Handicapping NFL PLAYOFFS: Week 1



Last Week: 3 Picks: 2-1 Upset Special: 0-1 Bears Pick: 1-0

Season: 3 Picks: 30-16-2 Upset Special: 9-7 Bears Pick: 6-8-1

So, let’s see how much money we all would’ve won using my picks this year.  We are going to assume that we can throw money around like we just won the huge lottery.  Let’s pretend that we were bettin $100 a game (for Math purposes).  Let us also assume that the standard 10% juice is applied to losses.

3 Picks: 30-16-2 =  $3000 – 1760 = $1240

Upset Special: 9-7 = $900 -$770 = $130

Bears Picks: 6-8-1 = $600-880= -$280 (I missed a game somewhere in this calculation and I don’t feel like going back and looking.  It was probably a loss – but I’m not calculating it one way or another)

1240 + 130 – 280 = $1090

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’d mind an extra $1090 laying around.  Not to mention the entertainment purposes of laying wagers on 80 football games and coming up on top.  When you go to Vegas, it’s nice to walk away with money, feeling as if you paid for your trip and had fun while doing it.  If you took these games this year, you can probably relate.  Oh well, onto the playoffs.

Well, if you’ve seen a recent post by the staff, you may think you know how I’m going to pick, but you have to remember, picking a winner is different than picking against the spread.  In a minute, you’ll read what I’m talking about:

Seattle +10 vs Saints: I like the Seahawks for a couple of reasons in this game.  First of all, the game is outdoors in Seattle where the temperature high is going to be 44.  If it rains, that’s another whole positive.  The Saints offense is predicated on timing and speed.  Anything that disrupts that, i.e. weather, is beneficial.  (Remember Bears/Saints playoff game 3 years ago?  Same concept).  This is what makes me also excited about Bears possibly playing one of these teams next week.  Anyway, the Saints do not have a running game.  Reggie Bush screen plays are like running plays, but are not going to be complimentary to Thomas or Ivory, they are going to be sniffed out more and Defensed more with him in the game the whole time.  I know Seattle has been blown out regularly, but giving 10 points to a home team in the playoffs is a tough pill for me to swallow, especially when a pass-happy team with no running game is coming into town. 

Indy -2.5 vs Jets – these spreads with hooks around key numbers (3,7,10) always make me nervous, but I like Indy at home in this one.  They have run and played the run better over the past couple of weeks.  They’ve been in playoff mode for a month and Ryan’s Defenses don’t confuse Manning.  This will be Indy’s only playoff win this year.

Chiefs +3 vs Baltimore – This is a struggle because I believe I picked Baltimore to go to the Superbowl against Green Bay in the beginning of the year. It is also tough because KC cost me 1st place in my point pool last week laying an egg against Oakland. (I took 2nd -a person behind me bet all their points on Oakland to cover)  However, this is a young team that has the #1 Rush Offense playing at home.  Arrowhead is a tough place to win and I think youthful exhuberance trumps playoff experience in this go-around.

GreenBay +2.5 vs Philadelphia – this is going to be the most exciting game out of a weekend of just fun to watch games.  I’m excited about this game because although in my pools I’ve been picking GreenBay, I’ll be excited to see them lose.  If they win, then I’m doing well individually.  Although they are scary, could you imagine if they win, beat Altanta, and have to come to Chicago for Championship Game.  Wow!  Border wars and trash-talking for years, let’s just hope we are on the right side.  Anyway, with Vick a little hobbled and Philly on a little slide since their Miracle in the Meadowlands, and GreenBay coming in emotionally charged, I’m tilting it GreenBay’s way. Yes, GreenBay is one-dimensional, but I think Rodgers is more difficult to stop than Vick.  I’m anticipating a shoot-out and the Over, we’ll see.  I thought that last week about the Bears/GreenBay too.  Take the points.

Good Luck my friends.  Let us sit back and bask in the Bye.