Friday, January 3, 2014

Dave's NFL Wild Card Round Picks (blam!) of the Week

My friends, it's time to divulge my NFL Playoff picks of the weekend.

They're far from LOCKS.  Very few playoff games are easy to call, but with all the Wild Card matchups being so close, you can see any of these games going either direction.   Here are my picks.

First, in Indy, I went back and forth on this game but ultimately decided on the Chiefs.  People have really overrated Indy's defense after the Reggie Wayne injury.  Without him, the Chiefs look pretty bad offensively.   Richardson may have his day here and there at RB, but overall it's not much.  The Chiefs were blown out at home vs this Indy team but Andy Reid can prepare the Chiefs to come back much stronger this time out.  It really was just a handful of games that put the game out of reach.  Otherwise, the Chiefs went toe to toe with the Colts defensively.   It winds up being a good matchup... and in a game where either side can take it, I'll take the points and go Chiefs +2.5 at Indy.

Next up, here's a game I *love*.   The Saints and their blitz package figure to give Eagles QB Nick Foles fits and I get the sense that despite the cold weather and the Saints' history of road playoff failure, they can finally break the spell and beat the Eagles.   Officially we'll go Saints +2.5 at Philadelphia, leaving the prospect of a "close loss" available.

Next, to Cincy where, it would seem that the Bungles would smack the tar out of the Chargers after their emotional last three weeks, but on the other hand, it's hard to refute the Bengals' demons with playoff games.  In the Marvin Lewis era, he's 0-4 in playoff games, leaving the Bengals without a playoff win since 1990.   I think this is their shot to finally break the string, but it would be foolish to expect them to win convincingly.   The Chargers make this one interesting, I have Chargers +7 at Cincy, and after all, even when San Diego loses, they usually aren't losing by more than a touchdown.  The Bolts get so many oh so close games.

Lastly, we go to Lambeau and the bitter cold of Green Bay where the 49ers play the Packers.  The 49ers have had a great matchup advantage over GB in the last two seasons, with Colin Kaepernick having his way with the Packer defense.  It doesn't appear much has changed in the way of personnel, and even with Aaron Rodgers, the Packers could have a tough time beating the 49ers.   I can see Green Bay winning the game, but my feeling is the 49ers will win and cover.  I select the 49ers -3 at Green Bay.

To recap:  Chiefs +2.5, Saints +2.5, Chargers +7. 49ers -3.   Interestingly I did not take any home teams against the spread.  We'll see if this move comes back to bite me.   Enjoy the games!

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