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MARC LAWRENCE PLAYBOOK: LOOKING FOR UPSETS AS NFL PLAYOFFS BEGIN

Tampa Bay over WASHINGTON by 3

It seems hard to believe but this will be the Bucs first postseason appearance in 12 years, where they are only 1-6 SU and 2-4-1 ATS away in the playoffs dating back to 1980.

After laying out the big bucks to reel in QB Tom Brady, Tampa Bay’s victory over Atlanta gave them a final 11-5 regular-season record in 2020, matching the second-highest win total in franchise history, and fans in Tampa suddenly are drinking the Brady Kool-Aid once again. But before you go any further, remember the words of one of our favorite artists, Meat Loaf, who once said, “Stop right there… before you go any further!”

They will be without linebacker and defensive captain Devin White and the status of wide receiver Mike Evans is still up in the air. Sure, Brady is 30-11 SU in the playoffs but he is only 21-19-1 ATS, including 4-4 SUATS away. He is also 1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS vs. the NFC East in postseason, as well as 7-5 SU and 4-7-1 ATS in the playoffs versus sub .700 foes, including 0-6-1 ATS when favored by fewer than 9 points.

And this is a team against whom head coach Bruce Arians is 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS career during the postseason. On the other side of the coin, The Football Team’s head coach Ron Rivera is 3-1 SUATS in his home career in the playoffs, while Washington is 13-5 SU and 15-3 ATS in the playoffs against foes coming off a SUATS win (9-0 ATS last nine, and 8-0 ATS as dog of 7 or fewer points).

While QB Alex Smith has struggled, look for Brady to bring the best out in him as the Bucs play down to The Football Team’s level tonight. Grab the points with WFT.

TENNESSEE over Baltimore by 4

For Baltimore, the theme of this game should be “Remember The Titans”. One day prior to the one-year anniversary of the Ravens’ biggest upset loss in franchise history – when AFC No. 1 seed Baltimore fell, 28-12, at home to Tennessee as 10-point chalk – this is the ultimate revenge game for the Black Birds (the Ravens also took it on the chin at home this season in a 30-24 overtime defeat to Tennessee).

However, if you can believe it, John Harbaugh insists his troops are not laser-focused on the revenge aspect of this contest. Sure. And we’ve got some swampland in Florida we’d like to sell you. Here’s what we know: NFL playoff teams seeking same-season revenge are 41-27-4 ATS in Wild Card games, but only 1-7 SUATS when not taking points and coming off a double-digit ATS win.

Safe to say, these two teams have plenty of playoff history, with the visiting team going 5-0 SUATS. Our problem in looking to extend that streak today is the marshmallow-like schedule Baltimore faced down the stretch as 4 of their final five foes combined to go 17-46-1 this season. Which leads to QB Lamar Jackson being the classic cripple shooter: 19-3 SU and 13-7-2 ATS versus sub .500 foes, but only 8-6 SUATS versus .666 or greater foes.

Then there are NFL Playoff dogs with the same or better record going 20-6-1 ATS at home since 1980. With the underdog in Ryan Tannehill’s games versus AFC North foes going 14-3 ATS in AFC North games, including 5-0 ATS the last five, we’re left with a home dog that can play.

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