On Saturday we saw how important it is to have a home-field advantage. So far in the playoffs home teams won all 6 games. Here are my picks for Sunday Divisional Playoffs games.
Houston Texans (11-6) @ Baltimore Ravens (12-4), Sunday 1:00 PM (ET)
Stats That Matter
Scoring Offense: Texans (10th) over Ravens (12th)
Scoring Defense: Ravens (3rd) over Texans (4th)
Scoreability Index: Ravens (8th) over Texans (17th)
Bendability Index: Ravens (8th) over Texans (12th)
Passer Rating Diff.: Texans (3rd) over Ravens (8th)
Rusher Rating Diff.: Ravens (4th) over Texans (6th)
Ravens,the No.3 and Texans, No.4 scoring defense will battle for the right to advance to AFC Championship game. This two teams have already played in Week 6 of the regular season, Ravens won that game 29-14 despite losing the turnover battle. Week 6 seems so far away now and a lot has changed since then, mainly in Houston. Due to injuries the Texans are left with 3rd string quarterback. Even dough Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco hasn’t played great I still think he is experienced enough in playoff type atmosphere to lead the Ravens to victory against Texans. If Texans fall behind early it will be difficult for them to rally back with T.J. Yates leading the way. Ravens will put pressure on young quarterback and force him to make mistakes. Houston can slow down their pass rush with solid running game, but unfortunately for Texans, Ravens have been solid at stopping the opposing running game too. Baltimore gets the win at home and advance to conference championship game.
Moneyline: Ravens 24-17
Against The Spread: Texans (+7.5)
Over/Under: Over 36.5
New York Giants (10-7) @ Green Bay Packers (15-1), Sunday 4:30 PM (ET)
Stats That Matter
Scoring Offense: Packers (1st) over Giants (9th)
Scoring Defense: Packers (19th) over Giants (25th)
Scoreability Index: Packers (1st) over Giants (18th)
Bendability Index: Packers (4th) over Giants (21st)
Passer Rating Diff.: Packers (1st) over Giants (12th)
Rusher Rating Diff.: Giants (13th) over Packers (16th)
This too will be a game of two teams who already met in the regular season. Packers won that game but the Giants kept it close till the end. New York Giants improved since then, they got healthier on defense and are playing better each week on offense, especially on the ground. I was surprised to see Giants run all over the Falcons last week in Wild Card game. They ended up with over 170 yards on the ground with 5.5 yards per carry. If Giants can continue to run the ball the way they did against Atlanta then they can cause big problems for Green Bay, who on other hand, had their share of problems on defense. Good news for Packers is they can score on offense and with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback they will be too much for good Giants’ team. This will be Rodgers’ first home playoff game and he’ll make sure that Packers will get a chance to defend their NFC title against San Francisco 49ers.