January 20, 2012

Who’s going to the Super Bowl?

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

It’s the second biggest day on the football calendar this Sunday, so let’s not mince words and just get to the picks.

NEW ENGLAND -7 over Baltimore
Let’s face it; there is no team that can cover the Patriots two amazing tight ends. If there was one, it could have been the Ravens of a few years ago, when Ray Lewis was a few years younger and Ed Reed wasn’t as consistently banged up. In fact, it’s almost a certainty that Reed will not be 100% for Sunday.

If there’s one thing to worry about, it’s that the Patriots have not beaten a winning team all season. That is unless you include the Broncos last week, who were technically 9-8, but 8-8 in the regular season.

But then you have to figure how bad the Ravens were away from Baltimore. They went 8-0 at home, but were a weak 4-4 on the road, including a loss at Jacksonville of all places.

The Pats defence was terrible in the regular season, but looked to have really come together last week. It’s not like the Ravens offence is very tough to contain either. Just keep Ray Rice in check, stop Torrey Smith when he goes deep and watch for screens. That seems like the only ways they can move the ball.

And if you’re picking the Ravens to win on Sunday, all you have to remember is that you’re betting against Tom Brady at home. That should be enough said.

SAN FRANCISCO -2.5 over New York Giants
Think about the how the playoffs work and how the Super Bowl usually turns out. How many times do we really get that perfect matchup? The one with all the season-long storylines that come together or a possible rematch of a classic past game usually never happens. So that’s why the 49ers will win on Sunday.

That would deny of us of two potential Super Bowl rematches involving the Giants, including the one that everyone wants to see: New York taking on New England.

But this isn’t just a pick because of that storyline; the Niners are talented enough to win this game. They’ve already beaten the Giants at Candlestick once this season and they’re defence is among the best in football.

The Giants are in peak form, but I don’t see them being able to break huge plays thanks to sloppy tackling. That is the huge reason why Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks were able to make those massive gains was because their opponents had terrible form when trying to take them down.

The Niners’ offensive line is also strong enough to contain New York’s vaunted pass rush. They’ll have to bring some blitzes in order to get consistent pressure on Alex Smith.

And don’t think that John Harbaugh isn’t playing the ‘Nobody believes in us’ card. This game is tailor-made for it and the Giants should be coming in overconfident after beating Green Bay last week.

Last week: 2-2
The playoffs: 5-3

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

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