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Old 01-13-2006, 05:34 AM   #8
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Divisional Playoff Picks

Last week: 1-3. Postseason totals: 1-3, Pct. .250. Best Bets: 1-0, Pct. 1.000.

Home team in capital letters; point spreads (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team; selections with point spreads in bold.


SATURDAY

SEATTLE 24, Washington 14 (+8 1/2) - The Redskins showed very little on offense in the win at Tampa and sixth seeds are 2-7 against the spread in the divisional playoffs, having been outscored 303-122 en route to losing all nine games straight up. Washington's defense was somewhat better against the pass than the run this year, so Shaun Alexander could have a productive outing. But the fact that Seattle hasn't won a playoff game since all the way back in 1984 keeps this game out of best-bet territory.

New England 27 (+3), DENVER 21 - Tom Brady is 10-0 lifetime in the postseason, while Jake Plummer is 1-3, and the Broncos haven't won a playoff game since Brady was a junior at Michigan. Furthermore, the prime-time start may actually hurt Denver because it makes it more likely that the kickoff-time temperature will be 35 degrees or colder - a setting in which Brady has never lost a game in which he has both started and finished (15-0), regardless of where the games were played. In Denver's 28-20 home victory over New England on October 16, the Patriots were without the most important players on both their rushing offense (Corey Dillon) and run defense (Richard Seymour), both of whom will be in there this time around. Hard to go past a proven postseason commodity as an underdog to a team that is anything but.

SUNDAY

INDIANAPOLIS 27, Pittsburgh 16 (+8 1/2) - Doesn't Joey Porter know that the slip of a lip may scuttle a ship? Porter all but called the Colts a "finesse team" - echoing similar comments made by members of the Denver secondary about the Indianapolis receivers before their playoff meeting last year, won by the Colts 49-24. And like Washington, the Steelers are also a sixth seed, and haven't exactly set the world on fire in domes of late (3-6-2 against the spread in their last eleven, including a 26-7 loss at the RCA Dome on November 28). But questions over the emotional state of the Colts players in the wake of the tragedy involving Tony Dungy's son make a cautious approach to this one desirable.

CHICAGO 23, Carolina 10 (+3) - By winning, Carolina would become only the second Super Bowl loser in more than a decade to reach the conference championship game in either of the next two seasons following the Super Bowl defeat, and only twice previously has a Sun Belt team won two cold-weather games in the same postseason (the Rams in 1989 and the Jaguars in 1996); and to add insult to injury, this game is in the late time slot, making their task that much more difficult. And not for nothing, if the Panthers couldn't win at Chicago in November in the early time slot when the Bears started Kyle Orton at quarterback, then what sort of chance do they figure to have at Chicago in January in the late time slot with Rex Grossman starting?

BEST BET: NEW ENGLAND

Last edited by Anthony; 01-13-2006 at 06:37 AM.
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