Divisional Round Preview
The underdogs were 3-0-1 against the spread in the Wild Card round, which left me 2-1-1 ATS. In fact, not only did all of the underdogs cover (or tie) last week, 3 out of 4 of the underdogs won their games outright. Once again, I’m going to be all over the underdogs this week (as will the people at SportsBettingDime.com) in the Divisional round. While I’m picking all four of the home teams to win this week, I think they’ll all be close games.
New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks
I’ve got the Saints gaining about 50 more total yards than the Seahawks and out passing them by 75 yards. However, the Saints will turn the ball over too many time to come away with the win here. My game prediction for this one is 22-19 with Seattle winning at home, like they usually do, but I like both the Saints +7.5 and +270 on the money line.
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
I’ll admit it, I’m a Patriots fan. I picked them to win the Superbowl at the beginning of the season (over the 49ers who are still very much alive). But I’m worried about this game. I would have rather seen the Pats play the Chiefs or the Bengals (no one is afraid of the Bengals). Rules are rules though and the Colts will come into a hopefully warmer Foxboro riding high off of their great comeback win in the Wild Card round. The model says the Patriots have a 54.8% chance to win this game with a predicted score of 27-25. So I’m taking the Colts +7 and +250. And I’m going under 53.5 with a gun to my head.
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers
This is the game I’m most excited for this weekend. No matter who wins, I expect this to be a low scoring battle (like their “exciting” 10-9 game earlier this season) with the Panthers coming out on top. Though I’m only picking them because I have to pick a team. My predicted score based on my model is Panthers 19-17 with a median margin of victory of 1 for the Panthers. So I’ll take Carolina +2 because I have to and I’ll go under 42.5. I won’t be surprised if I win both of these, and I won’t be surprised if I lose both.
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
I’ve got the Broncos winning this game with probability near 60%, and if San Diego were to pull out the win in this one, it would certainly be the most surprising upset of the weekend. I think Manning is going to have a good game with 325+ passing yards, and the Broncos will out gain the Chargers both in the air and on the ground. But I don’t think the Chargers will get dominated here. They certainly won’t be scared of the Broncos high flying offense. In fact, the Chargers we’re the last team to beat the Broncos 27-20 in week 15. (Interesting fact about the Broncos: They lost 3 games this year. Those three losses were to the Colts (39-33) in week 7, New England (34-31) in week 12, and San Diego (27-20) in week 15. Those three teams just so happen to be the three teams left in the AFC…..). I’m predicting Broncos 31-27, and so I’m taking the Chargers +9.5 and +320. I’m also going to be on the over 55 in this game.