Gamblers take note, YCS is back with some advice that will assuredly net you some cash-money this weekend. Of course, the wise betting advice would be to go against these picks (Lines from Bodog).
Indianapolis +4 at Baltimore:
Incredibly biased alert notice. Going against convential wisdom, I think the Colts travel to their former home and come away with a berth in the AFC Championship game. Peyton Manning has shown a playoff propensity for wilting under pressure. Despite going 30-38 last weekend, he managed to threw 3 INT's against the Chiefs. However, the pressure will not be squarely on Manning this time. The Ravens have won four straight heading into the playoffs, leading many to tab them the AFC favorite. Their defense looks to be on par with the dominating 2000 unit. However, an under the radar fact leads to my choice of the Colts in this game: the play of Baltimore CB Samari Rolle. While he still piled up a bunch of interceptions, Rolle was regularly beaten by talented receives this season. Likely matched up against Reggie Wayne, I look for Wayne to have a game similar to his 10 catch, 3 TD performance in Denver. Now, Manning will need to have time to exploit this favorable match-up. I look for the Colts O-Line to step up and atone last season's pitiful performance against Pittsburgh. The Colts D looked much improve with the presence of Bob Sanders in the line-up. When teams were gashing the Colts against the run this season, Sanders was sidelined with a knee injury. I'm sure Brian Billick will not abandon the run like Herm Edwards did last weekend, but look for Colts to at least contain Jamal Lewis. Also, I think the play of Steve McNair this season has been greatly overrated. I look for him to throw a key interception tomorrow that helps tilt the game to the Colts. Let the commercial filming begin, the Colts will be a step away from the Super Bowl.
Colts 24, Ravens 17
New Orleans -6 vs Philadelphia:
Like the Falcons heading into MNF in Week 3, I think the environment will totally overwhelm the Eagles in this primetime playoff game. With the city completely inebriated by kickoff, I expect the Saints to kick the Eagles in the mouth with a heavy dose of Deuce McAllister. With the Eagles in an early hole, the real Jeff Garcia will emerge again. In plays reminiscient of his Lions and Browns days, the underrated Saints D will capitalize on his mistakes and set up their high-powered offense to put the game away. Drew Brees will connect with a healthy Joe Horn and Marques Colston, and the Saints will have this game put away as Fox pans to a shot of Emeril toasting a victory at halftime. Mama McNabb can celebrate, as the Eagles will crumble without Donovan under center this week.
Saints 34, Eagles 10
Chicago -9 vs Seattle:
With the nauseating coverage of Rex Grossman, the real story on this game has been overlooked. A porous Seahawks run D will be up against the talented tandem of Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson. Both Bears backs have played well coming in, with the bruising Benson emerging as a force between the tackles. Jones has settled into a nice groove, mixing his shiftiness with a quick burst into the open hole. In a game where the conditions should be awful, I expect the Bears ground game to mow over the Seahawks defense. On the flip side, look for Bears D to game plan around stopping Shaun Alexander and force Matt Hasselbeck to beat them in inclement weather. In a driving sleet blizzard, anything could really happen. However, look for the more talented team to control things and set up a 1 vs 2 NFC Championship match-up
Bears 20, Seahawks 6
San Diego -4 1/2 vs New England:
In a closer match-up, Bill Bellicheck betters Marty Schottenheimer. The difference in coaching acumen pails to the strong edge in talent the Chargers possess. The Chargers offense with LT, Tony Gates, Philip Rivers and an emerging star in Vincent Jackson will have their way with Pats undermanned D. A much inferior Jets squad moved the ball against the Pats, but could not punch the ball in. The Chargers will not be stopped short, as the all-time leader in single season touchdowns will cross the goal time multiple times. The younger Gates will take advantage of the Pats slow, old linebacking core. Jackson should take advantage of the much smaller Pats secondary. Shawne Merriman will find his way to the Pats backfield plenty often, and it will be Lights Out for the 2006 New England Patriots.
Chargers 28, Patriots 10
Come Sunday night, I will likely be kindly recommended to stick to basketball. Until then, have at it Vegas.