AFTER WILD CARD WEEKEND
Wild Card Picks: 2 – 1 – 1 Playoffs Overall Tally: 2 – 1 – 1
2019 Overall Tally: 139 – 114 – 7 .549
Wild Card Totals Picks: 2 – 2 Playoffs Overall Totals: 2 – 2
Cumulative Totals: 51 – 51 – 1 .500
Weekly Specials 1 – 1 – 1 Cumulative Specials: 34 – 35 – 2 .492
GAME OF THE WEEK 6 – 11 LOCK OF THE WEEK 11 – 7
UPSET SPECIAL 9– 7 – 2 O/U OF THE WEEK 8 – 10
After I did my research, settled on the Numbers, mapped out my logic, and made my bets, all of the following came to light:
· Adam Thielen gashed his ankle in a fluke cleat accident at practice
· Dean Pees, now in Nashville, was Baltimore’s DC in their most recent Super Bowl win…
· Green Bay was begging fans to shovel the snow out of Lambeau so they could, you know, sit down…
Really didn't make much of a difference in my process...
O/U OF THE WEEK
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (11-6) @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (13-3) - 7 44 [O]
You have to allow for the physical toll a 17th game has on a team—and how fresh a team off a bye has to feel with that week’s rest…
Of course, you could also say, the Norsemen are “battle tested” and the Niners with a second year coach and an inexperienced QB, a defense, that has been slammed with injury, without a fearsome home field advantage—3-4-1 in 2019—shouldn’t be favored by seven points against the Vikings or anyone else.
The Niners damn well better hope the rest will improve a defense that gave up only 19+ PPG during the first 12 games then stumbled to the bye giving almost 32 PPG in the last seven games of the season
Minnesota, on both sides of the ball is trending in the opposite direction, or was until news of Thielen’s sliced up ankle hit Twitter. Last weekend New Orleans was like Minny this week—arrow pointing up. The Holy Men averaged 28 PPG during the year, but were scoring six more PPG in their last seven games.
Zimmer’s defense held Drew Brees to 35% on 3rd down conversions and made some big stops when they needed to. Kirk Cousins finally shed the chimpanzee hanging onto his back and made clutch throws in the 4th quarter—in prime time.
You could almost hear the Twin Cities collective, cold sigh of relief.
Ultimately, George Kittle, Matt Breida and Deebo Samuels might be too much for the Norsemen, and yes, I’m aware the Vikes have but one victory in their last ten tries in San Fran--but I’m picking Minnesota to Cover because the pressure is off their coach and QB.
This one will be a tight game all the way--Zimmer and Cousins now know how to handle that reality.
San Fran wins it with a late drive by Jimmy Handsome—a tick Over the number.
49ers 26 Vikings 20
TENNESSEE TITANS (10-7) @ BALTIMORE RAVENS (14-2) -10 47 [O]
Go back and take a look at the Ravens highlights during their Weeks 3-6 games. They lost two in a row to KC and Cleveland, eked out an OT win against the Big Ben-less Steelers and beat a game Cincy squad by six.
The blueprint to contain Lamar Jackson—the most athletic QB in the game’s 100-year history—is on that film.
The key word in the above ‘graph is ‘contain’…
The moment you think you can stop Jackson, is the moment you look foolish—like a fat guy chasing a salamander.
In their OT loss against the Magpies, Pittsburgh played the RPO and Jackson as well as anyone can. You’ll notice Steelers LBs when Jackson rolled away from them, did not chase him but often slowed down, or angled to take away the reverse field or the lethal cut back.
Cincy, Cleveland—a 40-15 winner—and KC applied the same techniques with varying degrees of success.
At no time in any of those games—remember Mason Rudolph got knocked out in the ‘Burgh—did The Crows dominate any of the those four teams. Jackson got his 18-yard or more scampers; he escaped defenders, often with a beautiful elusive rhythm.
You could almost hear the music as you watched him.
Mike Vrabel, Titans HC, played enough linebacker in Pittsburgh and Foxboro to know how to scheme for Jackson. Look for LBs Kamalei Correa and Harold Landry III to pull the same pincer move on Jackson and make him win with his arm—which is exactly what the phenom will do.
Thing is, Jackson and his minions might have fewer chances than usual. Like it or not, Baltimore’s offense gained the same 6.1 YPP as Tennessee’s, 3rd in the NFL. The Raven’s defense allowed only .2 less YPP than the Titans.
