Josh Allen scampers for a gain against the Colts in the third quarter of the wild card game.

Harry Scull Jr. /Buffalo News

As the NFL postseason got underway last week, it became clear we need to make some halftime adjustments with our picks this week.

The Ravens were an easy cover for us, especially once Lamer found his groove and the grooves in Tennessee's D. Throw in a few head scratching punts by Mike Vrabel and that does the trick.

Meanwhile, Stefon Diggs came up two catches short for us with three targets left on the table. It was always going to be tough to get that many grabs, but it was worth a few bucks just to see what would happen.

Please, please, please remind me never to bet unders. I haven't hit one all year and yet the siren's song calls me to shore. I maintain this is the best one I bet all year. The pick 6 and DK Metcalf bomb in the second quarter killed after the best start imaginable. After 15 minutes, we had a combined score of 3, 15 minutes of game time later? 30. Bananas.

Then I don't really know what else to say about Pittsburgh losing to Baker Mayfield and co. that hasn't already been said. I just have to edit my list of completely impossible things to put, "Snowing in the Sahara desert," and "Taylor Swift ever getting back together with Jake Gyllenhaal" above "The Browns beating the Steelers in the playoffs."



Saints -3 over Buccaneers

I kind of love this line. It opened at 3.5 and already dropped half a point with plenty of action on Tampa Bay. With any luck it'll drop under 3 for a real steal of a deal. These two divisional foes have played twice already, and neither game was particularly close. Before you claim a clean three game sweep is too difficult, allow me to note it's happened 21 times, and the team going for their third victory is 14-7.

The first matchup was a tighter contest at 34-23 before the Saints went into Tampa, as 3 point underdogs, and put on a master class. Their defense was even more impressive than the offense that day, holding Arians and Brady to 3 points, as Brees engineered 38 points. Now things have obviously changed between then and now.

Drew Brees cracked nearly a dozen ribs and collapsed a lung, while Brady has really settled into an offense overflowing with weapons. It's worth noting that New Orleans' most impressive win was one of a handful of times when the ageless Brees, the elusive Alvin Kamara, and the dependable Michael Thomas were all on the field together. Now that the full arsenal is assembled and prepared to take advantage of the Bucs biggest weakness, their secondary, at home with a harassing defense, I have no choice, but to back them big.



Bills -2.5 over Ravens

The Bills defense allowed for the unlucky-in-4th-quarter-comebacks Phil Rivers to get close at the end and blow an easy seven point cover. The Ravens started slow last week, but managed to secure a cover and their own win by a touchdown. This feels to me like the best game of the weekend with the added storyline of two quarterbacks battling it out to be the 2018 NFL Draft's best. The Bills have statistically taken a huge leap into the second best offense in the league behind Allen and Brian Daboll's improvements, and have the added benefit of being the home team. Lamar will be able to keep this one close, but the offense around him lacks explosion. In a would-be shootout that's the difference maker.

Aaron Rodgers over 258.5 Pass Yards

The Packers offense has been a well-oiled machine. Of course, betting against the Rams defense has proven to be foolhardy, especially last week, but consider two of the Rams worst losses this season. The 49ers got the best of the league's best twice, and who should share the same core offensive concepts with those Niners, but the Green Bay Packers? The Niners won those games with one-legged Jimmy G and Nick Mullens, who put up 268 and 252 respectively. Do I think Aaron Rodgers can outdo both of them with the league's best Davante Adams at his disposal? Yes. Maybe, I should have done this in the form of a question.



Packers/Rams Over 47

Let's bet an over! The Rams let up 20 points, even if the last TD was in garbage time, and managed 30 points on their own behind Goff's busted thumb. The Packers have averaged 31 points, 33.7 over the last three, and finished with a 35 point drumming of the Bears, who put up 16. Green Bay have been hot enough to melt the snow off Lambeau, and even if Aaron Donald claims his ribs are feeling good, you have to imagine he won't be at full speed, which could rob the Rams of their biggest difference maker's first step. On the flip side, the Pack's D hasn't exactly been lights out. They give up on average 23 points a game, and give up a fair amount of yards on the ground that plays nicely into the Los Angeles game plan, especially given the recent surge of Cam Akers.

Just for fun, here's a clip of Aaron Donald tackling two guys on the same play in college.


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

Barry Gossage/Getty Images

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

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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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