WILDCARD WEEKEND- where anything can happen, like first appearances North Of the Border, but more fun.
Washington at Seattle. In spite of our legion of Redskin fans who count on us to post on their blog about the Sean Taylor case (you should see the emails I get from female Skins fans-lots of skin to say the least) I must disappoint them and say the Seahawks -4 is the lock of the day. And if you look hard, you can get it at -3. We admire the Skins scrappy play and toughness, and lord knows that they have an emotional issue to play for. But these Hawks are two years removed from the Super Bowl. They have many of the same players and they have picked up their play in the last few weeks. Seahawks -4, over 39.
Jax at Pittsburgh. We looked up this stat: In 75 years, and during many of them they were the worst team in the NFL, the Steelers have never lost twice in one season to the same team at home. The Jags have the chance tonight to be first. The Jags are favourites by 2.5 to 3 and you can make a good case that when the Jags went into Pittsburgh a few weeks ago and beat the Steelers at their own game- running in the snow, that was no fluke. But the game was closer than it looked, and the real question here is how bad is the Steeler offensive front line? They are down to a third string left tackle against a premier defense. However, Steeler QB Roethlisberger has been in the playoffs three of his first four years and he is the youngest QB to win a Super Bowl. On the other side, the Jags QB is making his first playoff start, in Pittsburgh no less.
We haven’t been able to pick a Steeler game right all year, so our advice is to leave the game alone. However, a fun play that you can make a case for is the money line- Steelers +130. Bet a hundred, win 130, no point spread. Or, a traditional analysis says that with a beaten up offensive line, no way the Steelers can win this game. However, they have a very good defense, and Roethlisberger can make plays, so we may just risk the 100 to win 130, but go light.
The NY Giants rumble into Tampa tomorrow with a lot on the line. A “one and out in the playoffs” probably means the end of the line for coach Coughlin, not to mention Eli Manning. The team came together nicely at the end of the season and gave the Cheaters all they could handle. They are getting three points from a Tampa team that quietly moved through the season without making much noise. The Bucs did a good job this year and they are on the right track. But the Giants D has roared at times this year, and we like their running game. Giants +3 on the road to win. Because we like the Giants to win, we also suggest you forgo the points and lay 100 to win 130. The Giants money line +130.
Tennessee at San Diego. Ah, San Diego and QB Rivers. Out favourite early season punching back. We loaded up against them early and that made it a very profitable season for us indeed. However, there is a thought that the Chargers just needed some more time to pick up and execute Norv Turner’s new offense. And there may be some truth to that. On the other side, Coach Fisher is our pick for coach of the year for the second year in a row. He is good. He is smart. And he teaches his players to find a way to win. The problem is that his star QB Vince Young is limping. And his team just doesn’t have the guns to run with these lightening bolts just yet. This year you can file the Titans under the category “Just happy to be here.” Although we will be rooting otherwise, no upset in the making here. Go ahead and lay the 10 points if you’re a Charger fan. The over 39 seems like a better play. And watch these Titans. Because with a few good draft picks in the Offensive line and linebackers, they may just start going deep into the playoffs.
Of note in the Titans/Chargers game is that the outcome determines who plays the Cheaters next week. If the Chargers win, then the Steelers/Jags winner goes to the land of secret videotapes and coaches who cheat in grey hoodies. If the Titans manage an upset, then the Steelers/Jags play the Colts and the Titans earn a trip to 16-0 land.
By the way, lets just get it on the record right now.
The MVP of this year’s Super Bowl, just happens to be the famous winning quarter back of this year’s Super Bowl. Yup, we are talking about the obvious here:
Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.
Coming up: on the blog next week: after a month of vacations, short weeks, and days off, what do the Judges of Florida do? Schedule a Judicial seminar of course. And Rumpole gives you a sneak peek at some of the topics.