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Bets Dressed - Wild Card Weekend - Uniform Matchups, Picks, and Player Props

I enjoy the Holidays as much as the next guy, but we have arrived at what truly is the most wonderful time of the year. The NFL playoffs are upon us. And Wild Card Weekend is going to be a doozy - aesthetically and otherwise.

A quick note on (playoff) methodology.

I’m still analyzing every NFL uniform matchup and picking a winner against the spread based on who dresses best.  And just because a team is ranked higher in the Uniform Wardrobe Power Rankings doesn’t mean it will automatically win the uniform matchup. It’s what you wear in the instant matchup that counts.

We're not about to shame teams that made the playoffs.  So we're only crowning the best matchup of the weekend from here on out.  And still betting the over. 

Looking back at Week 18.

Two 6-10 weeks in a row to round out the regular season. Not how we wanted to end, but we have plenty of opportunities to make up for it in the dance. 138-126-8 on the year to date. Let’s land this plane in style.

Wild Card Weekend Uniform Matchups and Picks.

Uniform Graphics by The Gridiron Uniform Database

Browns at Texans leading us off with a redux of the surprisingly decent uniform matchup from Week 16. This one had all the makings of the weak point of Wild Card Weekend, but kudos to both teams for coming through. Every game with this Houston wardrobe could be our last, so pay your respects while you can. But Cleveland runs away with it.

Only three weeks ago, the Browns whooped the Texans by two touchdowns. But that was with Case Keenum under center (and Amari Cooper having the game of his life). It goes without saying that CJ Stroud kicks things up a few notches for Houston. And the generational Browns defense isn’t quite as dominant on the road as it is at home. But this Cleveland team has something special brewing. Joe Flacco is a win away - coupled with Bills and Chiefs wins - from a date with destiny and the Baltimore Ravens. And the Uniform Gods are suckers for a good storyline.

The Pick: Browns -2

Uniform Graphics by The Gridiron Uniform Database

Dolphins at Chiefs in a best-case-scenario uniform matchup featuring their primary uniforms. These teams met earlier this season in Germany with the only aesthetic difference being white pants for Miami. While I prefer the icy white Dolphins as an individual uniform, the pop of aqua pants is a nice addition to the overall matchup. The Chiefs are the pick in classic home red, but I’m excited to see this one on the streaming screen.*

Speaking of uniforms, are teams able to sew wool linings into their jerseys? Asking for the Dolphins and Chiefs about to play this game in felt temperatures below negative 30 degrees. Taking weather out of it, this seemed like an obvious spot for the Chiefs to crush the reeling Dolphins and put them out of their injury-plagued misery. However, subarctic weather may ultimately serve as the great equalizer. All things considered, I’m happy to be riding with Reid and Mahomes at home.** But I’ll be sweating*** the cover.

*Reminder to everyone that this game will be on Peacock.

**Everyone is sleeping on the defending champs. It wouldn’t shock me in the slightest to see the Chiefs in Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII.

***Can one sweat in negative 30 degree weather?

The Pick: Chiefs -4.5

Uniform Graphics by The Gridiron Uniform Database

Steelers at Bills. Let it snow. Pittsburgh and Buffalo are no strangers to the lake effect, and these uniforms are going to look glorious in a postseason winter wonderland. The Steelers can do no wrong in their Triple Mismatch Club road outfit. But the Bills have redeemed themselves this season by leaning back into blue over white. And Buffalo gets the nod here.

On paper, with TJ Watt out of action, the Bills should roll. But the massive snowfall engulfing Orchard Park could serve as a great equalizer similar to the freezing cold in Kansas City. The Steelers have turned into one of the most potent running teams in football, and Najee Harris has rediscovered his rookie form. With that being said, the Bills are Top 5 in yards allowed to opposing running backs in the last four weeks. And if Buffalo can bottle up the Pittsburgh ground game, I have little faith in Mason Rudolph throwing them out of trouble in a snowstorm. More than anything, this game was tailor-made for backyard football king Josh Allen. He’ll be tossing younger cousins into snow drifts and shooting laser beams through the gray haze.

The Pick: Bills -9

Rams at Lions in a flawed uniform matchup I can get behind. I will forever be on the wall defending this Rams wardrobe, and this modern classic road uniform is the best outfit in their bunch. The Lions could’ve made this a sneaky great uniform matchup with silver pants, but they’re addicted to the Honolulu blueberry look. With that being said, the blue unitard is tolerable against the white and yellow of Los Angeles. The Rams are the clear pick, but the colors in this one are going to pop on Sunday Night Football.

