Check out our preview for Saturday’s NFL Wild Card Playoff action right here.
The Colts are favored by 3.5 points after opening as 4-point favorites. The total is holding steady at 49 points.
Looking back on it, the blowout loss the Colts suffered against the Cowboys in Week 16 was probably a blessing in disguise. The Colts have had a couple of losses like that and they’ve always bounced back well. They took care of business last week against the Titans and now look to be in a good place hosting the Bengals. Cincinnati put up a good fight against the Steelers in Week 17 but couldn’t get much pressure on the quarterback. If the Bengals can’t get in Andrew Luck’s face, it’s going to be a long day for them. They need to control the game with their running game so Andy Dalton doesn’t need to throw the ball 35 times.
Luck is on a mission this year. He set a franchise record with 4,760 passing yards in the regular season and helped Indianapolis average 28.6 points per game. The Colts aren’t worried about Luck, but they’ll needs something out of their rushing game against the Bengals. If this game weren’t on the fast track in Indianapolis, you could see the Bengals stealing this one with a couple of turnovers and a strong running game. Hard to bet against Luck at home right now.
Indianapolis Colts 30, Cincinnati 17.
The Dallas Cowboys are 7-point favorites with the total at 48.5.
Remember during the preseason when the Cowboys promised everyone they were going to run the ball? Nobody believed them and the vast majority of pundits had them out of the playoffs. Now the Cowboys head into the postseason as the league’s best rushing team, which has made their passing game even more dangerous. That said, this game could be won in the trenches. The Lions dodged a bullet when Ndamkung Suh’s suspension was overturned and they’ll need him against Dallas’ outstanding offensive line. If the Lions can get to Tony Romo, they have a chance.
DeMarco Murray is going to have a field day – book it now. The Cowboys are much more dangerous now that they’re giving him a chance to control the clock and will get him going early before looking to Dez Bryant later. The only way the Lions will be able to keep up is to force a couple of turnovers while Calvin Johnson puts on a show for the ages. Neither is out of the question, but Dallas is a much more rounded team playing at home. Take the Cowboys to win but the Lions to cover the 7-point line.
Dallas Cowboys 31, Detroit Lions 27.