DIVISIONAL WEEKEND – AFC (SATURDAY)

nfl01The playoff games are going to get more exciting, competitive and fun to watch; I promise.  After Wildcard Weekend kicked off with a thud….the Machine did go 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS)….the Divisional Round has much more enticing matchups…..the exception being this dud:

Houston @ New England (-16), Saturday, 8:15 pm

Is it me, or does it feel like New England has finished the last 15 seasons with a 13-3 record (or better), with a first round bye, with home field throughout and inevitably end up hosting the AFC Championship.  I’m not even going to bother looking up how close I am, and not because I’m lazy (well, sort of because I’m lazy), but mostly because I know I’m close.

So instead of doing an analysis of both teams, and how they match-up, and who will defend whom and yadda yadda yadda, I just want to focus on one thing: -16.

Can this Patriots team really cover 16 points?!  Can the Texas keep it within two freaking touchdowns?!

I’m taking the points, because it is too many.  The Patriots will win, make no mistake.  But even if they win 27-12, it’s not enough to cover.

money-throwingLook, we all know the storylines, right?  The 9-7 Texans basically slept walked through their game against the reeling Raiders, who were down to their third string rookie quarterback making his first ever start.  Not exactly a confidence booster.  Speaking of third string quarterbacks, it was the Jacoby Brissett (remember him, yeah, me neither) lead Patriots that shutout the Texans earlier this year in Foxborough.  The betting public hasn’t forgotten that game, and has wagered a considerable amount of bank on the Pats this week.  Nearly 85% of the money has come in on NE -16.  So, if the Patriots do win big and cover the spread, Vegas will take a beating.  It’ll be a bloodbath.  Guess what, the only thing more bankable than the Patriots in Foxborough in January is Vegas winning money all the time.

This is getting old

This is getting old

I’m picturing a cold, frozen field.  The Patriots win the coin toss and Hoodie defers, because he always freaking defers.  Osweiler looks lost and the Texans go 3-and-out.  The Patriots start with excellent field positions, because they always have excellent freaking field position.  They dink and dunk, complete their first 7 passes, flawlessly execute a hurry-up quarterback sneak on 3-and-1 picking up 3 yards and eventually score a touchdown because they always freaking…..okay, you get the drift.  But after they build their two TD lead they start hammering away with Lego Blount.  They are effective at running the ball, which shortens the game (and makes a significant blowout less likely).  Now, all we need is one or two scoring drives from Brock.  I know, it’s a tall task, but not unreasonable.  Maybe the Texans defense didn’t forget their embarrassing Week 3 performance and manage to get some pressure on Brady.  Maybe they score a special teams touchdown.  There are plenty of ways they can be down by 20 points and come up with a backdoor cover (hey-oh).

So there it is.  Any given Sunday (or Saturday Night).

New England 31, Houston 17

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