Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Divisional Playoff Preview

The playoffs are harder to be in my opinion because some of our regular season favorites have now established themselves as very good teams (Baltimore and Carolina). They no longer are the easy picks they were during the regular season. It's interesting because I don't really feel the momentum is behind one or two teams as far as the fans. It seems like everything is almost wide open. Below are the previews and picks.

If we have learned anything in these 18 weeks it is that defense is the most important part of the football game because it is the most consistant. The last time these two teams played the combined score was 23 points. Over the season these defeneses have allowed a combined 29.5 points. Over the last three games 30 combined points. Their highest numbers are Baltimore on the road 19.2 and the Titans at home 16.6 for a combined 35.8. Only we have learned the most important numbers are the home defense 16.6 and the last three games 13.3 for a total of 30 points. I am taking the under

Spread O/U Predicted Off Avg Off 3 Def 3 Def H Projected
Baltimore (#2, 12-5) 3 34.5 16 24.2 29 13.3 10 16 Under
Tennessee (#3, 13-3) -3 34.5 19 23.4 14.3 16.7 16.6 13

The Panthers have played outstanding defense at home this season at 14 points a game. The problem is they have played some really poor teams at home. The gave up 22 points to the Lions and 23 points to the Cardinals. The Cardinals are averaging 23 points a game away and their last three and I see them scoring that amount. The Cardinals are allowing 30 points a game over their last three the same number that the Panthers are scoring over their last three and at home over the season. Therefore, I see the Panthers scoring 30 points a game.

Spread O/U Predicted Off Avg Off 3 Def 3 Def H

Arizona (#14, 10-7) 10 48.5 19 26.9 23.7 30.7 22.4 23 Cardinals
Carolina (#6, 12-4) -10 48.5 29 25.9 30.3 25 13.9 30

The Giants have played well at home only allowing 16 points a game versus an Eagles offense that has scored 21 points a game on the road including 20 the last time they played at Giant stadium. The problem is you have to go back to November for the last time the Giants allowed less than 20 points, I expect the Eagles to score 20. Injuries to the Giants offense has caused problems and their offense is only scoring 20 points a game over the last three. The biggest problem is the Eagles defense is only allowing 10 points a game over their last three one of our favorite indicators. In fact the Eagles defense has been great since the 36-31 loss against the Giants on November 9th. Only allowing more than 14 points once in a 48-20 victory over the Cardinals. I think the Giants would be lucky to score 17 points.

Spread O/U Predicted Off Avg Off 3 Def 3 Def H

Philadelphia (#7, 10-6-1) 4 40 18 26 24.3 10 14.8 20 Eagles
NY Giants (#4, 12-4) -4 40 22 26.7 20.3 22.7 15.6 17

The last time the Steelers allowed more than 13 points was November 9th and that includes a contest with the Chargers. Vegas is predicting 16 points for the Chargers so they obviously understand how good the Steelers defense is, 14.4 points at home and 13.9 over the year. I would agree with 16 points or have a hard time finding a fault in that number. The Chargers are allowing 21 points a game over their last three. The Steelers are averaging 19 points a game over the same period. I am having a hard time with this game, I see the Steelers at 21 points. So we are about equal with Vegas but since we have a gamlbing problem and want to place a wager its time to look at the intangibles. They all seem to point in the Steelers direction: an extra week off, the top defense in the league, crappy playing surface, Norv Turner. In the end it comes down to the fact that Norv Turner's regular season record is 77-95-1, I am going Steelers.

Spread O/U Predicted Off Avg Off 3 Def 3 Def H

San Diego (#13, 9-8) 6 38 16 27.2 38.7 20.7 19.3 16
Pittsburgh (#1, 12-4) -6 38 22 21.7 19.3 13.3 14.4 21 Steelers

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