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I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

2013-14 NFL Week One Playoff Preview

Betting information courtesy of 5dimes.com at the time of post (this blog has no affiliation with that site).

JR Ewing loves the NFL post season to bring out his Christmas money and put it all on the line.  Each week of the NFL Playoffs (hopefully earlier than Saturday) I'll preview the games, predict final scores, and oh, by the way, keep track of my overall oil money for straight up, ATS, and O/U on each game.  For ATS and O/U, $1100 is the Wager.  For S/U (a.k.a. Money Line), it's $1000 on either side.

In week one, there is a lot of talk about how teams with better records like the 49ers, and Saints are stuck visiting teams that won their division with worse records.  Whether or not the NFL should reseed is a story for another blog (they shouldn't), but it provides some more even matchups than sometimes you get if the power team were at home.  Here's how Week 1 will shake out!

January 4, 2014: 16:35 EST
Kansas City Chiefs (+1, -103) vs. Indianapolis Colts (-1, -107) O/U 46
Both teams come in at 11-5, so at the surface, you wonder why the Colts aren't bigger favorites?  A weaker division for sure, but they also matched the NFC West and defeated both Seattle and San Francisco.  They also beat Denver.  And Kansas City just 2 weeks ago.  Meanwhile Kansas City is 2-5 in their last 7 games, with wins over the hapless Redskins and Raiders.  I don't see this one being so close at Lucas Oil stadium, Andrew Luck will have nice elements to throw and they'll win this one going away.  Final Prediction: Colts 27 Chiefs 10.

January 4, 2014: 20:10 EST
New Orleans Saints (+2.5, +125) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5, -135) O/U 53.5
Most people know by now the Saints are a team of two stadiums.  Unbeatable at home (8-0), and punchless on the road (3-5).  Might have to do with a dome, might have to do with rowdy fans, either way, it's tough picking the 11-5 Saints over the 10-6 Eagles in bad weather in Philly.  The Eagles have quietly gone 7-1 over the second half of the season, and with Foles firmly entrenched and the NFL's leading rusher LeSean McCoy, they're equipped to whip the Saints. Final Prediction: Eagles 31 Saints 17.

January 5, 2014: 13:05 EST
San Diego Chargers (+6.5, +245) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5, -265) O/U 46.5
I think this game qualifies as the one most likely to produce a playoff Week 2 loser.  The Chargers barely made the playoffs after a referee mistake against the Chiefs back ups.  The Bengals, at 11-5, have played well down the stretch (5-1 over their last 6) but have been one and done the past two years and Dalton hasn't looked the part of playoff winning quarterback.  That being said, someone has to win and it won't be the Bolts. Final Prediction: Bengals 27, Chargers 10.

January 5, 2014: 16:40 EST
San Francisco 49ers (-2.5, -132) vs. Green Bay Packers (+2.5, +122) O/U 46.5
A very intriguing matchup indeed, with the 49ers possessing 4 more wins than the host Packers.  And the weather, which will be colder than a wit--, err windy day at the North Pole.  I think this all might get in the 49ers head.  While the Niners have won six straight, they haven't played a cold weather game against a good team, and the Packers, while looking pretty bad down the stretch, now have Rodgers back (and Cobb) and are sky high after their big road win last week.  Packers also looking for revenge after last year.  Final Prediction: Packers 28, 49ers 21.

If I had to pick the three "best bets" it would be:
Bengals: ATS
Saints vs. Eagles: Under
Colts: Money Line

And one bonus pick, off the books, here's how the BCS Championship Game breaks down
January 6, 2014: 20:30 EST
Auburn Tigers (+8.5, +265) vs. the Florida State Seminoles (-8.5, -295) O/U 67.5
Florida State has simply rolled everybody, all wins by more than 2 TDs.  They've played respectable opponents in the ACC, but not the schedule Auburn had to play.  BUT, Auburn lost a game by 2 TDs and had to pull several more out in the last seconds.  The major factor here is, what happens when Florida State gets popped in the mouth, because we don't know how they might react.  Auburn will not be phased if they go down by more than 2 TD, FSU might get phased.  But, I think Florida State looks more like the SEC teams that have won in the past (can run or throw and play defense) vs. the Auburn spread running attack and lack of defense.  This one goes to the 'Noles.  Final Prediction: Seminoles 41, Tigers 31.

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