Saturday, January 5, 2013

NFL Playoff Saturday: Bend Over, Bookie

Don't F**k With Red Heads
Cincy at Houston UNDER 43
The Texans are limping into the playoffs worse than Rihanna does after date night. They've lost two straight, three of their last four, and have scored 16 points or fewer in three of those final four games. Yikes, you ten gallon hat wearing hillbillies!

With all the talk about the Broncos, Seahawks, and Redskins heading into the playoffs on heaters, nobody seems to ever mention the Bengals. Cincinnati won 7 of their last 8 heading into the post season. And although they're not exactly putting up the offensive numbers to garner highlight film coverage (think 2000 Baltimore Ravens), their defense has been absolutely stifling.

Over the final 7 weeks of the regular season, the Bengals only gave up 12 points/per (#1 rank) and their overall defense- relative to the other 11 playoff teams, was ranked 2nd, only behind the Vegas favorite Denver Broncos.

This game has OT and/or one possession game written all over it with 3 or 4 minutes to go, and do not expect a lot of points. I don't like a side either way, but if I had to pick one, I'd take the Bengals. The safer play is the UNDER. 19-14 Bengals.

Minnesota at Green Bay (-8)
The Vikings got off the schneid last week, having beat the Pack for the first time in like 483 years. Actually, it was the first win by the Purple People Eaters over their divisional foes  in about 38 months. And I don't see them beating the Pack in consecutive weeks with an offense, quite frankly, that is a lot of AP and a lot of not much else.

MVPeterson and Its Not Even Close, Peyton Fans
Now to their credit, the Vikings too are riding a bit of a heater heading into the post season. They won 4 straight to get in, beating two playoff teams in the process (Green Bay and Houston). I just don't like the one dimensional offense approach, and their defense is a bit suspect.

For all the greatness league MVP Adrian Peterson brings to the table, Christian Ponder is another story. I realize you don't need much of a passing game when you have a 2,000 yard back in the backfield, but the numbers don't lie. Ponder's completion percentage (62.1) is average, QB rating (81.2) is below average, total yards passed for (2,945) is well below average, and although he had a very good week last week, the Pack will shut him and AP down in this spot.

Aaron Rodgers will  have a monster game here. Minnesota's defense enters the playoffs with the worst pass defense of all 12 post season teams (275 yards/per). The Pack is 11-0 ATS the week after allowing 150+ yards on the ground, and they're 8-1 ATS in their last 9 following a SU loss. The man with the bionic knee can carry his team for only so long, and in this case, "so long" equates to about 11:15 pm Saturday night. 31-21 Packers.

Last Week                           2-1 ATS
Barking Dogs YTD         18-17 ATS
Totals YTD                      7-4-1 ATS

YTD                               42-37-2 ATS (53%)
Since 2010                   117-78-9 ATS (60%)

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