“A flute with no holes is not a flute. And, a doughnut with no hole is a Danish.” – Caddyshack
All I do is win, win, win no matter what…..6-2 ATS last week. That, my friends, is how you start the NFL playoffs on the money train. There were a few surprises along the way, I didn’t expect the Seahawks to bring the Aflockalypse* to the defending Super Bowl champions. After watching Brandon Stokley take up space for several seasons in Denver (minus one incredible catch), I was amazed how big of a part he played in the largest upset of the season. This week feature’s Wild Card victors taking on their well-rested, familiar opponents.
Before I gaze into my patented crystal ball, it’s time to address something wrong with society. I am slightly taller than average. More specifically – I wear a 36 length jean. My problem is whenever I try to purchase jeans from an actual store the tallest they carry is 34. That is for an average of 6′2 individual. We aren’t talking Dikembe Mutumbo here. However, these same stores carry waist sizes up to 50. They would have be believe a 50 inch waist on a 28 lenght is in the scope of normal. Welcome to America I guess, here’s your Whopper. So I have to order online. Not that big of a deal you would think except every other jean pair I get has tiny rips in them despite not saying it when I order. When I call to complain I am told that is the style. I HATE THAT STYLE AND IT RIPS AFTER A FEW MONTHS. I blame MMA/UFC, Punk rock youth, and the KFC Double Down. And no, I don’t like Big & Tall stores because their brands all have Big Dogs on them.
To celebrate the last great weekend of NFL football action, this week’s theme music is Bright Eye’s EASY/LUCKY/FREE. I like to think this song is about how Easy it is to beat Las Vegas bookmakers, how Lucky we are to win most weeks and how Free money is the best money. More than likely it is about death and the end times but we aren’t going to let that get us down. On a quick movie note, I’m seeing the trailer for the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher movie a lot. I guess my question is….what was she thinking? I thought he did camera commercials now. I wish he would just go away.
*Aflockalypse courtesy of this past week’s Saturday Night Live
This Week Against the Spread:
CHICAGO -10 vs Seattle – Let me hit you up with some knowledge: Teams that knock off the defending Super Bowl champs in the playoffs are 1-10 ATS in their next playoff game & teams that allowed 21 or more points in their previous playoff game are 9-21 ATS in their next playoff game. Quite simply, Seattle played their best game last week. Given time, Matt Hasselback can exploit the Bear’s secondary as he did in their win earlier this year. However in the Divisional Round, I always look to go with the bye week team as they cover over 60 percent.
NEW ENGLAND – 9 vs NY Jets – The Jet’s survived the Colts last week and denied me perfection in this column. Not much has changed from my perception, the Jets are team that is simply not as good as the Patriots. Their playoff road record is impressive but I have a feeling they will be playing from behind early and Mark Sanchez will lack the “poise” he is known for. Rob Gronkowski has been getting it done lately but it is counterpart Aaron Hernandez that exploited the Jet’s earlier this year. I look for him to create matchup problems. Also, compared to Rex Ryan’s blunt trash talking style, you’ve got to love the sublety of Wes Welker this week referencing Rex Ryan’s love of the human foot. It really is an art form.
PITTSBURGH -3 1/2 vs Baltimore – Two games already this year, both decided by three points. Baltimore looked impressive rolling the Chiefs last week. It’s easy to see why Baltimore is a popular pick this week. I am not underestimating the value of home field in this matchup. Not to mention the bye week while the Ravens have played a physical Kansas City squad. The deciding factor is I like Ben Roethlisberger to create when the pocket collapses. Also in my fantasy playoff squad I picked a lot of Steelers so I need them to advance.
GREEN BAY + 2 1/2 vs Atlanta – I originally was going to go with Atlanta. They are on a 7-1 ATS run, don’t lose at home for the most part and already beat the Packers this season. I’m also worried about too many important games in a row for the Packers catching up with them. However, I think they have what it takes to pull the upset. In the first matchup they outgained the Falcons by 125 yards and Rodgers fumbled going into the endzone. Their defense is playing at a very high level the past few weeks. With the addition of James Starks, they have a running game which they didn’t have in the first meeting. With Aaron Rodgers, I am getting the better quarterback as well. I love favorites in this round usually but it makes sense to back the green and gold to upset the NFC #1 seed.
Chicago/Seattle OVER 41
Green Bay/Atlanta UNDER 43
New England/NY Jets UNDER 44 1/2
Baltimore/Pittsburgh UNDER 37 – a quick note – If you can, take the first half UNDER of 18 1/2.
Here’s the supporting trends: Balt. is 7-0 Under the 1st half total against teams with a turnover margin of +1 per game or better over the last 3 seasons…..The average half time total scored in these games was 14.1.
Play Under – Any team where the first half total is between 18 and 21 (Balt.) – after a win by 14 or more points against opponent after 2 straight wins by 14 or more points….Over the last 10 seasons the record for this system is….9-0….100%….
The average first half total posted in these games was….19.6….The average total first half points scored in these games was….13.8….
Play Under – Any team where the first half total is between 18 and 21 (Pitt.) – after a win by 14 or more points against opponent after a win by 21 or more points….The system’s record this season is….5-0….100%….