by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
Last Week 3-3 Yearly Record 52-36-2
Last Year Weekly Record 12-6-3, Overall Record 72-50-3
Mr. Over/Under: Seattle-GB Under 47
In the 2019 Wild Card playoffs, three of the visiting teams were winners. In last week’s Wild Card playoffs, again three of the visiting teams were winners, Buffalo being the only visiting loser. In the 2019 Divisional playoffs, every home team was a winner and 3 of them covered the spread. So let’s look at a couple of this week’s divisional games.
Kansas City’s defense allowed an average of 11-points per game for the last 5 regular season games. That was the best in the NFL. With KC having a week off to rest and the O/U with Houston being 51, I like the under.
However, the game that intrigues me is Seattle at Green Bay. Green Bay is expecting a snow storm this weekend. I think Seattle is the only team that might upset the favorite, but statistics say Green Bay’s defense will win the game. If you take the last 5-weeks of the regular season Green Bay only scored one-point more per game than Seattle. The difference is in the defenses. Green Bay allowed an average of 14-points per game while Seattle allowed an average of 27 points per game.
Cold weather, a possible storm, and a strong Green Bay defense should keep this game under also. So which under do I prefer? Assuming tough weather conditions in Green Bay, I like Seattle/ Green Bay under 47.
Man in Stripes: Seattle +4 over Green Bay
The Seahawks have been Road Warriors ALL SEASON .. 8-1 SU, 8-1 in last 9 as a road dog, 11-3-1 ATS in last 15 away from the Great North West!!! That includes last weeks 17-9 win at Philly.. Russell Wilson has been on a mission, DJ Metcalf was a men among boys last week, and look for him and Tyler Lockett to feast against a mediocre Packers secondary.. And another week of practice for Beast Mode, Marshawn Lynch , will help as well.. Defensively , Jadeveon Clowney and Co., will have to limit the running of Aaron Jones.. The Pack might be the worst 13-3 team in NFL history, won several games against bad teams they should not have.. 2 against the Lions, 1 vs. the Redskins to name a few..The weather will not bother Wilson and Co. as well, they win this game outright, but I will take the 4 points.. just in case..
Mono: Clemson +5.5 over LSU
The defending champs get a shot at the Heisman trophy winner and the hottest team in college football. Dabo and the Tigers wouldn’t want it any other way. They’ve thrived in this position every year they’ve won it. This year is a bit different. Joe burrow is the real deal along with that defense. But I think this is the biggest test LSU will face this year. Trevor Lawrence has been there, and even with a down regular season he showed last week he can carry the team. I’m expecting a chess match in the beginning, but I believe the first score will open up the game. Dabo said it best: ”I can’t go against a defending champ” ultimately getting a touchdown.
Brutal: Under 51.5 James Madison/North Dakota ST
We’re taking the Under 51.5. Both teams have dominated the league for the last ten years and go 1-2 in total defense in FCS. North Dakota St. is number one in rushing, but James Madison has the best run defense. James Madison has a more balanced attack, but NDSU is number one against the pass. This game has a plethora of three and outs and lots of punting written all over it. Just three weeks ago, NDSU beat Illinois State by just 9-3, and JM only beat Northern Iowa by a score of 17-0, so both teams can be stopped even when they win.
The weather should be clear in Frisco, Texas, but these teams should still neutralize each other perfectly in a tight contest that will be low scoring like football games played during the Eisenhower Administration.
Bob Gaughan: San Francisco -7 over Minnesota
Let’s break this down in the simplest form. Niners have a few edges in this game. SF has the better QB. I don’t trust Kirk Cousins. I especially don’t like Cousins on the road. I know he just won in New Orleans but the history is lightening won’t strike twice. San Francisco has a great defensive line that I believe will neutralize the rushing attack of Dalvin Cook at the Vikings. Without the strong ability to run it will all fall on Cousins. This is the same Minnesota team that we all thought couldn’t win on the road against a good team until last week. One win doesn’t change my mind. I believe I have the better QB, better defense and home field advantage. I’ll lay the points.