Free NFL Picks – 2009 Divisional Playoffs

Written by:
Frank Doyle
Published on:
San Diego Chargers

Sports Interaction betting analyst Frank Doyle looks at the lines for the NFL's Divisional Playoffs and offers his own free NFL picks for

San Diego has never won at Pittsburgh during the regular season, but the Chargers have won both their playoff meetings with Pittsburgh - in San Diego in 1994 to go on to the Super Bowl, and most worryingly for the Steelers, in 1982 in Pittsburgh.

1982 is a quarter of a century ago - Dan Fouts and the Air Coryell offense have been in the hanger a long time since that game. But the weather in Pittsburgh was no warmer then than it will be this weekend; if Fouts could survive the cold, why can't Philip Rivers?

Possibly because the Pittsburgh defense of 1982 was in the twilight of the legendary Steel Curtain that ruled the seventies and brought four Super Bowls to Steeltown, while this year's iteration remain the baddest boys on the block. The Pittsburgh Steelers defense in 2008 is first in points, yards and passing yards. It's second in rushing yards, but it's still only giving up eighty per game on average. There will not be much change there for the Chargers. The absence of a running game has to be a worry for Pittsburgh, but not enough to prevent the Steelers putting an end to the Charger renaissance. Pittsburgh -6 with Sports Interaction is the pick.

The team with the best rushing defense in the league is the one the Steelers are most likely to see in the AFC Championship game, and the one they least want to. Baltimore is visiting Tennessee this weekend, the team with the best record in the conference, and Tennessee's veteran quarterback, Kerry Collins, has a definite edge over Baltimore's rookie Joe Flacco. But the Titans have injury concerns around the defensive line and that may give the Ravens the platform to establish the run on offense and continue to wreck their own brand of havoc on defense. Baltimore +3 with Sports Interaction is the pick.

The Eagles are another team that are raging against the dying of the light, but rage will be all they have left come the final whistle on Sunday. The absence through injury of Brandon Jacobs was a difference-maker when Philly beat the Giants at the Meadowlands in the regular season but Jacobs is back and rested for this encounter, and that man was born to run the football. New York Giants -4 with Sports Interaction is the pick.

Finally, Arizona's visit to Carolina. Arizona overcame some poor recent form to beat Atlanta but the Falcons didn't help their own cause very much last weekend. Carolina will present a much sterner test than Atlanta did, but that nine point plus line - I don't know. A much stronger bet is on the total, which Sports Interaction has set at 48.5 points. Carolina's defense isn't quite as stern as is generally believed, and both Jake Delhomme and Kurt Warner can light up the scoreboard. Over 48.5 total points scored between Atlanta and Carolina with Sports Interaction is the final pick of the week.

Frank Doyle, 

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