Last Week's Record: 11-5 ATS (not bad for Whacky Week 17)
Week 17 Friday Five: 4-1 ATS
Friday Five Record Since Week 14: 15-4-1 ATS
Record Since Week 10: 68-49-5 ATS
Season to Date (for the sake of integrity): 113-132-9 ATS
Yesterday we posted our picks for Saturday's Wild Card showdowns in Indianapolis and Philadelphia, and just to recap we took the road team and the points in both cases. The lines in those games with three points being given to the home team suggest that the oddsmakers believe the Colts/Chiefs and Saints/Eagles are equals on a neutral field. We believe in both cases that the playoff experience of Andy Reid, Alex Smith, Sean Payton, and Drew Brees neutralize the fields and help Kansas City and New Orleans on to the Divisional Round.
Wild card weekend continues on Sunday as the San Diego Chargers - the last team to make the post-season ball - visit the red hot (at home) Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco Forty Niners head to Green Bay to renew their relatively old and storied rivalry. Let's handicap these bad boys shall we?
CINCINNATI BENGALS (-6.5) over San Diego Chargers: Last year my Psychic mother-in-law claimed it was The Year of the Bird and to her credit the Ravens won the Super Bowl, and the Seahawks and Falcons went deep into the playoffs. This year, however, her love of the Panthers had her boasting that it was The Year of the Cat. All year her focus was on Carolina while Cincinnati quietly put together the best home record in the NFL (tied with the Pats and the Saints). Will two cats meet in this year's Super Bowl? I doubt it, but two cats will definitely be playing in the Divisional Round next week.
"Front Door Cover, my friend."
Sorry, WannaBeBallers, we just don't think the Chargers have enough to pull off the upset in Cincinnati. Although the Chargers have been decent on the road (4-4 SU/4-3-1 ATS), finishing strong with division wins against the Chiefs and the Broncos, this is the playoffs and there will be no sneaking up on a team, especially one that has compiled an 8-0 SU/ATS home record winning games by an average of almost 17 points. The Bengals beat the Chargers earlier this year in San Diego by 7, and although San Diego will compete early, but the Bengals will wear them down and pull away in the second half.
Picks: Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5) and the OVER 47
San Francisco Forty Niners (-2.5) over GREEN BAY PACKERS: The game of the weekend (and they all look pretty damn good) kicks off last on Sunday as the Niners and Packers meet each other for the fourth time in two years and second straight post-season. Historically, Green Bay has dominated the series going 7-3 SU/5-4-1 with the OVER hitting at a 7-3 clip. Since Jim Harbaugh's arrival in the Bay Area, however, the Niners are 3-0 against the Packers, winning games by an average of almost 10 points.
If Alex Smith were still behind center for the Niners, we would be making this pick without hesitation. He's no Tom Brady in terms of talent, but he's practically as robotic when it comes to consistency in any environment. To us, Colin Kaepernick is the wild card for the Niners wild card weekend hopes. If he can make quick decisions and not force the action, the Niners will be fine and win this game easily. If the Packers can force some turnovers and build a lead, then San Fran might be in trouble.
Of course the weather will be a factor, but you know what they say in the NFL, "When it's cold, pack your electric blankets and your defense." At the end of the day, Aaron Rodgers will make a valiant effort to take Green Bay to the divisional round, but will ultimately fall short as the Niners win by four 31-27
Picks: San Francisco Forty Niners (-2.5) and the OVER 46.5
Good luck as always and may the spreads be with you all,
Vinny and Marco