HELL’S KITCHEN – If the honorable Bill de Blasio and his wife can run New York City for this amount of time without being bounced from Gracie Mansion, then I can certainly hold on to my Sunday spot predicting NFL games even after a down few weeks. Okay, so it’s been a tough year compared to the previous two but I’ll come out of the second season smelling way better than Ryan Fitzpatrick and his Jets teammates who unequivocally [Holy] Sh!t the bed last week in Buffalo. But redemption comes in the form of the NFL Playoffs for us high-rollers. The stakes are high on the field and there is a small window of time to fleece your bookie during the Super Bowl tournament. Today is the NFC’s turn after yesterday’s AFC Wild Card games. Here’s how I see my Free NFL Picks shaking out today.
Seattle -5 (39.5) @ MINNESOTA While the metropolitan area basks in 60 degrees weather, the Vikings are hosting an outdoor playoff game in three degree temperatures that hearken back to names like Eller, Page, Foreman, and Tarkenton. Christ, the point spread is higher than game time weather. Five is a very strange number to NFL bettors, as odds makers usually set this number and wait for the fluctuation to more normal spreads – up to six or down to four. I almost always take the favorite in these instances however, we are talking playoffs here. Several weeks ago the visiting ‘Hawks put a 38-7 beating on the Vikes as three point faves and a total of 43. What’s interesting to note is the difference in the over/under numbers of the two games, as the cold weather has caused a 3 1/2 swing… toward the under. This is where we make our strongest play of the day by not falling for this trap. Winds will be minimal, there is no snow forecast and the Pacific northwestern Seahawks play in some harsh weather as well. OVER 39.5 by a good margin and a slight lean to Minnesota +5.
WASHINGTON -1 (45) versus Green Bay It’s very hard to believe that a playoff team could enter the post-season having only been favored in two of their sixteen regular season games. But that’s an oddity the 9-7 Redskins carry into a home playoff game – as favorites against the venerable QB/Head Coach duo of Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy. The Kirk Cousins/Jay Gruden marriage doesn’t nearly match up to them but the point spread speaks volumes of how hot the Redskins QB is these days and how Rodgers & Co. are struggling on offense. Another eye-raising stat concerns the perennially high-scoring Packers: they have gone under the total in ten of the last thirteen games. Even with all the current trends and troubles, I have to believe the Packers have one last hurrah in them with a game plan centering heavily on the run as they should be able to do so to the point where things develop for some deep shots downfield. Washington is very green; expecting them to deliver a blow to the Pack might be too much to ask of them at this juncture. Green Bay +1 and UNDER 45.
Feel free to comment below – on anything sports related – and come back tomorrow for West Coast Craig.