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NFL Divisional Games Analysis

Last Week: 3-0

GOW: New England +3 Denver

New England’s rocketing #1 defense takes on the #5 Denver defense that’ll have trouble effectively blitzing Tom Brady. While the offenses stack up similar, I have more confidence in Brady and New England will have the more favorable opportunities to put points on the board. This appears to be an extremely strong play and the $$$-line is not a bad option. Denver’s schedule has been week in the later part of the season and this team is unproven.

Washington +9.5 Seattle

Seattle also enters as a big question mark and its “strength on strength” with Alexander against the Redskin run defense. The Redskin defense ranks poorer than it looked last week in single-handedly winning over Tampa, but it will get reinforcements at safety and #1 rested corner Shaun Springs. Seattle doesn’t appear to be much better. Brunell continues to make the big mistake for the Redskins, but has also shown some big play ability. Either way, this is a game where Portis will need to be a force. The Redskins mindset is to keep games very close and give a big push in the 4th quarter and that bodes well for the pointspread as an underdog play. Washington, while struggling mightily in offense last week, appears to have greater upside than Seattle. Cover!

Chicago -3 Carolina

Its not unusual to see a team whip someone in the wild card round only to get whipped themselves in the 2nd round. Chicago seems to have a decent edge on Carolina, even though Carolina’s defense has improved rapidly and Chicago’s is not a whole lot better, and Carolina certainly has bigger playmakers on the offensive side. With Chicago though, you have to realize this is a team that thrives in the close game and the overall team is more important than the individual units. In this regard, Chicago has a decisive edge with home field advantage and a more consistent – if not better – defense. Fending off the Carolina pass rush and avoiding sacks and other mistakes will prove key. Chicago’s own blitzes are highly effective at creating turnovers and, not to be overly cliché, this game certainly should be decided by fumbles and interceptions.

Indianapolis -9.5 Pittsburgh

The weakest pick on the board is Indianapolis, which offers modest value. Indianapolis reads out as a completely dominant team, enough so to warrant this fat spread (especially considering the bye week advantage). Pittsburgh played a horrible game on MNF against Indianapolis and appeared intimidated in the matchup. Recent comments from the team don’t seem to allay my fears that they don’t have a lot of confidence. So I like the Colts here in a game that should tilt decisively in one direction. There is an emotional edge to consider as well, with much support for Dungy and the team in general for the exceptional play throughout the season. Few are rooting for Pittsburgh to go on. Historically, Pittsburgh has not won many playoff games on the road – I think the 75 year tally is somewhere in the neighborhood of 3, and that includes Cincinnati. Pittsburgh does have an edge in defense, but they’ll need every ounce of it against a Colts offense that is more than superior enough to neutralize that key advantage. If the Colts break out the “A” game – and of course they will – its over.


Senior Member
thx for the in depth post

amazing how close ur posts mirror my thoughts...respect ur analysis ...turnovers do usually determine the winner...i do think Wash is to banged up so i took Seat. in a teaser gltu:)