2013 NFL Conference Championship Predictions

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Last week is here.

I was 4-0 outright, 2-2 ATS; a moment of frustration, I had NO +7.5, had I written the prediction the following day I would have gotten 8.5 and covered.  It's a minor lament, I'm 5-2-1 ATS for the playoffs so far, one shouldn't complain.

AFC Championship
Denver -4.5 NE

I've been planning on taking the Patriots; the line opened at 7 and the public has driven it down to 4.5.

At that point, I sell.  Denver's been solidly better this year and even with the many Bronco defensive injuries I don't think NE scores enough points to beat them.

Super Bowl 47 1/2
SF +3.5 Sea

I'm also picking the Niners to win outright.

That's not supported by the metrics I use; if the Carolina game was exactly flipped, with the Panthers dominating us to the degree we beat them, I would not consider taking Carolina to win this game.  I picked Seattle/Denver to be the Super Bowl before the season and before the playoffs.

But pick against the Niners in the NFC Title game - nope; I don't use the "eye test" - but that's what this is; without Harvin I don't see Seattle's offense with the ability to exploit our corners, which is really the only defensive issue we have.  Our front 7 can get push against the middle of that Seattle line; we held Rodgers under 200 yards passing and shut out the Panthers in the second half - add in Wilson throwing for a hundred yards at home against that Saints secondary, and I think it unlikely they're able to blow us out.

Making it a close game - adding Crabtree (there isn't yet a lot of concern reported about his health, but if he doesn't practice Wednesday I'll start to be worried) really changes our offense, a team hasn't taken away Crabtree and Boldin and Davis at the same time.  If there's a team who could it's Seattle; they're the best team in the league - but we don't have to score a ton of points, just move the ball (get that OL push all game, wear them down, pop Gore in the 4th quarter) hit a crucial big play, and be able to win late. That's been the formula for the team for weeks.

It's partially home team colored glasses; this is a soft analysis as opposed to relying on the metrics I always use.  In the long run, you use those metrics; they demonstrate who the best teams are.  Regardless of how this game turns out, the best team in the NFL in 2013 was Seattle.

But I'll say we beat them anyway 23-21.

Looking ahead, the NFC is giving 2 1/2 in the Super Bowl, consider that and consider the money line as well - there isn't a configuration after this weekend where you shouldn't feel comfortable with the NFC Champion winning the Super Bowl.

I have two more pieces coming for the other place later this week.  I'll post links here.

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