Weekend picks: January 9-11

We’re down to the final eight teams in the NFL playoffs. I got three games right last week, with the one I missed being the Ravens/Steelers. It’s amazing how big of an impact one player can make, but I think the loss of Le’Veon Bell was the X-factor in that game.

Instead of just picking the NFL playoffs, I’m going to choose 8 games this week – the four NFL games, the FCS/FBS championship, and Alabama/Auburn basketball. Here are the picks, don’t get mad if you get rich.

NFL

Seattle Seahawks (-11) Carolina Panthers
Green Bay Packers (-5.5) Dallas Cowboys

New England Patriots (-7) Baltimore Ravens
Denver Broncos (-7) Indianapolis Colts

I expect all the top seeds to win this weekend, but the lines are a bit big for my liking. Green Bay should crush Dallas at Lambeau in the cold weather, and Seattle should win, but Carolina is playing well right now. The Ravens are a great playoff team, so I think they can give the Patriots a bit of a fight, but the Pats are too good. Denver still has the edge out in the cold weather, but Indianapolis is a strong looking team, and Andrew Luck is on fire.

NCAAF

FCS Championship – North Dakota State (-6.5) Illinois State

FBS Championship – Oregon Ducks (-5.5) Ohio State

In the FCS championship, NDSU is looking to roll again, and although Illinois State defeated Northern Iowa and NDSU lost to them, I don’t know if Illinois State can pull it off. Should be a good game, but NDSU wins by a TD. In the FBS title game, Oregon just looks too dominant. Despite the loss of Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (which didn’t hurt them last round), and now WR Darren Carrington, Oregon should still be able to win this easy enough. Ohio State is more for real than anyone thought after beating Alabama, but I’ll take Marcus Mariota over anyone.

NCAAB

Tennessee (-2.5) Alabama
Auburn (-6) Missouri

I’m still trying to figure out how Auburn beat Xavier, and Alabama lost so bad. Despite Alabama’s far superior record, Auburn has probably the best win of both teams. The Tigers are at home against Missouri, so I can see the -6. Missouri has fallen hard in basketball. Alabama is an underdog at Tennessee, but only because of being on the road. UT has wins against K-State and Butler, and their losses are all to great teams. Alabama has taken a major step forward from last season and had Wichita State and Iowa State against the ropes late. I think Alabama can pull this one out, but it will be close.

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Jon Lunceford is a sports media broadcaster and digital professional. Jon is a graduate of the University of Alabama school of journalism, and played football at Birmingham-Southern College. He has also won two AHSAA Football State Championships while at Homewood High School and was a two-time World Cyber Games Team USA representative. He currently hosts Primetime on WJOX 94.5 and runs the high school athletics site JoxPreps.