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The Road to Super Bowl XLVI betting got very interesting in the Divisional round last weekend, and now we have the Conference Championships to look forward to. The last four teams are lining up a position in the final now and two of the main frontrunners for the Super Bowl are no longer in contention. The Divisional Round threw up some fantastic matches with the highlight being the fall of the defending champions the Green Bay Packers. So this Sunday sees the last four battle it out for a place at Super Bowl XLVI and we have new outright favourites to win it, and that is the New England Patriots. The excitement builds towards the Super Bowl and we have two great match ups to look at in NFL betting this week.

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots Betting
The Ravens squeezed out the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Round, winning 20-13 at home to move ahead. Baltimore walked straight into the Divisional Round, missing the Wild Card round courtesy of such a strong season, but yet they still continue to fly under the radar. Baltimore are the next team to try and contain the incredible New England offence and it goes without saying that they will need a pretty strong defensive effort. But that is just what the Baltimore Ravens have, and it has been arguable much tighter than New England’s throughout the season. So at least they have that to rely on in Baltimore at New England betting. However there is a big question mark about the composure of quarter back Joe Flacco, who was less than ordinary in the Divisional Round win over the Texans and he has come under some serious flak, especially with comparisons naturally being drawn against New England’s pretty much immaculate Tom Brady. There is an uneven tilt there in that department, but the Ravens do have a big ace up their sleeve and that is Ray Rice who has always done extremely well running against the Patriots. Talk about a game winner and that falls on the shoulders of Rice and they have to get him into the game to take some pressure off Flacco. As good as Baltimore’s defence has been for the season it will still need to produce its best defensive effort if they are going to take down New England. New England don’t have the defence that the Ravens do, and New England do give up a lot of yardage, however, opponents do still have trouble converting ground into points against the Patriots. That is simply going to be the problem for the Ravens, keeping up with the scoring of the Patriots, because they will get on the board. You are talking about the second best offence during the regular season (the Patriots) up against the 15th best. The offence that the Patriots can throw out is just too powerful for most teams, having racked up over 500 points during the regular season. The Patriots coasted through their AFC Divisional Round match, crushing the Denver Broncos 45-10 with that man Tom Brady at quarterback having a spectacular game. The Patriots are now everybody’s favourite to lift the Super Bowl this year and are looking for their fifth Super Bowl appearance. The last time these two met in the Post Season, it was the Ravens who took a win in the Wild Card Round back in 2009. It may take a while for the Patriots to break through the Ravens defence, but they are expected to get the job done in the end.

New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers Betting
Most people were expecting a match up between the New Orleans Saints and the almost invincible Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championships. However, there were big turn ups for the books in the Divisional Round. The San Francisco 49ers, using home advantage in an open stadium, where the Saints aren’t that happy (as they are better suited to their home indoors conditions) squeezed out a dramatic late win over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. It was a cracker of a match, with the Saints looking set to take the game after a late score with about ninety seconds left on the clock, to go to take a narrow points advantage. However, the 49ers weren’t finished in the match as talk about ‘The Grab’ resounds on. There was nine seconds left on the clock when 49ers quarter back Alex Smith nailed a touchdown pass to Vernon Davis to sneak over the line in to the Conference Championships. That was the first time in nine years that the 49ers had won a play off game. Now a Super Bowl berth is at stake. The 49ers face off against the New York Giants, who have come up so big time and time again when it has mattered this season. After a big win against the Cowboys late in the regular season to take the NFC East, the often unpredictable Giants have produced when it has mattered and it has been down to their defence. The play offs have largely been defence dominated, a switcheroo from the regular season, when it has been all about the incredible offences of New Orleans, New England and Green Bay. The Giants triumphed where only one other team this season has (Kansas City Chiefs) and that has been limiting the Packers offence, led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Giants, whose defence has looked shaky at times this season and has conceded a wealth of points, have suddenly tightened up and gotten smart, and the down to earth, power game which they are running has suddenly seen them find a consistent winning formula. If you are looking for the more complete team, that will be the 49ers. It was the 49ers who took a 27-20 win on home turf against the Giants and we will probably see an equally tight match up against in New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers betting. Giants quarter back Eli Manning, generally either brilliant or frustrating needs a big game. The Giants can bully this if their defence continues to do what it has done in the post season. The 49ers will go as favourites though, because they are the stronger of the sides with the better offensive options.

