NFL Divisional Saturday Games

Ryan MetivierContributor IJanuary 11, 2009


And to anyone who may think it's weak of me to post picks post game... keep in mind if you do read this, I'm not ashamed to hide the fact I was leaning Panthers at -10 for some reason, thankfully I personally kept my bets just to the Ravens game.





Baltimore @ Tennessee


Cashed with Baltimore last week over Miami and I also put a little money down on the Ravens with some futures bets to win the AFC and Super Bowl, at 7-1 and 14-1, respectively.  That being said I think this could be one of the closest and toughest games to call this week as both teams play a very similar style, however I anticipated this matchup coming and I’m not going to go back off on my Ravens bet now.  Certainly not as big a play for me as last week but a Ravens upset would not surprise.

Whether it’s poor play, league-wide mediocrity or parity, many teams have fallen into the discussion of only being good on merit of a weak schedule this year.  The Titans have been a great story this year but in my opinion they may also fall into this category. 

Last week I mentioned the Ravens have played teams with a .543 winning percentage this year.  A look down the Titans schedule and they have beaten up on a quite a few dregs this year and played teams with a .444 winning percentage.   In fact when they played teams with winning records they won vs. Minnesota, Chicago, Pittsburgh and split the series with the Colts (obviously their loss to Indy was in a meaningless game.) 

They also lost SU to the Jets and beat these same Ravens 13-10 on Baltimore in Week Five.  In that game the Ravens had more first downs 22-14, net yards 285-210, time of possession 34:28 – 25:32 and the Titans needed a late 80-yard drive to come back for the victory. which would lead me to think they should be able to hang in with these Titans again.  With Titans Kevin Mawae out that should also be a huge advantage for the Ravens. 

After the Titans pretty much layed down in week 17, it's been three weeks since they have played a meaningful game and could be rusty.


Play:  Baltimore at +135 from for 1 UNIT



Arizona @ Carolina


            Probably take a pass on this one as I by no means trust the Cards on the road and travelling to Carolina where the Panthers are 8-0.  Given their past matchup in Week Eight where Arizona narrowly lost 27-23 and outplayed Carolina in many statistical categories, it would suggest we could see another close game. 

            I liked Atlanta last week and got burned as Arizona looks to have finally decided to change their game plan and have begun to use Edgerrin James.  Given all this Carolina looks to be the play however they are not a team I’m confident laying at least 10 points with, especially when the Cards second-ranked passing attack could easily slide in a back door cover even if they are down big. 

The uncertainty of Anquan Boldin’s status with a strained hamstring would also concern me in taking the Cards.  The Cards are 0-4 on the east this year and 2-20 in their last 22 to the east.  If I had to pick the game I’d lean Panthers but would prefer to sit back and just enjoy it.