1. #1
    Razz
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    Razz's Divisional Playoff Takes

    Regular Season:
    NFL Overall (89-78-3, +31.45*)
    NFL Sides (55-54-3, +8.65*)
    NFL Totals (34-24-1, +22.80*)

    Playoffs:
    NFL Overall (4-0-0, +13.00*)
    NFL Sides (2-0-0, +5.00*)
    NFL Totals (2-0-0, +8.00*)

    Wild Card Weekend was a rousing success. The divisional playoff round brings us four games which are all rematches of earlier season meetings. I am nowhere near as sold on these games.

    There is an extreme negative to the NFC underdogs, particularly Carolina, that I wanted to make everyone aware of.
    PLAYOFF TEAMS PLAYING THEIR THIRD CONSECUTIVE ROAD GAME ARE 0-18 SU AND 5-13 ATS SINCE 1989. HEREíS WHAT IS EVEN WORSE - WHEN FAVORED, OR AS AN UNDERDOG OF LESS THAN 9, THEY ARE 0-10 ATS.
    Add in the fact that Chicago went 7-1 and Seattle went 8-0 in their respective home games, and itís hard to predict an upset by either NFC underdog.

    Saturday, January 14th, 3:30 CST
    Washington Redskins @ Seattle Seahawks -9

    This is another case of the publicís reaction to one Redskin performance - and only the offensive side of the ball, as the Washington D was still fantastic in their win last week. Now it seems everyone in the world is just assuming Seattle is going to show up and roll the Redskins. Iím not.
    Well, Washington only managed 120 yards last week. Who cares? That was against the best total yardage defense in the league. Seattle doesnít have anywhere near the players or coaching that Tampa had. Remember, the Skins scored more than 30 in their last three regular season games, and all were against defenses at least as good as the one they will see this week.
    Seattle lost three games this season. Discounting the season-ending loss at Lambeau, where they rested players, their two losses were to Jacksonville and Washington. What do these teams do? They play great defense and have the ability to put up points on less than stellar defenses. Here are the teams Seattle has beaten: Atlanta, Arizona, St. Louis, Houston, Dallas, Arizona, St. Louis, San Francisco, NY Giants, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tennessee, and Indianapolis. Indianapolis rested players the whole game, and the Giants - who should have won at Seattle, missing three FGs before losing by three in OT - were a fraud. Those were the only two playoff teams the Seahawks faced. Seattle went 1-3 ATS against the NFC East this season, with the only cover a phony 42-0 victory over the Eagles, which saw them out-gain the Eagles by a whopping 4 yards.
    The Bears and Buccaneers were the defenses that received all the attention this season, but the Redskins defense shouldnít take a backseat to anybody. Led by Gregg Williams, this defense not only stops the other team, they score with some regularity. They had a touchdown last week, and for all intents and purposes, scored another, as they returned an INT to the 5-yard line. This is not to say it will be easy for the Redskins this week. They face a top-5 offense in the Seahawks, and a balanced one, which is always more difficult to defend. Washington wonít be able to sell out to stop Shaun Alexander like they did against Carnell Williams, because Matt Hasselback had a Pro Bowl season for Seattle. The Seahawk receivers arenít as explosive as in previous years, but they are also more consistent at actually catching the ball. I think they will manage to put some points on the board.
    There is no reason to think Washington will be intimidated going to Seattle, as they have won four of five there, and they also wonít be impressed with the Seahawks 13-3 record, as the Redskins were one of the teams to beat them. The Redskins experience and knowledge of how to win close games is the difference.
    Redskins 24, Seahawks 23

    3* Redskins +9
    Opinion: Over 41. I will be playing Redskins Team Total Points Over

    Saturday January 14th, 7:00 CST
    New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos -3 -125

