Free NFL Wildcard Picks for Sunday 1/15/14: Chargers @ Bengals

2013-14 Sunday AFC Wildcard Picks
San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Date: Sunday, January 5, 2014
Time: 1:05 pm EST
Network: CBS

Game Line: Cincinnati -6.5
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Total (Over/Under): 45.5
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AFC Wild Card Analysis & Picks For Sunday 1/5/14: The San Diego Chargers will look to continue their improbable run into the playoffs when they travel to Cincinnati to take on the AFC North champion Bengals.

The Chargers (9-7) are coming off a 27-24 overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs, a win that Free Wildcard Sunday Picks Bengalspropelled them into the playoffs. The Chargers had luck on their side as Kansas City missed a field goal that would have eliminated them, instead, they are in, and Pittsburgh is sitting at home. The Chargers are riding a wave of momentum, as they’ve won four straight games, including a 27-20 win at Denver. Philip Rivers has had an MVP caliber season, completing 69.5% of his passes for 4478 yards with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Tight end Antonio Gates has been his go-to guy with 71 receptions for 872 yards. Rookie Keenan Allen has become the front runner for rookie of the year honors, catching 71 balls for 1046 yards and 8 touchdowns. Their backfield features 2 capable backs in Ryan Mathews (1255 yds 6 TD) and the explosive Danny Woodhead (425 yds rush, 605 yds rec). Their defense has been respectable against the run, allowing 107.2 yards per game, but are vulnerable against the pass allowing 259.25 yards per game.

The Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) are coming off a 34-17 win over Baltimore, a win that clinched the #3 seed in the AFC and sent their division counterpart home for the playoffs. The Bengals have been dominant at home this year, going 8-0 straight up and against the number. Andy Dalton had a decent year, he had his struggles in November, but in the month of December he caught fire. Dalton has been excellent in December completing 63% of his passes for 1342 yards with 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. Dalton sure has the weapons on offense, with receivers A.J. Green (1426 yds 11 TD), Marvin Jones (712 yds 10 TD). The tight ends are also a factor, with Jermaine Gresham (461 yds) and rookie Tyler Eifert (445 yds). The Bengals backfield features a 1-2 punch with the workhorse back Benjarvus Green-Ellis (756 yds) and explosive rookie Giovanni Bernard (695 yds rush, 514 yds rec). The Bengals defense is solid, ranking 3rd in the league in total defense allowing 305.5 yards per game. They allow only 96.5 yards rushing (5th in the league) and 209 yards passing per game (5th in the league).

These two teams met in week 13, with the Bengals winning 17-10. The Bengals were coming off their bye week and Kansas City was coming off a huge win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead. It was a tight game throughout, as they were tied at halftime. When it comes to the playoffs, momentum is a huge factor, and both teams come into this game with a lot of it. Cincinnati has won five out of their last six games, while San Diego has also won five out of their last six, including four in a row. When I look at Cincinnati, I see a team that has a stout defense, but their success is based on Andy Dalton’s performance. You could say the same thing for San Diego with Rivers. Something sticks out to me though. This Charger team went in to Denver and won. Granted, it was on a short week, but they still won. They had a terrific gameplan, and that is why I like San Diego here. They have great coaching. A lot of Philip Rivers’ success this year is because of offensive coordinator Ken Wisenhunt. Wisenhunt has a lot of playoff experience as a head coach and coordinator. He was the coach that led a wildcard team in Arizona to a Super Bowl appearance. I think San Diego keeps this close, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they won outright. We see this scenario almost every year in the playoffs. The team that is supposed to win against the team that sneaks in to the playoffs with nothing to lose. The Chargers are playing with house money, and that makes them extremely dangerous, and a very live underdog.

Free AFC Wildcard Weekend Picks For Sunday, January 5, 2014: San Diego +6.5 Over 45.5
San Diego at Cincinnati Sunday AFC Wildcard Score Prediction: Cincinnati 31 San Diego 28


About the author: Lou Palumbo


Lou Palumbo has been a blogger and sports handicapper for almost 15 years now and is the type of writer/handicapper we look for at TC-Sports-Picks. From a very young age, he's had a passion for sports, numbers, technology and business. This interest has led him to his career working in the sports betting industry, using his skills as an employee & partner at several top sports handicapping firms. He's is also known for his role in creating & managing the forums at, a well known sports betting portal with a popular handicapping forum. He's also developed working computer systems to assist in beating the books, and has generated several winning seasons in every major betting sport. Lou has also developed a keen understanding as to what makes the oddsmakers set a number, what type of plays attract the sharps, and what makes the sports betting public fall for a sucker bet. It's safe to say, he's well in the black in his sports betting career and we're glad that he will be sharing some of that info, and also posting free picks and trends here at Total Choice Sports Picks.



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