Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 1/13/12

After a 4-0 start to the 2012 NFL Playoffs, I don’t even know what to say. Not to mention if you’re following the unit system those were some big plays. Let’s just get to the games and try to keep on winning.

New Orleans Saints (14-3) @ San Francisco (13-3)

Inside the numbers:

Teams that score 40 or more in the playoffs are 3-18 ATS the following week since 1996

Teams coming of playoff byes are 12-20 ATS since 2003

Drew Brees is 32-18 ATS off back-to-back wins

The only way to beat Drew Brees or any other elite quarterback is to find a way to somehow put immense pressure on the quarterback without blitzing. Luckily for San Francisco, with the rock solid front seven that they have they seem capable of putting the heat on Brees. The reason New Orleans was able to beat up on Detroit so badly was due to Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory establishing the ground game. San Francisco simply won’t allow this.

While most people consider this a game of offense versus defense, the other two sides of the ball aren’t as inept as people think. Since their bye week, the Saints have allowed only 4.2 YPC, so anyone expecting Frank Gore to prance across the field will be in for disappointment. Still, this doesn’t mean the 49ers won’t be able to move the ball. The Saints aren’t great at getting pressure on the quarterback so Alex Smith should have a clean pocket to work with.

Weather does not seem like it’s going to be an issue this weekend so this spread seems entirely too high to me.  If it was in New Orleans you move the line 6 points, give the saints an extra half point for being in the Superdome and that’s -10. The 49ers are simply a far better team than Detroit. San Francisco finished the season 11-3 ATS.

The Vegas Edge: San Francisco (85% of the money on New Orleans)

PICK: SFO +4 (3 units)

Denver Tebows (9-8) @ New England Patriots (13-3)

Inside the numbers:

Playoff teams winning SU as an underdog of 7 or more are 7-4 ATS the next week since 2002

Teams entering the playoffs on a 5 or more game winning streak are 1-7 ATS coming off a bye since 2002

John Fox is 7-2 ATS in the playoffs

Tom Brady is 103-69 ATS as a starter, 8-11 ATS as a starter in the playoffs

What’s remarkable that most sports anchors in the news are missing is that although Tim Tebow only had 10 completions all game, he was able to put points on the board quickly and had no need to pass more. And although Pittsburgh was missing some players on D, their pass rush was still intact and their secondary still posed threats in Pro Bowlers like Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor. If Tebow was able to pick apart Pittsburgh, imagine what he could do to New England’s D?

I still see Brady being great in this game, but it’s not like he will be unstoppable like the Saints in the Superdome or anything. They have the talent to put up points, but with Von Miller much closer to 100%, I expect this to be a close one.  Here’s why I like Denver: Brady is 15-22 ATS as a home favorite of -9 or more, and an even worse 6-16 ATS in these contests since November 2007.  Also going against New England is the fact that teams entering the playoffs with a 5 or more game winning streak are 1-7 ATS coming off of a bye since 2002.

The Vegas Edge: NONE (51% on New England, 49% on Denver)

PICK: DEN +13.5 (4 units)

Houston Texans (11-6) @ Baltimore Ravens (12-4)

Inside the numbers:

Baltimore is 2-6 ATS as favorites of 6 or more this season

Teams coming off wins of 21 or more at home in the playoffs are 3-8 ATS the following week since 2002

While most people consider this game T.J. Yates versus Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and Ed Reed, if the Texans are going to score they are going to need to get Arian Foster going against a defense that ranks 2nd versus the run. Still, Yates will have to be able to get the ball moving when the defense gives him opportunities throughout the game. Andre Johnson is a week healthier and Ray Lewis isn’t 100% so it may be a close one.

In order for Baltimore to score points on offense, which isn’t going to be as easy as people think, Cam Cameron has to not be an idiot and remember to get the ball to Ray Rice. This won’t be easy either. The Texans defense deserves some credit as well, 9th versus the rush (4.01 YPC), 2nd against the pass (6.2 YPA), and tied for 4th in sacks with 48.  If Joe Flacco can tough it out for a majority of the game and Rice gets his touches, I don’t think Houston can contain the little guy for a full 60 minutes.

The Vegas Edge: Slight edge to Baltimore with 56%

PICK: HOU +7.5 (1 unit)

New York Giants (10-7)  @ Green Bay Packers (15-1)

Inside the numbers:

Giants are 31-17 ATS on the road since 2006

Aaron Rodgers is 33-17 ATS since 2009

Like I said about the Saints game, the only way to beat elite quarterbacks, in this case Aaron Rodgers, you have to be able to put immense pressure on the quarterback without blitzing. Fortunately, the Giants have in my mind three of the league’s best defensive ends in Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, and Jason Pierre-Paul. This core group should have no problems getting to Rodgers. Even if they get to him, however, the New York secondary has had a bad habit of giving up the big play. It will be crucial for them to avoid this on Sunday.  The Giants can also stop the run well allowing only 3.5 YPC over the past 4 weeks.

On the other side of the ball, Eli Manning was able to throw all over the Packers last time these two faced off. Manning went 23-40 for 347 yards, 3 touchdowns, and one pick back in Week 13.  The Giants have too many weapons on offense that I don’t see the Green Bay D being able to stop them. Yes, I know Green Bay has an explosive offense as well, but looking back on the principle I’ve used for both Brees and Rodger, I think it’s fair to use it for Eli”te” Manning as well. And Green Bay doesn’t have the defense, unlike both New York and San Francisco, to stop him.

The Vegas Edge: The Giants are a popular upset pick this week (76% of the money on New York)

PICK: NYG +7.5 (3 units)

-Kaye

 

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pete Carroll refutes report that Kam Chancellor will miss rest of season

Pete Carroll not ruling out possibility Kam Chancellor injury is career-ending

Top prospect Anfernee Simons may enter NBA Draft

Kam Chancellor will miss remainder of 2017 season with neck injury

It's all on Russell Wilson as injuries decimate Legion of Boom

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Simone Biles criticism leads to apology from Gabby Douglas

Lonzo Ball explains why he skipped Lakers-Suns fight

Dale Earnhardt Jr. shares early-career regrets

LaVar Ball downplays President Trump’s role in helping son

Philip Rivers cleared to play Sunday against Bills

Simone Biles blasts Gabby Douglas over response to sexual abuse post

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

The 'An I, Tonya for an eye (or knee)' quiz

Should the Broncos make Tyrod Taylor their next quarterback?

15 mid-majors you need to know before you hear about them in March

NCAA college football 2017 Week 12 predictions

NFL Week 11 predictions

Follow Ben Simmons as he leads us to the NBA's unknown future

The Saints flipped the script to revive their season

The 15 best and 15 worst MLB signings of the last decade

The 'It's a major award!' quiz

Vikings' unnecessary quarterback conundrum is Mike Zimmer's doing

Time to admit the Blues are good, but can they be great?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Is Jerry out of his league?

15 mid-majors you need to know before you hear about them in March

The 'An I, Tonya for an eye (or knee)' quiz

Should the Broncos make Tyrod Taylor their next quarterback?

The 15 best and 15 worst MLB signings of the last decade

The 'It's a major award!' quiz

Follow Ben Simmons as he leads us to the NBA's unknown future

The Saints flipped the script to revive their season

NFL Week 11 predictions

NCAA college football 2017 Week 12 predictions

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker