We set up Saturday’s two playoff games with ATS selections and power rating picks, including a play from tomorrow’s Colts-Broncos game!
This year’s playoffs started off on the right foot, going 3-1 ATS. This week has been a bit hectic with travel but we boiled all four games down early in the week and released the plays on Twitter and Facebook. Here are a few more details on Saturday’s matchups along with the three football power rating picks which are “live” on Division Finals weekend.
RAVENS at PATRIOTS
NFL odds for this one have been sitting on ‘7’ for much of the week and although sports betting action is leaning slightly towards the road dog (55-percent), it doesn’t seem as if there will be enough to talk books off that key number. Not for Tom Brady and the Pats; not at home.
New England’s home playoff record since 2007 is only 3-8 ATS and coming off that 30-17 win over the Steelers, Baltimore is just the third time to be rolling into Foxborough off a margin of victory greater than six points. The two previous teams to do it? Both Ravens.
Jan. 10, 2010: Baltimore (+3.5) came into New England off a 21-13 win over Oakland and the Ravens won 33-14 SU/ATS
Jan. 22, 2012: Baltimore (+7) came into New England off a 20-13 win over Houston and the Ravens lost 23-20 SU but covered ATS
The Ravens are off a solid road win over the Steelers but one of the biggest keys to that matchup is the fact Pittsburgh had to play without their top RB, Le’Veon Bell. He was their top rusher by more than 1,000 yards and second on the team in receiving only to Antonio Brown. Great win for the Ravens but against a rested Pats team, this will be a real battle. D-Co Dean Pees is a great play caller and Bill Belichick is obviously one of the greatest defensive minds of this generation. Despite Baltimore’s big play-ability and Tom Terrific on the other side, I think yards will be hard to come by for both teams.
New England has a quietly talented stable of RBs including power house Jonas Gray. Remember what he did to Indy? He’s been quiet since because he was late for a meeting (slept in) and Belly punished him. Taught him a real lesson and I’m sure it burned for him to be sitting on the sidelines, game after game. They also have LeGarrette Blount and he was a menace against the Colts last year in the playoffs but Indy was in rough shape after narrowly beating Chiefs. Shane Vereen is in the mix and I could see the Pats leaning on their run game to try and open up holes for Gronk and the big passing game. Baltimore’s defense, however, cannot be taken lightly and neither can Joe Flacco and the offense. Take the seven points here.
Pick: Take the Ravens
POWER RATING PICKS
Pick Sixty’s Wild Card Power Rating plays went 3-1 ATS with Arizona coming up short. That was a misleading number for the Cards with Ryan Lindley at QB and they proved how badly outmatched they were, setting a new NFL record for fewest offensive yards in a playoff game. The 3-1 record moves these PR plays to 26-15 ATS (63-percent) and teams off a loss are 14-5 ATS (74-percent).
Note: The only team off a loss this week is the Pats (Wk 17 to the Bills) and they are a play AGAINST team this week so that will be the end of this ‘p:L’ sub-profile for the season.
Three plays show up in the chart for this weekend; Power Rating Advantage vs. the line is noted.
Ravens +7 (4.4)
Seahawks -10.5 (5.6)
Broncos -7 (5.6)
PANTHERS at SEAHAWKS
As noted, the Seattle Seahawks are one of this week’s power rating picks and we do feel they will win by double-digits against Carolina. The Hawks have been in this spot before, they are 18-4 ATS at home off a road game and the average score in those games was 28-17. The Hawks also have a coaching advantage in this matchup and since Pete Carroll took over in 2010, the team is 3-2 SU/ATS in Week 1 (extra prep) and 4-2-1 ATS off a bye week, regular season and playoffs included. Carolina has a good D, a mobile QB and potent run game. Check, check and check on all three counts for Seattle there and they’ve got home field.
Pick: Take the Hawks