Ernesto the Prediction Iguana went .500 again last week, hitting with the Patriots, but astonishingly losing the Packers +10.5. That leaves the playoff totals at 6-3-1 (1-3-1 in teasers...BLEAH). Happily the season totals are a more respectable 67-24-3, 23-16-3 in teasers.
Here’s Ernesto’s final pick of the year before he goes back into hibernation for another long winter->spring->summer. As always we do two-team teasers here, so you can move the lines six points either way. We use the numbers from Vegas Insider. HOME TEAM IN CAPS.
SUPER BOWL LI
Patriots (+3) vs. FALCONS
FALCONS-Patriots OVER 53
It’s going to be a reply of Super Bowl XXXVIII where the Panthers gave the Pats all they could handle, only to fall late by a field goal. By moving the line, you actually GET New England and a field goal (so you push the bet in case they lose by three).
We’ve never seen anybody do to Pittsburgh what Tom Brady does to Pittsburgh. Receivers were running down the field completely uncovered; it’s like a Jedi Mind Trick. “You don’t want to cover that guy.” And the Steelers didn’t even out-physical them. If you're gonna go down, at least go down swinging.
I wasn’t totally sold on New England and all that “this is a special team” jazz until I saw that game plan. How can the Falcons prepare for that? They see the Pats so rarely to begin with, and with Belichick being football’s rejoinder to Bobby Fischer, they’re in deep water. They will have to play a perfect game against the Pats, but I think they’ll make one mistake, where the Patriots won’t.