Wild Card/playoff picks

I made a nice little comeback last week, but still am guaranteed to finish below .500 for the season. Those are the breaks. We’ll see if I can’t be somewhat unterrible during the playoffs.

Atlanta (-1) at Arizona
If you took either one of these teams, especially the Falcons, to make the playoffs before the season started you’d be paid off pretty handsomely right about now. However, the NFC West champion Cardinals have been sluggish since winning the NFC West and will be going against Atlanta’s bruising rush offense of Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood. The first playoff game in Arizona (involving the Cardinals at least) will be the last until at least next year.
Atlanta 28, Arizona 21

Indianapolis (-2) at San Diego
The Colts might be the hottest team in the NFL right now, winning nine straight. However, the Chargers aren’t that far behind, winning four straight to become the first team in NFL history to make up a three-game deficit to win a division in the final three weeks. In other words, this matchup is two locomotives ready to pulverize each other. The Chargers pulled the upset in Indy last year, but I still don’t trust Norv Turner. Going with the Colts here.
Indianapolis 30, San Diego 26

Baltimore (-3.5) at Miami
The Ravens made it here with a rookie quarterback and a great defense, while Miami somehow went from a one-win team to the winners of the AFC East. These teams met in the regular season, with Baltimore romping, and I see much of the same happening in this matchup. Look out for the Ravens as a darkhorse Super Bowl team.
Baltimore 23, Miami 10

Philadelphia (-3) at Minnesota
It’s pretty unheard of to see all of the home teams as underdogs. It would be equally as unheard of for the road team to win all four wild card games. The home team will get one, and I believe this is the one. The Vikings run the ball and can stop the run, two prerequisties for playoff success. Plus, the Eagles have been up and down all season. After killing Dallas, they are due for a letdown in the Twin Cities.
Minnesota 24, Philadelphia 17

Here’s a quickie forecast for the rest of the playoffs.

Tennessee over Baltimore
Indianapolis over Pittsburgh
Tennessee over Indianapolis

N.Y. Giants over Atlanta
Carolina over Minnesota
Carolina over N.Y. Giants

Super Bowl
Carolina over Tennessee

Overall: 147-101-1. Record against spread: 117-129-3.

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