Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Marc Lawrence NFC Championship Upset Jan. 19
49ers Over Seahawks by 3
This should be interesting. Yes, Seattle brings the NFL’s No. 1 defense into this fray but Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have not been playing with the same fiery intensity they used to lock up home field advantage for today’s game, especially QB Russell Wilson. Wilson may own an intimidating 16-1 SU and 12-5 ATS record on his home turf but he’s looked like ‘Little Boy Lost’ in recent weeks, failing to throw for 200 yards in the last five games and finishing 9 of 18 for a career-low 103 yards in Seattle’s 23-15 win over the Saints last Saturday. Not so for Frisco QB Colin Kaepernick, who has clearly saved his best for the playoffs, battering foes with both his arm and his legs. ‘King Tat’ thrives on the NFL highway, going 10-4 SU and 10-3-1 ATS in his brief career, and his 49ers can become the 4th team in a row to reach the Super Bowl despite having to win three straight playoff games on the road. According to our powerful database, that’s a good news-bad news scenario for San Francisco.
Good: playoff road teams who were favored on the playoff road in their previous game are 8-1 ATS. Bad: Super Bowl losers are 0-11 SU and 2-8-1 ATS as playoff dogs of 3 or more points. Even so, the Niners are the first Super Bowl loser since 1977 to make it back to a conference championship game – which speaks volumes about who they are – plus it’s the 3rd straight year Jim Harbaugh’s gold-diggers have reached the NFC
title game. Our well-oiled machine also informs us that since 1990, playoff matchups involving division rivals who lost the most recent game involving a series split have gone just 4-10 SU and 5-9 ATS, including 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS when facing a .720 or greater foe. Harbaugh owns a solid ATS edge over Carroll, too: Jawin’ Jim is 12-2 SUATS versus greater-than .700 opposition while Petey is only 1-7 ATS as division chalk off back-to-back wins, including 0-5 ATS when favored by 3 or more points. Remember, no NFC #1 seed has won the Super Bowl since 1999 – and you can’t win the prize if you don’t get there. The 49ers fi eld a pretty stout defense of their own (ranked No. 5 in the league) and with the hungry Kaepernick making all the right moves, we’ll call for San Fran to crush the Seahawks’ Super Bowl dreams in Seattle.
Marc Lawrence can also be found at Playbook.com - One Click Handicapping