Divisional Round Picks You Should Definitely Ignore
Oh man. Last weekend was one of the most God-awful rounds of playoff football I think we’ve ever seen. It actually really pissed me off because I finally had a weekend off to take it all in for the first time since January of 2008. That weekend included the Patriots taking care of business against the Jags and the Chargers upsetting the favored Colts in their own stupid dome.
This past weekend was far from that. We had a listless Raiders/Texans matchup where one team couldn’t generate any offense, and the other had the good fortune of great field position all game. The Lions/Seahawks game wasn’t even worth staying up for after the refs blew an offensive pass interference call late in the first half. The Dolphins/Steelers game was interesting for about 5 seconds before the Fins got a personal foul penalty after being given first and goal at the 10 when Matt Moore nearly died on a roughing the passer penalty, leading to a 1st and 25 (side note: what a load of BULLCRAP that rule is. So, one team lays out a quarterback, drawing a flag. Then the other team draws a personal foul, basically for sticking up for themselves after their QB gets laid out. And the result is a 1st and 25??? Why is it not offsetting? That was a GIFT for the Steelers). And let’s not talk about that putrid performance by the Giants and their diva wide receiver who thinks he’s Michael Jackson. What a wasted weekend.
What we should talk about, however, is my awful 0–4 performance against the spread for my picks last weekend. Nobody could have called me and told me I took all the road teams? Who does that?!?! Even getting points it didn’t make sense. There’s always one or two blowouts on wild card weekend because of teams that don’t belong in the playoffs. That happened four times this year.
That said, I’m going to continue to make awful picks from here moving forward in hopes that I go 0–11 for the entire playoffs. It should definitely happen since I’m a stubborn bastard, especially when it comes to sports. Although, now that my goal is to lose every game, am I now changing my mindset to the point that I will pick the opposite of what I would have normally picked, thus leading to more wins? Or, am I acutely aware of that mental shift to the point that I pull a double reverse on my self and keep losing?
You’d better wait another week if you’re going to use this as a gambling tool…you know, if it were legal.
Home team in CAPS. Lines courtesy of Vegas Insider.
Seahawks (+5) over FALCONS
I know. “Here we go again!” you’re saying to yourself. But I don’t care. The ‘Hawks are a proven playoff team, the Falcons are not. Russell Wilson steps up when it matters, Matt Ryan is hot garbage when it counts. He’s going to win the MVP this year and I still think he’s a shitty quarterback. It’s not just because I hate BC…actually it is mostly because I hate BC.
I think this game is going to be a snoozer in the first half, but will heat up after the break. Look for Wilson to lead the ‘Hawks down the field for a score with about 2 minutes left. Ryan will lead the Falcons all the back until…he chokes again.
The Pick: Seahawks 27 Falcons 23
Texans (+17) over Patriots
Don’t misunderstand me (even though you all will. It’s a futile effort), I’m not saying the Texans will win. I’m not saying they will even play well.
But, the Patriots don’t generally blow teams out in these spots, unless Belichick hates them or they’re quarterbacked by Tim Tebow. I think the Pats will still get up big early, probably by 21 at the half. But they’ll take their foot off the gas because of Belichick’s relationship with Bill O’Brien. Plus, this should be one of those LaGarrette Blount grind-it-out kind of games where the most important thing is keeping everyone healthy.
But, if the Patriots won by 40, it wouldn’t shock me.
The Pick: Patriots 31 Texans 17
CHIEFS (-1.5) over Steelers
At first glance, this game should be highly entertaining. The high-powered Steelers offense vs. a solid, well-coached Chiefs team that plays in the loudest stadium in the NFL. What a great game to nurse my inevitable hangover to.
But, Ben Roethlisberger is not the same player on the road he is at home. His QB rating goes down by like 40 points. And, Andy Reid will find some way to screw up his timeouts and give Pittsburgh plenty of chances to get back in the game.
But overall, I think the Chiefs are more talented top to bottom. We’ll see you in Foxborough next week, KC.
The Pick: Chiefs 27 Steelers 22
Packers (+4.5) over COWBOYS
OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY!!! Another instant classic! Well, another predicted instant classic anyway. That Giants/Packers game sucked. This one should be much better.
I think all the cliches will show up in this game. The Cowboys will come out flat because they haven’t had to play a big game in a month. The ‘Boys will also be a little nervous and get the yips due to their inexperience. They’ll be forced into a shootout with the hottest quarterback in the league, even though their not build to play that way.
I expect the Pack to bring it early and keep the pressure on. The Cowboys will get theirs, but they can’t run their way past Aaron Rodgers.
Of course, we could also end up witnessing the 8th straight shitty game of the 2017 playoffs. It wouldn’t shock me. I hate you, Roger Goodell.
The Pick: Packers 38 Cowboys 28