Dajani Dimes finished out the regular season in strong fashion, posting a 10-6 ATS record and 11-5 SU record in Week 18. Our 135-129-7 ATS record on the year finished second at CBS Sports only to Ryan Wilson, who went 142-120-9 ATS on the year. Congratulations to him. He is king.
Super Wild Card Weekend features some intriguing matchups, and then some ... not so intriguing matchups. Either way, I'm very ready to dive into this weekend. Here's a look at what I'm thinking this week. As always, credit to the CBS Sports research team for making me sound smart.
All odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Top five picks ATS record: 43-45-1
Overall ATS record: 135-129-7
Straight up record: 177-92-2
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-10)
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)
We are expecting gross weather in the Bay Area this weekend, so why is this spread so large? With a number this big, I think I'll take the underdog.
The 49ers swept the season series with the Seahawks, winning their first matchup with Trey Lance/Jimmy Garoppolo by 20 points, and then beating Seattle by eight points with Brock Purdy just last month. This year was actually just the first time since 2011 San Francisco swept Seattle. Since 1970, there's been 23 instances of a team going 2-0 in the regular season against an opponent, and then meeting for a third time in the playoffs. The team that went 2-0 is 14-9 in that third meeting. I have the 49ers winning this game, but I don't think it will be by double digits.
The pick: Seahawks +10
Projected score: 49ers 17-13
Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC, FuboTV)
This matchup features two young star quarterbacks who could elevate their status to "elite" should they make a run in the postseason. These two teams played in Week 3, with the Jaguars leaving L.A. with a 38-10 win. Austin Ekeler received a season low in touches, while Keenan Allen did not play. It's almost wild to say, but I think Jacksonville is going to be buzzing this weekend. The Jaguars had a legitimate home-field advantage against the Tennessee Titans last Saturday, and I'm expecting that kind of environment again.
On paper, it doesn't surprise me that the Chargers are favored. Offensively, they have all they need to win this game with Mike Williams, Ekeler and Allen, but the Jaguars defense won them the game in Week 18. Ultimately, I think Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne have a solid outing in this win-or-stay-home situation. Lawrence saw the largest increase in passer rating by a No. 1 pick from Year One to Year Two since Terry Bradshaw in 1971, and Etienne recorded 1,441 yards from scrimmage, which ranked No. 14 in the NFL. Lawrence never lost on a Saturday in college, and hasn't lost on a Saturday in the NFL either.
The pick: Jaguars +1.5
Projected score: Jaguars 27-20
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (-13)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)
Without Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins aren't winning this game. Now comes the issue of the spread. In the seven wild card games in NFL history that had a spread of at least 10.5 points, the favorites covered in all seven. The Bills laying 13 points to the Dolphins is the largest spread in wild card history, but I'm still going to take it. Miami has lost four straight playoff games, each by at least 17 points! The Dolphins are the first franchise in NFL history to lose four straight playoff games by 17 points each. That could happen again on Sunday. Remember, the Bills blew out the New England Patriots by 30 points in the wild card round last year.
The pick: Bills -13
Projected score: Bills 35-17
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)
The Giants and Vikings gave us an entertaining game in Week 16, with Greg Joseph hitting a 61-yard game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter. Justin Jefferson and T.J. Hockenson exploded, combining for 242 receiving yards and three touchdowns. However, it's noteworthy that Adoree' Jackson and Xavier McKinney missed that game.
The Giants are my upset pick this week. I predict the Minnesota defense will make the New York offense look better than it is, as the Vikings defense ranks bottom five in points per game (25.1), yards per game (388.7) and yards per play (5.9) allowed this season. I also believe the Giants pass rush will have more success this time around. This will be a close matchup, but the Giants were the best NFL team to bet on in the regular season, as they posted a 13-4 ATS record.
The pick: Giants +3
Projected score: Giants 24-21
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-9.5)
Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NBC, FuboTV)
Lamar Jackson won't play on Sunday and Tyler Huntley isn't 100 percent, so the Bengals will win this game. They have momentum, while the Ravens do not. Cincinnati just defeated Baltimore 27-16 last week, and I like that this game is again in the Queen City. Another reason you should consider laying the points with the Bengals is because they went 4-0 ATS in the postseason last year -- even covering the number in the Super Bowl loss. The Bengals are actually 20-4 ATS in their past 24 games, including playoffs. That's tied for the best ATS record by any team in a 24-game span.
The pick: Bengals -9.5
Projected score: Bengals 28-13
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN, FuboTV)
Tom Brady is 7-0 against the Cowboys, while Dallas is 4-5 as a playoff favorite since 1996. Additionally, Brady is 7-3 when Vegas makes the mistake of listing him as a postseason underdog. It seems like everything is lining up in the Buccaneers' favor, right? Brady is a playoff legend while the Cowboys are a playoff disappointment. I'm going against the grain on this one.
The Buccaneers have been disappointing all season long. Just looking at some of their recent games, they blew a 17-0 lead to the Bengals at home, and needed overtime to beat Trace McSorley and the lowly Arizona Cardinals. Sure, they defeated the Carolina Panthers in Tampa with the division on the line, but I chalk that more up to Carolina refusing to cover Mike Evans for some reason. I think the Cowboys are the more talented team, although it's not like they have been impressive all season either. Dak Prescott needs to take care of the ball, and be an effective distributor to get guys like Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz involved. I believe the Buccaneers get out to an early lead on Monday night before blowing the game in the second half. I'm on the Cowboys this week.
The pick: Cowboys -2.5
Projected score: Cowboys 23-20