Cappers Picks Weekly Handicapping Preview – Conference Finals
It was another insane weekend on NFL Football last week – only four teams remain standing. That means that there are only two games on Sunday! My family will be happy, but truth be told, I am not all that thrilled!
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Last week, the Saturday games sunk me to a .500 record. I thought the Broncos would at least put up some sort of fight and the Saints let me an almost everybody else down.
We will be looking to build on an impressive season record of 44-33-1. So here we go with the last Cappers Picks Weekly Handicapping Preview of the season!
Divisional Round ATS PICKS RECORD: 2-2-0
SEASON ATS PICKS RECORD: 44-33-3
Baltimore Ravens (13-4) vs. New England Patriots (14-3)
Sunday, January 22, 2012, 3:00 PM ET
NFL Betting Favorite: Patriots -7.5
The underwhelming Baltimore Ravens head to Foxboro this week to take on the rolling New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. The Patriots looked absolutely dominant last week while the Ravens – they were just OK. Sunday’s match will be a classic Offense vs. Defense showdown.
We know that the Baltimore Ravens defense will show up and do their part on Sunday – the big question is whether or not the Ravens offense will do enough to outscore the vaunted Pats offense. Ray Rice will have to be the key as per usual for Baltimore – Joe Flacco hasn’t done anything to instill any confidence. But the Texans showed last week that when a defense can take Rice out of the game, the Ravens will struggle to score points. The Texans kept the game close last week and the Houston offense isn’t a third of what the Ravens can expect this week.
The Patriots are 6-2-1 against the spread in their last nine games, and the total has gone over in all five of the last five games for New England. Baltimore is just 1-4 against the spread in their last five games, and just 1-4-2 against the spread in their last seven games against New England on the road.
Look for the Patriots to do what they do – spread the ball around and create matchup nightmares for their opposition. If you cover Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez or Wes Welker or Deion Branch will beat you. Simply put, there is no defense on the planet that can keep the Patriots out of the end zone right now. There is no way that the Ravens sputtering defense will keep pace. This has potential to be a blowout!
Pick: New England Patriots -7 ½
N.Y. Giants (11-7) at San Francisco 49ers (14-3)
Sunday, January 22, 2012, 6:30 PM ET
NFL Betting Favorite: 49ers -2 ½
If you love defense then the late game on Sunday will be up your alley! Both the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers enter the NFC Championship game on four game win streaks and both are as confident as any of the four teams left in the playoffs. The defensive edge goes to the 49ers; the offensive edge has to go to the Giants. It just may be playoff experience that is the determining factor in this game.
Teams that win straight up as home underdogs in the playoffs (49ers) are 6-22-1 ATS the following game since 1985. The Giants are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 playoff road games and 7-1 ATS in their last 8 playoff games overall. The Niners are just 1-4-1 against the spread in their last six games against the Giants but are 19-6-3 ATS in their last 28 games at home. The 49ers are 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games on grass and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games against the NFC.
The Giants are finally healthy! It took 16 regular season games to finally get everyone back at 100%. The difference in the team is obvious, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
The bottom line is that the Giants defense is a huge step up from the Saints, the team that San Francisco beat last week – there is no way the 49ers will score 36 again. The Giants offense is just a notch below that of the Saints and New Orleans put up 32 points on the 49ers – New York has a chance to score some points.
New York is a team of destiny and is eerily following the same path that they took in the Super Bowl year of 2008. Eli is the January master and will lead his better all-around team to victory on Sunday. Take the surprising underdog to win outright in this one.
Pick: New York Giants +2 ½
This is the Conference Championship Playoff series of free NFL Pick articles by our experts here at CappersPicks.com. Check back with us all NFL Betting season long, and keep on winning those NFL Bets folks!