NFL Wildcard Saturday — Picks & Plays!

Zack Nicol
3 min readJan 16, 2022

Wildcard Sunday picks, plays and evaluation below. Enjoy!

1:00 PM ET

Model Z Projection: TB -6, 49.69 Total
Straight Up Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Spread Pick: TB -7.5⭐
O/U Pick: Under 46⭐
Zack’s Plays:
- Ke’Shawn Vaughn to score (-110)
- Tom Brady over 26.5 completions (-110)
- Brady over 273.5 Passing Yards (-110)
- Jalen Hurts over 9.5 Rush Attempts (-110)
- PHI under 19.5 points(-110)
- Gronkowski to score & TB to win (+165)
PHI Notable Inactives: N/A
TB Notable Inactives: RB1 Leonard Fournette, RB2 Ronald Jones, WR3* Cyril Grayson, CB4 Richard Sherman
Zack’s “Quick” Rundown: The Bucs are probably the most hurt of the playoff teams this weekend, but still are favored by more than a touchdown against this confusing Eagles team. With Leo and RoJo out, the Bucs will likely run a combo of Ke’Shawn Vaughn, LeVeon Bell and Gio Bernard against the Eagles who are again, confusing, 9th in rush yards allowed but 23rd in rush TDs allowed. I like the Bucs either way. I do think the Eagles aren’t that bad, but this is about the Bucs for me. The only weakness outside of the RB injuries for Tampa is the WR depth behind Mike Evans. But if anyone can make Tyler Johnson, Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller useful, it’s Tom Brady. Worth noting that I like Tampa’s linebackers to help contain Hurts in the run game.

4:30 PM ET

Model Z Projection: SF -.5, 51.91 Total
Straight Up Pick: Dallas Cowboys
Spread Pick: SF +3⭐
O/U Pick: Over 51⭐⭐
Zack’s Plays:
- Cedrick Wilson to score (+190)
- Cedrick Wilson to lead the game in receiving yards (+1600)
- Amari Cooper over 4.5 receptions (-120)
- Prescott 275+ Passing Yards (-110)
- Elijah Mitchell over 91.5 Rushing & Receiving Yards (-110)
- Deebo Samuel over 29.5 Rushing Yards (-110)
SF Notable Inactives: N/A
DAL Notable Inactives: LB3* Keanu Neal
Zack’s “Quick” Rundown: A Slime Time game on Nickelodeon for this one lol. So, I like the Cowboys in my head, but the Model says San Fran. What I do know, is that I do not like the corners on either team, so I’m going with the over. Trevon Diggs is fun because he get’s picks, but his aggressiveness gets him in trouble. Given up the most receiving yards by any corner in the last 60 years, kind of trouble. Hoping for a good game here, but I think I’ve landed on Dak winning in a shootout and the Niners cover. Super low confidence on the game, high confidence in excess amounts of virtual slime.

8:15 PM ET

Model Z Projection: KC -10.5, 50.43 Total
Straight Up Pick: Kansas City Chiefs
Spread Pick: KC -12.5⭐
O/U Pick: Under 46⭐
Zack’s Plays:
- Darrel Williams to score (-110)
- [2X BET] Darrel Williams over 56.5 Rushing Yards (-110)
- Derrick Gore to score (+220)
- Kelce over 69.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
- Kelce to score & KC -2.5 Alt Spread (+102)
- Najee Harris to score (+115)
- Najee Harris over 63.5 Rushing yards (-110)
- PIT Under 16.5 points (-110)
- TJ Watt over 2.5 Tackles (+105)
PIT Notable Inactives: N/A
KC Notable Inactives: RB1 Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RT Lucas Niang
Zack’s “Quick” Rundown: The Steelers land in last place by a good bit for Overall Rating in my model. The Chiefs surprisingly are all the way down at 7th (out of 14). The spread reflects all of this with a huge 12.5 number, and it’s intriguing. WR Juju returns, RB Clyde and LT Niang are out, and the KC Run defense is not that great. I don’t know man, I think I’m going to lay the points here. I love the Arrowhead homefield, love Mahomes in the playoffs, love this much improved KC Oline, and most importantly I hate this Steelers Oline. KC -12.5 with low confidence.



Zack Nicol

Geaux Tigers. Go Mavs. Go Pats. Go Stars. Go Rangers. Go BlueClaws.