Saints – Lions Fly Over the Number – Giants Make Short Work of Falcons

The NFC Wildcard games didn’t leave much to be desired by the typical NFL fan but there were some solid betting opportunities that knowledgeable sports bettors exploited in the two games.

The New Orleans Saints looked like they would destroy the Detroit Lions on paper and the Sportsbooks agreed. The Sportsbooks posted the Saints’ Pointspread as a 10.5 favorite at home and the Saints turned it on in the second half to destroy the large spread, defeating the Lions by a score of 45-28.

The Over was another number that looked unreachable in the Saints/Lions game. The Saints indoors with Drew Brees can play on another level and they did just that against the Lions. The Over made history as the highest Over/Under ever posted on an NFL post season game with a number of 69.5 in some places. The daunting number encouraged action on the Under but the Saints combined with the Lions to score 73 points.

The New York Giants hosted the Atlanta Falcons in the second NFL Wildcard game and there was never a doubt the Giants would cover the 3.5 Pointspread. Eli Manning and the Giants have been inconsistent all season but when the team is on they are one of the best in the NFL.

The Over of 47 was never in jeopardy for the game with the Giants defense handling the Falcons and Matt Ryan. The Falcons have a history of imploding in the post season and this game was no different. Ryan struggled and Mike Smith gambled at the wrong times.

Now the Saints take on the San Francisco 49ers on a slow track in Candlestick Park and the Giants travel to the frozen tundra of Green Bay to take on Aaron Rodgers and the defending champions, the Green Bay Packers.

Bronos & Tebow Shock NFL fans – Bengals lose to Texans AFC Wildcard Review

Prepare for another week of  Denver Broncos  quarterback Tim Tebow and Tebow mania. Tebow did it again against the Pittsburgh Steelers, finishing the AFC North Wildcard representatives in Denver, 29-23. Tebow did it in spectacular fashion, hitting Demaryious Thomas over the middle on the first play of overtime to seal the win.

Ben Roethlisberger never looked comfortable in the pocket and the Denver Broncos defense, despite giving up 23 points, kept him on the ropes all game. The Steelers, favored on the road by 8.5 points, never looked like the best team on the field and they never covered the Pointspread during the game.

Tebow turned in his best performance of his career by the numbers and the Steelers defense helped him do it. The Steelers focused on making Tebow pass by stuffing the run and the strategy backfired. Tebow made big pass after big pass to keep the Steelers on their heels and the Over of 34 points got covered early in the fourth quarter.

The first AFC Wildcard game between the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals was a battle of the rookies. Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates led the Texans over the Bengals and their rookie quarterback Andy Dalton. The Texans, received the nod from the sportsbooks, getting posted as a 3 point favorite based on the Texans hosting the game.

The real story of the Texans and Bengals battle was defense. The Texans effectively brought the heat on Bengals quarterback Dalton and forced mistakes including an incredible interception by Texans defensive lineman, J.J. Watts.

The Texans nearly covered the 38 point Over total by themselves. Yates turned in a workman like performance to give the Texans their first NFL playoff victory and now they get the honor of traveling to play the Baltimore Ravens.

Super Bowl prop bets becoming more popular than betting on the game itself

Prop bets have become a big part of Super Bowl betting, and all you have to do is check out the props available for Super Bowl XLV on Sunday in Dallas at sportsbooks to see for yourself.

There are the crazy, wacky props that have nothing to do with the game itself, which tend to attract non-football fans, and there are the individual player and team props that NFL bettors usually prefer.

One of the most popular are quarterback props, like what will happen first for each QB. For Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger, throwing a TD pass pays -200 while tossing an interception is at +160.

For Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, throwing a touchdown is at -230 and throwing an interception is at +190

You can also wager on the over/under for total passing yards for the two pivots, with Roethlisberger’s total at 247.5, and the over at +105 odds and the under at -135. For Rodgers, the over/under is 272.5, with over at -135 and under at +105.

There are also plenty of running back prop bets for Super Bowl XLV, like total rushing yards. For the Packers’ Brandon Jackson, the over/under is 11.5 yards, with over at +125 and under at -155.

For the Steelers’ Rashard Mendenhall, the over/under is 81.5 rushing yards, with the over at +105 and the under at -135.

Of course, some sportsbooks offer so many wacky bets, it’s hard not resist, like how long Christina Aguilera’s version of the Star Spangled Banner will last.

