Earth-based Humanoid “Brent Musburger” Bets on This Week’s Championship Games

2020-21 NFL Computer Predictions and Rankings NFL Forecasting Sports Betting Team News  musburger humanoid games earth championship brent based  January 17, 2020 03:06 PM by Brent Musburger:
Championship Sunday last year produced an anomaly. Both road teams won.

Before those overtime victories by New England and the Los Angeles Rams, home teams had won 10 titles in a row. I am calling for a return to the norm this year but for only one of our new champions to cover the spread.

Tennessee (O/U 53) at Kansas City (–7)

3:05 p.m. EST Sunday (CBS)

For underdog lovers, the Titans are the flavor of the playoffs. I cashed tickets backing them against the Patriots and then last week against the AFC’s No. 1 seed, the Baltimore Ravens. I’m tempted, because the Saturday divisional playoff winners are 5-1 ATS on Championship Sunday the last three years. The Titans fit that description.

Patrick Mahomes has convinced me otherwise. Broadcasting from the Raiders’ radio booth the last two years, I have watched Mahomes demonstrate why he’s the NFL’s No. 1 quarterback. In dominating K.C.’s four victories, Mahomes threw for 1,194 yards and 11 touchdowns to seven receivers. The Chiefs outscored the Raiders in those four games 143-55.

Titans backers love to point out that they beat the Chiefs in Week 10 in Nashville and that when championship games are rematches, the winners of the first games are 6-1 over the last five years. Strong stuff. But in that wild 35-32 loss, Mahomes threw for 446 yards and three touchdowns.

Mahomes is the real deal, and I believe he would have played in the Super Bowl a year ago had the Patriots not won the overtime coin flip and scored a touchdown, ending the game before the Chiefs got a fair chance. (Yes, I hate the overtime rule.)

Derrick Henry has been fabulous for Tennessee, and I’m predicting he’ll rush for 150 yards. Ryan Tannehill is the comeback quarterback of the year. Mike Vrabel is the AFC coach of the year. But Mahomes and the Chiefs will rule the day.

Chiefs 34, Titans 24. Give the 7.

Green Bay (O/U 46) at San Francisco (–7½)

6:40 p.m. EST Sunday (FOX)

Another rematch. But for this game, the first meeting was far more convincing.

The 49ers embarrassed the Packers 37-8 on the Sunday night of Week 12. For this title game, I’m listening to the rematch stat in championship games, the one that strongly points toward the first game’s winner repeating that earlier triumph.

The 49ers proved an easy cover last week against a Minnesota team on short rest. I did sweat out the Packers’ win over Seattle because Russell Wilson never exits quietly.

One big edge for the Packers: quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is a future Hall of Famer. Jimmy Garoppolo remains a work in progress.

Rodgers’s primary target is Davante Adams, who has 35 receptions for 472 yards in the Packers’ last four games. But in that earlier meeting against the 49ers, Richard Sherman held him to 43 yards.

As Jimmy the Greek would have said, this rematch features an intangible. Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur’s brother, Mike, is a member of Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers staff. If brothers think alike, did Mike’s input help the 49ers stomp the Packers earlier?

Whether Rodgers has forgiven his boyhood favorite NFL team, the 49ers, for selecting Alex Smith as their quarterback instead of him in the 2005 draft, I have no idea. But like Don Corleone in the “Godfather” classic, I can imagine Rodgers saying, “Revenge is a dish that tastes best when it is cold.” (Editor’s note: That is the quote. He did not use the word “served.”)

Perhaps cold enough after 15 years, and Rodgers is the reason I’m not giving 7½.

Packers hang tough, lose by a field goal, 27-24. San Francisco and Kansas City head to the Super Bowl.

 


Brent Musberger’s Divisional Round Game Picks

2020-21 NFL Computer Predictions and Rankings NFL Forecasting Sports Betting  round picks musberger divisional brent  Brent agrees with ff-winners  AI on 2 of 4 picks.

January 11, 2020 01:08 AM
Last week belonged to NFL playoff road teams. Three — Tennessee, Minnesota and Seattle — won outright, while the fourth — Buffalo — forced overtime before losing to Houston.

