The regular season has come to a close and despite the wackiness of week 17 the Tycoon went 3-1 last week and hit the Lucas Lock of the Week. This moved the overall Free Money Picks to 14-8-1 and the Lucas Lock of the Week to 4-2.
This week with only four games to pick I’m going to forego the normal format and use a new system. I will pick all four games and rank them in order of confidence. We will go ahead and call the last game the Lucas Lock of the Week. As always * denotes the home team.
Denver* -9 over Pittsburgh
Conventional wisdom would say the Steelers roll here. Tebow has been nothing short of terrible as of late. Perhaps more troubling is the performance of the once stingy Denver defense. It hasn’t been the same since Von Miller injured his hand. However Pittsburgh will be playing without Rashard Mendenhall (ACL) and Ryan Clark who can’t play in altitude. Nine points with those two out and Denver at home? Too many… I think.
Still Not Betting Much
Cincinatti +3 over Houston*
The Texans backed into the playoffs with three straight losses. In fairness, the most recent was a throwaway game in which they played backups. Still, the Texans starting quarterback will be an injured T.J. Yates. Hard to get excited about the Bengals but I think asking a banged up rookie QB to win the franchise’s first ever playoff game is too much.
New Orleans* -10.5 over Detroit
I think I feel pretty good about this one but I hate that half point. It sets up for a backdoor cover when the game has already been decided. That said, New Orleans is 8-0 at home this season and has only won one of those games by less than 10.5. They beat playoff teams by an average of 18.5 points at home. That includes a 31-17 win over Detroit. On the flip side, anyone remember the Seahawks last year?
Lucas Lock of The Week
NY Giants* -3 over Atlanta
The first three lines were tough but it’s the playoffs, It’s not supposed to be easy. However, someone screwed up here. Nice to get easy money when there are only four games on the slate.
Where does the confidence come from? Atlanta is a fraud. They went 4-4 on the road in the regular season and their record against playoff teams was 1-5. They made their season and reputation off beating up bad teams.
To be fair, the Giants also have only one win against a playoff team.This is where you have to look beyond statistics.This Giants team is not the same one they played the majority of the season with.
Ahmad Bradshaw is back and at least healthier. The Giants were 7-3 when Bradshaw led the team in rushing in the regular season. They were 2-4 when he didn’t. That isn’t to say he was always impressive running the ball but it adds another, much needed dimension to their offense.
More importantly, the Giants D line is healthy meaning they can use their full rotation which is lethal. This makes the Giants 29th ranked pass defense much less of a problem.