Super Bowl XLV injury update: Pittsburgh Steelers & Green Bay Packers

Any NFL Betting fan knows that one of the biggest contributing factors to a team’s performance is health – specifically which players are out of the lineup with injuries, and which players are playing hurt.

And at no time, in no game, are injuries a bigger factor than the Super Bowl.

Heading into Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, both the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers have some injury concerns.

For the Packers, wide receiver Donald Driver is nursing a quadriceps injury, but the team said Friday he will play in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday against the Steelers.

Driver has been battling the injury all week. He was put on the Packers’ injury report Thursday, leading to speculation he wouldn’t play in Dallas. But Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Friday that while Driver was being held out of Friday’s practice as a precaution, he expects the veteran receiver to play Sunday.

For the Steelers, there has been a lot of speculation about starting center Maurkice Pouncey’s availability for the Super Bowl.

Pouncey suffered a high left ankle sprain in the Steelers’ 24-19 win over the New York Jets in the AFC championship, and has been seen on crutches and wearing a walking boot on his left foot.

But Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Friday he expects Pouncey back at center on Sunday. Pouncey’s ankle sprain is a Grade II+, in other words, almost a complete tear of at least one of the major ligaments in the ankle. If this was a regular season game and not Super Sunday, there’s little doubt he would be out.

Green Bay Packers Will Win Its Forth Super Bowl Title

Most people don’t know this, but the “G” on the Packers helmet does NOT stand for Green Bay. It stands for Greatness.

Come this Sunday in Dallas, Texas in the House-that-Jerry-built, The Pack and its legion of Cheeseheads are going to be able to stand proud with their storied franchises’ fourth Super Bowl victory, this time over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Here are five reasons why:

Aaron Rodgers: the Green Bay quarterback is simply the hottest pivot in the NFL since the mid-way point of the season, and no defense can handle the fast balls that Rodgers has been throwing into the smallest of holes. Add to that the fact that Rodgers is deadly indoors, and I just can’t see the Pack scoring less than 30 points, which Big Ben Roethlisberger will not be able to match against the blitzkrieg that is the Packers defense.

Going Deep: Troy Polamalu and weak side safety Bryant McFadden will struggle at handling the deep balls that will be coming their way. Polamalu may be the defensive player of the year in the National Football League, but that is based on the first 14 weeks. Since he re-injured his Achilles tendon, he’s not been the same player, and you can see he’s just not been the impact player in both games vs the New York Jets and the Baltimore Ravens. McFadden is also banged up and will be seeing a lot of the big weak-side receiver James Jones.

Four and Five Wideout sets: With Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jones and Jordy Nelson, the Packers have the ability to really stretch the Steelers defense, and take away their strength: stopping the run. You will see Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy go to the pass early and often, and forsake trying to run into the brick wall that is the Pittsburgh run D.

Steelers struggle against Elite QBs: twice this year, the Steelers have played elite quarterbacks: Tom Brady of the Patriots, and Drew Brees of New Orleans. They are 0-2 in those two games. Make no mistake about it, Rodgers is an elite pivot and will be able to read, and react, firing off bullets when the Steelers come blitzing with their two outstanding linebackers, James Harrison and Lemarr Woodley.

Steelers O-Line Struggles: starting center Mike Pouncey will not be playing, and both tackles are backups, with the Steelers losing its left tackle at the start of the year, and the other in November. The Packers will be able to get pressure without having to send more than five players, allowing them to take away many of the deep seam patterns that Roethisberger like to throw at, getting big chunks. The key is to bring down Big Ben when they can, as the 6’5”, 245lb quarterback is a load, and buys more time for his receivers to get open.

Final Score: Green Bay 30 Pittsburgh 24

Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl History

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made the NFL playoffs a total of 26 times in the history of their franchise.

The Steelers have not only appeared in the playoffs a bunch of times over their history. They have also managed to advance through the playoffs many times in their history. The Steelers have managed to advance to the Super Bowl 7 times in their team’s history.

The most impressive thing about the Steelers is that they seem to win the big game every time that they advance to the Super Bowl. In their 7 Super Bowl appearances the Steelers have managed to win the Super Bowl 6 times.

Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC. Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowl titles (six), won more AFC Championship Games (eight) and played in (fifteen) and hosted more (eleven) conference championship games than any other AFC or NFC team. The Steelers won their most recent championship, Super Bowl XLIII, on February 1, 2009.

The Steelers are six-time Super Bowl champions, having won Super Bowl IX, X, XIII, XIV, XL and XLIII. Pittsburgh has defeated Minnesota, Dallas (on two occasions), the-then Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks (thanks, Zebras) and Arizona Cardinals in their Super Bowl victories.

