Friday, January 14

NFL Picks: Divisional Playoffs

FCF groupthink ruled the day on the first Sunday of the NFL playoffs, as we all nailed the Packers and Ravens picks, following a shaky Saturday where only one of us had the surprising Seahawks and two took the Jets. I knew the crafty Bucko would get that Seattle pick right the second I published my second long-winded essay on how bad they were and how faulty his logic is. My Seahawk bashing may have persuaded a couple of the other FCF'ers to go with the Saints: sorry, guys.

For the year, the FCF consensus was solid; on games where we all picked the same team, we were 43-45 (55.1%), better than any of our individual years. I noticed some trends - the most common picks for us to agree upon were the Falcons, Patriots, Eagles, and Rams - teams that all performed well overall and ATS this season. I'd be interested to see what the results of the four-against-one picks were on the year; perhaps we'll look at that next week.

But hey, enough about that - let's celebrate! I hit on three games, giving me as many wins as all last postseason (3-8), where I opened with an 0-4 on Wild Card Weekend and absorbed a 1-3 on Divisional Round (where I'd laid money on each game in Las Vegas). I also went 1-3 on WCW in our first year picking, in 2008. The opening round has not been my friend. But on to the Divisional round, where we have some very familiar traditional rivals facing each other in the AFC and some intriguing rematches taking place in the NFC.

Wild-Card Games
Andy: 3-1
Figgs: 2-2
Nick: 2-2
Bucko: 3-1
Gopo: 3-1

Nick's Money Picks ($): 1-2
Figgs' Money Picks ($): 1-2

AFC Divisional Playoffs

Saturday 4:30
STEELERS (-3.5) vs Ravens
Andy: Ravens. I already spent way too much time talking about this garbagefest. The steelers actually sport a 3.8-point SRS edge and are at home, but I think the Ravens are playing really well. Plus, Nick pointed out last week that 5 of the past 6 matchups between these idiots has been decided by three points (the other by four), so it seems prudent to take the points.
Figgs: Ravens. Andy already posted about how awful it is that we have to watch these two teams in the postseason. However, I will have my F*CK Pittsburgh shirt on, and be rooting for the rat birds big time.
Nick: Steelers. I remain very unimpressed by the Ravens. Ray Rice is the best thing about the Baltimore offense, and the Steelers only give up 3.0 YPC, so they can neutralize him. That means that if you're picking Baltimore, you're picking Cool Joe over Rapistberger. I can't do it. The Steelers get by the Ratbirds this week, then the Patriots will end them.
Bucko: Ravens. Like everyone has said it will probably be one team by 3 points.
Gopo: Steelers. If I was really going with my head (or betting money), I'd likely pick the Ravens in this one since I think some team is going to win by 3 and the line makes it dumb to take the Steelers. However, it's the playoffs, and there is no way I'm going to take any chances with mojo and pick the Ravens in this matchup. I say its either Steelers by 5+ or Ravens by 3.

Sunday 4:30
PATRIOTS (-9) vs Jets
Andy: Jets. Like Figgs, I thought this would be a bit lower. The SRS differential is 8.9, so no hope there, but I just can't see the Jets getting blown out again like they did in these teams' previous meeting. I think New England will win, but by less than this.
Figgs: Pats. I guessed this line at 5.5, and was planning to bet on the Pats. I was surprised by how high this was, but I guess Vegas expected a lot of people to think like me and wanted to make it high enough where some people would take the Jets. I will not be one of those people.
Nick: Pats. Under no circumstances do I see the Jets winning this game, so I can't pick them. This is a little high, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is covered sometime in the second quarter. If you talked yourself into the Jets, you're going to regret it.
Bucko: Jets. The Pats will probably win this one, but I think the Jets will keep it close.
Gopo: Patriots. Anything under double digits and I was going to take the Pats. They'll keep it closer than last time, but I think the Patriots still come out with a 12+ point win.

NFC Wild-Card Playoffs

Saturday 8:00
FALCONS (-2.5) vs Packers
Andy: Packers. Like Gopo, I think they're better; SRS says they were in fact 4.8 points per game better on the year despite this line, plus they're playing very well. I wouldn't be shocked it Atlanta won, but Green Bay could well represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Figgs: ATL. No clue here, I could definitely see it going either way. Really looking forward to Saturday's games.
Nick: Falcons. It's the "No Fucking Way I'd Bet It" game of the week. I like Rodgers and the GB defense, but the Pack is banged up, and they were 4-5 on the road this season. Green Bay is the better team at full strength on a neutral field, but gimme Georgia Dome. The Birds are more balanced and if I don't have to give a full field goal, I'll take my chances. This feels like a go against the public pick, and that's usually for the best.
Bucko: Packers. They may have found a surprise running back, and Rodgers can throw on anyone. Very solid defense as well. Packer fans book your trip to Dallas.
Gopo: Packers. I think the Packers are a better team - it's ok if you take away their run game, Rodgers is fine throwing all day. If the defense can do a decent job, then they should win this one easy.

Sunday 1:00
BEARS (-10) vs Seahawks
Andy: Bears. I'm not going to let myself be swayed too much by that craziness from Seattle last week. These teams were separated by 13.5 points during the season and the Seahawks spent what they had last week.
Figgs: Hawks. I typed their name last week, then changed it. I don't expect them to win this game, but I'd really be kicking myself if they covered again and I didn't pick them.
Nick: Bears. I just can't see the Seahawks: a) playing another game like that, or b) winning the game outright. No more Qwest Field, no more teams on their eighth running back and also starting Roman Harper. Ten is a little high, but I've gotta do it.
Bucko: Seahawks. The spread is a little high for me. Plus the Hawks beat them earlier in the year.
Gopo: Bears. I'm torn here. I have a feeling I'm going to get this game wrong, but I have zero confidence in the Seahawks following up that performance with another one even remotely close to it. The fairy tale ends here.

Figgs $ Bets
Three-team, ten-point teaser - Baltimore (+13)/Atlanta (+7.5)/New England (+1)
Two-team, 6.5 point teaser - Pittsburgh (+3.5)/New England (-2.5)

Nick $ Bet
Two-team, 6.5 point teaser - Pittsburgh (+3.5) / New England (-2.5)
Three-team, 7 point teaser - Pittsburgh (+4) / New England (-2) / Chicago (+3)

1 comment:

Nick said...

"The crafty Bucko."