Here are this week’s picks. I’ll be using the point spreads from Yahoo! Sports. Feel free to include your picks for these games in the comments section. Good luck!
Divisional Round Record: 2-2
San Francisco 49ers (-4) at Atlanta Falcons
Colin Kaepernick had an unreal performance against the Packers, and the Falcons just barely scraped by with a late field goal by Matt Bryant. All signs point to the 49ers’ defense stifling Matt Ryan and Kaepernick having another big day. But I’m leaning the other way on this one. The Falcons finally proved they could win a playoff game, albeit it took every last second to hang on. I think the Falcons will come out with confidence and will maybe again win late with a field goal. Atlanta’s defense really will have to step up for that to happen.
Baltimore Ravens (+8.5) at New England Patriots
Here’s a tough one. Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense have been unstoppable. But these teams have had some tight playoff matchups over the years. An 8.5-point spread is huge, even with New England playing so well offensively. Joe Flacco hasn’t been to shabby either. I think the Patriots will once again represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, but the Ravens will give them a close fight.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.