NFL playoff picks and predictions have been submitted by all the experts at CBS Sports. For the Wild Card Weekend games, the CBS analysts were almost unanimous in their playoff picks. The report by CBS Sports on Wednesday morning (January 4) has eight experts weighing in on how they feel the first-round of the 2017 NFL Playoffs will progress.
Two of the playoff game predictions are unanimous, with the Seattle Seahawks picked to beat the Detroit Lions and the Pittsburgh Steelers favored to easily beat the Miami Dolphins. Pittsburgh and Seattle each received the No. 3 seed in their respective conferences and the analysts are basically awarding them a bye straight into the divisional round. The other games each had just one analyst differing from the pack.
Rounding out the Wild Card playoff picks and predictions, the CBS experts have the Houston Texans beating the Oakland Raiders and the Green Bay Packers beating the New York Giants. Only Dave Richard feels that the Raiders can beat the Texans, while it’s just John Breech who has the Giants beating the Packers. If the picks turn out as predicted, every home team will have won that first-round game.
As the NFL playoff brackets dictate, second-round matchups would then be the Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs, and Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots. Having every Wild Card team eliminated on the first weekend of the playoffs rarely happens, but the analysts are overwhelmingly one-sided in their predictions this year.
Having the 12-4 Oakland Raiders as first-round underdogs stems from the team losing star quarterback Derek Carr to injury. The team nearly had the No. 2 seed in the AFC Playoffs but lost it to the Kansas City Chiefs on the final weekend of the regular season. Now, the Raiders are 2.5-point underdogs during Wild Card Weekend, with the defense likely feeling that they have something to prove against the 9-7 Houston Texans.
The NFL playoff picks and predictions reflect how the game odds shape up for the first weekend as well. In addition to the Texans being 2.5-point favorites, the Seattle Seahawks are favored by seven points over the Detroit Lions, the Pittsburgh Steelers are 9.5-point favorites over the Miami Dolphins, and the Green Bay Packers are 4.5-point favorites to beat the New York Giants. The odds for the Packers vs. Giants are a bit interesting, as the gap has closed since the opening line was released.
When the original Packers vs. Giants odds got released, Green Bay had been 7.5-point favorites. That has dropped to just a 4.5-point spread, predicting that the game could be a bit closer than the NFL experts had been predicting. In comparison, the Steelers vs. Dolphins spread increased from 7.5 to 9.5 points, while the Seahawks vs. Lions spread dropped from 7.5 points to just seven points. The spread for the Texans vs. Raiders has remained the same.
The 2017 NFL playoff schedule begins on Saturday (January 7) with Oakland vs. Houston on ABC/ESPN. It might be the most competitive game of the group because it could turn into a battle of defenses. While Houston has struggled on offense all season, Oakland might mirror those struggles with a backup quarterback leading the team into the postseason.
If the CBS Sports analysts are correct about the first-round playoff games, then this weekend might not present any really exciting games for the fans. That could certainly change if the divisional round games have all the favorites on the field. Will they break with tradition and correctly predict all of the Wild Card games this year? It could be interesting to see what the NFL playoff picks and predictions reveal for a Dallas Cowboys vs. Green Bay Packers game next week.
[Featured Image by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]