Tuesday, January 07, 2014

divisional round predictions

Wildcard weekend was quite the spectacle.  3 road wins and 1 (Benny Hinn style) miracle comeback in Indy.  I don't think anybody took the Chargers upset.  I picked the Colts and the Saints which left me at 2-2.

The divisional round should prove less interesting.  I have a hard time believing they'll top the entertainment value of last weekend.  3 high spreads should denote at least 2 lopsided victories.

New Orleans at Seattle (-8), 48
Indy and New England (-7), 53
San Francisco at Carolina (+2), 42
San Diego at Denver (-10), 55

The over/under in the Seattle game seems high at 48.  I don't think the lousy weather and crowd noise would indicate a shoot-out.  Not good news for Drew Brees.  Seattle's defense is for real.  I think Seattle jumps up quick (14-3) and then slogs out a second half win.  If you're rooting for the Saints, I'd suggest doubling the liquor in that Hurricane beverage...

Hurricane recipe

Pour all but the juices, in order listed, into a hurricane glass three-quarters filled with ice. Fill with equal parts of grapefruit and pineapple juice, and serve

I like how every drink recipe ends with, "and serve."  Seriously, what are the other viable options?  and store, and admire, and chug, and sip, and spill, etc. 

Seattle 20
New Orleans 9

The curse of Bill Belichick truly haunts the midwest yokels of Indianapolis.  I don't see this aura changing anytime soon.  Patriots have a ton of injuries, but Brady is just too strong at home.  I look for the Patriots to start strong.  Andrew Luck will have issues with the cold weather and his timing.  Colts defense will be on the field far too long, chasing after every receiver imaginable.  Plus, the miracle comeback win against the Chiefs should denote a predictable letdown.

New England  35
Indianapolis  17

Could the 49ers win a second consecutive road playoff game?  Hard to say.  The Panthers stole a 10-9, hard fought victory at Candlestick earlier in the year.  Will Carolina beat them twice in the same season?  I just don't see it happening.  I remember the days when the 49ers were regarded as a soft, finesse team.  Not anymore.  They've become total smash mouth w/ Gore and the offensive and defensive lines.  Panthers are a decent team, but I just can't envision them in the NFC title game.  However, I think they'll keep it close.

San Fransisco 21
Carolina 16

Denver is a 10 point favorite.  Seems a bit high for an AFC West division rivalry that split in the regular season on each others home turf.  I don't see the Broncos going 1-2 against the Chargers.  I also don't think a rookie head coach makes it to the championship game.  Peyton Manning might lose at some point this year.  But not here.

Denver  38
San Diego  21

So here's my take ---

Wildcard round is for upsets.  Divisional round is for favorites.  Championship games are for drama.
And the Super Bowl... is for posers.

I'll even predict the lines for the AFC/NFC title games:

San Francisco at Seattle (-3.5)
New England at Denver (-7)

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