February 4th, 2006
Yes, here it is at last. The spread is the Steelers by 4.
I think the Seahawks are a very good team, particularly their offensive line. Hasselback is a good QB, Alexander is a terrific back, and their defense is finally up to snuff relative to their offense. But I don’t think it’s enough. If the Seahawks were in the AFC, they might have been the 4th seed. But Pittsburgh beat the 3, 1, and 2 seeds–on the road, no less–to earn their trip to the big game. Is there really an NFC team–any NFC team–which could really compete with the Colts and the Broncos? I don’t think so.
So the Steelers win. But because Seattle is, in fact, very good, I think they can keep it close. Closer than 4? Tricky. I think the bookies are definitely on to something, because (1) Pittsburgh opened as a 4-point favorite and that hasn’t changed, and (2) I’m not sure I’d give five, and I’d almost definitely give three.
So, let’s go with the Bill Simmons rule. That is, only pick a road ‘dog in the playoffs (and this will be a home game for the Steelers, it’s only a few hours to Detroit from Pittsburgh and ‘Burghers will take a second mortgage to see their “Stillers” play) if you think they’ll actually win. And I don’t think Seattle will win, so I’m taking Pittsburgh and giving the points.
Of course, given my record in the playoffs, this almost certainly means the Steelers will win by a field goal.