Friday, January 15, 2010

NFL Playoffs: Division Games

Since O'Hoolix has gone to the super secret mascot training grounds and will be incommunicado for the next few months, I will continue O'Hoolix's pursuit to provide our loyal readers with valuable betting knowledge. I shall strive to prove why O'Hoolix does this and I do not.

After last weekend's snoozefest for the NFL Wild Card games, hopefully this weekend will prove to be much more entertaining. It should be for Colts fans this weekend, since (a) the Colts are playing and (b) if the Colts should happen to lose, the angry mob with torches and pitchforks will be marching on the Colts Complex on West 56th Street shortly after the game.

Now on to the picks!

Game 1 - Arizona (+7) vs. New Orleans

The Jekyll and Hyde Cardinals are an enigma once again in the playoffs this year. They were once again better on the road (6-2) than at home (4-4) like last year. They got obliterated in a game at the end of season, GB this year and NE last year. Yet turned it around last week to beat GB at home. This week the Cards go into the Super Dome to face the Saints, who stumbled into the playoffs after starting the season 13-0. Unlike the Colts who turned their dial back from "11" and rested players, the Saints seemed to flame-out. The big question is can the Saints turn it back on or will they pull a Colts-like one-and-done?

I going to with Arizona (+7) to cover, but the Saints will squeak this one out 34-31.

Game 2 - Baltimore vs. Indianapolis (-6)

Baltimore roughed up the Patriots last week and look to get even for a 17-15 loss earlier this season. The Colts look to prove they can have a playoff bye week and not choke on it. The game will come down to weather the Colts rushing offense can be good enough to keep the Raven D honest and open things up for Peyton Manning and his receivers. Pierre Garcon returns to the lineup and will be the wild card for the game. Wayne will receive the most attention and Clark will garner some priority as well. That should leave Garcon will plenty of one-on-one coverage and Manning will love to exploit that. I would love to see the Colts storm out to a big lead, because Joe Flacco will have difficulty if he is forced to become a passing heavy offense.

Look for the Colts to pull away late and late interception by Gary Brackett will seal the game for Colts. Colts 24-14 over the Ravens.

Game 3 - Dallas (+2.5) vs. Minnesota

Like the Saints, the Vikings seemed to trip up at the end of the season and only ended up with the #2 seed in the NFC thanks to the drubbing the Eagles received in Week #17 by the Cowboys. The Cowboys on the other hand ended their atrocious December fades and bombs by going 3-1 and overtaking the Eagles to win the NFC East Division. As much as I might prefer a Farve-Manning Super Bowl pairing, I thinks Dallas is the hot team and will run down the Vikings 38-21 behind Tony Romo's 3 TD passes.

Game 4 - New York Jets vs. San Diego (-6)

The Jets surprised most of the pundits by beating up the Bengals two weeks in a row. The Jets may have the #1 defense, but they will not be able to handle Phillip Rivers this week. Rivers will be able to pick apart the Jets secondary and minimize Darrelle Revis impact on the Chargers' receivers. Mark Sanchez was good enough against the Bengals to win his first playoff game as a rookie. His second game will not be as kind. The wheels are about to come off for the Jets' QB. Sanchez will throw three picks and lose a fumble to the Chargers' stifling D. The Chargers will be heading to Indy next week behind a 35-14 thumping of the Jets.

So to sum up:

Arizona +7
Indianapolis -6
Cowboys +2.5
Chargers -6

Coming up next week:

- Will the Colts get the Charger-monkey off their backs in the AFC Championship game similar to the Championship game against the Patriots back in 2007?

- Will the Saints be able to get to their first Super Bowl?

All this and more (hopefully) next week at Good luck!



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