The Commish Online                                                                                
Week two of the playoffs is upon us.  We have survived the blitz of college bowl games and now we look around and realize there are “only” seven football games left this year.  Ten maybe if you count a few college all-star games and the pro bowl.  Why mention those?  Because, as we have talked about before, the money you win on those games SPENDS the same as Super Bowl money.  It may sound silly, but I have made money off such games in the past.  Something to keep in mind as you try to wean yourself from your addiction, clicking the remote frantically on a Sunday afternoon soon to come.  But in the meantime we have…..

Playoff week two!

The big boys get back in action this week as we have rid ourselves of all but one of those nasty “wild card” teams.  Tennessee, as predicted here, upset (sort of) Baltimore and will live to play another week, at least.  The Titans were one of my correct picks in a 2-2 week, the other being Indianapolis.  What can I say about the other two picks?  Well, Green Bay was a seven point pick and scored a touchdown at the end of a tie game.  Unfortunately that tie game was in overtime, where they don’t kick extra points (blasted sudden death!)  But I will dispense with the excuse that I could have called it a push.  Seattle shook off their road-doldrums and outplayed the Packers from the opening whistle.  Keep an eye on Green Bay.  The phrase “team of destiny” will probably be kicked around ESPN for at least the next week.  As for the last game, where I took Dallas +3 against Carolina, I found out the hard way that no matter how brilliant Bill Parcells may be, he can’t overcome Quincy Carter’s ineptitude when it comes time to make a big play.  I read something Saturday about betting the playoffs.  Never bet on a bad quarterback on the road. 

Duly noted.  Let’s see if we can make some money on this week….

Carolina at St. Louis (-7)  o/u  45½
On paper this appears to be a mismatch.  The Rams are undefeated at home and seem to score at will in the climate controlled conditions of the Edward Jones Dome.  St Louis benefited from the bye week as well.  My problem is the quarterback situation.  Marc Bulger was replaced by Kurt Warner in the last game, although it probably had more to do with the situation than any controversy.  Bulger has been inconsistent down the stretch and Martz’ abject stubbornness to play Warner means the Rams will sink or swim with Bulger.   For those of you that like the big doggie trend, this is your game, as it came through for the 15th time last week.  The trend I like better is the one where home teams in the second round win close to 80% of the time.  I’m going to play the RAMS to cover the seven and nod to the UNDER.

Tennessee at New England (-6)  o/u  37
The first thing I checked while analyzing this game was the weather.  It is going to be FREAKIN’ COLD in New England on Saturday, with highs forecast in the single digits.  Steve McNair has shown a lot of toughness so far this season, but those dings and sprains will not be helped by the frigid weather.  When you add that to the Pats’ current 12 game winning streak and stingy defense, you see the end of the season for the valiant warrior and his mates.  Take the PATRIOTS to remain undefeated at home and give a slight lean to the OVER.

Indianapolis at Kansas City (-3)  o/u  50
This game SHOULD be a lot of fun.  Two high powered offenses which can easily exploit the weaknesses of the opposing defenses.  Expect KC to pound Priest Holmes over and over at the Colts somewhat porous defensive line, and expect Peyton Manning to put up his usual  amount of lobs in the general direction of Marvin Harrison and his mates.  The weather won’t be a factor in this one.  Last week’s explosion over the Broncos had revenge written all over it as the Colts got on a roll and never let up.  I see a different story on the road this week.  The CHIEFS get it done at home and I am going to play the percentages on the total and go UNDER.

Green Bay (+5½) at Philadelphia  o/u  42
I wasn’t pleased with how Green Bay played at home last week, but that may have had more to do with the Seahawks maniacal effort.  Seattle played far over their heads on the road for the first time all season as Holmgren used his knowledge of the Packers to exploit what weaknesses he could.  Now the Pack goes on the road, where the weather will be a balmy 30 degrees in Philly on Sunday.  If the home team wins at an 80% clip in round two, it is reasonable to assume one of these games could go to the underdog.  This may be the one as I think 5½ is too many to lay with Green Bay.  Play the PACKERS and take the points, and don’t be surprised to see them win straight up.  On the total give a very slight lean to the OVER.

For The Record:
Dana Harris' Best Bets ATS:
Last week:    (2 - 2 - 0)
YTD:           (31 - 26 - 4)

Questions/comments/tomato throwing may be directed to
Round Two
January 9, 2004
by Dana Harris