NFL Divisional Playoff Picks
That was a pretty freaking awesome weekend of football! As a Chiefs moneyline backer, Saturday afternoon was a little less pleasant, but still, there was not a single boring game the entire weekend.
The good news: Massey-Peabody leaned to the correct side in each game (well, there was no correct side in GB/SF as it pushed). The bad news: none qualified as official plays when I blogged the picks last week. Hopefully some of you read my notes at the bottom and took the Saints when the line moved to +3 (official play territory). We’re not going to count the Saints game since we’re grading based on lines when we post picks. But we still get to record two wins and a push on Break-Even or Better selections, which is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
This week we have one big play, and it’s a very big play. The public seems to have (once again) overreacted to a small sample, and forgotten that previous, more distant weeks do in fact still matter predictively. Teams don’t magically morph into superteams when the playoffs begin. And the fact that San Fran made the Super Bowl last year is irrelevant (just ask the Ravens). Yep, we’re gonna ride the Carolina Panthers again this week. The Panthers are the better team overall, are coming off a bye week, and are at home. Yet the 49ers are consensus 1.5-point favorites right now.
On to the picks, based on consensus lines as of 7:15pm EST on Tuesday evening. As usual, we do not factor in matchup factors or injuries (except QB). Massey-Peabody lines are based on team ratings, home field advantage, with added points given to teams coming off of bye weeks.
Big Plays (17-9-1 YTD)
- Carolina +1.5 vs. San Francisco [MP= -4.6]
Other Plays (33-20 YTD)
- no plays this week
Break-Even or Better (18-16-2 YTD)
- Indianapolis +7.5 at New England [MP= +6.1]
- New Orleans +8 at Seattle [MP= +6.9]
In the last game, we make Denver a 10.2-point favorite at home against San Diego. Right now, the consensus line for IND/NE is hovering between 7.5 and 7. Indianapolis is not a BEOB selection at a line of +7, but is at a line of +7.5 (even at -120). I don’t see any way that either Indy or New Orleans make it into Other Play territory, as they just squeak into the BEOB classification right now. Carolina remains a Big Play all the way through a line of Carolina -2.