Many football fans will tell you that AFC/NFC Championship weekend is the best football weekend of the year, but the Divisional Round weekend is nothing to sneeze at. The best eight teams remain and there are four great games on the slate this weekend. And boy do I love professional football games on Saturday afternoons. The only way this weekend could be any better is if I were in Rhode Island. [I could’ve paid my rent betting against the Irish two weeks ago.]
With that said, here are The 300s staff picks for this weekend.
Papa Giorgio: I bet money line, so my picks are straight up.
Colts +165 The Chiefs haven’t won a home playoff game since January 8th, 1994. Enough said.
Cowboys +240 No LA team has home field advantage. Maybe the Raiders if they didn’t blow that whole scenario.
Pats -180 Never bet against the Pats, ever. A trick I learned over the years being the only anti-Pats staffer of The 300s is you bet the Pats. This way, if they win, you make money and if they lose, well, at least they’re out.
Eagles +270 Nick Foles the playoff legend.
Joey Ballgame: We have two action packed games per night over the course of the next 48 hours.
For the first time in a long time the AFC is an absolute crap shoot. Since 2001, save a year here or there, the AFC title game has been played by that year’s contender against the Patriots. This year it’s an honest to God four-team race. Possibly the most intriguing team out of the four is the Colts, who started out sluggish and now just seem to forget how to lose.
In the NFC, it for me really comes to the Saints and Philly. I think New Orleans has enough on both sides of the ball to negate the late cancellation of Nick Foles’ vacation two years in a row.
Indy +4.5 / Over 54
Dallas +7 / Over 49
LA Chargers +4 / Under 48
New Orleans -8 / Under 52
Indy vs KC Its going to be a cold night with the possibility of more snow coming down so who does that benefit more? I know the Colts have developed a strong running game behind Marlon Mack over the latter part of the year, but I just don’t have a lot of faith in a dome team going out and winning in a cold, sloppy Kansas City. The Chiefs have been a high powered passing game in particular, which is the kind of offense that doesn’t typically do well in poor weather. However KC has been more of a big play offense rather than a timing based offense and are the No. 1 seed coming off a bye so I have to go with the Chiefs winning and covering the 5 point spread on Saturday.
DAL vs LAR The Rams are the No. 2 seed in the NFC and got off to a blazing 8-0 start before finishing 13-3, including 2 losses in December. The 3 losses they had this year? Philadelphia, Chicago, and New Orleans; all playoff teams. I think we see a high scoring game, but the Cowboys will lean on Ezekiel Elliot (1,434 rushing yards and another 567 receiving yards on the season) to take advantage of the Rams’ porous run defense, which allowed 5.1 yards per carry during the regular season. The Cowboys will kick the trend of playoff flameouts over the past 20 years and give us the biggest upset of the NFL playoffs thus far.
NE vs LAC We discussed this at length on The 300s Podcast the other day, but I have the Patriots winning by a FG and continuing the trend of Philip Rivers unable to top Tom Brady. Patriots won’t cover, but they’ll advance to their EIGHTH straight AFC Championship game.
PHI vs NO The Saints have been one of the consistently best teams in the NFL this year and as impressive as the defending champs have been with their backup QB, I think this is where the legend of Nick Foles finally dies. Philadelphia won’t be able to keep up with a well rested Saints team playing at home in the dome. (-8) is a big spread though so I have the Eagles covering with the Saints winning by a TD.
Indy +4.5 / Over 54 This Indy team looks like it’s a team on a run with a healthy Andrew Luck. KC is a good team but with a young QB they still might be a year or two away.
Dallas +7 / Under 49 I like the ‘boys and Zeke in a grind-it-out win.
LA Chargers +4 / Under 48 As I said on the podcast I think the Pats win but it’s a tight one. Call me crazy, but I have feeling Gostkowski misses bunny tomorrow too.
Philly +8 / Over 52 I have a hard time seeing a good team getting blow out at this time of year. Saints win but it’s not a laugher. Also, gotta like the over indoors.