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1. Seattle vs. New England (-1) — This is a tough pick, and you could really see it going either way. The spread is only 1, so it basically goes out the window and becomes a question of who you think will win the game. I've gone back and forth on this, but my final pick (I think) is the NFL's bad guys — the cheating New England Patriots.
The Seahawks have the best defense in this game, which is why I'd lean that way, but the Patriots' defense is pretty good too, especially in the secondary. That should allow the Patriots to devote those guys alone to stopping the Seahawks' very average group of wide receivers and allow the other seven (sometimes eight) guys to concentrate on stopping Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson on the ground. Easier said than done, I know, but if they can do it, Wilson won't be able to beat them through the air.
Also, the Seahawks have been exposed a few times this year and have provided a blueprint on how to beat them. And I'm not talking about when the Cowboys went to Seattle and dominated them. This is a much different Seahawks team. I'm talking about when the Carolina Panthers almost beat them in the Wild Card round and the Green Bay Packers managed to snatch a loss from the jaws of victory.
It's going to be a low-scoring game because the Seahawks' defense is so good and the Seahawks' offense is so pedestrian. But ultimately, before I change my mind again, I'm going with the Patriots.
Last week:0-2. 2014 playoffs: 6-4.