Don’t count on that happening again this week.

But there are tickets to be cashed on the road warriors because of some attractive spreads. VSIN’s Steve Makinen, editor of “Point Spread Weekly,” points out that teams that are plus-3½ to plus-9½ on divisional round weekend are 21-11-1 ATS in the last 33 games. All four road teams are priced in that range.

Saturday 4:35 p.m. EST (NBC)

Minnesota (O/U 44½)

at San Francisco (–7)

For me the Vikings are the hardest road team to back this week, and it’s all about the schedule. After their sensational performance in New Orleans, they must saddle up on a short week against a team resting and healing for two weeks. Huge edge for the 49ers, who are planning on the return of injured DL Dee Ford and LB Kwon Alexander.

The unknown is quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He has played well, but this is his first playoff start. Remember, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson lost their first playoff games last year at home. Since 2013, first-time starting QBs in the playoffs are only 6-17 SU.

Before taking a stand, check the condition of Vikings receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Thielen cut an ankle so severely in practice that he required stitches. Diggs missed two days because of illness.

I’m backing the home team. San Francisco 27, Minnesota 17.

Saturday 8:15 p.m. EST (CBS)

Tennessee (O/U 47)

at Baltimore (–9½)

Pretty simple. If Derrick Henry continues to terrorize defenses, Titans backers are cashing tickets. He smoked the Patriots for 182 yards, allowing Ryan Tannehill to win his first playoff start despite going only 8 of 15 for 72 yards.

The Ravens were upset by the Chargers in the first round a year ago, but this is a far more sophisticated offense put together by John Harbaugh’s staff. Since their bye week Oct. 27, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are averaging more than 35 points a game. They defeated four playoff teams and covered every victory except their three-point win over the 49ers.

The Ravens last lost Sept. 29, falling 40-25 to Cleveland. Thatwas 12 victories ago.

Ravens RB Mark Ingram is one of five former Heisman Trophy winners in this game. He’s nursing a calf injury, which could affect Jackson’s lethal array of option plays.

I don’t see the Ravens losing, but I like taking the 9½. Baltimore 30, Tennessee 24.

Sunday 3:05 p.m. EST (CBS)

Houston (O/U 51)

at Kansas City (–9½)

The Chiefs are the flavor of the weekend. Flashy quarterback, brainy coach and an improved defense. A year ago, they smoked Indianapolis and Andrew Luck 31-13 in the divisional round. What’s not to like?

Well, let me take you back to Oct. 13. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs roared out to a 17-3 lead over the Texans after 15 minutes. Deshaun Watson and the Texans put up 20 points before the half to lead 23-17. Mahomes and the Chiefs regained the lead in the third. And with 14:49 to play, Watson drove the Texans 93 yards, overcoming three penalties along the way and scoring the winning TD himself.

Making plays at crucial times is the key to winning football games, and we watched Watson do it again last week, trailing Buffalo 16-0 before winning in OT.

An injury concern exists with WR Will Fuller. He missed last week, and the Texans need him to balance the field with DeAndre Hopkins.

I like the Chiefs to win the rematch, but give me Watson and two scores all day long. Kansas City 30, Houston 27.

Sunday 6:40 p.m. EST (FOX)

Seattle (O/U 46½)

at Green Bay (–4)

I might pick the Seahawks to win outright except for the weather. The kickoff forecast at Green Bay is 23 degrees.

Russell Wilson’s kryptonite is a temperature below 30. In three such games, he has thrown for four TDs and six INTs, and his lone win came when the Vikings shanked a game-winning field goal as time ran out.

This game will be close because the Seahawks have perfected that art. In their 17 games, 13 were decided by one score, including last week’s wild-card win at Philadelphia.

Aaron Rodgers isn’t the Aaron Rodgers we once knew, but the Packers’ defense will leave Wilson yearning for his offseason home in San Diego. Green Bay 23, Seattle 17.

I am picking all four home teams to win just as they did a year ago, but I think two dogs — Tennessee and Houston — will cash tickets. And that’s what it’s all about. Good luck.