HOU will need a lot of things to break their way to beat NE on the road. HOU O will need to be near flawless, I just can't see them having much success running or passing ball on NE D. This could be a laugher which is won't be good for the last game of the weekend
BAL D will face DEN O where the no-huddle is a staple. DEN will get TDs, I'm wondering if BAL D will be gassed by Q4. DEN D will have a much easier time vs BAL O which seems to lack an identity. BAL O needs to run more, they'll be facing an even tougher DL and secondary, pts may be hard to come by in this game for BAL.
GB is near full strength and their O is looking potent, they'll score on SF D
SF O needs to run and run more. They'll need to play keep away from Rodgers and Co. to have a chance to win. GB D stopped MIN run O, but MIN O blocking isn't as diverse as SF O blocking schemes. SF QB Kaepernick will need to have his best game yet this season. I'd give SF more of a chance if DL Justin Smith plays
SEA and ATL maybe without their best DE's in Clemons and Abraham, thus running game should be more effective for both teams. SEA CB Browner looked suspect after coming back from four game PED suspension. I expect SEA to be getting points. I'd take the road dog
Update with lines:
01/12 4:30 PM
109 BAL 45½ Under
110 DEN -8½ *
BAL coming off emo high and will need to play keep away (run, run and more run) to beat DEN
When DEN QB Manning was with IND he had a clear advantage over BAL
during play offs - see http://pfref.com/tiny/04b9E
and regular season http://pfref.com/tiny/BcY4j
note: season 2011 Manning did not play
DEN D is probably the best D that Manning has ever played with
01/12 8:00 PM
111 GB 45 *
112 SF -3 over
just thinking if GB D can stop SF run O they win this game
01/13 1:00 PM
113 SEA 46 *
114 ATL -2½ UNDER
Both D may be w/o their best DE
Both teams are run first, but SEA is more so than ATL
This is a strength on strength game - SEA D vs ATL O
but the more important matchup maybe SEA O vs ATL D
I'd give ST edge to SEA
01/13 4:30 PM
115 HOU 48½ UNDER
116 NE -9½ ***
HOU by far has been playing the worst of all the remaining teams, very difficult to take their side even with 10pts
Opponents Win-Loss (W-L) records - results and upcoming games:
Last weekend teams that had the tougher regular season schedule based on opponents W-L record went 3-1 SU/ATS
The lone loss was with MIN who announced a new QB 90 min prior to game. QB Webb had not thrown a pass during regular season, plus my guess was he didn't have enough snaps during practice prior to game. It really showed as he was either late with throws or made some very inaccurate throws
This week the tougher regular season opponents W-L matchups are:
BAL (-2) @DEN (-22)
GB (4) @SF (2)
SEA (2) @ATL (-40)
HOU (-2) @NE (-2)
So BAL and SEA have clear advantages
GB has a slight advantage
and its a tossup between HOU and NE
AFC division capsule: http://nfllabor.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/afc-divisional-caps.pdf
NFC division capsule http://nfllabor.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/nfc-divisional-caps.pdf
The BAL @DEN capsule doesn't have much meaningful stats IMO, but their is one that stands out and it's comparing the yards per game difference (O-D) 352.5 - 350.9 [BAL = 1.6yds/game] vs 397.9 - 290.8 [DEN = 107.1yds/game]. I look at it this way, BAL O will most likely sputter and DEN O will move the ball and score at least FGs, but more likely TDs.
BAL did have a tougher opponent schedule this season than DEN, but so did HOU and NE and look at their yards per game difference (HOU = 372.1 - 323.3 = 48.8 yds/g) (NE = 427.9 - 373.3 = 54.6 yds/g).
Why doesn't BAL have something similiar? I would expect somewhere around 50yds/g O-D difference, but BAL is nearly 50 yds/g below expectations and DEN over 50 yds/game above expectations.
This game will most likely be BAL MLB Lewis last game and it won't be pretty. DEN should dominate and cover the spread, if they score too much (DEN D may score off of TO's) the game will go over the total.
I would normally expect a close game with HOU @NE, but HOU O has been sputtering this past month and NE will have Gronk back. Unless NE TE's get the dropsies, this game will be another run away game, hopefully staying under the total.
Looking at the GB @SF game in the same light, SF has an edge (GB 22.6, SF 67.4) but with QB Kaepernick at the helm, they just aren't as effective and the offense doesn't run through TE Davis with RB Gore a solid threat. Add in the injury to Justin Smith and SF w/o the combo of Smith & Smith (Alex, Justin) will not be able to reach their lofty goal.
GB appears to be returning to full strength, can you really look at this game in any other way? Sure SF has 'home field advantage', I just don't it'll be enough to get the win.
SEA @ATL, yards per game difference SEA 44.4 ATL 3.5, SEA is near expectations, ATL is far below, couple this with tougher opponent schedule (see playoff teams W-L record comparison) and SEA is the clear choice.