The AFC is wide open.
How many actually expect Kansas City to get through the AFC playoffs unscathed. The Thursday night showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this season showed me that this Chiefs team is much like other years. They can't make the stops when necessary.
And with New England not quite the same, there's a distinct possibility one of the four teams playing on Wild Card weekend will make a real impact on the AFC playoffs. Here's my two choices to move on in the AFC playoffs with these two NFL Wild Card picks.
Indianapolis Colts (+1.5) at Houston Texans
Am I giving too much credence to historical evidence by the Texans?
It's well-documented the Texans have been horrendous in the playoffs. And it appears that the betting public and oddsmakers are starting to believe that trend. This line opened at minus-3 in favor of Houston, with it inching toward the Colts.
And I can't blame anyone for that happening.
The Colts have been the better team in recent weeks. The defense is allowing fewer years per play, even after the Texans gave up a ridiculous 2.5 yards per play in week 17 to the anemic Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Colts have been better on the offensive side, too.
Indianapolis is healthy, with Andrew Luck at the helm. There was no way Tennessee was going to beat the Colts in week 17 with Luck as the quarterback for the Colts. And compared to Luck, Deshaun Watson just isn't on that level yet.
It worries me some that Indianapolis is having to play back-to-back road games with a playoff atmosphere, but I'll back Luck in this one. -- Go Against The Chalk with Indianapolis
Los Angeles Chargers (+2.5) at Baltimore Ravens
Here's another team having to play in back-to-back road games, but I'll stick with the better team.
Baltimore beat the Chargers just a few weeks ago on the road. That doesn't change my mind as to which team is better. Los Angeles will get a second look at Lamar Jackson, which should be noteworthy. Jackson still doesn't make professional-caliber throws, so the Chargers will be able to adjust to his speed the second time around.
And if Jackson can't use his legs to move the ball, the Ravens offense is in major trouble.
Los Angeles was terrible against Baltimore in week 16. The Chargers won't play that bad again and I don't believe Baltimore's offense is good enough to keep the ball away from the Chargers. Just a three weeks ago, everyone was drooling over the Chargers. Now that drool is being associated with the Ravens.
The NFL is a week-to-week league for a reason, so in these instances, I like to take the more complete team. Forget about the road worries. The Chargers are better and will prove that in the Wild Card playoffs. -- Go Against The Chalk with Los Angeles
Scott Levine blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more sports betting coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH