ENGLISHTOWN, NJ – There’s a lot of frogging snow out there. I don’t know how much exactly, but my favorite pastime – when we have this inclement weather – is to drink. Forgive me if my stream of consciousness is fragmented more than usual today but it’s a result of many a Maker’s Mark on the rocks–several more than a few to be exact, as I make my NFL Championship games public. I am coming off a 3-1 Sunday where an unfortunate series of events in the Denver-Pittsburgh game kept us from a four-game sweep. Alas, this is truly the last football Sunday before everybody and their mothers become pigskin fans for one day on February 7th (and just happens to be Angry Ward’s birthday). Today’s Free NFL Picks are…
New England -3 (44.5) at DENVER 3:05 pm
Many, and by many I mean a majority of people, are selecting the Evil Empire to go to yet another Super Bowl. Applying simple math to this game is how I arrived at a winner. This game will go UNDER the 44.5 points – and if you think this to be the case you must take the Denver Broncos plus the points. Should this by chance be an OVER, you would almost certainly be on the Patriots side but my thinking says the Broncos defense shows its teeth to the point where the Patriots offense cowers in its wake. Even with Peyton Manning a shell of his former Hall of Fame self, the Denver Defensive Eleven get the job done against New England’s one-dimensional, short-pass heavy offense. A couple of opportune turnovers and semi-effective offensive drives will lead the Broncos to victory. It’s a nail-biter along the lines of a 20-17 score, but the Broncs get it done and we’ll see Peyton Manning in another Super Bowl, as opposed to Tom Brady and his mates. The UNDER (44.5) is the heavy play here and Denver +3, at home, the secondary selection.
Arizona +3 (47.5) at CAROLINA 6:40 pm
My heart says Arizona here but my head says Carolina – based upon what I saw of Carson Palmer and supposed wunderkind running back Dave Johnson last week. The total seems a bit inflated based upon the Panther defense needing the likes of a Huey Newton on the defensive side of the ball but if the Cards have the same deer-in-the-headlights look it had against the Packers the likes of a minority militant won’t be necessary. Again, I’m on an UNDER (47.5) in this a s well as today’s opener. Jonathan Stewart may be at less than 100% health and force S-Cam Newton to be the rushing workhorse. The Cards will be forced to go via the pass and can be trouble if Palmer looks anything like the timid player he was last week. I believe Arizona to have the better personnel on both sides of the ball but something tells me Newton wills the Panthers to victory. Panthers -3, 24-20 over Cards.
Oh, and you can see my predictions for today’s games in yesterdays Sportscast with Short Matt… Along with plenty of New York Mets talk – and #Cespedes for the rest of us.
Please comment below and come back tomorrow for West Coast Craig.