12 January 2014

NFL Playoffs - Sunday Preview: SF/CAR and SD/DEN

By Pauly
New York City

We're down to 6 teams in the NFL playoffs. Yesterday both of the favorites won as Seattle and New England advanced to the next round. Depending on the number you got, Seattle gave up a backdoor cover to New Orleans. Meanwhile, New England pulled away in the 4Q to beat Andrew Luck and the Colts.

Today, there's four teams vying for a shot in their respective conference championships. Both games are re-matches of earlier meetings. San Francisco lost a nut-buster to the Carolina Cams. Meanwhile, the Denver Mannings played one of their worst games of the year when they got ambushed by San Diego on Thursday Night Football. The almighty Ocelot has a gut feeling both losing teams are going to get revenge with playoff wins on Sunday.

San Francisco (13-4 SU, 11-5-1 ATS) at Carolina (12-4 SU, 9-6-1 ATS)
Open: Carolina -2.5 and 42.5
Current: SF Pick'em and 41

The line opened with Carolina as a small favorite but money poured in on San Francisco and kept coming. Carolina was a home dog for a bit, albeit at +1 or +1.5. The line settled at a pick'em as of publication time (11am ET). The regular season line was SF -6 (in Candlestick) and Carolina won 10-9. It's payback time for the Niners.

Last weekend, the Niners won Ice Bowl II and survived the frozen tundra of Lambeau. Playing in Carolina this weekend compared to Green Bay is like going to the fucking Bahamas. But it's not exactly a holiday atmosphere. The Niners are looking to send Carolina on a quick vacation. Cam is going to sleep with the fishes.

Carolina is 7-1 at home and a stronger squad than Green Bay. On paper it's a pick'em on a neutral court, but the line settles wherever the money sends it. It's going to be one of those smashmouth defensive affairs, but SF has the better running game and a more competent coach. I'd hate to be a Panthers fan (or a bettor clutching a Carolina +1.5 ticket) in crunch time when you know Rivera is going to choke a few chickens and cost his squad the game.

The public is all over the Niners, a covering machine with a 12-2 ATS clip in last 14 games. Plus, the Niners can do it on the road too with a 8-0 streak ATS in last eight away games. Niners are on a rush with seven wins in a row, but this road weary team is playing away from Candlestick Park for the fourth time in five weeks. Michael Crabtree is Kaepernick's go-to guy and he was injured when these teams met earlier in the season. Frank Gore is the man, but he's going to face a stone wall against Carolina's stingy run D. Unless Gore brings out a few sledgehammers, it'll be up to Crabtree to bust some heads.

I smell an UNDER in this game, meanwhile the Denver/SD game will be the shootout.

Disclaimer... I jumped on the early line anticipating a significant influx of action on SF. We're happy we got a good number when Niners were getting points before the line flipped the other way. I can't even pull the trigger on a home dog. No Steve Smith? No thanks. Until Cam Newton proves otherwise, Superman is just a costume he has in the closest but he ain't going anywhere because his coach wears Kryptonite cufflinks.

San Diego (10-7 SU, 10-6-1 ATS) at Denver (13-3 SU, 10-5-1 ATS)
Open: Denver -10 and 55.5
Current: -8 and 54

Everyone and their mother is betting San Diego. Sharps, squares, pros, amateurs. The line bottomed out at -8 on Sunday morning. I know Buffalo66 liked Denver when the lines opened at -10 and he doubled down yesterday. At -8, it's hard not to back Denver. I don't care where the money is coming from. Denver is gonna open up a six-pack of whoop ass on San Diego.

Denver is 7-1 at home in Mile (Legal) High Stadium with Denver Mannings only loss against San Diego. In that ugly loss, Peyton Manning struggled in a short week. He had the sniffles and a bum ankle. Peyton was visibly hobbled, but doesn't like pain pills from Big Pharma. He's all natural... only cheetah growth hormones.

Peyton Manning lost his last three playoff games. GASP! Peyton needs a playoff win faster than Kim Kardashian needs a chocolate-covered salami rammed up her bum.

SD was damn lucky to sneak in the backdoor to the playoffs dance, then they picked off an overrated Bungles team with a Ginger QB.
Wisdom of the Ocelot

STOP betting on ginger QBs.
No gingers in this race. Sure, SD fares well against good teams (7-2 overall and 4-0 on the road), but Phil Rivers is a mook. He thinks he's on a mission from God or something. Did you see his rock-tie he had on in his post-game interview? Cowboys visiting Vegas wear shit like that rock-tie at the poker tables. We call them: Dead Money.

Peyton Manning has two words for Rivers: "JV is out back, son!"

I know that's five words, but Peyton waved me off and called an audible.

"Denver won't lose two in a row at home to San Diego," said Buff66 in his handicapping video. I'm with him.
Disclaimer... Denver has legal marijuana and I'm high right now while writing this. Glad I was able to pick up -8 this morning.


Don't forget to watch Buffalo66's handicapping video for today's NFL playoff action.

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