2010 Weekly Predictions: Conference Championships

January 21st, 2011 - 3:01 pm

I finished with a 3-1 mark in both straight-up picks and against the spread in the divisional round last week. My goal at the beginning of the season was to try to finish 70% on the season. It was a lofty goal and it won’t happen this year, but I still have a shot at improving from last year’s 65%. I currently stand at 66.7% with three games to go.

Point spreads come from Vegas.com as of Friday afternoon.

Last Week: 3-1
Last Week against the spread: 3-1

This Week: 2-0
This Week against the spread: 1-1

Overall: 178-88
Overall against the spread: 148-111-5

Green Bay Packers (12-6) at Chicago Bears (12-5)
This game is going to come down to line play and I don’t have a good feeling for the Bears. The Bears’ defense needs to generate pressure on Aaron Rodgers with just its front four, but I have a feeling they’re going to struggle to do that. If the Bears can use a similar game plan to the one they employed against Michael Vick late in the regular season, they have a good shot. Rodgers is not only dangerous with his legs but he’s deadly while throwing on the run, meaning the Bears have to keep him in the pocket. On the other side of the ball, the Packers sacked Jay Cutler nine times in two meetings this year and Dom Capers has had the Packers defense tricking opposing offensive lines all season.
Prediction: Green Bay 23, Chicago 20
Actual Score: Green Bay 21, Chicago 14
Spread Pick: Chicago +3 1/2
Actual Score: Green Bay 21, Chicago 14

New York Jets (13-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (13-4)
Rex Ryan talked the talk and then his team walked the walk against the Patriots last week. New England, arguably the league’s best team, was stifled and couldn’t get much going offensively. I feel the Steelers will put forth a similar defensive effort this week and confuse and confound Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense. The Steelers should stretch the field and the tough secondary of the Jets and that should open some things up over the middle.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 21, NY Jets 17
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 24, NY Jets 19
Spread Pick: Pittsburgh -3 1/2
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 24, NY Jets 19