Super Bowl XLVI Outright Winner Betting
New England Patriots: 5/4 at William Hill
San Francisco 49ers: 17/5 at Bet365
New York Giants: 11/4 at Paddy Power
Baltimore Ravens: 7/1 at Boylesports

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18th January 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Sports Betting

Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)

There are just eight teams remaining on the road to Superbowl XLVI after a thrilling Wild Card round on the weekend. Now we head to the Divisional Round, where the top two seeds from both Conferences, take on the respective winners from the Wild Card round. So the four teams who sat out the Wild Card Round, now enter back into the race after getting a week off, a reward for their high seeding. We have the last eight standing and four great looking match ups, with the highlight being the New Orleans Saints at the San Francisco 49ers. The race for the Superbowl is on. Just two games stand between the remaining teams and a shot at NFL glory. Here is an NFL Betting look at next weekend’s Divisional Round of matches. The games are being played on Sunday 15th, apart from the Saints at 49ers which is on Saturday.

Denver Broncos at New England Patriots
The Broncos pulled off a great win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card. The Steelers went into the match up with a thrilling win in Overtime. The Bronco’s fired off twenty points in the second quarter, and the only points outside of that was three points in the fourth. It left the game poised and balanced at 23-23 at the end of regulation. But then up stepped Tim Tebow after just eleven seconds of Overtime and nailed a touchdown pass. That was the first play off win for the Broncos since the 2005 season and their defence carried well with five sacks on the Steelers’ quarterback Roethlisberger. So a great effort from the Broncos, but now they will have to face the rested New England Patriots. The Patriots are running as second favourites in Superbowl outright betting. New England went 13-3-0 for the season, and that stands up against the Broncos 8-8-0. Top seeds in the AFC, the Patriots have not managed to land a win in the playoffs in the last four years. The Patriots have incredible firepower going forward, but they also hold up defensively sound. The Patriots carry a 7-1 home record for the season. A lot of the weight of the game will depend on which Tim Tebow shows for the Broncos, but with the Patriots winning in Denver 41-23 back in the middle of December, there is likely only going to be one outcome to this.
Patriots 1/7, Broncos 11/2 at Boylesports
Points Spread: Patriots -13.5 for 10/11 at BetFred

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens
The Texas, after overhauling the Cincinnati Bengals in their Wild Card match up, now face a tough Divisional Round encounter against the Ravens. This is the first time that the Texans have been in the post season, as the franchise is just ten years old. They are led by rookie quarterback TJ Yates, landed some great touchdown passes against the Bengals, but will have a much tougher time picking things out against the Ravens. The Ravens hold a 8-0 home record for the season and with the Texans 5-3 on the road, then home advantage is likely to pay out big here. The Ravens beat Houston 29-14 at home during the regular season, with Ray Rice rushing for over 100 yards. The Ravens finished the season strongly with a couple of wins, and went 4-1 in their last five, while the Texans, they could only muster up a 2-3 record in their last five matches and entered the post season on the back of three game losing streak. The Bengals lack of any real threat may have flattered the Texans a little in the Wild Card round, and can’t see Houston winning this in Baltimore. The Ravens have that extra quality.
Ravens 1/4, Texans 3/1 at VC Bet

Points Spread: Texans +7/5 for 10/11 at Bet365

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers
The Saints are still many people’s tips to take the Superbowl this year, and they fired off a 45-28 win over the Detroit Lions to move through to the Divisional Round. There is an interesting stat to look at with regards to the Saints heading to San Francisco, because New Orleans are not as effective going forward in outdoor arenas, as they are undercover of indoor fields. The Saints found the Lions defence in a generous mood and that won’t happen against the 49ers. The Saints do have one the strongest attacks, led by star Quarterback Drew Brees and a tremendous power running unit. Arguably the best in the league. So this is going to be about the great Saints offence against the tight and mean 49ers defence. When Brees is hot, as he has been for pretty much the second half of the season, then the Saints can steamroller opposition defences. The Saints went into the post season on the back of an eight match winning streak. However, the 49ers have the kind of defence that can really disrupt him and take him out of his comfort zone. That is pretty much going to be the key in New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers betting. Whether or not the 49ers can limit the Brees factor. The San Francisco 49ers are not as prolific going forward, so they need their defence to carry them through matches and to give them a chance. It has worked for most of the season in their 13-3 record and with the Saints also carrying a 13-3 record in the regular season, this should be a war of attrition which Brees could make or break.
Saints 20/37, San Francisco 33/20 at Bet365
Points Spread -3.5 for 5/6 at VC Bet

