With seven of eight home teams winning and covering the spread in NFL playoff games, its hard to go against the grain. Minnesota Vikings on the road versus Giants seems like a most palatable play. Remember, though: the Giants win ugly, but they keep on winning, so its hard to go against success.
Minnesota 27, N.Y. Giants 17: Vikings could be at a disadvantage here should the weather be snowy or cold and windy. The Vikes have never played in the Meadowlands in January. The Giants arent loaded with talent on offense, but have an above average defense. The thinking here is how can the Giant defenders stop Randy Moss and Chris Carter?
Should New York fall behind by two TDs, it would be near impossible for them to catch up. On the premise the weather will be half decent, going with Minnesota in a dead even game.
Oakland 30, Baltimore 13: With their nemesis Denver out of the mix, the Raiders road to the Super Bowl takes on a brighter hue. Our thinking may be shallow, but its hard to see Baltimore outscoring Oakland with Trent Dilfer or Tony Banks at quarterback. Dilfer, a World League reject, will have trouble coping with Oaklands fierce pass rush. The Raiders quick-strike offense will nullify the Ravens defense. Go back to the Jets game, where QB Vinny Testeverde shredded Baltimores pass defense. Expect more of the same with Rich Gannon at the helm.
Five and a half points looks like a steep number. However, I must go with the better offensive team: Oakland.
The prediction is Oakland and Minnesota in the Super Bowl, where the Raiders will be favored by 3. Tune in next week for my predictions.