We are down to the elite eight of the NFL for this season and the drama continues this upcoming weekend for those making sports picks against sportsbooks. We know the betting odds, so let’s dive in!
Last week I split my two NFL picks, but I am wholly confident this week I will knock down two winners as an NFL football handicapper.
Panthers and Seahawks battle in “Limbo Rock”
While the song dates back to 1962, people of all ages know the “Limbo Rock” and have played the game at some point in their lives. The one lyric which has always stood out in my mind was “how low can you go?” and that perfectly fits Game 2 of the NFL Divisional Playoffs.
Congratulations to Carolina for making a fantastic run to with five consecutive victories, but this is where the fun stops. When looking at the Panthers offense, other than potentially the read option with Cam Newton running, what can’t Seattle stop with the rest of their offense?
As we saw last week in Charlotte, Newton’s mechanics as a passer are off and the Seahawks secondary is better than Carolina’s receivers, thus, hard to imagine many points by the ‘Cats. Yes, the Panthers running game has carried them this far, but does anyone really believe they will have consistent success against the Seattle front seven?
On the other hand, coach Ron Rivera’s defense is really playing well and let’s not lose sight of the fact Seattle is far from explosive and has scored more than 24 points once since Nov.10th.
Both teams prefer to run the ball which takes time off the clock and Carolina is 12-3 UNDER after a dominating performance in which they had 34 or more minutes in time of possession and 24 or more first downs. Only way this game goes Over is turnovers based on field position that leads to quick scores.
NFL Football Free Pick- Under 40 at The Greek
In the Battle of Horses, Ride the Broncos
The Indianapolis offensive line after weeks of struggling played significantly better in the wild card victory over Cincinnati. This week we will get a much better indication of how far this group has really come against Denver’s No. 3 ranked defense, which was tied for ninth with 41 sacks.
Andrew Luck will have to continue to use RB Dan Herron as the Colts best run option and keep him involved in the passing game, but those two fumbles from last week (one turnover) will have the Broncos defenders on high alert to start tugging at Herron’s any time he touches the ball.
Denver is unbeaten at home but just 4-4 ATS and one of the spread losses came in Week 1 to Indianapolis, winning 31-24 as eight point home favorites.
Indianapolis will face a far different Broncos team this time around, one which is more balanced with a stronger running game and somewhat less dependent on Manning to do everything.
I firmly believe this Denver’s last rodeo with Peyton Manning’s advancing age. I’m not saying the Broncos even make the Super Bowl, but with this being a home game, Denver lays it all out on the field.
I truly believe Manning has been battling an ailment of some sort and with the pass catching core banged up beginning with the loss to St. Louis in mid- November, coach John Fox pulled in the reins and started running the ball. While the Colts have very good cornerbacks, I believe a healthier and rested Denver team will bring their A-game and whip the NFL odds and win this in the 10-14 points range.
NFL Football Free Pick- Denver -7 at 5Dimes