Are we going to see a rubber match between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game? The NFL odds suggest otherwise, but it’s anybody’s ball game this week.
Jason’s record on his final weekly NFL picks for the 2012 postseason:
0-4 ATS (–4.22 units)
3-1 Totals (+1.9 units)
Profit: –2.32 units
One game has old-school appeal. The other is a small-market affair. Either way, we’re liable to see some great football this weekend. Four outstanding quarterbacks will be featured. So will four quality defenses. You can pretty much pick your NFL betting poison in either game, but I do like the Seahawks more than any other team in the Divisional round.
Saturday: Take the Green Bay Packers +2.5 (+105) at 5Dimes
My original pick when the NFL odds opened was Green Bay +3 (+100), but the vig at that pointspread has moved to –120 or higher. Which is frustrating, because our consensus reports show San Francisco getting over 75 percent of the money, even with just 46 percent of the supporters. The average bet size at press time was $1020 for the Niners and $275 for the Packers.
Compare either spread to Week 1, when the Packers (12-5 SU, 10-7 ATS) were 6-point favorites over the 49ers (11-4 SU, 9-7 ATS) at Lambeau Field. San Francisco won that game 30-22, and that was with Alex Smith at quarterback. Now the betting market is valuing both teams roughly the same, if we go by the old standby of three points for home-field advantage.
The efficiency numbers also suggest we’ve got two evenly matched teams ready to do battle. San Francisco finished the regular season No. 4 overall (No. 5 offense, No. 2 defense, No. 20 special teams), while Green Bay was No. 5 overall (No. 3 offense, No. 8 defense, No. 18 special teams). Again, pick your poison.
I happen to think there’s more upside with the Packers. They’ve had injury concerns all year, but they got safety Charles Woodson back last week against the Minnesota Vikings and won 24-10 as 10.5-point home faves. San Francisco has dropped the cash in back-to-back games and DL Justin Smith (triceps) will be playing with a brace on his arm. It’s not ideal for San Fran.
NFL Picks: Packers +2.5