NFL playoffs begin on Saturday, January 9 with Kansas City vs. Houston. With the 2016 NFL Playoffs come predictions, picks, and teamed projected as the favorites to make it all the way to Super Bowl 50. Sports Illustrated just revealed its predictions and Super Bowl picks for the postseason. 11 NFL analysts from the site laid out not just wild card picks, but also which teams are going to play in Super Bowl 50.
As a group, the Sports Illustrated writers have picked the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the Houston Texans, the Pittsburgh Steelers to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, the Washington Redskins to beat the Green Bay Packers, and the Seattle Seahawks to beat the Minnesota Vikings. The only home team favored to win on wild card weekend is the Redskins, with the team picked to beat a struggling Packers roster. Eric Single went with several "underdogs" in his picks, stating the Bengals, Packers, and Vikings will win.
Regarding the Super Bowl 50 picks for the Sports Illustrated NFL writers, it is a mix of teams predicted to win it all. Five picked the Arizona Cardinals, three picked the Carolina Panthers, two picked the New England Patriots, and one went with the Kansas City Chiefs. Doug Farrar, who went with the Chiefs as his Super Bowl pick, has the AFC champion beating the Seattle Seahawks in that final game. He is the only analyst with the two-time defending NFC champions making another Super Bowl. Farrar has the Seahawks beating the Vikings, Panthers, and Cardinals to get to the game.
For the 2016 NFL Playoffs, the football experts at ESPN.com have only revealed the wild card weekend picks. Following the first four games of the 2016 NFL Playoffs, the analysts will reveal predictions based on which teams have survived. As a group, the ESPN experts have the Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, and Washington Redskins advancing to the divisional round. The Seahawks were picked unanimously, with only Mike Ditka siding with the Houston Texans over the Chiefs. The other two games have three analysts siding with the losing team, while 10 have picked Redskins to win at home and the Steelers to win on the road.
New picks for the 2016 NFL Playoffs have also been released by CBS Sports. Eight NFL experts weighed in with their wild card weekend predictions and none of the games have a unanimous outcome. The CBS Sports analysts predict the Seattle Seahawks will beat the Minnesota Vikings (7-1), the Kansas City Chiefs will beat the Houston Texans (5-3), the Pittsburgh Steelers will beat the Cincinnati Bengals (5-3), and the Washington Redskins will beat the Green Bay Packers (5-3). Jared Dublin went with the Vikings and Packers, while Pete Prisco went with the Texans, Bengals, and Packers.
The updated NFL odds for wild card weekend favor the Chiefs by three points, the Steelers by two and a half points, the Seahawks by four and a half points, and the game between the Packers and Redskins is now a pick. This means that no home team is favored to win in the first-round of the 2016 NFL Playoffs. That hasn't happened before in the expanded version of the NFL playoff system. Despite the odds not giving the Redskins a boost, most online publications are siding with them to beat the Packers this year.
The games get started on Saturday, January 9 with Kansas City vs. Houston at 4:35 p.m. ET and Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati at 8:15 p.m. ET. On Sunday, January 10, the wild card games continue with Seattle vs. Minnesota at 1:05 p.m. ET and Green Bay vs. Washington at 4:40 p.m. ET. The Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, and New England Patriots received first-round byes and await the winners in the divisional round of the 2016 NFL Playoffs.
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