Whoa boy. After Wild Card Weekend went Cards Gone Wild—these games did everything but pour champagne on white tanktops with no bras underneath—the Divisional Round will likely be a letdown, particularly as we have three games with teams favored by more than a touchdown, and one game where the road team is favored, proving them to be viewed as a much better team than the one they’re visiting. Will this be a week of blowouts after a week of three great games and one total dud (Thanks, Bengals)?
I don’t think so. And I say so. After the jump.
(Note: All point spreads listed here are the lines at the time bets were made. Be sure to consult your very legitimate and legal sports book [cough] before making a bet of your own; lines move constantly due to the action on particular games. Also, gambling is illegal in many states. And watch out for those offshore betting sites, lest you end up like an online poker professional. Okay? Okay. Onward and upward.)
Wild Card Weekend Record: 2-1-1
Playoffs So Far: 2-1-1
Overall Record: 124-124-9
Saturday Early Game (1/11 4:35PM ET)
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks -8
Earlier this year the Saints visited the Seahawks, and the Seahawks stomped them, the game pretty much over before the gun to end the first half. This time, though, the Seahawks have had an off week to sit on their butts (or rest on their laurels), and, coming in as a huge favorite, they might get a little cocky. If you asked me straight up who’d win this game, I’d say the predatory birds who reside in salt water areas. But with a spread this big, I have to go with the underdog and the points, so I’m taking the Saints plus eight (also known as Seighnts).
My Pick: Saints +8
Saturday Late Game (1/11 8:10PM ET)
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots -7.5
I feel bad for Alex Smith. Alex Smith threw four touchdowns and no interceptions (though he did turn the ball over once on a fumble) and his performance will not be the one that’s remembered from this game. Instead, Andrew Luck’s four touchdown, three interception performance will be the one that’s remembered, and the play everyone will remember is Andrew Luck picking up a fumble and diving into the end zone, an iconic, legend-making play. The Colts had to get down quite a bit to make their epic comeback, and I wouldn’t recommend they do the same against the Patriots, but I think a team with stones this big won’t go down easily. I’m going small horsies and the points, though I think the people who are proud to be American will probably win the game.
My Pick: Colts +7.5
Sunday Early Game (1/12 1:05PM ET)
San Francisco 49ers -1.5 at Carolina Panthers
Those who Panth both North and South Carolina, this year, are the 49ers on steroids. Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick are very similar quarterbacks, but Cam Newton is bigger and better. I’m surprised the Panthers are the underdogs at home, so I’ll happily take the big cats over the prospecting gold rushers.
My Pick: Panthers +1.5
Sunday Late Game (1/12 4:40PM ET)
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos -10
Everyone’s already waiting for Peyton Manning to choke since it’s playoff time, it’s winter, he’ll be playing outdoors. But he’s playing at home, and I think the large horsies will indeed win this game. Do I think they’ll beat the iPhone accessories by ten or more points? No, I do not, because Philip Rivers wears a bolo tie.
My Pick: Chargers +10
The final week of the year with football on more than one day. Savor it while you can, folks. You’ll miss it when it’s gone.