Not only is this the Wild Card game of the weekend, it may be the Wild Card game of the millenium. I cannot think of a more anticipated showdown in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Stafford back in town against his old team. Goff versus McVay. First playoff game in Detroit since the early 90s. And beyond all of that, this is - for my money - the best pure football game of the weekend. Both offenses should get theirs. I’m curious to see which defense can make enough plays to swing the game. To that end, consider me content to be on the side of Aaron Donald - fresh off his eighth appearance on the AP All-Pro First Team.

The Pick: Rams +3

NOTE - The Rams have yet to officially reveal their choice of pants. But team graphics on social media suggest yellow pants.

Uniform Graphics by The Gridiron Uniform Database

Eagles at Buccaneers wrapping up the Wild Card round with another solid uniform matchup. While midnight green and pewter come off as a dark and dreary combination, the glorious red from the Bucs cuts through everything with a nice pop of color. And with that, Tampa Bay is the pick.

If forced to predict one Wild Card game where neither team would win the Super Bowl, Eagles-Bucs would be the selection. Philly has been out of sorts for weeks now - going 1-5 since Week 13. And while Tampa Bay has overachieved this season, they’ve underwhelmed in recent weeks and are heading into the playoffs with a banged up Baker Mayfield. The Eagles have the talent advantage, but that hasn’t meant much lately. Hard to complain about getting points at home on the playoff edition of Monday Night Football.

The Pick: Buccaneers +3

NOTE - The Eagles have yet to reveal their choice of pants.

Best NFL Uniform Matchup of Wild Card Weekend.

Uniform Graphics by The Gridiron Uniform Database

Packers at Cowboys. Party like it’s the Ice Bowl. In a Wild Card Weekend filled with aesthetic excellence, Green Bay and Dallas rise to the top. As classic as it gets for an NFC postseason showdown. And a textbook example of complementary contrast.* No brainer choice for best of the week.

Green Bay and Dallas combined for an overtime shootout last year at Lambeau Field. And there’s a very real chance we’re in for similar fireworks here. The Packers and Cowboys are both Top 12 in points scored and Top 7 in offensive EPA per play - no surprise when you look at the elite quarterback play from Jordan Love and Dak Prescott** respectively. I see this going one of two ways: back and forth offensive showcase or Cowboys in a rout. Both over-friendly scenarios.

*If we get Packers-Cowboys and Cowboys-49ers in the same postseason, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. Probably levitate.

**Dak punctuated his best season as a pro with a Second Team All-Pro nod. Now let’s see if he can top it off with a Super Bowl run.

The Pick: Over 50.5

Club SDR - Wild Card Weekend Prop Plays.

1-2 in Week 18. But it’s been a very good year for the Single Digit Revolution. 35-19 on the season, and there’s plenty more where that came from in the playoffs.

Rashee Rice - Over 61.5 Receiving Yards

In a year where a number of rookie skill players exploded onto the scene, Rashee Rice has flown under the radar. But not for much longer. Rice finished the year with a 79-938-7 slash line, but he’s really come on since Week 12 - averaging 86 yards per game. While it’s going to be subarctic at Arrowhead, Andy Reid will still want to air it out. And I like Rice to keep up with his late season trend.

James Cook - Over 63.5 Rushing Yards

In his sophomore season, James Cook took well to the RB1 role - clearing the 1,000-yard threshold for the first time. And he now draws a Steelers defense that was Bottom 10 in rushing yards allowed to opposing running backs this season. If the Bills cruise as expected, look for Cook to clear the number while icing out the game.

David Montgomery - Over 54.5 Rushing Yards

David Montgomery - together with Jahmyr Gibbs - just wrapped up one of my favorite running back duo seasons in recent memory. Sonic (Gibbs) and Knuckles (Montgomery) combined for 1,960 yards on the ground and 24 total touchdowns. While all eyes will be on Stafford and Goff and their respective storylines, I have a feeling the running backs will decide this one. Monty has cleared the number in 12 of 14 games this season - averaging 73 yards per game. Let’s see if he can do it again on the biggest stage of his career.

The Gridiron Uniform Database.

The uniform graphics you see here are courtesy of The Gridiron Uniform Database. If you’ve never paid their site a visit, stop what you’re doing right now and check it out. Best site on the Internet and an invaluable resource to uniform nerds and casuals alike.

Coming Attractions.

The postseason fun is just beginning.  We'll be back same time next week for the Divisional Round.

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