Who am I?

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.

Follow me on Twitter: @lhd_on_sports

Labels

LHD_PotW (275) NFL (109) MLB (107) NCAA (96) NBA (50) NFL Playoffs (47) NHL (41)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

2016-17 NFL Divisional Playoff Preview

How 'bout dem Cowboys!
Once again, J.R. Ewing owned the playoff picks in Wild Card Weekend.  Joined by new Blog partner "Bulldog Babe" (@bulldogbabexo) you were wise to take in the advice and win.

Gamblers summary (only for J.R. Ewing, not sure BB is old enough to legally give gambling advice yet)
Straight Up (4-0): +400
ATS (3-1): +190
O/U (2-2): -$20
Total: $570

This assumes a $110 bet to win $100 on 50/50 props, S/U has $100 on underdogs, money line to win $100 on favorites.

Bulldog Babe's debut was impressive
After all favorites and home teams winning in the Wild Card Weekend, the Divisional Playoff round will feature all eight Division Champions.  Home teams will have had a bye, however last week's winners all won by 13 points or more.  And each game is a rematch of the regular season, with only one of the four being in the same venue.

We're glad to have Bulldog Babe back this week to break down each of the matchups.  Will she take her Steelers?  Does she have an upset up her sleeve?

 J.R. Ewing's Cowboys will see their first postseason action while Bulldog Babe's Steelers want to continue their momentum!

Lines and spreads are from CappedIn.com, a great website to track picks and play along for fun.  Amazing how up to date data they have (with very informed members).

January 14, 2017: 16:35 EST
Seattle Seahawks (+5, +190) at Atlanta Falcons (-5, -220) O/U 51.5

Seattle Seahawks (11-5-1)
Last seven games:4-3
Road: 3-4-1
Against Playoff teams: 4-1 (1-1 on road)
Key Injuries: Earl Thomas (out)

Atlanta Falcons (11-5)
Last six games: 5-1
Home: 5-3
Against Playoff teams: 2-2 (1-1 at home)
Key Injuries: None

Previous matchup (@Seattle): Seahawks 26, Falcons 24.

J.R. Ewing prediction
One of the most intriguing match ups of the weekend because the Seahawks have been there, done that in the playoffs lately, but the Falcons have yet to parlay a good regular season into a Super Bowl berth.  A little baffling that the Birds have not played many playoff teams, and don't have a very good record.  Also not extraordinary at home.  I think they find a way to win, but it remains close.  Their regular season match up went 26-24 Seahawks in Seattle, I'll turn that score around here.

Final Prediction: Falcons 26 Seahawks 24.

Bulldog Babe prediction:
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks won in dominating fashion last weekend against the Detroit Lions, as expected. It will not be that easy this weekend, as they head cross country to Atlanta to face Matt Ryan and the Falcons in the NFC Divisional Playoff. The offensive line for Seattle is going into this game knowing that the defense for Atlanta isn’t too great, so that gives them some confidence already. On the offensive side for Atlanta, they are ranked #2 overall and Matt Ryan has had probably his best season to date. Wide receiver Julio Jones is healthy and he will be a strong factor for Atlanta. My prediction is, this will be a flip flop game with a lot of surprises bound to happen. With that being said, I have the Falcons taking this one.

Final Prediction: Falcons 35 Seahawks 27.

January 14, 2017: 20:15 EST
Houston Texans (+15, +975) at New England (-15, -1500) O/U 44.5

Houston Texans (10-7)
Last five games: 4-1
Road: 2-6
Against Playoff teams: 3-3 (0-3 on road)
Key Injuries: J.J. Watt (out), Lamar Miller (probable)

New England (14-2)
Last seven games:7-0
Home: 7-1
Against Playoff teams: 4-1 (2-1 at home)
Key Injuries: Rob Gronkowski (out), Danny Amendola (probable), LaGarrette Blount (ill)

Previous matchup (@New England): Patriots 27, Texans 0.

J.R. Ewing prediction
The most talked about line of the week because it is so large.  I believe calling the Texans frauds is unfair, they beat teams like the Chiefs and Lions in the regular season.  But they were awful on the road, and their awful scoring differential is a result of blowouts.  The reason they get blown out is that the only way they can win is to get a lead and rely on that defense.  If they get behind, it's "Katy bar the door."  Get Katy ready, because when the Patriots jump out quickly, the Texans won't have the weapons to respond.  An easy win and cover for the Patriots.

Final Prediction: Patriots 27 Texans 6.

