Aaron Rodgers glides into the end zone after eluding the Rams D for a touchdown.

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Last week we bet big on the Pack and Aaron Rodgers going off on the Rams D, and oh boy did it ever pay off.

Divisional Round Vibe Check (3-1)

Aaron Rodgers soared high above his over/under for yards, while easily slicing and dicing up the Los Angeles defenders. Aaron Donald was just below his usual, healthy, game-wrecking self, and it definitely makes you think this one would've been closer had he been 100%. It also has to make you wonder what's wrong with the Seattle Seahawks. How have they managed to waste Russell Wilson this badly? At least, they have their eyes on a bright future for him. Yikes.

The Bills came through in a big way against the Baltimore Ravens, but not how anyone had predicted. Defense was the name of the game when anyone with an All-22 subscription was calling for a shootout of epic proportions. Sure, I lost on a couple special overs that had this game getting into the sixties, but Josh Allen still brought me to the promised land of profits.



Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Bucs joined the list of teams who managed to avoid a three game sweep on the season. After the game ended, and more information came out as to how injured Michael Thomas was all year, and Drew Brees was already looking towards his media career, it became clear they were never going to pull this one out. Heck, it's clear that one QB has a little more left in the tank even when the game isn't on the line.


Packers -4 over Buccaneers

Yes, I am a gluten for punishment. I've been betting against the Bucs all year to middling results, at best. I never believed or bought in on the hype around this team from the jump, and even as they've managed to match the noise around them, I've remained unmoved. Have they proven to be the second best team in the NFC? I guess. Do I think they would've made it this far had they played the Rams on Wild Card weekend? Nope.

Consider this, Taylor Heinicke in his second career start with a busted up Washington offense managed to hang in against the Bucs pass D. Now imagine it's Aaron Rodgers. The Packers have been rolling all season, behind an offensive renaissance, and I don't imagine them becoming less potent in the championship game. Yes, the Bucs handed Green Bay a beat down in their previous meeting. The only really impressive win on their schedule, as a matter of fact, but that game was in Tampa, the Packers weren't at 100%, and Aaron Rodgers didn't smell the Super Bowl just around the corner. This one might be high scoring, but I don't see it being particularly close.



Packers vs. Buccaneers Over 59.5 (Alternate Total)

Betting the over worked so well last week that I'm doubling down in a big way. I'm taking an extra seven points here at +230 because the Pack and Bucs have been firing on all cylinders as of late. They're averaging 35.7 and 35 over their last three games, respectively. While their defenses have flashed at times, they represent big weaknesses for the NFC's two strongest teams. They can bring pressure and have above average front sevens, but Rodgers and Brady should be able to go back and forth picking apart these secondaries, especially with their array of weapons. The odds are too good to pass up for that number.

Josh Allen Over 2.5 Touchdowns

The story of this weekend is shaping up to be offense, and how. If the Bills hope to stand any chance against Mahomes and the Chiefs, they'll have to be scoring regularly. Most likely, Allen will end up giving one of these away by scrambling it in for a score instead of passing, but without much else of a run game to speak for, I believe he gets to three passing. The Chiefs have been giving up 1.8 passing TDs a game, and even if they manage to get pressure on him up the middle, Allen excels on broken plays outside of the pocket. Gotta like Stefon Diggs to get, at least, one of those looks.




Bills over Packers in Super Bowl

This is a fun prop with some decent odds at +600. Sports books have deemed this the third most likely outcome two weeks from now and I have to agree. How do you talk yourself into this final? Well, the Packers should run through the Bucs, as I detailed above. That leaves it to the Bills topple the defending champs and slay the giant. It might not be that hard for them to survive in a barnburner against a hobbled Mahomes, which means we get a Green Bay and Buffalo matchup. If those two teams face off, I definitely prefer a Buffalo's D led by Sean McDermott, especially after they dismantled Lamar Jackson. Josh Allen comes into his own, outduels Rodgers to win a Super Bowl MVP, and Buffalo avenges four-losing efforts.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

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In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

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Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

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The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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