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Bills among best bets on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend

After David Baker and Mark Gregorich won the Westgate SuperContest and tied for second in the Circa Sports Million II contest, Baker joked about his plans for their $785,000 in winnings.

“I’m just gonna put it all on a game this weekend,” he said with a laugh. “Double it up.”

If the professional poker players were to shove all-in on one of the six games on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend, they said their best bet would be the Bills (-6½) over the Indianapolis Colts in Saturday’s playoff opener at Buffalo.

“David thinks Indy is nowhere near where they were earlier this season,” said Gregorich, who teamed with Baker for a 54-26-5 ATS record (67.5 percent) in the SuperContest. “They’ve had some injuries. And Buffalo is clicking on all cylinders, and Indy is not going to be able to keep up with them. I tend to agree with that and also (Colts quarterback Philip) Rivers playing a playoff game in Buffalo is not a good situation for him at all. I don’t think he’s going to perform that well in that weather.

”It’s almost a spot where I think this could get out of hand.”

The Bills (13-3) enter on a six-game winning streak and eight-game cover streak in which they’ve averaged 37.8 points. The Colts are on an 0-3 spread skid, and the dome team will be playing in near freezing temperatures in Orchard Park, New York, where the forecast calls for a high of 34 degrees.

Looking at live teaser

Legendary sportscaster Brent Musburger won the Review-Journal NFL Challenge with a 46-36-3 ATS record (56.1 percent). The VSiN host said he always bets a two-team, six-point teaser on wild-card weekend, and he has his ticket on the Bills (-½) and Pittsburgh Steelers, whom he teased down to a pick’em over the Cleveland Browns.

“The Bills are the best sleeper headed to the Super Bowl, and they basically just have to win the game against the Colts,” Musburger said. “I’ve got great respect for Philip Rivers. But one of my old handicapping theories come playoff time is to go against dome teams when they go to places like Buffalo and Chicago, teams that play outside where it’s cold.

“I’ve got great respect for the Browns. Kevin Stefanski would be a choice as good as any for Coach of the Year. But they’re going to miss their leader. He has been a calming voice for the franchise.”

Pittsburgh covered both meetings with Cleveland this season, cruising to a 38-7 win in Week 6 and covering as 10-point underdogs in Sunday’s 24-22 loss.

“When you play back to back, the Steelers have so many good players, and I think the Browns will find it very difficult against the Steelers’ defense in Pittsburgh,” Musburger said.

Musburger said he considered teasing New Orleans over Chicago and Tampa Bay over Washington.

“I would tease the Bucs down, but I think that Washington defense is dangerous,” he said.

WASHINGTON (+8½) over Tampa Bay

So do Gregorich and Baker and handicapper Lou Finocchiaro, who finished second in the RJ Challenge with a 46-37-2 ATS record (55.4).

“The way to get to any quarterback is really to pressure him from right up the middle, which is the strength of Washington,” said Finocchiaro (@GambLou). “Washington has the defense and motivation for their coach to keep it real close.”

Said Gregorich: “It doesn’t figure to be really high scoring, and they’re getting a lot of points. Tampa is going to have to give (quarterback Tom) Brady some time, and Washington’s defensive line is really good.”

Rams-SEAHAWKS Over 42½

The Rams and Seahawks went way under the total in their first two meetings this season, combining for 39 points in Week 9, when the total was 55½, and 29 points in Week 16, when the total was 48. But Finocchiaro thinks sportsbooks have lowered the number too much and recommends a play on the over.

“My position is they’re just reacting too much now,” he said. “Trust your bookmaker. They weren’t that wrong the first two times.”

TITANS (+3½) over Ravens

Professional sports bettor Jeff Whitelaw’s best bet is on Tennessee, which he played as a 4½-point home underdog before the number went down.

The Titans shocked the Ravens 28-12 in last year’s playoffs and also beat Baltimore 30-24 in overtime this season.

“I’m just not sold on Lamar Jackson in the playoffs. He has not performed well,” Whitelaw said. “Tennessee beat them last year, and they’re getting points at home, though home doesn’t mean as much without fans.

“I just absolutely love (Titans running back Derrick) Henry. He can control the game. Stopping him is very, very difficult, which sets up play action for (QB Ryan) Tannehill very well. The thing that concerns me is the defense.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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