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NFL Conf. Championships Betting Trends

The New England Patriots are bucking several trends/angles being a road favorite against Denver in the AFC Championship Game.

Away teams have lost 10 of 14 times in the conference championship games during the last seven years. The Patriots are 1-5 against the spread (ATS) during their last six road matchups, losing straight-up to the New York Jets and Miami in their last two. New England also is 1-5 ATS during its last six conference championship finals.

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NFL Conf. Championships Odds Analysis

Funny what one-half of a football game can do to a betting line.

The NFL betting markets likely would have been looking at an opening number of Carolina minus 4 or 4.5 against Arizona following the first half of the Panthers-Seattle game when the score was 31-0 in favor of Carolina.

But when the Seahawks fought back to score 24 unanswered points in their 31-24 Divisional Round Playoff loss this past Sunday, oddsmakers opened Carolina as just a field goal favorite at home against the Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game. The total is 47.

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Exact Super Bowl 50 Result Odds

Carolina Panthers Cam Newton

There may be only four teams remaining in the hunt for Super Bowl 50, but that doesn’t mean there’s limited betting options at sportsbooks.

Online shop 5Dimes is dealing a prop on the exact result of the big game, and it’s quite apparent oddsmakers are expecting to see a New England Patriots-Carolina Panthers final.

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RGIII Odds: Where Will he Be Next Year?

Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III

Three years ago, Robert Griffin III was a standout rookie quarterback who appeared to have an extremely bright future in the NFL as the face of the Washington Redskins. These days he gets more airtime in Subway commercials than he does on the football field. Washington’s loss to the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card Round officially signalled the end of Griffin’s tumultuous tenure in D.C., which leaves the Baylor product looking for a new home.

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Expert Picks: NFL Divisional Round

The 2016 NFL playoffs return for the Divisional Round this weekend. A week after all four road teams won in the Wild Card Round, the top two seeds in each conference are back in action following bye weeks, and are all favored.

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Steelers Looking for an Upset in Denver

Yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos clashed less than a month ago, but you should expect this game to be much different. The Broncos scored 27 points in the first half before being outscored 21-0 in the second half when these two teams met on December 20. Brock Osweiler was at the helm in that unseasonably warm day at Heinz Field, but Peyton Manning will take back the mantle of starter for the Broncos this time around.

Manning saw game action in Week 17 for the first time since November 15. Before patrolling the sidelines for over a month, Manning was going through the worst year of his career with nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions through 10 games. Hell, despite not playing six games, Manning still finished with the second most interceptions in the league. 

The Steelers could be dealing with quarterback issues themselves heading into the divisional round game. Ben Roethlisberger missed most of the fourth quarter of the Steelers Wild Card round win over the Cincinnati Bengals and backup Landry Jones pretty much sucked in his limited time on the field. 

Despite marquee names on offense, this game could easily turn into a defensive struggle (especially if ineffectiveness or health limits quarterbacks). The Broncos were the best defense in the NFL this season as they allowed the fewest yards per game and the second fewest points. The Steelers secondary has struggled most of the season as they entered the playoffs as one of the worst in the league, but they did hold the Bengals to just 279 yards. These two teams also finished the season first and third in sacks, respectively. 

For all the empirical data that can be applied, you need to wonder what the Steelers have left in their tanks following their Wild Card game. The fourth quarter of that game was ridiculous and it saw both Big Ben and Antonio Brown get hurt. 

Game ID: 
724280
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Dogs Had Good 2015 in Corrente’s Games

Tony Corrente Panthers Seahawks NFL

According to FootballZebras.com, Tony Corrente’s crew will be officiating Sunday’s NFC Divisional Playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers. If capping referees is part of your weekly practice when it comes to NFL betting, you’ll know that dogs have had a good year in Corrente’s games in 2015.

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Seahawks in Revenge Spot vs Panthers

The Seattle Seahawks will have revenge on their minds when they visit the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Divisional Round on Sunday afternoon. In a Week 6 game in Seattle, the Panthers beat the Seahawks 27-23. It was roughly at that point that bettors – and pundits – began to take the Panthers a bit more serious as they went on to flirt with a perfect regular season before losing to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 16.

 

While both teams lay claim to defenses that have terrorized the rest of the NFL throughout the season, the focus will be on a pair of MVP candidates as Cam Newton squares off against Russell Wilson in the quarterback matchup.

 

Wilson is easily the more experienced of the two and has the Super Bowl win on his resume, but it was Cam Newton who entered the postseason as the NFL MVP fave at -500 (Wilson was +1200 at Bodog). The Auburn product threw for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns while throwing a career-low 10 interceptions en route to leading the Panthers to a sparkling 15-1 straight up (11-5 against the spread) record.

