Just 8 teams remain, 8 teams with the chance of lifting the 48th Vince Lombardi Trophy. In our opinion its a Vintage year with no soft options and truly every team capable of becoming Superbowl Champions. That doesn’t make for easy tipping but it does make for exciting games and it kicks of with a belter.
Game 1 Saturday 9.35 – New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks. Temp: 50f
I put the temperature in above because currently in America that is significant. If Accuweather is right htough it shouldn’t be a factor. Yes Drew brees would prefer to play in the warm or better strill indoors but the Saints are on the raod and just at the minute they are making a good fist of it. What about this weekend though? They deservedly start underdogs.
In week 13 Peter Carrol and his Cover 3 defence, with its ability to create pressure with 3 & 4 man rushes was simply irrepressible and the Saints just couldn’t move the chains. They went down 34-7 and if you wanted to play the perfect defence game against a quality offence – this was it. The question is, can they do it again? To avoid the same result then Sean Peyton and his team are going to have to be explosive and committed to the run and that means big games from Ingram, Robinson and Sproles. The pressure falls on Robinson mostly because he is the one capable of running between the tackles and if he carries 35 times or more then that will mean the Saints are in the game. Problem is Pete Carroll knows that should be the tactic. But will it?
Sean Peyton is a genius and he just might have something special for Carroll to think about. The Saints painted the Seahawks logo on their practice pitch this week to simulate this weekend and there is no doubt both teams are up for it. Statistically both teams score the same amount of points and Russell Wilson is ruthlessly efficient at QB for Seattle scoring the same points with less yards gained. The Seattle defence concedes about 4 less points than the Saints and they have home ground advantage, normally worth another 4 points, so you can see why the Saints are 8 point favourites.
The thing is Seattle don’t have to win by 8 and for that reason we are going to tailor our bet accordingly.
My Bet : 4 units Win New Orleans + 8 @ 10/11 Sportingbet
Game 2 Sunday 12.15am Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots Temp 55f
Thankfully we also seem to have avoided the heavy snow and ice at Foxborough this weekend. It can be dam cold in New England at this time of year. However it looks ok at the moment.
For all that the weather is warmer this game doesn’t get me as hot as the previous one. Andrew Luck is an outstanding Quarterback for the Colts and last weeks pure will to win with a 28pt comeback was nothing short of exceptional. It was like one man said I refuse to be beaten and you guys are coming with me. However in Tom Brady you have a Patriots QB who has taken a team, year after year through to the play offs and this year his team was banged up injured from almost week 1 and he got them there.
The similarities are amazing. Both teams have serious injuries to key players. Both QB’s have worked out how to move the ball with other players, Both teams defences have stood up OK. Both teams concede a similar amount of points. There is a 3pt edge in pts. scored to the Patriots but other than that they look very similar.
So the question is, do you take the rising star and never say die attitude of the Colts and Luck or do you side with Mr Seen it all done it all before, Brady. I think the Patriots will win as they have that all important home ground advantage. I couldn’t back them on the handicap conceding 7 so it has to be to win the game.
My Bet 4 units win New England at 1/3 Betvictor
Game 3 San Francisco 49er’s @ Carolina Panthers 6.05 Sky Sports 45f
This game is a bit like the Pats, Colts game. On paper the two teams are very evenly matched. Not a whole lot in it on offence with, on average, San Francisco scoring just over 2 more points per game and on defence the Panthers concede 2 less points than the 49er’s which is why the game is a pick game with the bookies. So we need to look a little deeper and see who can get the job done best tonight.
On a swat analysis the plusses for Carolina are
1. They are at home + 4 points normally.
2. They qualified top of their division – confidence is high
3. Cam Newton is playing very well – exciting, dynamic, one hell of an athlete
4. Steve Smith is Back – one of the best ever Wide Receivers and a future Hall of Famer.
5. In their last 4 games the Panthers are 4-0 against the Bay boys including a win this year – what!!!!. It’s true.
On the negative Side
1. Kaepernick is a better QB than Newton – says who? He learnt a lot in the play-offs last year and he makes fewer mistakes.
2. Frank Gore is a better running back than DeAngelo Williams and running wins play off games. – Says all the figures – man he is tough.
3. Neither Vernon Davis nor Michael Crabtree played in their defeat this season. These two can play and together they make a Steve Smith – plus they have Anquan Boldin.
4. San Francisco don’t fear being on the road. Unbeaten on the road since November last year.
5. I support the 49er’s and I don’t care. Since Joe Montana in the early eighties.
So how does it break down. I think the 49er’s can get it done and I think they are the team capable of beating the Seahawks and winning the NFC and then winning the Superbowl – but then I would say that.
However I’m serious. This is a great test today for them as Carolina are an efficient side who are great to watch but they do make mistakes, with a Quarterback who does the new thing Quarterbacks do (Throw, run, tackle, win games). Thing is Colin Kaepernick does it better.
My Bet 4 units win San Francisco @ 10/11 Sportingbet
Game 4 San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos 9.40 Sky Sports W: 37f
Its been quite a ride for the San Diego Chargers who have come from nowhere to only be two games away from the Superbowl. Fate seems to have ridden with them as has more than a small amount of lady luck. However for mine the train stops in Denver. If you come from the warmer climes of California and they put you a mile up in the air, where you cant breath, in sub zero temperatures with a hostile crowd baying for Denver points and your blood its just not very nice.
That’s the environment Philip Rivers finds himself in. That’s not to say he hasn’t been here before, the problem is this time its against the best offence Denver have assembled in years. Peyton Manning is the X Factor and they have designed a team around him that simply devours yards and scores points.
Manning has over 1000 more yards than Rivers. On average the Broncos score 13 more points per game than the Chargers. Although on the plus side for San Diego they concede 3 less points than Denver. That’s still leaves a statistical deficit of 10 pts per game and 65 yards of offence per game against a team that concede 10 less yards of defence per game than the Chargers.#
The only way San Diego can win this game is if Denver put in a howler. That does happen but it wont happen tonight.
My Bet 6 units win Denver @ 1/4 Sportingbet