Only 3 games left in the NFL season. The regular season LOCKS winner, Jon Marks, is struggling big time with this playoff picks. Meanwhile, Big Game Jack Fritz finished the regular season in the basement, but is on fire in the playoffs. James Seltzer is just one game behind Big Game.
Jon Marks 3-5
James Seltzer 5-3
Jack Fritz 6-2
Let’s start with in the AFC Championship Game.
New England (-6) vs Pittsburgh
I’ve had a terrible read on the games this postseason, with the exception of the Patriots. I’ve actually been on the Tom Terrific train all season. New England was an incredible 13-3 against the spread during the regular season and added a win against Houston last week. This game, however, gives me reason to look the other way. The Steelers offense is playing very well with Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown carrying the load. The big question is whether Pittsburgh can stop Tom Brady, who didn’t play great last week. There is also this trend: The Patriots have been to the AFC title game in 7 of the last 10 years, 1-6 ATS in those games. I see this one being close, with a NE win, but not enough to cover the spread. Patriots 27 Steelers 24
Ok, here me out. I know the line seems a little too high, but consider these five facts:1. Big Ben has been terrible on the road. Seriously, he’s been bad. Here are his home/road splits:
Completion %: Home: 70.8% Road: 59.3%Yards/Game: Home: 319.2 Road:238.0Touchdowns: Home: 20 Road: 9Interceptions: Home: 5 Road: 8So, yeah…Next fact.2. Since Mike Tomlin took the helm in Pittsburgh, the Patriots are 5-2 (including a Steelers win in 2008 against Matt Cassel) in head to head matchups.3. These are Tom’s Brady’s numbers in his six tilts with the Steelers during the Tomlin era:Yards/Game: 315.0Touchdowns: 19Interceptions: 0QB Rating: 127.04. Tom Brady is 16-3 in postseason games played in Foxboro. 16-3!5. Bill Belichick (aka the GOAT) is the head coach of the New England Patriots.Based on these FACTS I am willing to ride or die with the Pats, at home with Brady and Belichick at the controls.Patriots 28 Steelers 20
The Pats played awful against the Texans and still won by 18. I’ll take a Brady/Belichek team coming off of a poor postseason performance every time. The Patriots usually find a way to take away the opposing team’s best option so the Steelers need a big game from Ben. Patriots 30 Steelers 23
Vegas had it’s worst NFL weekend ever and a lot of that was the public betting on Aaron Rodgers. The Cowboys were 5 point favorites last Sunday and when I looked at that line, it looked like a trap. Way too easy to take the Packers. I’m seeing the same thing this week. Atlanta is a strong 5.5 point favorite, even though 60% of the public is betting Green Bay. Is this another trap? I’m going to forget about the point spread in this one and just bet what I think happens. Sorry Matt Ryan, but Aaron Rodgers is the best QB in football. That doesn’t mean that Rodgers is going to win the game. I just see too much offense and too much speed on the turf inside the Georgia Dome, especially against the Packers overrated defense and horrid secondary. Rodgers performs well, but falls short. Atlanta 41 Packers 31
I spent more time thinking about this pick than any other all season. Going against Aaron Rodgers the way he’s playing right now just seems like a bad idea, but here’s my thinking: Atlanta’s offense was historically good this season. Seriously. Like, “Greatest Show On Turf” good (btw, Matt Ryan will likely win, but more importantly deserves the NFL MVP). Atlanta is playing at home in the final game ever in the Georgia Dome, which despite not working out well for the last game at the Vet (ugh), can’t hurt Atlanta’s already strong home-field advantage. The Falcons have had to listen/see a nauseating amount of media coverage of Aaron Rodgers and his epic greatness, while being more or less ignored comparatively – despite, again, having an all-time great offense of their own; fronted by this season’s MVP no less! I think that’s going to fire this Falcons team up – especially after hearing that Dan Quinn has tried to fill the team with players who graded highly in a metric that measures a player’s toughness and competitiveness (I freaking love this btw). They’re going to take all this “Aaron Rodgers is unstoppable” chatter and use it as fuel, on both sides of the ball. Lastly, and most importantly, despite Aaron Rodgers playing at a GOAT level right now, Atlanta is simply a (notably) better team than the Packers – lay the points and hope Rodgers doesn’t make us look silly. Falcons 41 Packers 34
Betting against Aaron Rodgers is always a tough task, but the Packers are just too banged up to beat the Falcons in this one. The Cowboys did a poor job exploiting the Packers defense last week and I don’t expect Matty Ice to miss the same opportunities. Plus, the public is going to hammer the Pack and Vegas got smoked last week. Expect a bounce back this weekend. Falcons 34 Packers 27