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2013 NFL Divisional Round Picks

The second round of the playoffs is here. After a rather weak first round we think we may be in store for some great football all around. Let's get to it.

Saturday Games

Denver -9.5 vs Baltimore 4:30pm CBS

mlz - Baltimore
Everyone seems to have forgotten about Peyton Manning's spotty playoff record. Yes he has one ring but don't forget about all those one and dones he has had. Not to mention that if he can't win tomorrow he got the Broncos exactly as far as Tim Tebow did except he didn't bring the city of Denver the joy of a playoff victory. I think they will survive Baltimore. The Ravens aren't looking too bad. Flacco had himself a pretty good game last week and will need another if he has any hopes of advancing. One glaring thing to take away from last week is the Ravens scored 24 points despite two Ray Rice fumbles. Expect a big week from Rice, who will be looking to make up for those two fumbles last week. Baltimore's defense might be old and banged up but they are playing fired up and they are playing for Ray Lewis. But they will come up just short of the win. Broncos 24-21.      

ap3 - Baltimore




This is Denver's first true test since week 9 at Cincinnati. Yes, the Broncos are at home, and yes, they dominated the Ravens 4 weeks ago in Baltimore, but this is a little different. Peyton Manning gets to play his first playoff game without his security blanket. He's home, but he's not home. He's outside. He doesn't have Reggie Wayne or Marvin Harrison. He doesn't have Tony Dungy or the old guy with the cane walking around the sideline. Instead, he has Ray Lewis standing across the line of scrimmage looking like the terminator. The game is going to be low scoring and hard fought, with the better story prevailing. Baltimore 24 Denver 20. Upset Special.


San Francisco -2.5 vs Green Bay 8pm Fox

mlz: San Francisco
Lock Alert! I understand the Packers are a public team, meaning people like to bet on them. But why are people so high on them? They looked good last week vs Minnesota, yes. But Minnesota showed them everything they had to offer in Week 17. They should have looked as good as they did. But don't have such a short term memory. This SF defense is the best in the game and I would call the Packers o-line the worst in the game but I'm afraid I will get death threats from the Arizona Cardinals crew. Look for Aaron Rodgers to be on his back more than Jennifer Anniston plowing her way through Hollywood. 49ers 27-17.

ap3: Green Bay



Lock Alert! So I get one of the best QBs in the league, against a second year QB with 7 games as a starter under his belt in his first playoff start, AND 2.5 points? Yes please. I think the Packers needed to not get the bye in the last week of the season. They are a rhythm team and I think the bye last season hurt them against the Giants. I was a huge Colin Kaepernick supporter in the regular season, but he is a dynamic player that turns the ball over. I expect this one to be fun to watch, Green Bay 34 San Francisco 24.

Sunday Games

Atlanta -2.5 vs Seattle 1pm Fox

mlz: Seattle
Upset Alert! I've been waiting 18 weeks to bet against the Falcons this week. There's no doubt in my mind they choke. Matt Ryan is not an elite QB. He's the Joe Flacco of the NFC only minus the playoff wins. The only chance Atlanta has is to get a few huge plays by Roddy White and/or Julio Jones. But given that Seattle has probably the best secondary in the game I don't see that happening. Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll have this team running on all cylinders and shouldn't struggle much. Seattle 41-17..   

ap3: Atlanta






Upset Alert! Damn straight I said upset alert even if I'm picking the team that's favored. You know why? Because this is the moment I've been waiting for all season, my opportunity to bet against Atlanta at home in the playoffs. Atlanta is the most fraudulent 13-3 team in NFL history, and the Seahawks have probably the most complete team in the playoffs. Atlanta looked awful with its starters playing the whole game against Tampa Bay in week 17, and Seattle won a tough road game last week in Washington. So really, why Atlanta? Because the Falcons are due. This is make or break time for Matty Ice. He falls into the Joe Flacco-Mark Sanchez category if they are one and done again. I think he steps up with his big play receivers and safety blanket Tony Gonzalez. Atlanta 28 Seattle 17.



New England -9.5 vs Houston 4:30pm CBS      

mlz: New England

I'm taking the Pats here simply because I think they score late to cover. I think it will be a one score game until Brady strikes with about four minutes to go before we watch Matt Schaub fail to cut back into the lead. 

Don't get me wrong Houston is very much a live dog this week. 9.5 is way too many points really. The Pats aren't 9.5 points better than the Texans. But people have short term memories. They remember that the Pats dismantled a Houston team on cruise control. If you think back to two years ago the Pats lost to the Jets only a few weeks after rolling over them in the regular season.

If you've watched any Pats games this year you know they love to defer on the coin toss. If I'm them I am changing that plan this week. I think the Pats could win this in the first quarter. If they can get up 14-0 early Houston might just check out. Conversely if things start to bounce Houston's way early they absolutely can squeak out a win and move on. We will have to wait and find out, but for the sake of the pick Pats win 31-17.    

ap3: Houston






I think Arian Foster has a monster game. Houston underutilized him in the first meeting. Look for close to 200 yards for him both rushing and receiving. The game will come down to two things;



  1. A crucial Matt Schaub mistake


  2. A clutch Stephen Gostkowski field goal.



Lock it up. New England 34 Houston 31


Upset Record

mlz 2-7 (0-1 lw)
ap3 1-6 (1-0 lw)

Lock's Record

mlz 17-25
(1-0 lw)
ap3 13-14-1 (1-0 lw)

Overall Record

mlz 129-124-7 (2-2 Last week)

ap3 126-127-7 (4-0 Last week)

Friday, January 11, 2013

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