I found a great contest and its FREE! If you know of any other good ones for the NFL playoffs let me know! I wanted to post who I am taking today and why too! Here is the NFC, but check back later and I will put up the AFC.
NFC Wild Card Game
Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals 1 / 50.5
This line like all of them this weekend are interesting as home teams are either a dog or a pick’em going into today’s action. That would indicate these teams are somewhat even.
The Cardinals had a great year as Kurt Warner regained his MVP form and they showed they have the best wideouts in the game. They clinched a home game in Arizona for the first time in forever and got the state a buzz with NFL playoff fever. They then hit the skids, getting hammered at home to the Vikings and giving up New England before rebounding late in the season against Seattle, but are they too late?
The Falcons are one of the surprise teams of the year and they have the offensive rookie of the year in Matt Ryan at QB. Michael Turner has been a stud behind one of the better yet lesser known offensive lines in football. They now take their game to the road to see if they can move forward and get a win. Matt Ryan has done well in college post season but it’s another story in the NFL. Unlike the Cardinals the Falcons ride a three game winning streak headed into the playoffs.
Backing a rookie on the road is a scary proposition but its one that I am willing to do here and it’s mostly due to Michael Turner. Teams that can run the ball pounded the Cardinals and pulled away early and with Turner running well that will free up passing lanes for Ryan using play action. In the Wild Card round being at home is not always the best thing as hosts are 8-8 and 6-10 against the spread. Arizona is just 2-7 ATS as an underdog of late. The Falcons laid down in the last game and gave up chunks of yardage on defense but if you look closer you will see they have a pretty decent defense. The Falcons defense gave a flat performance in allowing the reeking Rams to gain 400 yards and are 26-6 ATS in road games after allowing 400 or more total yards in their previous game.
Teams that rush for more yards in a playoff game are 127-40 ATS (76.0%). The team that is ahead typically will run the ball more, but still it is important to know which team can better control the line of scrimmage. Keep in mind though, that the record of this trend last January was just 6-5 ATS.
You would have to think that the Falcons will be able to run the ball better.
There are some pretty decent trends that favor the Cardinals too but I am taking the Falcons in this game.