By Dan Leach
As the NFL season heats up so does the DTM Prediction machine, which will be here for you each and every week to help you win your pick-em-pool, embarrass your friends, and just become a more whole football fan and human being. I will take a look at five games each week with the best value and rate them on a sliding “Bagels and Lox” 1-10 scale. This is where it gets serious as the NFL Divisional round comes straight at ya. Who will make it to the NFL’s Final Four? And away we go…
SAN DIEGO AT DENVER 4:40 PM EST TV CBS (BRONCOS -9.5)
We all know the score, each of the last four seasons the team that has played the Eagles in there home opener has won the Super Bowl. That team in 2013…….THE SAINT DIEGO BOLTS….does it mean anything? Probably not, but a boy can dream.
You have to hand it to Phillip Little Rivers Band and his merry men as they stormed the Queen City and rocked the Bungles, but going into Peyton’s house is a different story. Yes the Chargers already won in the Mile High City in Week 15 as part of their epic four game run to clinch a postseason spot on the last day of the season. There was no Wes Welker and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for the Broncos though and this is Peyton Manning in his Disney Land season at home.
The Chargers will keep this close but the Broncos will pull away late and win by 7 getting one step closer to Peyton Manning getting his 2nd title and staking a claim as the greatest QB to ever lace them up.
6 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE CHARGERS +9.5
SAN FRANCISCO AT CAROLINA 1:00 PM PM EST TV FOX (NINERS -1)
Yes the Panthers are only the third Divisional Round home team in the last 30 years to be an underdog and the Niners are about as proven on the road in the playoffs as you can be in the past two season, but this is not your cousins Carolina Team.
Cam Cam Newton and the Panthers have quietly been playing some of the best football in the entire NFL over the past eight weeks. Kaepernick and the Niners have been playing at a high level as well, but asking them to go on the road two straight weeks and this week beat a much higher quality opponent then the Packers were last weeks is a high task.
This is going to be a knock down-drag-out game that likely will be won in the turnover battle and all signs are pointing towards it being Cam Newton’s time to shine. Look for Cam to have a banner day and be part of at least three TD’s for the home standing Cats. -ATS stat to know- Panthers 12-1 against the number in last 13 vs the Niners.
6.5 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE PANTHERS +1
INDIANAPOLIS AT NEW ENGLAND 8:15 PM EST TV CBS (PATS -7)
Luck vs Brady, that alone gives the game the sizzle it deserves, but add what Indy did last week and what Brady did early in his playoff career and we could see a changing of the guard if the Colts are able to stun the pats in Foxborough.
How can you really trust New England with all their depth and injury issues and a defense that leaves a tremendous amount to be deserved? Well two words…Tom Brady. He continues to find a way to get it done and helped the Pats to an AFC East title and a Bye in a year where it looked like they might have issues winning their division with a strong Fins push at the end of the year.
The bottom line though is that this is not the Pats of two or three years ago, they are flawed, but still capable of winning it all. It will be hard for Luck and company to win this game, but how can you not love the job Chuck Pagano has done in Indy. This goes down to the wire and shows yet again why Andrew Luck could easily become the next Tom Brady. ATS stat to know- Pats just 2-9 against the number in their last 11 playoff games.
7.4 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE COLTS +7
NEW ORLEANS AT SEATTLE -SATURDAY 4:35 PM EST TV FOX (SEAHAWKS -8)
Seems like way to many for Drew Brees doesn’t it? That being said the Hawks are simply insane at home and aside from the late season loss to Arizona have owned Century Link Field over the past 2 years, winning 15 of 16 games at by far the loudest and hardest place to play in the NFL.
Seattle QB Russell “Duh-Dunt Duh-Dunt” Wilson (veiled Phish reference:) is fast become one of the games best and the Hawks D beats you from all angles. The Saints have been playing some aggressive and turnover making D of their own and the offense can score points as fast as you can say Dennis Rodman is in North Korea again.
This will be a slugfest and one that should go down to the wire with Seattle moving on , but the Saints giving themselves a chance to their final breath. ATS stat to know-Saints +8 biggest underdog ever with Drew Brees at QB
8 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE SAINTS +8
DTM’S ODDS TIDBIT OF THE WEEK-UP TO THE SECOND SUPER BOWL 48 ODDS
-SAN FRAN +$600
-NEW ENGLAND +$800
-SAN DIEGO +$1700
-NEW ORLEANS +$1900
Season to Date-41-25
Dan Leach recently circled the globe lofted high above the sky on nothing but a lawn chair, 800 helium balloons, and a dream, was the first human journalist to interview Dracula, is being blamed for the sub-zero temperatures around the Eastern United States due to his top secret work on a “Weather Machine,” invented time travel when he hit his head on a port-a-potty on Oct 15, 1985, and is a finalist for the first human manned mission to former planet Pluto.