Last week overall: 2-2
Last week ATS: 1-3 (-700/+45%)
Overall picks: 172-92 (.652)
ATS Picks: 136-113-7 (+$2960)
Lock picks: 12-5
Upset picks: 35-36 (+1668)
Other: -100 (Seahawks 20:1 to win NFC)
Conference Semifinals Recap: Remember last week how I made 1090 in 4 games, nailing a 5 unit, a 4 unit, a 3 unit, dropping a 2 unit and nailing my +110 upset? Well this week I gave a lot of it back. In total I lost $780. I lost $700 or 45% on my ATS picks, won $20 going 1-1 on 2 upsets pick, and lost my longshot 20:1 Seahawks to win NFC bet.
I nailed a 4 unit (GB +2 over ATL), but dropped a 2 unit (NE -9 over NYJ), a 3 unit (BAL +3.5 over PIT) and barely dropped my 5 unit (SEA +10 over CHI), but Pete Carroll decided not to give his team the best chance to win by going for two down 12 late. I got GB +120 over ATL but not SEA +375 over CHI. Overall, I’m still in the positive for the playoffs and I’m still up close to 3K on the year, but this week did hurt.
Random Eric Mangini Notes: How awkward is Eric Mangini on ESPN? Who thought this was a good idea? Mangini was one of the most awkward coaches in the league on the sideline. Who thought he’d make a good ESPN commentator. They made the same mistake with Jon Gruden even though he looks like the type of creep you’d see staring in your window late at night. I can’t help wondering if this is ESPN’s way of making it up to the Mangina after this incident.
Also, I’m mad Eric Mangini was telling everyone how to beat the Patriots on national television last week. I know what you’re thinking, it’s the Mangina, he’s harmless. Well, for one thing, he was our defensive coordinator for a season and defensive backs coach for 4 under BB. He knows the organization well.
Second of all, he was the man responsible for “revealing” Spygate. I put revealing in quotation marks because I believe he knew the whole time while he was with the Pats that they were doing that type of thing, but choose not to say anything until right around the time he became Head Coach of the Pats’ divisional rival. But he’s the good guy in this whole thing. Yeah. Right.
Third of all, he gave Brady and the boys a 34-14 bitchslapping in Cleveland earlier this season. Now he’s on TV telling everyone how to beat the Patriots and a week later they lose at home in the playoffs to the Jets, who lost 45-3 last time the two met. Those 4 things can’t be coincidences. Mangini knows our secrets. He has it out for us. He’s effectively beaten us before. And worst part, ESPN was in on this conspiracy the whole time. It’s a conspiracy I tell you!!!
Projected Super Bowl Lines:
Green Bay -4.5 vs. NY Jets
NY Jets -1 vs. Chicago
Pittsburgh -3.5 vs. Chicago
Green Bay -3 vs. Pittsburgh
Green Bay Packers 28 Chicago Bears 13
Spread: Packers -3.5
Pick against spread: Green Bay 3 units (+300)
I had the Packers winning the Super Bowl before the season started. I’ve thought highly of them all year. I know have them winning the whole thing again with my Patriots out of it. Meanwhile, I have said on numerous occasions that I don’t trust the Bears. I don’t trust the Cutler/Martz combination with this line. They’ve had too many ugly performances this year for me to bet constantly heavy on them because you really never know when they’re going to shit the bed.
However, I’m not a fan of this line. The Packers are -3.5 favorites in Chicago. I really feel like Vegas is overrating them after their 27 point win over the Falcons. As good as that was, that was just one game. This line would be about -9 or -9.5 if it were in Green Bay which is ridiculous.
That being said, I’m going with the Packers. I’d feel more confident if this line went back down to 3, because I can this one being decided by a field goal, but I’m not betting against the Packers right now and I haven’t liked betting on the Bears all year.
The Packers matchup well with the Bears. Their pass rush destroyed Cutler last time and if they could have gotten anything going offensively in that week 17 matchup, that would have been a blowout. Now they have Rodgers on top of his game and a new found running game led by James Starks. In their week 3 battle in Chicago, Green Bay only lost by 3 despite committing 18 penalties. That’s pathetic on the Packers part, but even more pathetic that the Bears didn’t destroy them.
Aaron Rodgers is on an otherworldly tear right now. Since week 9, he has completed 73% of his passes for an average of 9.1 per attempt and 22 touchdowns to 2 picks. In the first three playoff games of his career, his stats are eerily similar, 73% completion, 9.2 YPA, 10 touchdowns to 1 pick. He’s finally got a good running game supporting him and this team had the NFC’s highest point differential even without a good running game all season. If you can get this line at -3, I’d say 4 units. Worst that happens in that case is a push.
Pittsburgh Steelers 19 New York Jets 17
Spread: Pittsburgh -3.5
Pick against spread: NY Jets 2 units (-220)
I went back and forth between Pittsburgh and the Jets trying to pick a winner. Here’s the case for the Jets. They beat Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh earlier this season. As I said last week, teams who win a non-divisional game against a certain team are 17-10 straight up in a same site same season rematch since 2002. That number is 4-2 when the win was on the road (Atlanta/Green Bay did buck this trend last week). They could carry over the momentum from beating the Patriots last week. They looked better than the Steelers did last week. The Steelers only beat the Ravens because the Ravens beat themselves with turnovers and drops. The Steelers are also only 3-4 against playoff teams this season (2-3 when Ben’s the lineup), whereas the Jets are 6-3.
The case for Pittsburgh. They didn’t have Troy Polamalu last time these two met. They almost led a last second drive to win that one anyway. The Jets can’t make it personal like they did with the Colts and Patriots. There’s no revenge factor with Rex Ryan and company seem to thrive on. If anything, that win in Pittsburgh earlier this season could hurt them in this one. Big Ben is the more experienced quarterback with 2 Super Bowl rings already.
I decided to go with Pittsburgh to win. Their case was a little stronger. I do think that win in Pittsburgh hurts the Jets a little and the addition of Troy Polamalu will really help the Steelers confuse Sanchez. However, you saw how close the arguments were. These are two evenly matched teams. They’re also two low scoring, defensive teams so this one will be close.
I think we’re getting a gift getting 3.5 points with the Jets. I’m not going to bet heavily on them as small underdogs because I do like the Steelers to win, but I’m taking the Jets. One trend to take note of, the Jets are coming off a straight up win as 7+ point underdogs and are still underdogs. That’s a lucrative trend in the regular season, but even more so in the playoffs, 6-2 ATS since 2002.