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Expert Picks: NFL Championship Sunday

Cam Newton Panthers

The 2016 NFL playoffs return for the Conference Championship Round this weekend. All four home teams advanced through the Divisional Dound, a week after all four road teams won in the Wild Card Round. This marks the first time since 2004 that the top two seeds in each conference advanced.


Super Bowl History

- Betting recaps, boxscores and play by play accounts for every game in Super Bowl history, all with a betting slant.


Nobody Better At Home Than Blackhawks

Teams travelling to the United Center this season have had their work cut out for them as the Chicago Blackhawks are a league best 20-5-1 on home ice. The ‘Hawks are a perfect 6-0-0 at home in the month of January while outscoring opponents 23-9 in that span. The Blackhakws will try and cap off a flawless month at home Sunday when they play host to the St. Louis Blues.

After winning a franchise record 12 consecutive games, the Blackhawks have dropped their past two by a score of 6-1. Their 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers in their last game was the first time Chicago has been shutout since December 22.

Sniper Vladimir Tarasenko has excelled against the ‘Hawks as the 24-year old has three goals and one assist in two games against Chicago this season. Brian Elliott, who is expected to start Sunday, is 5-1-1 with a 1.86 goals against average and a .944 save percentage since Jake Allen was injured earlier this month. 

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Clippers Struggling North of the Border

The Los Angeles Clippers have won 12 of their past 14 games, but that hot streak will be tested when they visit the Toronto Raptors Sunday. The Clippers has struggled in Canada as the team is 1-5 SU and ATS in their last six games at the Air Canada Centre.

The Raptors head into Sunday’s game looking for a season-high eighth consecutive win with the team averaging 104.3 points and a scoring margin of plus-11.4 in that span. DeMar DeRozen is averaging 25.6 points per game during the Raptors winning streak and has hit the 30-point mark in each of his past three outings.

The red-hot Clippers will be looking to avenge their 91-80 loss to the Raps in their first meeting this season. Since that loss to the Raptors on November 22, the Clippers are 22-8 and have averaged 102.3 points per game. Chris Paul will look to continue his ridiculous play in January as the point guard has averaged 21.2 points and 11.6 assists per game this month. 

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NFC Title Game: CAR Cruising at Home

Cardinals Panthers Newton Fitzgerald

The NFL’s Divisional Round is in the books, and now we know the road to Super Bowl 50 will go through Arizona or Carolina. While the signal-callers in the AFC semifinals will hog the headlines this week, football fans—and particularly bettors— shouldn’t overlook the potential classic matchup brewing in the NFC. 

<h5>Shark Bites</h5>

<ul class="content-list">
<li>The Panthers are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games.</li>
<li>Carolina is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games at hom.</li>
<li>The Cardinals are 1-6 ATS vs teams with winning records.</li>

The Carolina Panthers (16-1 SU, 12-5 ATS) will welcome the Arizona Cardinals (14-3 SU, 9-8 ATS) to town in what’s looking like an incredibly evenly matched affair. The Cards opened as 3-point underdogs, which shouldn’t be particularly surprising considering Carolina’s dominance at home. 

Arizona has been profitable in this spot, however, going 6-0 SU and ATS in its last six games when tabbed as an underdog of 3-points or less. Cam Newton and company have not lost at home since November 16, 2014—a streak that reached 12 in the wake of last weekend’s 31-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Arizona went 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS away from home in the regular season. 

Totals bettors, take note: the OVER is 6-2 in the Panthers’ last eight games heading into this one. Carolina was one of the top OVER teams in the NFL this year (10-5-1 O/U). Five of the Cards’ previous seven games in the month of January have also gone above the closing total. The OVER/UNDER opened at 47 at most shops. 

Another trend that favors bettors banking on high-scoring games: Carolina (31.2) and Arizona (30.3) were the only two teams in the NFL that averaged over 30 points per game this season. 

A date with either Tom Brady and the New England Patriots or Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos is on the line for the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Considering how strong both teams are on defense, it’s looking like it’s going to come down to an old fashioned quarterback shootout between grizzled veteran Carson Palmer and young hot shot Cam Newton.

Who do you give the edge to in this game? Let us know who you’re backing in the comment section below.

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Syracuse Has Some Real ATS Road Woes

Inconsistencies has plagued the Syracuse Orange in pretty much every facet this season, but their failures to cover spreads on the road has been especially concerning for bettors. Syracuse is just 5-10-1 ATS in their past 11 road games, which includes a 2-4 record in true road games this season. The Orange will visit the ranked Virginia Cavaliers Sunday in a game that was originally scheduled on Saturday but moved following a blizzard that hammered the east coast this weekend.

Virginia comes into this ACC clash cold as they have gone just 2-3 SU un their past five games. Despite their recent struggle, the Cavaliers are still next to unbeatable at home as they have won 35 of the past 36 at John Paul Jones Arena. Malcolm Brogdon continues to be the top offensive weapon for the Cavaliers as the senior has scored double-digit points in all but one game this season and has eclipsed the 20-point plateau eight times.

The Orange enter this contest on a three-game winning streak thanks to the impressive play of Tyler Roberson. The junior has stepped his game up with three consecutive double-doubles while shooting 53 percent.

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Brady vs Manning Betting Trends

Tom Brady Peyton Manning NFL

Two of the greatest quarterbacks the game has ever seen will meet one more time as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos square off for the AFC Championship in Denver Sunday afternoon.

Early odds at online book Bovada see Manning and the Broncos tabbed as 3.5-point home underdogs for the meeting. The total is currently off the board.


Arsenal Hosts Chelsea in London Clash

Gabriel Oscar Arsenal Chelsea Premier League

Normally when Arsenal and Chelsea meet in the Premier League it’s a battle at the top the of table. But with Chelsea’s poor form this season, the Blues find themselves fighting off relegation rather than competing for Champions League spots. The two London clubs meet at the Emirates Sunday with the Gunners sitting at EVEN odds, the Blues +275 and the Draw +245.


Hochuli Slated to Work Pats-Broncos

Ed Hochuli NFL

While there is barely any room for more subplots in the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos this weekend, what with Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning set to dominate the narrative for the week, there is one note that will interest sports bettors and it involves referee Ed Hochuli.


Hammers Hope to Rebound Versus City

Dimitri Payet West Ham

West Ham had an eight-match unbeaten run end at Newcastle last weekend so the Hammers will look to bounce back with a positive showing against Manchester City at Upton Park in Premier League action Saturday. The Hammers are presently +385 in moneyline markets with City -150 and the Draw +295. Totals markets have OVER 2.5 goals -135 and UNDER 2.5 goals +110.



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