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2011 NFL Playoff Gambling: Lines | Wildcard Matchups & Predictions

NFL Matchups – Week 17

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The NFL regular season is history and we are down to the win or go home rounds of the playoffs. Wildcard weekend offers some great matchups with a couple of familiar faces and a couple of teams that have not attended the postseason party for a couple of years.

The following is a brief look at each matchup in the final week of the NFL regular season along with the current pointspread as supplied by Sportsinteraction.com.

Saturday, January 8

4:30 PM (ET)
New Orleans at Seattle (NBC-TV)
Pointspread: New Orleans -10 ½
Over/Under: 45

The Saints come into this game having lost two out of their last three regular season games after running off six straight wins. The first was a 30-24 loss to Baltimore on the road in a game they gave up 208 yards on the ground. The second was a 23-13 loss to Tampa Bay this past Sunday to close out the season. There is probably little cause for concern after last year’s team lost their last three regular season games en route to a victory in Super Bowl XVIV.

Much has been made about the Seahawks being the only team to win a division and make the playoffs with a losing record, but the key part of this equation is that six of their nine losses came on the road. Seattle was 5-3 at home this season and while it only managed to outscore its opponents by a combined three-points, Qwest Field remains one of the toughest places to play a road game.

8:00 PM (ET)
New York Jets at Indianapolis (NBC-TV)
Pointspread: Indianapolis -2 ½
Over/Under: 44 ½

The Jets made a spectacular run in the postseason last year before losing to Indianapolis in the AFC Championship. They also had the No. 1 ranked rushing offense and the No. 1 defense overall. This year they have to tackle the Colts right off the bat with the fourth-ranked rushing offense and the third-ranked defense overall.

This is not the same Colts team that cruised through the regular season and the playoffs last season to get to the Super Bowl. Injuries have decimated both the offensive and defensive lineup as Indianapolis has 12 players on the Injured Reserve list including Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, and Anthony Gonzalez from the offense and Bob Sanders from the defense. The one thing it still does have is Peyton Manning, who tends to be the great equalizer in these types of situations. NFL Betting

Sunday, January 9

1:00 PM (ET)
Baltimore at Kansas City (CBS-TV)
Pointspread: Baltimore -2 ½
Over/Under: 41

Baltimore will be looking to follow the Jets’ blueprint from last year’s playoffs; run the ball down the other team’s throats and play solid defense. The Ravens will look to a couple of Rays to get the job done; RB Ray Rice, who led the team with 1,220 rushing yards on 307 carries and LB Ray Lewis, who remains one of the most disruptive forces on defense in the league.

The 10-6 Chiefs completed one of the best turnarounds in the league after winning just four games last year. Much of the credit on offense has to go to QB Matt Cassel, who threw for 3,116 yards and 27 touchdowns, while only throwing seven interceptions. Kansas City’s defense also played a major role by finishing the year ranked 14th overall and 11th in points allowed. This biggest thing this team needs to avoid is the ‘happy just to be here’ syndrome that often accompanies surprise teams into the playoffs.

4:30 PM (ET)
Green Bay at Philadelphia (FOX-TV)
Pointspread: Philadelphia -2 ½
Over/Under: 46

The Packers come into this game with a vaunted defense that ended the regular season ranked fifth overall and second in points allowed. They are also the team that ended up losing one of the greatest shootouts in playoff history in last season’s Wildcard Round when Arizona beat the second-ranked defense in the league 51-45 in overtime. You cannot help but feel that the circumstances surrounding this game are oddly the same.

The Eagles will live and die in this game on the play of QB Michael Vick. When he is on the entire team including the defense seems to respond, but when he is off everything seems to shutdown. Vick will have had 11 days of rest since getting pounded in the loss to Minnesota so there is a good chance he will have his legs back. Crazy things have been known to happen in playoff games between these two teams and this year should be no different.

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David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.



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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.