a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

2011 NFL Playoff Picks - The Conference Championships

Not to be immodest.  I'm 7-1 against the spread in the playoffs thusfar.

NFC:  Bears +3.5 Packers (GB wins game) loss/win
AFC: Steelers -3.5 Jets win/win

I could easily lose both of those games; I pick them with little confidence.

I'm confident about the straight up winners (I'm 5-3 straight up thusfar); if you're following along with me, you'll know I picked Green Bay to win the NFC before the season started, picked them to win before the playoffs started, liked them getting the points last week in really strong terms, and I like them a considerable amount this week.  I do not believe there are many circumstances where the Packers lose this football game.

The line opened at 3.  At 3, I would take the Packers.  And if, for some reason, you have to play this game, wait, as I don't think it's going to close at less than 4.

I'm not going to give more than a field goal to a road divisional opponent in a conference title game.  And that's just how it goes.  The Packers are solidly better.  They should win.  And I am not investing in this game.  But the disciplined play here, if you're playing, is the home divisional opponent dog getting more than a FG in a conference title game.

This is a post that I'll edit, as I occasionally do, to reflect a late line shift.  I don't see a scenario where the line moves back to 3, but if it does, I'm taking the Packers.  Far more likely is it goes to 4.

And that should tell you why I'm giving the 4 in the Steeler game. (edit - as of Friday night, it's back down to 3.5)

The Steelers were the second best team in football this season, behind only New England, and solidly better than the Jets.  In this scenario - Pittsburgh's at home, and not facing a divisional opponent.

So - I give the 4.  I don't love it; yesterday it was 3.5 and it opened at 3, but even at 4, I'm taking the Steelers, and there's not really a number that it could get to (I don't think it goes higher than this) where I wouldn't take Pittsburgh.  Better team, at home, not a divisional opponent.  I'd rather just give 3, but this morning's line is 4.  If you can get less than that, as you maybe still can if you read this post Thursday morning,    and this is the kind of thing you do - then get in now, as it's going to 4.

(I'm rooting for Green Bay and the Jets).