January 14, 2011

Picks for the killer NFL divisional games

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

As we progress deeper into the NFL post-season, these games just get better and better and now, by fate, we’re being treated to two intense division matchups that would blow the roofs of the hosts’ stadiums; you know, if those venues had roofs.

The home teams are in CAPs and the lines are from Vegas.

PITTSBURGH -3 over Baltimore
Each team beat the other already this season and they both did so on home soil. With a line sitting at three though, this may come out as a push when you consider that four of their past five games were three-point decisions, including both meetings this season.

But there’s one thing that you have to factor in when considering both sides beat each other this season: When Baltimore won, Big Ben wasn’t playing.

The Steelers offensive line is shaky and we know this, but Roethlisberger has been dealing with that sort of issue for years now.

As for Baltimore, I just can’t trust Joe Flacco to move the ball enough against such a fierce defence.

Green Bay +2.5 over ATLANTA
Say what you want about the Falcons and Matt Ryan at home, but how can you not like Aaron Rodgers here? He’s one of the best four quarterbacks in the game — arguably first in fantasy — and looked great last week in Philadelphia.

Throw in Clay Matthews’ relentless pass rush and the Packers defence shouldn’t have a problem frustrating Atlanta’s attack.

Plus, I had to take one upset and this should be it.

CHICAGO -10 over Seattle
It was nice while it lasted, Seahawks. While your upset of the defending champs was simply stunning last weekend, the Bears are just as good and are healthy, something the Saints were far from.

This game isn’t taking place in the friendly confides of Qwest Field either. While you can say that you won in Chicago already this season, that was early on, before the Bears realized that maybe they can’t protect Jay Cutler if he’s taking seven-step drops.

Also, there’s no way in hell that Marshawn Lynch has another run like that in him, right?

NEW ENGLAND -9 over New York Jets
Remember what happened a few weeks ago, when the Jets went to Foxborough? Well, it wasn’t pretty and there’s really no reason to think that the Pats, coming off a bye, won’t be able to really stick it to the Jets again. New York arguably only made it this far because Colts coach Jim Caldwell called a terrible time out, giving the Jets a chance to advance the ball and kick an easier field goal, like they did.

I really don’t think the New Yorkers can back up their smack talk. They should really be concentrating on game planning.

Last week: 2-2
This playoffs: 2-2
This season: 138-110-5

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