After going 4-0 during Wild Card Weekend, I feel back a bit this past weekend. I went 2-2, nailing the San Francisco and New York games while missing rather badly on the Patriots and Ravens victories (I thought Denver would keep it close and Baltimore would dominate…whoops!).
So for the playoffs so far I am 6-2, coming on the heels of my 115-113-8 and regular season. Like the Giants, I finished the regular season with a fury to get over .500 and have carried that momentum into the playoffs. Can I do it for one more week leading up to the Super Bowl?
I haven’t looked at the spreads yet as I type this. I anticipate both games being difficult to predict.
The 49ers are at home, where they beat the Giants earlier this year in a very competitive game. But New York is playing much better now, and I don’t like the idea of a team have to beat another team twice. With no stats to back this up, it seems like playoff rematches go to the team that lost the first team (and this seems especially true with the Giants of the last decase).
As for the Ravens and Patriots, we know New England will put up points. Can Joe Flacco do enough to keep it close? Doubtful, but the pick will depend on just how many points the Pats are giving.
- All times are ET.
- Spreads are as of Monday morning.
- Announcer info via Fang’s Bites.
- If you want updated spread info, visit our friends at DocSports: NFL Playoffs Odds and Lines
Bettor’s Guide: NFL Playoffs Conference Championships
NFC: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
AFC: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
Picks – Point Spreads – Over-Unders – TV Schedule
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
- Ravens-Patriots Date: Sunday, January 22nd
- Ravens-Patriots Time: 3:00 ET
- Ravens-Patriots TV: CBS
- Ravens-Patriots Announcers: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms (with Steve Tasker)
- Ravens-Patriots Point Spread: Patriots -7.5
- Ravens-Patriots Over-Under: 50.5
Ravens-Patriots Spread Pick:
I didn’t follow the Ravens-Texans game all that closely through the first 3 quarters yesterday. Around the start of the 4th quarter I tweeted out that it sounded like Houston was outplaying Baltimore despite the score. Every tweet I received in reply agreed.
While Houston is a good team with a great running back, Baltimore should have been able to dispatch of a T.J. Yates-led team with far more ease if they are thinking about going into New England and winning. I just don’t see.
Baltimore’s defense is very good, but not the dominant unit it once was, and New England’s defense seems to be buoyed by the return to health of some key players; and we know how powerful Brady’s connection with his tight ends has become.
If this game was in Baltimore, where the Ravens always play with an extra bounce in their step, I’d consider taking the points. In New England, with Brady and the Pats looking as locked in as they do, I think I’d lay a couple of touchdowns, which makes a little more than one an easy decision.
- Ravens-Patriots spread pick: Patriots -7.5
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers
- Giants-49ers Date: Sunday, January 22nd
- Giants-49ers Time: 6:30 ET
- Giants-49ers TV: FOX
- Giants-49ers Announcers: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman (with Pam Oliver and Chris Myers)
- Giants-49ers Point Spread: 49ers -2.5
- Giants-49ers Over-Under: 43
Giants-49ers Spread Pick:
My heart says San Francisco, and there was a certain “Team of Destiny” feeling to that improbable win over the Saints, but it is very hard to pick against the Giants seeing how they’ve played over the last month and remembering what they did back in January and February of 2008.
With so many key components of that improbable run back for this one – most notably the coach and QB and the dominant defensive line – the Giants have a Super Bowl look about them. Plus, New York almost beat San Francisco at Candlestick earlier this year. While San Fran has continued to play at a high level, the Giants now seem appreciably better, which could help bridge the gap that kept New York from winning last time.
I hope I’m wrong; I hope Jim Harbaugh, Alex Smith and Co have enough magic to continue this amazing and unexpected ride, but the Giants have been here before and have an elite QB who has become easy to trust. I’d take New York if it was a pick ‘em, so give me the points.
- Giants-49ers spread pick: Giants +2.5
What are your picks? Chime in below.