“ The only monster here is the gambling monster that has enslaved your mother! I call him Gamblor, and it's time to snatch your mother from his neon claws!” --Homer SimpsonLast Week: 3-1. Missed the lock though. It was a pretty good first playoff weekend, highlighted by the Jags vs. Steelers game. Unfortunately, the Redskins lost, if only they had gotten the gift of playing Tampa Bay, they’d still be around. Oh well, now I can focus all my attention on picking games. This weekend makes me excited, but also a little scared, kinda like Jessie Spano:
There are noticeably weaker teams in each game, but the lines are pretty big as well, what that mean for the casual gambler…teasers! But, here at RCS, I just pick the games one at a time, against the provided spread, Home team in CAPS.
PACKERS (-7.5) over Seattle
It is supposed to be in the 20s with a chance of snow. At first, this worries me into thinking this game will be close, because no one will be able to score. Seattle is capable of playing well. It can happen. They still have a strong D, which can sometimes perform lights out. While that is all true, this is what matters, Seattle is 3-5 on the road with zero quality road wins. Both teams would rather pass than run and the weather will make things interesting. But it seems like Brett Favre has some sort of guiding angel this year, which has kept him from throwing 30 interceptions. A gambling adage is, don’t bet against Favre at Lambeau in the playoffs.
Jaguars (+13.5) over PATRIOTS
I struggled with this pick a little bit. I do think the Jags have what it takes to keep the game close (strong running game, control the clock, solid D); but so does the rest of America. A lot of people have been talking the Jags up, which may give the Patriots extra fuel to beat the crap out of them. The Pats will really want to prove to everyone that they are the best team in the NFL by leaps and bounds. Could they win this game by 30? Sure, they could, but they won’t. First, Jacksonville has not been blown out all season with Garrard at QB. Second, it will be cold, which tends to favor a strong running game. The Jags have just that and they will be able to run the ball on the Patriots. I expect the Pats to win this game, but they are going to have to work for it.
COLTS (-9) over Chargers
Norv Turner and Phillip Rivers on the road! Antonio Gates is doubtful! Yes, the Chargers still have LT and the D has been playing well of late, but come on, they have no chance. Phillip Rivers has become a total jackass, and is acting like this. The Colts have a great defense this season, and should be able to keep the Chargers in check. Peyton usually has at least one really good playoff game, expect that to happen in this game. The Colts are fired up for the playoffs and the entire world has seemingly forgotten about how good they are. This team is better than last year's Colts team. I expect the Colts to remind people this week that they still have a dangerous offense and blow a bad coach and mediocre QB out of the water. Lock of the week!
COWBOYS (-7.5) over Giants
Originally I had picked the Giants for this game. I was feeling pretty strong about it too. TO is banged up, and if he doesn’t end up playing, then the Giants could win this game outright. Dallas has been struggling since beating Green Bay in week 13. The Giants are good on the road, having won 8 straight road games. These are all true facts. However, I’m tired of hearing about how the Giants are “hot”. They are not ‘hot’. They finished the season 4-4, and lost two of their last three. Then they beat the Bucs in the playoffs. Whoop-de-do! Hey, the Bucs aren’t good. People are so excited because the played the Patriots close. But, THEY STILL LOST THE GAME. The Pats started to pressure the younger Manning late in the game and he folded. The Ravens played the Patriots close; does that mean that they are a good team? Are they hot? Another thing I’ve heard is that the Giants have an advantage because it’s hard to beat the same team 3 times in a season. Ok, maybe that’s true, but there is a reason they lost to the Cowboys the first two times. The reason? The Cowboys are better than them. I hate the Cowboys and I hope they lose, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Each day we inch closer to a ‘Cowboys vs. Patriots’ Superbowl and every time I think about it I die a little inside.