 

As far as wins and losses, and cashing bet slips in the postseason is concerned, it’s not a surprise that Wilson has the slight edge over Newton. The Seahawks signal caller has gone 7-2 SU in nine career postseason starts, while posting a 5-4 ATS mark and a 5-4 OVER/UNDER clip in those games. Newton, on the other hand, has made just three career playoff starts, going 1-2 SU, 1-1-1 ATS and 2-1 OVER/UNDER. As far as head-to-head matchups are concerned, the Seahawks have gone 3-1 vs the Panthers with Wilson at the helm, and have gone a middling 2-2 ATS in the process.

 

Let us not forget, however, that the Seahawks are somewhat lucky to be in this situation come Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings were on the verge of punching their ticket to the Divisional Round with seconds left on the clock as the two teams battled in frigid conditions in the Wild Card Round. As we all know, kicker Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal, which would have iced the game for the Vikes.

 

Still, with that miraculous recovery of a botched snap and subsequent completion to Tyler Lockett being a perfect example, you have to expect a bit of the unexpected when it comes to capping Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.

 

And Newton for that matter.

 

In that aforementioned Week 6 contest, the Seahawks carried a commanding 23-14 lead in the fourth quarter before Newton orchestrated two drives of 80 yards resulting in a pair of touchdowns and a 27-23 win.

 

With that revenge spot in mind, we could very well be in store for a little more magic come Sunday.

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724312
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GB-ARI: Cards on an ATS Skid at Home

Rodgers Packers

The well-rested Arizona Cardinals are back at in the NFL Divisional Round, as a date with the Green Bay Packers awaits them at University of Phoenix Stadium. Arizona ended the 2015 season with a glimmering 13-3 SU record and earned themselves a first-round bye, while the Packers (10-6) were forced to hit the road in Wild Card Weekend and prevailed in the form of a 35-18 victory over the Washington Redskins.

You’ll have to forgive casual football fans if it appears to them like these teams have traded places, but that’s exactly what’s transpired this year. The Packers have been the class of the NFC for quite some time and aren’t used to playing the underdog role, while the Cardinals have been competitive but have failed to get over the hump in the postseason in order to establish themselves in the upper echelon of the league. 

To say Green Bay’s season has been a rollercoaster ride would be a massive understatement. The Pack started off the campaign riding a high en route to a perfect 6-0 record, but things fell apart after their bye week. Four losses in their next five games off the bye put them into a dog fight for the NFC North with the Minnesota Vikings (which they eventually lost in Week 17). 

Is there anyone in the playoffs who has more to prove than Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer? Palmer, 36, has channelled his inner Kurt Warner and found new life in the desert but has yet to taste real playoff success. Warner was flying high in 2014 before a knee injury ended his season, and with it, any chance of the Cardinals making a deep playoff run. 

Palmer is coming off a fantastic 2015 in which he threw 35 touchdowns for 4,671 yards with just 11 interceptions. Palmer has never won a playoff game, losing in 2005 and 2009 as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.  That’s where Packers signal-caller Aaron Rodgers has the real edge, as the Cal alum has prove time and time again he’s able to shine when it matters most. Considering Rodgers has the Packers looking like the Packers again, this game could come down to a good old fashioned shootout between Palmer and Rodgers, something football fans would love to see after a rather dry Wild Card Weekend.

Most sportsbooks opened the Cards in the 7-point ballpark, which would make the Packers the biggest underdogs they’ve been all season. If you’re looking to back the home chalk in this one you won’t face much resistance from anyone who believes history repeats itself. These teams met on December 27, where Arizona hammered Green Bay 38-8, easily covering the -6 spread. 

The total opened at 50, making it the highest of any playoff game so far. In a stat that’s likely a direct correlation to the Packers’ midseason offensive woes, the OVER/UNDER went 5-11 in Green Bay’s tilts this year. Despite that record, OVER bettors will be glad to know four of those OVERs came when Mike McCarthy’s squad played on the road. 

Arizona finished the season with a 9-7 O/U mark but was particularly profitable for bettors banking on low totals to end the year, as the UNDER paid out in five of Arizona’s six last six contests.  

Game ID: 
724313
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Brown's Injury Causes Two-Point Line Move

Antonio Brown Steelers

With the announcement that Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is officially inactive for Sunday’s game against the Broncos due to a concussion, the Steelers have become even bigger underdogs in the contest, going from +7 to +9 as of late morning on Friday.

The news is likely well received by the Broncos, as Brown lit their secondary on fire for 16 catches, 189 yards and two touchdowns in a Week 15 game.

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