Bulldog Babe prediction:
The Texans escaped the Raiders last weekend, but this next game for them will be their true test. They are off to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Playoff. I don’t see this game being a heavy weight battle. The Texans have come far this season despite all of the injuries and shake ups at numerous positions, but the Patriots have just a little more juice on them as much as I hate to admit it. I say this one will be a blowout, Patriots win.

Final Prediction: Patriots 44 Texans 14.


January 15, 2017: 16:40 EST
Green Bay Packers  (+4.5, +175) at Dallas Cowboys (-4.5, -205) O/U 51.5

Green Bay Packers  (11-6)
Last seven games: 7-0
Road:4-4
Against Playoff teams: 6-2 (1-1 on road)
Key Injuries: Jordy Nelson (doubtful)

Dallas Cowboys (13-3)
Last four games: 2-2
Home: 7-1
Against Playoff teams: 3-2 (1-1 at home)
Key Injuries: None

Previous matchup (@Green Bay): Cowboys 30, Packers 16.

J.R. Ewing prediction
We might be having a different conversation of Jordy Nelson were healthy, but he's not.  The Packers also have a very suspect defense and don't play incredibly well away from home.  The fear of the Cowboys pick is that they may be rusty (full 20 days since any of their key players played a meaningful game).  And the Packers are hot, while the Cowboys stumbled down the stretch (one loss was resting starters).  This Cowboys offense and defense is build for the playoffs with balance and talent.  The Packers are feast or famine.  Even last week's Wild Card Game they looked awful, then good.  No real running game, I don't see the Packers staying in this one.

Final Prediction: Cowboys 27 Packers 13.

Bulldog Babe prediction:
Last but not least, we are at this classic match up (at least I think it is). The veteran vs. the rookie. I personally am a fan of Dak Prescott, great young man on and off the field. He has had his fair share of adversity over the season, but he has proven himself as the starter for Dallas. Aaron Rodgers has had a great year as well, as I previously mentioned last weekend. Both teams have a great offensive line, but I think that Dallas has better targets for Dak to throw to (such as Ezekiel Elliott). Dallas wins this one, in a close but steady percentage.

Final Prediction: Cowboys 30 Packers 20.

January 15, 2017: 20:20 EST
Pittsburgh Steelers  (+1.5, +105) at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5, -125) O/U 44

Pittsburgh Steelers  (12-5)
Last eight games: 8-0
Road: 5-3
Against Playoff teams: 3-3 (0-1 on road)
Key Injuries: None

Kansas City Chiefs  (12-4)
Last six games: 5-1
Home: 6-2
Against Playoff teams: 3-2 (1-0 at home)
Key Injuries: None

Previous matchup (@Pittsburgh): Steelers 43, Chiefs 14.

J.R. Ewing prediction
Another intriguing game to pick because it's so close to a pick'em game.  The Steelers are red hot since a mid-season losing streak (including injury to Ben Roethlisberger) made them fight back to the playoffs.  The Chiefs likewise had to fight their way from a Wild Card to the second seed with key wins down the stretch.  I simply like the Steelers weapons (Ben, Bell, Brown) more than the Chiefs weapons (Smith, Kelce, Hill).  I'm put off also by the late season loss by the Chiefs to the Titans, it doesn't seem like they are that tough at home.  Close, but nod to the hot Steelers.

Final Prediction: Steelers 27 Chiefs 24.

Bulldog Babe prediction:
My Steelers had a great win last week, with all of the main guys healthy and just simply mowing down all of the Dolphins players one by one. This weekend, they head to Kansas City to face Alex Smith and the Chiefs. This is another rematch as these two teams met back in week 4, Pittsburgh ran over Kansas City 43-14. Now that this is a playoff match up, this will a tough one to predict, as both teams have had an incredible last few months since they last met. The Chiefs have some great targets for Alex Smith to throw to, like tight end Travis Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill. On the Steelers side, having running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown will help significantly. While it will be very close, I know the Steelers well enough to know that no matter how badly their performance is early, they are always a second half team. I have Pittsburgh taking this one.

Final Prediction: Steelers 27 Chiefs 20.

So there you have it, when J.R. Ewing and Bulldog Babe agree, watch out.  They both have the Falcons, Patriots, Steelers, and Cowboys.  There's probably something to it (combined 7-1 picking winners last week).  Again, I want to thank Bulldog Babe for her thoughtful analysis and, be sure to follow her on Twitter, particularly during the Steelers game.  Let's just say she gets into it!

Enjoy your football weekend fans!

No comments:

Post a Comment