January 10, 2008

NFL Divisional Round Against the Spread Picks

It's tough to make up ground now, but Vegas has thrown some big spreads our way.

Brien (46-41-2 for .528)

Every home team this week is favored by more than a touchdown. Since 2000, teams favored by 7 or more points coming off a bye in the playoffs are 9-2 straight up and 7-4 ATS. I think the gambling maxim of "only bet on the underdog if you think they can win outright" applies even more in the playoffs, so I'm not going to overthink this one. If I'm right, there are going to be a lot of boring games this weekend.

GREEN BAY (-7.5) over Seattle
NEW ENGLAND (-13) over Jacksonville
INDIANAPOLIS (-8) over San Diego
DALLAS (-7.5) over NY Giants

Jeremy and Magic 8 Ball (43-40-6 for .478, 48-35-6 for .573)

Jeremy's Picks: Well the inevitable happened, I fell out of the lead. It was wonderful while it lasted. Let's see if Brien stumbles along the way. Lots of huge spreads out there this week which have caused me to take one more road team than I ordinarily might. On to the picks:

Seattle (+7.5) over GREEN BAY - Seattle played really, really well last week. We'll see how far that carries away from the insanity of Qwest Field. Hasselbeck should maybe say "We'll take the ball, and we're going to cover."

NY Giants (+7.5) over DALLAS - I would've gone with Dallas at anything 7 or below, but that extra half point is too enticing to pass up, especially with T.O. possibly out.

NEW ENGLAND (-13) over Jacksonville - You think Belichick hasn't made it clear to his boys how the national media has been jonesing on them for not playing so well against the Giants? Yeah... that Jacksonville run is about to come to an end... a screetching end.

INDIANAPOLIS (-8) over San Diego - PhiLLLLip on the road in the RCA Dome with Gates possibly out and Indy's d-line and linebackers with an extra week of rest? Take Indy.

Magic 8 Ball Picks:

GREEN BAY (-7.5) over Seattle - "Signs point to yes." [Pack beating spread]

DALLAS (-7.5) over NY Giants - "Yes." [Cowboys will beat spread]

NEW ENGLAND (-13) over Jacksonville - "My sources say yes." [Pats will beat spread]

San Diego (+8) over INDIANAPOLIS - "Don't count on it." [Colts won't beat spread]

J-Red (41-45-3 for .478)

Seattle (+7.5) over GREEN BAY - I just have a feeling that Seattle with D.J. Hackett back is a much better team than the regular season.

DALLAS (-7.5) over NY Giants - Even without TO, Dallas can move the ball.

NEW ENGLAND (-13) over Jacksonville - They've waited all season for this to start.

INDIANAPOLIS (-8) over San Diego - The Colts have been biding their time for this to start.

Russell (37-49-3 for .433)

Just playing for pride to finish out the season, like the Ravens were (and I'm doing about as well).

GREEN BAY (-7.5) over Seattle - The frozen tundra of Lambeau Field! Seattle can't run the ball, and it will be too cold to sustain their passing offense for long scoring drives. And GB is really good.

Jacksonville (+13) over NEW ENGLAND - I'll take Good this week. Evil might still win, but I think they're looking ahead because this game means nothing to them. They want the Colts and then the Super Bowl.

INDIANAPOLIS (-8) over San Diego - Last time, Sproles returned two kicks for TDs, Peyton threw lots of picks, and it rained in San Diego. All of that only amounted to a SD victory when the Colts couldn't make a short FG. None of that will happen this time.

NY Giants (+7.5) over DALLAS - Eli's playing better, and no one knows how Romo will deal with the pressure. Plus the Giants were competitive in both games in the regular season, and it's hard to beat a good team 3 times. I guess we'll find out if the Giants are good.


Brien - GB, NE, IND, DAL
Jeremy - SEA, NE, IND, NYG
Russell - GB, JAX, IND, NYG
Magic 8 - GB, NE, SD, DAL

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