Dolphins, which put them into the Wild-Card round. Meanwhile, the Titans had to win on the final Sunday of the season just to get into postseason play, with their big push coming during the middle of the campaign, when they went 6-1 from Oct. 20 - Dec. 8. The only thing about that stretch that is of concern, only one of those opponents, the Chiefs, is in the playoffs. It's hard to go against New England with the playoff experience, even though Tennessee has a head coach who was part of the Patriots culture as a player, still, it's a tough task to ask of a visiting team. In the end though, the Pats will get the job done with a final touchdown - it's a give.  


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints (-7.5) TOTAL 49.5 - Right off the bat, if the Saints play to their potential, they win and that's the easy part. Where it gets a bit sticky is against the number, as New Orleans has only gone 4-3 ATS as a favorite of 7-points or more this campaign. Don't really have much confidence in Vikings QB Kirk Cousins against teams like this as history has shown he just doesn't beat these types of opponents. That to me will be the big difference and the Saints win this one by around 10 - laying the points.



Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles (PK) TOTAL 45 - Not thrilled with the way the Seahawks finished out the season losing 3-of-4, but injuries were a contributing factor. The Eagles got the job done to make the postseason winning four straight and the defense has  made big plays when needed. However, Philly is hurting on offense, so that certainly makes things a bit harder this week. The big thing for me is that Seattle has played very well on the road this season going 7-1 and think the Seahawks have one more big game left in them to get the victory!

   




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