Now the real fun begins. Remembering that the home team, the ones with the bye, win an overwhelming majority of the games in this round, we try to spot the one upset that might happen this weekend. Based on the lines from Vegas, that seems unlikely. Check out what Ryan, Billy, and Vin have to say about this week’s games.
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NFL 2007 Divisional Round Playoff Picks
|Seahawks @ Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers|
|Jaguars @ Patriots||Patriots||Patriots||Jaguars||Patriots|
|Chargers @ Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts|
|Giants @ Cowboys||Cowboys||Cowboys||Cowboys||Giants|
|Reg Season||160-96 (.625)||169-87 (.660)||154-102 (.602)||81-45 (.643)|
|Locks of the Week|
[Editor’s Note: This year, we’re making the Locks of the Week a little more interesting as we have a side bet amongst the four experts. The person with the most money at the end of the year in Locks betting takes home all the money. Disclaimer: The amounts discussed are for illustrative and entertainment purposes only. Gambling may be illegal in your locale.]
Vegas Vinny: You know what? I have to stop overthinking football games. Sometimes it’s as simple as who is playing better ball. The Giants were playing better ball than the Bucs, the Chargers were playing better than the Titans, the Jags were playing better than the Steelers and… well, I guess Seattle is the exception to the rule. Anyway, what I like about Indianapolis this week is that they have effectively won 6 in a row since they lost to New England and San Diego back to back. Meanwhile, the Chargers hardly played good ball last week against the Titans.
When Marvin Harrison went down in week 7, it severely hampered that offense. You could see what kind of impact his absence had in the New England game. They lot to SD and then even muddled through the next game against the Chiefs. But then the Colts learned how to win without Harrison. Anthony Gonzalez stepped up. Reggie Wayne stepped up. And Dallas Clark had big games when he wasn’t injured. So you’re telling me a confident rested Colts team at home on that track isn’t going to beat a team helmed by a very mediocre (and disappointing Philip Rivers) and without Antonio Gates (who is unlikely to play)? The only question is how much. The vegas line is at 9 or 9.5 and that’s a great great line. If it was at 10, you’d pause for a second. But at 9, you might as well put a bunch of money on it. LT is superhuman but he’s not enough to carry that team and make up for Norv Turner. Talent wise (especially with Marvin expected to play) the Colts are at least 6 points better than the Chargers; add in 3 points for home advantage; and then add in another three points for Norv Turner on the opposite sideline and I have the Colts winning by at least 13.
BostonMac: Yeah, yeah, I know you’re not supposed to take a road underdog to cover unless you think you can win the game outright. Well, I am covering my bets here. The Giants looked (summon the spirit of Trevor here) positively frisky last week in knocking off a sloppy, flat Bucs team. New York looked like the team that had been resting its starters for a month, and avoided the post-Patriots hangover that had decimated such teams as the Eagles, Ravens, and Bills. T.O.’s playing status will be huge of course, but even if he plays, I think the Giants cover the 7 1/2 points (and who knows, maybe pull off a miracle win if the Ghost of Wade Phillips has to make some critical coaching decisions down the stretch). I do think, however, that the home field advantage in this round is the ultimate deciding factor. The Giants will keep it close, but Manning will be Manning (Eli-style) in the fourth quarter and the Cowboys will hold on. All Giants fans should put together a fund and get Jessica Simpson at this game preferably in a seat where she is clearly visible to Tony Romo on the sidelines. This will be a close game and a Dallas win, but I’m going to put my money on NEW YORK GIANTS (+7.5) for the road cover.
Trevor F: I’m going to take the Jaguars on the road in New England and use the
thirteen points as my shield. This spread is absurd. The Jags are an
extremely good football team that has the defense to bother New England as
they can bring pressure with their front seven. I also see the Patriots
having problems against the Jacksonville running game. The Jags are going
to line up and run the football straight at New England and I see that
giving the Patriots ancient linebacking corp problems. Jacksonville (+13).
Billy Fellin: My lock this week is the homer one, I’m going with the Giants over the Cowboys. Yea, yea whine all you want, but I’m confident about the Giants in this game. Eli is looking good, though that bandwagon is filling up quickly this will be a big test for him. However the Giants have something the Cowboys don’t: a running game. Brandon Jacobs, as well as Ahmad Bradshaw could very well have a large impact on this game for the Giants. Defensively, the Giants should be able to get a decent pass rush on Tony Romo, and with T.O. not at 100% by any stretch of the imagination, that takes away a huge downfield threat for the Cowboys. So I’ll take the Giants (+7.5) on the road yet again. Hey, worked for me last week.