Vrabel brings a toughness, a mindset, like….well, like the Ravens. His defense will hit you hard every play. His offense brings the highest rated QB in football—and oh yeah—248 pounds of a usually pissed off RB, Derek Henry, slamming into the line of scrimmage, with 4.5 speed and attitude, or catching screens and busting DB’s shoulders.
Last week these Titan’s went into the Razor and bashed the Patriots into submission. The New England defense wanted no part of Henry by the third quarter.
Baltimore probably has too many weapons, and we have to consider the toll last week’s collisions extracted from Henry and the Titans.
No way the Crows lose to these Titans, but a natural upset wouldn’t surprise me, more likely,
Baltimore wins going away—by nine points—Over the Total.
Ravens 30 Titans 21
LOCK OF THE WEEK
HOUSTON TEXANS (11-6) @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (12-4) -9.5 51 [O]
We won’t let last week’s Viking bayou victory to scare us off from confidently calling this one a LOW.
Houston’s offensive line is mediocre at best, their defense is shaky, and Patrick Mahomes will play bigger in the big moments, than Bills rookie, Josh Allen did last week at Houston—you can bet on that.
Research reveals Kansas City averages about 17 points in the first half. Houston ranks next to last in 1st quarter scoring and they’re mediocre in the second quarter as well.
Andy Reid has always been great at adjusting in-game and during the break; he’s at .710 after a bye.
As great as DeShaun Watson is, how far do you think Will Fuller’s balky hamstring will take him? How about Kenny Stills knee? With his two best receivers hobbled and T.J. Watt trying to make up for a vulnerable defense, Houston needs some luck. They have to come out swinging, force a turnover and hope T.J Watt can disrupt Mahomes’ rhythm. Then Watson ….
Did I forget to mention the 2-10 record domed or sliding roof teams have in the playoffs in the last few years.?
Here are more trends:
· The Texans are 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 games after an ATS win.
· The Chiefs are 6-0 SU and ATS in their last 6 games.
· The total has gone UNDER in the Texans’ last 4 road games.
There is a sliver of hope for Shit Kickers fans. Watson will be facing a depleted secondary; safety Juan Thornill is out with a torn ACL, and Morris Claiborne’s shoulder won’t allow him to play.
Watt and Watson are capable of taking games over on their sides of the ball—but not against Mahomes and one of the games most electrifying offenses.
I’m betting Andy Reid is dying to shut the mouth of the pundits who say he lets teams stay in the game, playing it conservative in the second half.
Those same pundits have forgotten how excellent the Chiefs are—their defense has been as good as there is the last seven weeks of the season.
Bottom line; Blow Out! Take the Over…
Chiefs 36 Texans 17
GAME OF THE WEEK
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS -4.5 47 [U]
When these two squads match-up anything can happen, and often does. They are so close statistically; it is remarkably unusual. It may be the most difficult game to pick.
But, I’m the only guy saying that.
I don’t think the 22-degree weather will be a game changer. Each team is banged up and could and might settle for running the ball. Seattle’s O-Line and –Line are banged up and Green Bay has the better chance of moving the ball—yet, in their last four games the Pack averaged less than 22 PPG and, most recently, struggled to beat a bad Detroit team when a bye was on the line.
I also think some ‘Cappers are overlooking what Marshawn Lynch means to the ‘Hawks. If he gets going, it might be a long day for the Green & Gold.
The coaching nod has to go to Pete Carroll; his teams always shows up—hurting from injuries or not—especially in games where their given little chance at winning.
Green Bay, with a rookie coach in Matt LeFleur and the arrogant Aaron Rogers, have not been firing on all cylinders. I don’t know if they’re still jockeying for power, or just subject to the same pit falls as most rookie coaches and new offenses create.
The Packers find a way to pull out a win with a walk-off field goal—but the Seahawks won’t make it easy.
The Under is our cautious play…
Packers 23 Seahawks 21
Here’s the slate…
2019 NFL Lines Divisional Playoffs - 1/11 - 1/12, 2020
Date & Time Favorite Line Underdog Total
1/11 4:35 ETAt San Francisco O/U -7 Minnesota 44
1/11 8:15 ETAt Baltimore US -10 [O] Tennessee 47
1/12 3:05 ETAt Kansas City LW -9.5 [O] Houston 51
1/12 6:40 ETAt Green Bay GW -4.5 [U] Seattle 47