This team’s winning tradition should bring a lot of confidence to the field during the playoffs. This team’s roster may have more postseason success and confidence than any team other than the Patriots in the playoffs. They have won the Super Bowl twice in the last decade and their roster still has many of the same players.

The other Super Bowls that have been won by this franchise happened in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1995. The Steelers have a chance in this postseason to level things out with the Patriots as the Patriots have won the big game three times since the start of the new century.

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl History

Going back to the team’s first season in 1919, the Green Bay Packers have won 12 NFL championships (more than any other team in the NFL). Those championships include nine titles before the Super Bowl era and three Super Bowl wins.

Green Bay won the first three championships simply by finishing first in the league, in 1929, 1930 and 1931, and has won six since the NFL’s playoff system was established in 1933, but before the first Super Bowl in 1967 – in 1936, 1939, 1944, 1961, 1962, and 1965.

When Green Bay faces the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on Feb. 6 in Dallas, it will be the franchise’s fifth Super Bowl appearance. The Packers have won three of the four Super Bowls they’ve appeared in.

Fittingly, Green Bay won the first-ever Super Bowl when the legendary Vince Lombardi’s Packers beat Hank Stram’s Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 on Jan. 15, 1967. Interestingly, the game was played before a far-from sellout crowd, as 61,946 fans turned up at Los Angeles’ 100,000-seat Memorial Coliseum.

Green Bay’s next two Super Bowl wins came over the Oakland Raiders the next season in 1967, a 33-14 win, and against the New England Patriots in 1996, with Brett Favre leading the Packers to a 35-21 victory.

AFC Championship Game: New York Jets @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The AFC Championship Game is going to be a take-no-prisoners affairs, as two hard-hitting teams go head-to-head when the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers meet on Sunday at Heinz Field (6:30 pm ET, CBS).

Besides a trip to the Super Bowl being up for grabs, what makes this matchup even more intriguing is the fact that over the last half of the season, the Steelers lost one game – that being to these same Jets last month, a 22-17 New York win as a 4-point road underdog in Pittsburgh.

And they’re pretty even over the past seven head-to-head, the Steelers at 4-3 SU and the Jets at 4-3 against the spread.

New York beat AFC East division rival New England Patriots 28-21 in their AFC divisional matchup on the road last Sunday, covering as a 9-point underdog.

Pittsburgh beat AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens 31-24 in the other AFC divisional game Saturday, cashing as a 3.5–point home favorites. Pittsburgh trailed 21-7 in the second quarter of that tilt before mounting a furious comeback.

The Jets are 13-3 SU in their last 16 games on the road, and the Steelers are 4-1 SU in their last five games at home.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears: NFC Championship Game

They’ve been battling on the gridiron for 90 years and this Sunday the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears will clash once more, this time with the NFC Championship on the line.

This will be the 182nd meeting between the teams when the Packers and Bears collide at Soldier Field (3 pm ET, FOX).

Last Saturday, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers put on a passing clinic to lead the Packers to a 48-21 blow out win over the favored Atlanta Falcons 48-21 in an NFC divisional playoff game at the Georgia Dome. The Packers covered the 1–point spread as underdogs and the score went over the total of 44.

The Bears jumped out to a 28-0 lead over the Seattle Seahawks then had to hang on for a 35-24 win in the other NFC matchup. They covered the 10.5–point spread as favorites and the score went over the total of 43.5.

Head-to-head, Green Bay and Chicago are 5-5 SU and ATS in the past 10 meetings. They split the season series with Chicago winning the first meeting 20-17 on Sept. 27, and Green Bay winning the last meeting 10-3 in the season finale on Jan. 2.

New York Jets @ New England Patriots: AFC Divisional Playoffs Sunday

Wow. After getting shellacked 45-3 by the Pats back in December at Gillette Stadium, the Rex Ryan-led New York Jets have opened their collective mouths so wide, you could drive either end of an anvil down their throats. Just what are they thinking? Bravado works only when you can back it up, and it seems a tall order for the 2nd year quarterback Mark Sanchez going up against all-world QB Tom Brady, he of multiple Super Bowl championships and league MVP awards. But who knows? That’s why they play the game.

But it still seems a tough task for the Jets, who face a team in New England that has everything going for it: the best record in football, the hottest quarterback, the best offence, the most decorated and innovative coach of the past decade (Bill Belichick).

New York Jets (12-5) @ New England Patriots (14-2)