Pick 1: Dallas vs. Green Bay and Baltimore vs. New England

Pick 1: Dallas vs. Green Bay and Baltimore vs. New England

The Teaser: Pair Dallas and Baltimore

Game 1: Dallas vs. Green Bay

The Initial Line:

Dallas +6 away vs. Green Bay

The Take:

Add 8.5 points to Dallas’ line

The Final Line:

Dallas +14.5

The Breakdown:

Dallas was able to squeak out the victory at home on Wild Card Weekend, defeating Detroit 24-20. Detroit held the lead at halftime 17-7, but Dallas came storming back behind Tony Romo, who finished with 293 pass yds and 2 TDs. Terence Williams caught 1 of his 2 TDs with 2:32 left in the game to seal it. DeMarco Murray had another solid game as well, rushing for 75 yds and a TD. Green Bay locked down the #2 seed and had a bye this past weekend. They must be anxious to play at home, where finished 8-0 on the season.

Two of the best teams in the NFC will be on display Sunday at Lambeau Field. Dallas heads on the road, where they were undefeated all season. Green Bay sports an undefeated home record this season as well, but something’s gotta give. Both teams have mediocre defenses, as Green Bay ranked 15th while Dallas came in at 19th. However, both teams found success this season due to their offenses – Green Bay and Dallas ranked 6th and 7th respectively, with a difference of only 40 yds between them. This should be a tight game, but the winner may be whoever protects the ball. Green Bay ranked 1st in that category all season, but Dallas wasn’t too bad either coming it at 9th. Expect a shootout in this one, with either team having the chance to win. Feel comfortable taking Dallas with a 2 TD cushion as this one should come down to the final minutes (or seconds).

Game 2: Baltimore vs. New England

The Initial Line:

Baltimore +7 away vs. New England

The Take:

Add 8.5 points to Baltimore’s line

The Final Line:

Baltimore +15.5

The Breakdown:

After sneaking their way into the #6 seed in the AFC, Baltimore went on the road to defeat rival Pittsburgh 30-17. Joe Flacco continues to find a way to play well in the playoffs, as he threw for 259 yds and 2 TDs. Steve Smith Sr. also had a big day, catching 5 passes for 101 yds. The defense made the difference in the game however, as they turned in 5 sacks and 3 turnovers against Big Ben’s offense. New England clinched the #1 seed in week 16 with Denver’s loss to Cincinnati. They rested many of their starters in week 17 to protect them for the playoffs, likely because they have a history of star players getting injured in that game (Welker, Gronkowski).

Now by just looking at the stats, this seems like it should be an easy victory for New England. They scored the 4th most points in the league, had the 2nd best turnover differential in the NFL, and have 2 potential MVP candidates this season in Brady and Gronkowski, both of whom are healthy. However, Baltimore is one of those teams who they never want to face at home in the playoffs, as they always put up a good fight in Foxborough. The scores of the last 3 playoff games are as follows (all in NE): Bal 28, NE 13 (1/20/13), NE 23, Bal 20 (1/22/12), Bal 33, NE 14 (1/10/10). Don’t count out the #6 seed Baltimore just yet. This will be a dogfight, so take the 2 TD cushion with Baltimore as they will come to play Saturday even if NE pulls out the victory.

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