Friday, January 02, 2009

Round 1 playoff picks

Here's what I see happening in this weekend's playoff games in which all four road teams are favored. All four road teams won't win. You can bet on that. The trick is figuring out which home teams will hold serve.

Indianapolis at San Diego: These two teams met earlier in the season, with Indianapolis pulling out a 23-20 win. Both teams are hot. Indianapolis has won nine straight, while the Chargers won four in a row to get in when Denver stumbled. But I like the home team here. San Diego's weakness is rushing the passer. But Peyton Manning doesn't get sacked anyway, so that won't hurt them here. The Chargers can certainly score with the Colts and have the better running game. San Diego 27, Indianapolis 24

Baltimore at Miami: Another rematch that was won, 27-13, by Baltimore. I don't see that changing much here as the Dolphins will have a heck of a time moving the ball against the Ravens. The Dolphins used the Wildcat five times in that first meeting, gaining four yards. That won't work here. To beat Baltimore, you've got to be able to spread the Ravens out and challenge them down the field. Miami doesn't have the weapons to do that. Baltimore 20, Miami 10

Atlanta at Arizona: Arizona was 6-2 at home, 3-5 on the road. Yes, the Cardinals stumbled down the stretch, but I think that was largely because they weren't challenged in the NFC West. Their offense will be too much to handle at home for Atlanta. And if the Cardinals can turn this into a track meet, they could win going away. Arizona 30, Atlanta 24

Philadelphia at Minnesota: The Vikings' strength on defense is their run defense. But that won't help them against the Eagles, who don't even try to run the ball. Philadelphia's defense may be the most under rated unit in the league. These guys can get after it and their corners are excellent. Adrian Peterson is also having ball control issues, which won't help. I like Brian Westbrook to have a big game catching the ball out of the backfield. Philadelphia 23, Minnesota 14

20 comments:

Alex said...

I just don't see the Chargers winning this game. Without Shawn Merriman and a weaker running game than last season they just don't have it in them. They won last year by running it down the Colts throats, they won't be able to this year.


Would love to see them do that though, the Chargers are a WAY better matchup for us.

Dale Lolley said...

The Colts barely beat them out there earlier in the season on a last-second field goal. Also, the Colts are down two offensive linemen in this one and can't run the ball themselves.

Dale Lolley said...

Also, I looked up the record of the home teams on wildcard weekend since the NFL went to this format in 1990. It's 52-24.
There's only been two times when the home teams went 1-3. And they've never gone 0-4. The odds are that one or even two of the home teams win this weekend.

Alex said...

I hope your right. Either one will be tough for us, but I like the Chargers for us better. I don't see Rivers doing any better against our defense but Manning just might.

Patrick said...

Alex, you make a good point about Rivers v. Manning against the Steelers D. I think it is great idea of Rivers v. the Steelers D not having much potency but for whatever reason,a hunch, I see the Steelers having a tougher time with SD than Indy. Its just that mentality SD brings when it counts.

I hope to play Miami, and after debating with a friend who 100% beleives Baltimore wins this, I think Miami's Pennington v. Baltimore's Flacco is the difference and Pennington makes fewer mistakes and wins.

Anonymous said...

That's true, the odds are longish looking at this weekend as a single event. A 4 game parlay is a suckers bet. A 4 game parlay taking away favorites is the Oreck of sucker bets. A 4 game parlay usually pays 10 to 1, and an average bettor will hit about 6%, a little less taking road favorites. But still looking at it as a long series of events, the odds are it's bound to happen once over 20-25 years. And that's against the spread.

Never in the history of the draft have more than 5 tackles been selected in the first round, until last year when 8 were taken. Even though it had never happened before, most still expected that previous high water mark of 5 to be exceeded. And no team had ever accomplished what the Steelers did in 05 either. Similar deal with this wildcard round. Just because it's never happened doesn't mean it never will. If it's ever going to happen, this year is better than most. Since it hasn't yet happened in 17 years, the odds are now actually turning in favor of it happening soon. It's like rolling dice, there's 21 possible outcomes. If you've rolled 20 times and never hit boxcars, your odds are much greater than 1 in 21 (single event) that you'll hit it soon.

Anonymous said...

Since each roll is an independent event, the odds of hitting boxcars are identical every roll regardless of what happened the prior 20. That is, unless you blow on them or something....

Anonymous said...

So is flipping a coin. But if you flip it 10 times and it comes up heads every time, and you know over a long series of individual events it will balance out to 50-50, wouldn't it then become a good time to bet on tails even tho the individual odds are still 50-50?

Anonymous said...

It's that kind of irrational thinking that built Las Vegas, Macau, Atlantic City, etc....

Dale Lolley said...

As I write this, the Cardinals are beating up on the Falcons. It's a lot to ask four road teams to win.

Anonymous said...

You called the exact score in the cards game! What are the odds of that...?

Hmann said...

Damn Dale, you nailed the score of the cards game! What are the lotto numbers for next week?

Alex said...

Well I was wrong about the Colts. I guess their offense wasn't as potent as I thought.


The leagues MVP put up 17pts and went one and done in the playoffs. Doesn't sound so great to me.

Anonymous said...

The Colts were overrated based on beating a weak schedule down the stretch. Because of Direct TV I had the fortune to watch them play and can honestly say I was not impressed with their team play or Manning this year. He needs a serious upgrade for Harrison, who has lost a step and needs to accept a diminished role. They had NO running game. It was so bad that the Steelers looked like a running team in comparison. (If you watched Utah it was like watching the offense for the Colts). Anyways great work Dale, you always the best columnist in the OR stable.

Patrick said...

Dale that is amazing you hit the AZ game on the nose. Props to you.

Big props to you. And you practically called the SD game.

Very Impresssive.

Dale Lolley said...

You cover the league for 16 years, you learn a little something - at least you should.
We'll see how I do today.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Dale is nailing the Eagles game also.

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed.

John M said...

Damn, Lolley... that was as impressive a batch of picks as I've ever seen on a website.

Dale Lolley said...

Blind horse-acorn.