I wish I could say I find myself troubled or conflicted this week. My record, I’m sure you know, is perfect in picking game-winners (that would be 8-0) and I’m 5-3 against the point spread, thus I suppose my assurance about this week’s picks must be overconfidence and the Almighty Line will punish me. So take these with a grain of salt:
I like the Patriots plus 3 over the Colts. I just don’t get what’s happened to Peyton Manning. The similar, even more short-lived, rise and fall of brother Eli suggests there may be a Manning family sell-by date. I keep thinking Peyton’s due for a great game, but when The Line gives you Brady and Belichick as underdogs in a playoff game it’s crazy not to take them.
And I like New Orleans plus 2and 1/2** over Chicago. Despite what Philip Roth says, I can’t see picking Chicago QB Rex Grossman as a favorite. And by the way there’s nothing more annoying to me than careless misreading of my own words however trivial. Case in point the unusally-named guest over at the blog of my rival in playoff picking, Gil Roth, who is under the impression that I think Rex Grossman is Jewish.
No, as anyone reading my Round 2 post can see, all I say is that Rex Grossman could be the name of a Philip Roth character, not that the actual inept Chicago QB is a Member of the Tribe. We have enough trouble without be saddled with that. I should also point out that the line being used at Gil Roth’s blog, Chicago minus 2 1/2 is outdated, and as of Saturday morning it was 2. Could make a big difference. I wonder how he’ll deal with it if it does.
**Update Since the Sunday morning line has gone back to Saints plus 2 and 1/2 and because Gil Roth rightly pointed out we’d informally agreed to use the Friday morning line (2 and 1/2) as our guide, I’ve upodated the line on my pick (it’s still 6 hours before game time) to be consistent with my match-up with Gil. It could make a big difference and the fact that it’s slightly more advantageous to me has nothing to do with this decision. You’ll just have to trust me on that.