2009 Season NFL Football Past Picks

January 10, 2010

This pick was released to clients on December 31, 1969 at 9:00PM ET.


Baltimore at New England

Sunday 01/10 01:00 PM Eastern

3 units on New England -3.5 (-110) (risk 3 to return 3)  RESULT: loss

3 units on Game Total UNDER 44 -115 (risk 3 to return 3)  RESULT: loss

The New England Patriots once again find themselves playing in January, and once again playing host. Despite winning 11 games last season with a backup quarterback, they missed the playoffs. As a result you can bet they are pumped to be here and will be looking to make the most of it. And unlike the last time they were here, they have something to prove in 2009. They aren't getting the respect they have gotten in years past, as shown by this line and the lack of media attention. By some accounts, they don't deserve it as they posted what looks to be a good, but not great, season. They went 10-6 and never seemed to be among the league's elite as the attention went to Indy, New Orleans, San Diego and Minnesota. But, let's l ook a bit deeper. New England's six losses this season came to some pretty good teams, or teams playing very well. They lost to Denver early on when the Broncos were playing very good football and in the midst of their 6-0 run. They lost to an Indianapolis team that could have gone 16-0 this season if they so chose. They lost to a 13-3 New Orleans team as well and posted a fairly meaningless loss to Houston at the end of the year. They didn't have any really embarrasing losses on the year, and most importantly, they really took care of business at home. More on that in a minute. Some will point to the loss of Wes Welker as a problem here. As good Welker he is, this offense is more systematic than player-dependent. Julian Edelman, in less than a full game last week, came in to grab 10 passes for 103 yards. He also performed very well when we filled in for Welker earlier in the season. He's a dropoff, but not enough to make a huge difference. If this game were in Baltimore, I might like the Ravens. But it's in Foxboro and that is very important. At home this season New England was an absolute juggernaut. They went 8-0, outscoring opponents 31 to 13 in the process. That's a margin of 18 points per game. The last time they lost at home with Tom Brady under center was 24 games ago, on November 12, 2006! Let's not forget who we are backing here. This team still has Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Randy Moss playing at home. In years past, that would command a TD+ line but we lay only a field goal here against a team that was 3-5 SU and 3-4 ATS on the road this season! Baltimore was actually outscored by their opponents on the road in 2009. Why so much respect here? The Ravens are tough against the run, but are vulnerable to the type of air attack they will face here. The Ravens faced six top QBs this season in Phillip Rivers, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Big Ben. They lost five of the six games, including the last five straight. The Pats usually win the games they are supposed to. Over the past fifteen years, they are 23-5 ATS vs. teams at .500 to .600. They are also 22-10 ATS over that span at home vs. good defenses (those allowing 17 or fewer points per game). With "The Hoody" in charge, this team is 67-53 ATS as a favorite and 30-16 ATS when coming off a loss as they are here. I like the Pats to get it done and win and cover. I also like the UNDER. The weather is never warm in December in Foxboro, and it will be cold and windy for this game. There have been eight playoff games played here this decade, and the totals mark sits at 6-1-1 to the UNDER. The average points scored in the eight games has been 36. I don't expect this one to get past 40 either. Six of the eight games have failed to get past 38, and five of the eight have failed to get over 33 points. On a another note, the Pats have now played 11-2-1 UNDER in their last 14 playoff games at home and they are 10-5-1 UNDER overall this season. Under Belichick, the Patrios are 18-5 UNDER after the mid-way point in the season vs. teams that average 24+ points per game (he finds ways to take away an offense's strength). I'm going with New England and the UNDER here.

Ravens 24 0 3 6 33
Patriots 0 7 7 0 14



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