NFL Conference Round Picks

And then there were four.  The Bears host the Packers and the Steelers host the Jets today to determine which two teams will be overanalyzed to death in the next two weeks before the Super Bowl.  I personally dread the dead time between the conference championships and the Super Bowl because it’s 10% content and 90% filler, but let’s not look ahead too much.

If you want a quick statistical breakdown of the games today, Brian’s game stats are a good place to look (here for the AFC, here for the NFC).  In a nutshell, Pittsburgh’s defense is better than the Jets’ and their pass advantage is bigger than the Jets’ run advantage.  So you’d probably want to lean toward the Steelers.  In the other game the Packers have a clear offensive advantage; the Bears have a better run defense but neither team can run very well so maybe it won’t be an issue.  Personally speaking I’d like to see the Packers and Steelers make it, mostly because I don’t want the Bears and Jets there.  I can’t stand big trash-talkers, and there are a lot of Bears fans where I am and it’s kind of obnoxious when they make an undeserved playoff run every few years.

And now the model predictions:

Over/under:  Both models like the overs this week.  Could Steelers-Jets be a shoot-out?  Seems unlikely; maybe it’ll be a blow-out instead.

Moneyline:  Both models think the Jets are worth a look; Mario even likes them to win.

Spread:  Both models like Chicago to cover, although Mario would stay away (his pick is too close to the line).  They disagree about Jets-Pittsburgh, but Luigi would skip out on this one.

Bill Simmons (stuck toward the end of his chat): I’m ahead of Bill by three games, so the only way he could tie me on the season is to get all three remaining games (the two today and the Super Bowl) right while we disagree about each of them.  Well, we disagree about both of today’s games.  We’ll see how they go.

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