    I am of the opinion that New England had a very good chance to win at Indianapolis if they had played this week. Alas, Carson Palmer was hurt on the first passing play of the Bengals game last week, which led to a Steelers win, and New England travels to Denver for a rematch of an early season game.
    In the first meeting, the Broncos won 28-20 at home. That meeting saw them rush for 178 yards against a depleted Patriots rush defense. As everyone knows, the Patriots rush defense is healthier, and almost as good as the previous couple years. Still, they are going against a team that can run the ball on anyone. As long as the running game is working, Jake Plummer wonít destroy his teamís chances, as he has been known to do. The most important question is how well will the strong Patriots front seven slow the running game, and get to Plummer.
    Denver is going to put up points on New England, but they are going to give some up as well. Their defense has been doing it with smoke and mirrors, as they are only 15th in total yardage, but third in scoring defense. This wonít work against the Patriots, who donít blow opportunities as many of the Broncosí opponents have done. While Dillonís recent struggles are a concern, the Patriotsí short passing game makes up for it.
    This one should be a great one to watch, and either team is capable of winning, but I think it will be decided late. Mike Shanahan is going to have to prove to me that he can win in the playoffs without John Elway, and we all know about Bellicheck and Brady - 10-0 in the postseason, including 2-0 both as a dog and as a visitor.
    Patriots 27, Broncos 24

    1* Over 43.5
    Opinion: Enjoy this game. Itís difficult to make a convincing case AGAINST either side. Itís easy to make a case for either side.


    Sunday January 15th, 12:00 CST
    Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts -9.5

    I donít even feel like writing this game up, just because I could care less what happens. The Colts are going to win, but it could be by 3 or 30.
    Colts 27, Steelers 17

    Opinion: Don't bet on this game under any circumstances. Actually, the only way to bet this game would be to fade the line movement.


    Sunday January 15th, 3:00 CST
    Carolina Panthers @ Chicago Bears -3 Even

    I think here we have a case of the public overreacting to one good performance by the Panthers, and have forgotten how dominant the Bears have been all season. They have given up more than 10 points only once in 8 home games, and that was largely the result of Cincinnati scoring off 5 Kyle Orton interceptions. On the other hand, the Panthers come in off a high after beating what was really an average Giants team - whose defense was decimated by injuries.
    Carolina is dealing with nagging injuries, and the third consecutive road game trend mentioned above deals largely with a tired, depleted team, which we may have here in the Panthers. Carolina is not exactly a warm weather team, but they wonít be comfortable in Soldier Field.
    The much-maligned Bears offense isnít going to light up the scoreboard here, but they never have to. Their goal will be to run the ball over Carolina, and get enough of a passing game going to put up two touchdowns. Seven teams have run the ball for 100+ yards against the Panthers, including all five who beat them. Chicago has exceeded 100 yards in 13 of their 16 games to date. Defensively, Carolina has been very good against the pass, and they are a solid pass rushing team when they can attack. If the Bears are running the ball with success, this will keep the Panthers defense unbalanced, and neutralize Peppers and Ruckerís pass rushing. Much is being made of inexperienced quarterbacks in their first playoff game, but none of them were asked to do as little as the Bears will ask of Rex Grossman.
    Chicagoís defense is rested and completely healthy. Carolinaís offensive line managed to give up four sacks to a decent Giants defense. The Bears got them for eight sacks in their first meeting, and they are certainly a tougher task than New York offered. Jake Delhomme is a quarterback who thrives on emotion. When things are going for him, he is among the best in the league. When things are going badly, he starts to press and make mistakes. Witness the first meeting, which saw him throw two interceptions, and as mentioned, get sacked eight times. Foster has been running well against the weaker opposition he has faced the past couple weeks, but he will find much tougher sledding this week. Carolina only managed 55 rushing yards in the first meeting, and itís hard to picture them eclipsing 100 in this rematch.
    Look at the teams Carolina has lost to this season: New Orleans, Miami, Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Dallas. Ignoring the opening week loss to the Saints, which was really an aberration, we are left with Miami, Chicago, Tampa Bay, and Dallas. What do these teams have in common? They all run the ball fairly well, and play very good defense.
    With respect to John Fox, and his impressive ATS record as an underdog (16-2-1 recently) and in playoff games (5-0 all-time), I think this is a repeat of the earlier Bears win. Seven of eight games played in Chicago saw 31 or fewer points scored.
    Bears 13, Panthers 6

    1* Bears -2.5 -120
    2* Under 30.5

  2. #2
    bigboydan
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    very intresting comments razz.

    i'm liking your skins play bud

  3. #3
    HAPPY BOY
    HAPPY BOY's Avatar SBR PRO
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    Good points Razz, disagree on Pats they go down this week. 27-20

  4. #4
    Illusion
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    I like the Redskins, but like the over in the Panthers/Bears game. Nice write0ups though.

  5. #5
    spanky
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    3 rd straight road game for wash and caro.

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