RealClearSports
Advertisement

RCS Sidelines


January 8, 2010 9:05 AM

Pay Homage to Gamblor - Wild Card Playoffs

If I had to qualify for the right to pick playoff games I would not be writing this blog today. I limped into the finish this season and ended up with a sub-.500 record. Pathetic performance by me, but luckily, I can delude myself into thinking I can make everything back in the playoffs.
 

Why? Because in the playoffs every team's weaknesses are magnified ten times. Shaky coaching and quarterbacking can build you a fortune, there is no reason to not get 75% of your playoff picks correct, especially in the first two rounds (I fully realize I'm setting myself up for failure).

Last week: 6-10
Season: 118-132-4
Lock of the week: 8-8


BENGALS (-2.5) over JETS
The Jets killed the Bengals last week, and that's the absolute best thing possible for betting on the Bengals this weekend. The Jets won a must-win game, while the Bengals lost a game that barely mattered to them while sitting multiple starters. Week 17 was in New York, the playoff game is in Cincinnati. The Bengals will force rookie Mark Sanchez to make plays, and he will make plays, in the form of interceptions. Both teams have weaknesses and neither one is making a Super Bowl run, but the Bengals have a veteran QB, and are at home. They will win this game, 20-13 Bengals.

COWBOYS (-4) over Eagles
Sadly, this looks to be the year the Cowboys streak will be broken. However, the Eagles have a history of moderate playoff success and there is something to be said for knowing how to win in the playoffs. All the same, the Cowboys are looking too good right now for me to not pick them. And the Cowboys win last week is fresh in my mind where unlike in the above week 17 rematch, the outcome of the game mattered to both teams, and the Eagles laid an egg. I do think this game will be closer, but the Cowboys will finally get that playoff win, Cowboys 27-21.

PATRIOTS (-3.5) over Ravens
The Ravens have a stronger defense and a better running game, while the Patriots have the proven playoff QB and coach, and home field. Brady and Belichick are undefeated at home in the playoffs so they get the nod. You could argue that these Ravens have more playoff experience than the current Patriots, since they were able to knock off the Titans last year and make it to the conference championship. But ultimately it comes down to the fact that Joe Flacco has done nothing to warrant me picking him to beat Tom Brady, Patriots 24-20.

Packers (+1) over CARDINALS
At least one road team always wins in the first round (or so it seems anyway), so this year it's the Packers. The Cardinals just have too many injury concerns with Boldin, Rodgers-Cromartie, and Campbell all banged up and questionable for Sunday. My biggest concern with this game is that the Packers are the 'popular' upset/road pick, and the popular pick usually turns out to be wrong. The Packers win on the way to the most over-hyped NFC Championship of all time, Green Bay @ Brett Favre, Packers 31-24

A Member Of