Predictions / Odds Wild Card Games 2013
That 2012 Beltway (Nationals-Orioles) World Series never got off the drawing board when the Orioles and Nationals flamed out early in the playoffs.
How about one better – a Beltway-flavored Super Bowl next month in New Orleans?
Not likely, of course.
Both the Redskins and Ravens are long shots to even get to the conference championship games, but a strong argument can be made that they are a decent parlay pick when they take the field this Sunday on Wild-Card Weekend.
Baltimore is a solid 7-point favorite at home against the Colts and playoff virgin Andrew Luck. And there are already signs that Luck is a different quarterback at home or in a dome that he is on grass.
The kid who is vying with Washington’s Robert Griffin for the rookie of the year award has had three chances to beat a good team on grass, and lost all three:
1. In the opener in Chicago, he threw three picks and the Colts lost by 20.
2. At New York in mid-October he threw two more interceptions and Indy lost by 26 to – of all teams – the Jets.
3. Against New England in November, Luck was intercepted three times by a then-porous Patriots secondary and the Colts went down, 59-24. [soliloquy id=”82219″]
Now the Colts travel to Baltimore, where they take on a Ravens team that rested many of its starters in Week 17 and will be emotionally charged due to Ray Lewis’s announced intention to retire.
Just as on-field handshakes are being consummated in Baltimore, the Seahawks and Redskins will be kicking off a mere 30 miles away in Landover, with all eyes on rooks Griffin and Russell Wilson.
Seattle gives 3 in this one, as oddsmakers seem to have come to the conclusion that the Seahawks’ combination of offense (170 total points in their final four games) and defense (fourth in the league overall) trumps their inconsistent (3-5) play on the road this season.
Can the Seahawks stop Griffin III from making big plays? Maybe. Seattle had to face only one mobile QB this season – Carolina’s Cam Newton – and the Seahawks won that game, 16-12. But the Panthers offense was struggling big-time when that game was played in early October, and Griffin and the Redskins have moved the ball on everyone in winning seven straight.
The Redskins did most of their damage against the NFC East in that streak, but did beat Baltimore (which at the time was playing solid D). Griffin had a tidy game against the Ravens – 15 for 26 and one TD, and Alfred Morris ran for 126 yards.
If those numbers can be replicated, the Skins should win outright and bettors can cash 13/5 on a Baltimore-Washington parlay.