Playoff Predictions: Wildcard Weekend

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McD5

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Hi everyone.

From time to time, I have been known to make a football wager or two. Who has a great feel for the games this weekend? We'll start with today:

1. Saints at Seattle. Saints favored by 10 points.

2. Jets at Indy. The Colts favored by 2 points.

Who can help a brother make money this weekend?
 

Boone

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With the exception of the Saints/Seattle game, anyone who says they have a great feel for who prevails this weekend is whistling past the graveyard. This will be one of the most comptetive playoffs we've ever seen with no dominant team or teams. The closest thing to 'shoe-ins' we've got this year are New England and Atlanta, but both of those teams could realistically be ousted by their first opponent. I don't think they will be, but it's quite possible.

As for the question at hand, I think the Saints will put 40+ points on the Seahawks. The Hawks had their miracle win last weekend, and while Qwest is a brutal place to play, I just don't think the Seahawks have enough weapons to stay in this game.

The Jets/Indy game is very difficult to predict. I am taking the Colts, but don't have a lot of faith in my pick. It's tough to pick against Peyton no matter how weak the Colts have looked at times. But mostly my pick is based on two things - home field advantage for Indy, and the fact that 3 weeks ago, the Jets were in a free-fall that called even their playoff possibilities into question. They are hardly the team of destiny that big mouth Ryan purports them to be. I won't be shocked if the Jets show up and eke out a win (they are capable of it if they play their best). But I'm not expecting it.
 

McD5

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Yes Boone, definitely tough this year. No bet for me yet, but believe I will try the Ravens tomorrow, -3 in Kansas City.
 

McD5

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Taking the Ravens today, -3 points.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Taking the Ravens today, -3 points.
Good bet! I was considering the Chiefs +3, and thankful I didn't.

Not sure what the spread is this week, but I'd take the Pats over the Jets. Teams that get blown out in the regular season typically don't fair well against the same opponent in the playoffs.
 

McD5

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Thanks Lanky. Here are this weekend's games, and current lines.

Saturday:

Baltimore at Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh favored by 3 points.

Green Bay at Atlanta, Atlanta favored by 1 1/2 points.


Sunday:

Seattle at Chicago, Chicago favored by 10 points.

Jets at New England, New England favored by 9 points.
 

McD5

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Vegas believes 2 close games Saturday, and two blowouts on Sunday.

It's wild to think about it. But the Bears gave up what seemed like the world for Jay Cutler. But if they win comfortably as expected this weekend, he will be one game away from possibly taking them to the show.

And who knows between the Ravens and Steelers? Flip a coin.

And the Atlanta game is interesting. Atlanta may still be flying under the radar somewhat, but their homefield advantage is second-to-none. Matt Ryan is something like 18-1 at home.
 

riggins44

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Hard to believe only 1 1/2 points in Atlanta vs Green Bay. Normally homefield gives you at least 3. Curious to see if the line moves any next day or two.
 

McD5

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Hard to believe only 1 1/2 points in Atlanta vs Green Bay. Normally homefield gives you at least 3. Curious to see if the line moves any next day or two.
That Aaron Rodgers is something else. A questionable running game? He doesn't care. No offensive line? It matters not.

He defies a lot of NFL logic. And that D is solid.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Seattle +10 is tempting - but was last week their peak? Who knows. They did beat the Bears in the regular season.

EDIT: I didn't believe the Eagles were that good, and I don't believe the Bears are that good. I don't think Seattle is that good either though...
 

servumtuum

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That Aaron Rodgers is something else. A questionable running game? He doesn't care. No offensive line? It matters not.

He defies a lot of NFL logic. And that D is solid.
I'm wondering if the sudden "emergence" of James Starks RB for Green Bay (23 rushes for 123 yards against the Eagles) might have, in the minds of the sports bettors, added a running game option that the Packers have lacked and that might have made them start shooting money in Green Bay's direction causing the books to lower the spread to even out the money wagered?
 

Goaldeje

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Good point Serv. But the Pack has had an up and down running game all season long. Brandon Jackson was supposed to provide a solid running game, but was never consistent enough. Wouldn't surprise me if they end up with under 75 rushing yards this week, just as it wouldn't surprise me if they ended up with 125+.
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Looking at the NFC, Atlanta doesn't lose at home and Seattle doesn't win on the road when traveling east. The Seahawks beat the Bears, IN CHICAGO, coming off their BYE earlier in the season but the Bears are playing much better since then. It was Seattle's only road victory east of the Rockies. The only game Atlanta lost at home this year was to the Saints. Conventional wisdom says take the home teams in both of these games. Then again, conventional wisdom took a holiday last weekend.

In the AFC, the Pats-Jets game looks like the equivilent of the Saints-Seahawks game. NO WAY the Jets can win, right? I wouldn't put anything past Un-sexy Rexy and his boys after last week. That brings us to perhaps the toughest call of the weekend. Defense will likely rule the day in Pittsburgh, but WHICH defense? It's tough to pick against Pittsburgh at home but the Ravens might be the one team, besides the Pats, capable of winning in that hostile environment.

VERY tough to pick these games but I have to like the HOME teams here. You have to figure at least ONE road team will prevail but WHO? THAT'S the Sixty-Four dollar question.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Ravens win on the road in Pittsburgh, bank it.

The tough game for me is Green Bay in Atlanta. ATL doesn't lose at home, however the Packers might be playing better than anyone except New England right now. Tough call there. Plus, you almost have to root for Green Bay to win - Green Bay, Chicago NFC Championship game, outdoors in late January? Gotta love it.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Whaddya know, the refs gave another game to Pittsburgh. They must lead the league all-time in games given to them by the referees. I swear, there are NO bad breaks for the Steelers in Pittsburgh!
 

McD5

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It seems everyone is picking GB over Chicago. Both QBs should be great to watch.

Cutler--a little more reckless, but maybe because he has to be with the lack of talent he has at WR and on his o-line. He throws a pick, then comes right back and throws some of the most beautiful passes in the league.

No bet yet for me.
 

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There won't be any cinderella stories this weekend.

Both Green Bay and the Steelers win. Convincingly. And what a great Super Bowl matchup that will be :)
 

Lanky Livingston

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This week I'd go with Green Bay -3.5 and the Jets +3.5
Well, GB was a winner, Jets was a loser. However Jets would have won the game w/o the Steelers getting ANOTHER call go their direction. Sanchez's arm was going forward...shouldn't have been a touchdown. Also, what a terrible 4th and goal call...why do teams insist on running it right up the gut? Is it a pride thing? Everyone knows you're gonna do it, and they sell out to stop it. So dumb.
 

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