So, it’s the playoffs. Which means things are all crazy and new in the NFL. So it only seems appropriate we make things all crazy and new here at Bet the Farm, too! How, you ask? With a brand spanking new playoff contest! How does it work? I’m glad you asked, because it’s a bit different than what we did during the regular season.
– Each week we’ll list the current point spread and total for each playoff game when this goes live. Those are the spreads/totals everybody will use for their picks that week, no matter when they pick (even if the spreads/totals change officially).
– You must make one wager on each playoff game. You can wager either the spread or total, but not both, for any single game. You must bet every single game during the postseason.
– You get one point for each Wild Card and Divisional Round game you guess correctly, two points for each correct Conference Championship Game, and four points for the Super Bowl. However, you will make each of these wagers the week of that specific game.
– Once during the playoffs, you may identify one game as your “lock.” If you get that game right, you get four extra points. You only get one lock for the entire playoffs, so the maximum final point total is 20.
Standings After Wild Card Round
King Daddy Crunch: 4
Josh Carey: 1
Darth Ripken: 0
* Indicates a player used the Playoff Lock.
** Tom, you might want to double check the rules for the playoff contest.
Official Bet the Farm Wild Card Round Lines:
Seattle -8 vs. New Orleans; O/U: 46
New England -7 vs. Indianapolis; O/U: 52
Carolina PK vs. San Francisco; O/U: 42
Denver -9.5 vs. San Diego; O/U: 54.5
Josh Carey’s Picks
Seattle vs. New Orleans UNDER 46: Give the sportsbooks credit, they freaking nailed the spread on this game. So I’m avoiding that one like your best friend’s drunk sister at a party. So what are our possible outcomes here? Seahawks blowout? That looks something like 34-10. Tight game decided on a field goal? 23-20. Solid Saints win? Something like 42-17. Considering that last option is by far the least likely, I’m happy to take the under on this one.
Indianapolis +7 vs. New England (Playoff Lock): The Andrew Luck narrative frustrates the crap out of me. Because his defense sucks, we’re suppose to think that he’s the next Aaron Rodgers just because he leads a bunch of comeback drives? Right now, Luck’s career QB rating is right around that of Jason Campbell and Jake Delhomme. Solid starters at points, but nobody you wanted to hitch your wagon to. His completion percentage is in the range of Drew Bledsoe and Kyle Boller. So, I hate this narrative with every fiber of my being.
But I also think the football Gods are out to punish me for this belief. And that Indianapolis will once again play another close game they should have no business being in. And the Legend of Andrew Luck will continue. And it will bug the crap out of me. But if I’m going to want to punch my TV screen during the game, I might as well have my Playoff Lock on the line to back it up (it also helps that my math says I’m getting about five points on this spread).
Carolina PK vs. San Francisco: How the heck do I know? This will probably be a game decided by a field goal, and who knows who ends up with it. Whatever, take the home team. This is a crapshoot (and I always feel better when I can only share one pick with Zorboss).
San Diego +9.5 at Denver: I’m not a big fan of the whole “Peyton Manning can’t be successful in the playoffs” narrative, but the math does seem to back up with his playoff game log suggests – even when his teams do win in the playoffs (after the Wild Card round, anyway), the margin is usually not overwhelming. So I don’t think it’s at all disingenuous to suggest that Denver wins by a touchdown or two field goals, but misses out on covering a very large spread.
Playoff Record: 1-2-1
New Orleans +8: Finally, the Saints won me a bet on the road! Yippee ki yay, melon farmer! New Orleans lost by 27 points earlier this year in Seattle, so why would I or anybody take them again a month later? Well, a month is a long time even for time travelers. Seattle finished the season at 2-2 and their offense has hit a hitch along the way. Even with the dynamic duo of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, they still lack an explosive and constant weapon down the field. Drew Brees is a world beater in the NFL and +8 may be the real answer to life, the universe and everything. Saints 27 Seahawks 26.
Indianapolis +7: I’m still speechless five days after the Colts legendary comeback; what I’m not lacking are fanatical hand gestures and the written word. Awemazing! I know, I should be using real dictionaired words. I loved the line swing on the weekend to +1 Indy, and I hope many of you took advantage. Y’all know I’m going to take the Colts but what you don’t know are my top three favourite Colts games of all time: 3) January 4th, 2014, Colts use the second greatest comeback in playoff history to beat the Chiefs; 2) November 15th, 2009, Colts stop the Patriots on fourth-and-two and score at the buzzer to win 35-34; 1) October 6th, 2003, down 21 points with 4 minutes left, Peyton Manning leads the Colts to an improbable rally to win in overtime 38-35, and taunters received the most satisfying ridicule the next morning! Anyway, Indy keeps it close even with their subpar defense. Colts 31 Patriots 28.
San Francisco PK: Three of the teams I bet on last week went on to win, yet I only cashed in on one bet against the spread. Unlike the rest of the games this weekend, this game features two quarterbacks who use their feet as much as their hands to pilot the offense; they took the literal definition of ‘football’ and ran with it. Toe to toe, not much separates these two teams as they both bring stout defenses to the table. The reason I am taking the 49ers in this game is because I feel they are a leg up on receiver talent. So, I will ride the west side once again and hope my bookie doesn’t turn into my real life heel! 49ers 23 Panthers 17.
Denver -9.5: Is there such a thing as the look-ahead game in the playoffs? Peyton Manning, if victorious, will face his old team or his old rival in a winner goes to the Super Bowl showdown next week. And isn’t the entire nation and NFL rooting for that scenario? 118% yes. Scary. I can see Denver starting off slow in a low scoring tight first half, then using their football skill and instinct to gallop into championship weekend. I love the revenge and vindictive angles when betting and this becomes the basis for most of my picks this week. Broncos 42 Chargers 22.