The regular season is over, and that means the real season begins. The Eagles and Titans made it into the field of 12 teams on the last week, and as a reward the former has to face a Seahawks team that was the No. 1 seed in the NFC with two weeks left in the season, while the latter has to head to Foxborough to face a Patriots team that I can't remember winning any games in January recently (someone fact check this for me, please). We also have a playoff rematch between the Vikings and Saints from two years ago, and we open the weekend with a battle between two teams in the Bills and Texans that spent last week resting starters.

Each week, I break down what you need to know about each game from a betting angle before you lock in your picks. I'll typically talk about big line moves, teasers and parlays to consider and more, but with our slate down to four games for the playoffs, we'll do more of a deep dive on each game.

If you want to know which sides I like, you can find that info at the SportsLine link below, where all my rated plays appear during the season along with my five SuperContest picks each week and plenty of great analysis from a fantastic collection of experts. You can also check out where all our CBS Sports staff lands on each game each week right here.

My picks

Over at SportsLine, I'll be posting my picks for Wild Card Weekend throughout the week. Join now and use promo code WHITE for $1 on your first month and you can get mine and every SportsLine expert's picks throughout the year, as well as my SuperContest picks each Saturday during the regular season. After a 4-1 finish in Week 17, I managed to scrape together a 53.7% hit rate. That wasn't nearly good enough to finish in the money, but it does give me a 57.2% hit rate over the last five years in the contest (a 425-pick sample size).

Get into the playoff action by playing CBS Sports Playoff Pick'em. Pick the games for your free chance to win $5,000 or start a fully customizable pool with friends. Terms apply.  

Bills at Texans (-2.5)

Home-field advantage: 3.5 points
Power rating line: Texans -2.5
Opening line: Texans -3


BUFHOU
Record vs. spread9-6-17-8-1
Record vs. playoff teams1-43-3
Strength of schedule rank306
Yards per play differential+0.4-0.4
Weighted DVOA8.3-12.1
Points per drive offense rank247
Points per drive defense rank224
Pass offense DVOA rank2315
Pass defense DVOA rank526
Run offense DVOA rank1711
Run defense DVOA rank1822

Why to take Bills

  • Bills the better team later in season (weighted DVOA)
  • Weighted DVOA projects line at Bills -1.5
  • Bills the more efficient team overall (yards per play differential)
  • Bills win 3 of 4 DVOA matchups vs. Texans
  • Home favorites of 2.5 or less are 1-9 ATS on WCW since 2000
  • All favorites of 2.5 or less are 2-14 ATS on WCW since 2000

Why to take Texans

  • Bills struggle vs. playoff teams, only win was over Marcus Mariota Titans
  • Texans have massive strength of schedule advantage with identical record
  • Injuries: J.J. Watt to return; Will Fuller injury negated by Levi Wallace injury?

Titans at Patriots (-5)

Home-field advantage: 4 points
Power rating line: Patriots -5.5
Opening line: Patriots -5.5


TENNE
Record vs. spread8-7-19-7
Record vs. playoff teams2-33-3
Strength of schedule rank2932
Yards per play differential+0.7+0.5
Weighted DVOA19.020.4
Points per drive offense rank1417
Points per drive defense rank101
Pass offense DVOA rank614
Pass defense DVOA rank211
Run offense DVOA rank516
Run defense DVOA rank106

Why to take Titans

  • Similar efficiency numbers to Patriots hints at value
  • Better than overall numbers due to QB change (7-3 with Ryan Tannehill)
  • Patriots have played worse in second half on both sides of ball
  • Injury edge: Derrick Henry off injury report; Julian Edelman playing at less than 100%

Why to take Patriots

  • Patriots 10-4 ATS in playoffs since 2014, 7-2 ATS at home since 2013
  • Patriots' playoff experience and coaching edge may trump any statistical disadvantage
  • Bonus: Over is 7-1-1 in Patriots home playoff games since 2013

Vikings at Saints (-7.5)

Home-field advantage: 3 points
Power rating line: Saints -7
Opening line: Saints -7.5


MINNO
Record vs. spread9-711-5
Record vs. playoff teams1-43-1
Strength of schedule rank2022
Yards per play differential+0.6+0.6
Weighted DVOA16.238.5
Points per drive offense rank63
Points per drive defense rank816
Pass offense DVOA rank103
Pass defense DVOA rank713
Run offense DVOA rank1512
Run defense DVOA rank95

Why to take Vikings

  • Identical yards per play differential, better points per drive ranking
  • Vikings have only lost by more than seven on the road once all year
  • Vikings' second-ranked red-zone defense can hold Saints to short FGs
  • Saints defense struggled against good teams in second half (Titans, 49ers)
  • Rest advantage to Vikings after some players sat in Week 17

Why to take Saints

  • Big weighted DVOA gap projects the line to be a point higher (Saints -8.5)
  • Vikings have struggled vs. playoff teams, only win at home vs. Eagles
  • Saints' one loss to playoff team was coin flip, 49ers won shootout in last seconds
  • Injury edge: Banged-up Dalvin Cook vs. elite run D; Adam Thielen yet to look 100%

Seahawks (-1.5) at Eagles

Home-field advantage: 3 points
Power rating line: Eagles -3
Opening line: Seahawks -1


SEAPHI
Record vs. spread7-8-17-9
Record vs. playoff teams3-32-3
Strength of schedule rank227
Yards per play differential-0.3-0.3
Weighted DVOA11.85.2
Points per drive offense rank1218
Points per drive defense rank1914
Pass offense DVOA rank417
Pass defense DVOA rank1516
Run offense DVOA rank610
Run defense DVOA rank264

Why to take Seahawks

  • Massive injury edge: Eagles lose another starter in Brandon Brooks
  • Massive strength of schedule edge, which is a good trend to follow
  • Offense played well in Week 17 despite RB injuries
  • Russell Wilson should have huge advantage vs. Eagles secondary

Why to take Eagles

  • Eagles 5-0 ATS as underdogs in playoffs last two years
  • Home underdogs are 16-7-1 ATS on WCW all-time
  • Underdogs of 2.5 or less are 14-2 ATS on WCW since 2000
  • Implied power rating edge of Seahawks (4.5 points) doesn't mesh with ordinary stats
  • Eagles have situational edge, inc. ranking No. 4 on third down on offense and defense
  • Seahawks' poor rush defense could take pressure off Eagles passing game

Teaser of the week

Bills +8.5 at Texans
Eagles +7.5 vs. Seahawks

Rather than teasing the Saints down to under a field goal, I'm going to back the two short underdogs based on the strength of how short 'dogs do on Wild-Card Weekend, where 'dogs of 2.5 or less are 14-2 ATS since 2000.

The teaser of the week went just 8-9 this year after a 12-5 run in 2018, but even though we lost last week when the Giants were blown out, we did hit our +900 underdog moneyline parlay on the Bengals, Ravens and Jets. Hopefully you teased some of those teams together or with our one teaser team that did hit (Chiefs).