I have no clue. Let me warn you about this right off the bat. If you're coming here looking for expert advice on who to pick and what to bet this weekend, you're off base. I don't really know. Sometimes I like to pretend I know, and pass it off as expert knowledge, but my game-picking skills have gone downhill recently.
Nevertheless, I will make picks, and I will defend them, and I will keep track of how I do this post-season, and I encourage you to do the same. I will even keep track of your records for you, and perhaps I will put together a fancy-ish chart showing standings. I will be picking against the spreads and the over/unders for the playoff games. You can put your choices (in the form of game scores, please) in the comments section. (I am using the spreads/over/unders from the pool I participate in on officefootballpool.com. When I refer to 'betting money' on a game, that's what I'm referring to...not illegal gambling. Thank you.)
Without further ado:
WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE (SEA - 3.5, 40.5)
As it stands right now, this is the only game I feel comfortable putting money on, and it might be the only game that is adversely affected by weather. It should be rainy/snowy/mixy in Seattle at gametime Saturday, but that doesn't really bother me too much. It always rains in Seattle, and the Seahawks know how to play in the rain. Washington did pretty well against Dallas in the rain last week. So I think both teams will be able to score. I also feel that Seattle is pretty strong at home, and Washington has had a strong ending to its season, but I don't think it will be strong enough. I say:
JACKSONVILLE AT PITTSBURGH (JAX -1.5, 38.5)
These two teams met not too long ago, and it was the Jaguars, 29-22. I like this Jaguars team (much better than the last Jaguars playoff team), but the Steelers always surprise me. I know that they're playing without Willie Parker. but they have the type of system where they can plug in another back (I just don't know that they have 'another back'). In the end, I find the home underdog too tempting to pass up, and I also think the defenses will have a field day on another potentially sloppy field in Pittsburgh:
NEW YORK GIANTS AT TAMPA BAY (TB -2.5, 39.5)
One thing I've been watching closely this year is the idea that a home favorite by less than three points is the bookies begging you to take the home team. It seems to be the case - more often than not the 2-and-a-half-point home favorite doesn't only fail to cover, but the underdog wins outright. So I'm taking the Giants to win for no other reason than that. I don't have a good handle on either of these teams, but I think they're close. It could be either a boring 10-7 game or a very exciting game with some scoring. I'll say:
TENNESSEE AT SAN DIEGO (SD -9.5, 40.5)
I don't think Tennessee belongs in this post-season. This should be Clevelend...but they bombed against Cincinnati, so here we are. Could be some rain in this one, but I think the Chargers are on a mission to show that they can win a post-season game, at home, and the Titans are caught in the crossfire. And for this week, at least, the Chargers will look dominant:
Remember, put your picks in the comments section. I'll keep track. I have taken to liking this 'predicting the score when picking games' thing....do you remember a year ago when I picked the exact score of the Seahawks-Cowboys playoff game? That's the thrill of picking this way. (Of course, I didn't guess it would happen by Romo dropping a snap on a kick...but you can't win them all.)
FANTASY UPDATE: I feel a bit bamboozled. I thought I signed up for fantasy golf in time, but I missed the first round of the first tournament. Yahoo! was giving me the scores in the round as though I was participating, but I wasn't. Oh well. Looks like Justin from NYC and the Southern Bureau are in the same boat....but that one missed round is really going to bother me all season long.