Hello all. I’m going to keep this brief, but here is your guide to picking the NFL games today, according to me.
I know it’s late notice, but bare with me here.
San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons
Betting Lines: 49ers -4.5 (Opened at -2.5) Total O/U 48
This game is intriguing because Atlanta is one of those teams that nobody gave any respect to all season, saying things like, “They are fraudulent with no real good wins.” After last week, that same argument was resounding from the talking heads on the networks. The Falcons gave the game to Seattle and then nabbed it back in the waning moments to advance. On the other hand, San Francisco has been the story of the Playoffs outside of Baltimore. Colin Kaepernick, the Nevada Wolfpack kid who overthrew Boise State in his Senior season 2 years ago took the reigns of the offense when Alex Smith got hurt mid-season. Kaepernick has stormed the city of San Francisco with his tattoos and constant smile on the sideline. He dominated the Packers in the Divisional round with his legs, rushing for 181 yards and propelling his 9ers to victory.
Matt Ryan had never won a Playoff game until last week. Neither had Tony Gonzalez. Tony Gonzalez is a storyline NOBODY is discussing for some reason. The guy is a clear-cut Hall of Famer and could very well be the best Tight End to every play the game, yet NEVER won a Playoff game until last week.
The 49ers are the flavor of the week and the Falcons are the Dragonfly Ripple (Yeah, that’s a Muppets reference) where only a select few, apparently Ryan Seacrest, are buying them.
Kaepernick v. Ryan. Defense v. Gonzalez/White/Jones. Falcons v. 9ers. Who ya got?
Who I’ve Got:
Not only do I think the Atlanta Falcons are going to cover the +4.5 but I think the Falcons win this game. The 49ers have shown glimpses of being a Super Bowl contending team, but Kaepernick is young and inexperienced. The Falcons are going to game-plan for him. Not only does that hinder Kaepernick, but I believe that hinders Frank Gore’s value as well out of the back-field. When Atlanta stacks the box and runs spies to keep Kaepernick at bay it could end up burning them with Gore, but I don’t think they are going to do that as much as many. I think the dirty bird happens more often that Kaepernicking and the Falcons get the offense going with the Burner Turner on the ground and through the air with their aggressive attack. No let up at the end of the game this week.
Falcons 35 49ers 27.
If you’re following along at home, you realize that means that the total is going over. I strongly believe that with the success each offense had last week, that trend will continue. A lot of people are loving San Francisco’s defense in this game, but those are the forgetful ones that neglect to remember that Seattle’s D was better throughout the year.
Falcons +4.5 (Throw the points) and the Over.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
Betting Lines: New England -7.5 (Opened at -9) Total O/U 50
Belichick/Brady have struggled in the big games more recently than had success. Yes, they have won their fair share, but they have also come up short. Last week New England was asked to face off against a team who had the best film possible with Houston and the Texans couldn’t even cover the double digit spread. The Patriots are missing Gronk, but Aaron Hernandez is pretty good at making plays at the Tight End spot. Wes Welker and Stevan Ridley are a good combo with Brandon Lloyd and Shane Vereen stepped up big time with Danny Woodhead out last week.
The Ravens are trying to keep Ray Lewis career alive. Lewis announced he will retire at seasons end and although he has had a controversial life, his NFL career is one of the best a LB has ever had. Last week the Ravens travelled to Denver as big time dogs and toppled the Denver Peyton Mannings. A very similar story coming into this game against New England. Big underdogs. Can they respond?
Who I’ve Got
The Patriots are too good. Often times the emotions associated with making runs in the NFL Playoffs remain throughout and I think that will be the case in this game for Ray Lewis and the Ravens, but I strongly believe that the Patriots are just too good. I am picking New England to cover the -7.5 and I would have strongly considered it at -9. New England 45 Baltimore 31.
The Over is good. Take that too.
There you go. I spent all of 20 minutes on this and I’m sorry it’s not very good, but those are my picks! Enjoy the games!