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers
This should be a treat for the Divisional Round. The Packers are rested up and ready to go again after their 15-1 run in the regular season. They are the defending champions and are expected to navigate their way through this match up. Let by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have shown incredible power moving forwards, however, their defence has not been the greatest, and actually finished last in the NFL for yards conceded. However, the defensive lapses have been brilliantly covered up by their offence and that is going to be the big game difference here against the Giants. The Giants don’t have anywhere near the flair of the Packers, nor the consistency, but they have spirit and power football on their side. Unpredictable is the best way to describe the Giants, who did pull out some big wins towards the end of the season when they needed it most and they need another massive one here. The Giants will have to face up to the almost unstoppable Packers offence, but what the Giants did in their win over the Atlanta Falcons in the Wild Card round, was old style power football, which just tore at the physical heart of the Falcons defence. It paid off big time. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t stylish. It was effective. The Giants Eli Manning leads the offensive line and although tagged as inconsistent rattled off a pretty impressive season as well. The Giants have not got the forward power to match the Packers in a shoot out. They will grind though and disrupt but the Packers should see it out.
Packers 2/7, Giants 11/4 at VC Bet
Points Spread: Packers -8 at Bet356

 Superbowl Outright Winner Odds
Green Bay Packers: 6/4 at BetFred
New England Patriots: 3/1 at SkyBet
New Orleans Saints: 4/1 at VC Bet
Baltimore Ravens: 7/1 at Bet365
San Francisco 49ers: 16/1 at Boylesports
New York Giants: 18/1 at Bet365
Houston Texans: 40/1 at Bet365
Denver Broncos: 66/1 at SportingBet

9th January 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Sports Betting

Sports Betting

Some more great NFL betting to come on the weekend, as we head to the Wild Card Round, the first action of the Post Season as the last twelve teams left standing vie for Superbowl glory. Eight of the remaining twelve will compete in the Wild Card round, while the top four teams from the regular season will await the winners of the Wild Card matches in the Divisional finals round. So while the front runners for Superbowl glory, the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots await to see who they play, there are four big matches on the weekend, as we head to the action packed straight knockout portion of the season. There are no second chances now in NFL betting for the eight teams involved in action on the weekend. Lose and it is time to pack up the bags and head home. Loads of great NFL Betting opportunities await , from straight out match betting, live in play betting and always look at points spread betting with NFL betting, a very popular market. Here is a look at NFL betting for the coming weekend, when the Wild Card round swings into action.

Cincinnati Bengals (9-7-0) at Houston Texans (10-6-0)
It is difficult to pick a winner from these two and that points to the bigger picture that neither of these are likely to really mount any threat on the Superbowl. The Bengals will simply be going off their defence, but it is one which has crumbled before this season badly. If that doesn’t hold together then they aren’t going to have much hope of progressing. That’s why would take the home side Texans in this one. It’s not as if the Texans defence is great either, it’s not, but you get the feeling that they are going to be better than the Bengals. The Texans do go into this one on the back of a three game losing streak, which doesn’t inspire confidence, but they are due a win, and took their last regular season game easy.
Houston 8/13, Cincinnati 7/5 at Boylesports
Point Spread Houston -3 for 5/6 at Totesport

Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4-0) at Denver Broncos (8-8-0)
Great match up this one. The Steelers come into this having just missed out on the divisional title to the Ravens. If this were in Pittsburgh, where they hold a 7-1 record this season, you could expect more of a foregone conclusion. They are still the stronger of the two sides though, going 4-1 in their last five and they are on a two match winning streak. The Steelers defence has proven time and time again this season that they are hard to crack. That will be the big important factor here, keeping any early Broncos pressure out. They do that, and the Steelers can steal this one. Denver find themselves on a poor three game losing streak heading to the Wild Card round. They still managed to scrap through in top spot in the AFC West, even though they finished with identical records as San Diego and Oakland. Much more of a fragility about Denver, although they will take home advantage here as divisional winners. Would take the Steelers over them though.
Pittsburgh 4/17, Denver 13/4 at Bet365
Points Spread Pittsburgh -9 for Evens at BetFred

Detroit Lions (10-6-0) at New Orleans Saints (13-3-0)
Rough draw for the Lions really here, who finished a whopping five games back of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. Still, not a bad return on the season for Detroit who have a pretty good offence. Would stand the Lions up against anyone else in the Wild Card round other than the Saints, and they would have had a decent crack. The Saints are still many people’s favourite pick to take the Superbowl behind the Packers, and they have the experience and firepower to take down anyone else in the league. They topped the NFC South and are on an eight game winning streak and they are just not all about that incredible offence, which has racked up over 500 points this season. They have a very organized defence to shut out threats, and just can’t see the Lions raising enough on the day to be able to get over the Saints offence, or break down the Saints defence on enough occasions. Star quarterback Drew Brees should guide his outfit through this one, and his battle for supremacy with the Packers Aaron Rodgers will continue into the Divisional Finals round.
New Orleans 2/11, Lions 9/2 at Boylesports
Points Spread New Orleans -10 at 5/6 with SkyBet

Atlanta Falcons (10-6-0) at New York Giants (9-7-0)
Two fairly evenly matches teams here. The Falcons hit 4-4 on the road, while the Giants hit 4-4 at home. The Falcons finished behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South but finished with decent enough defensive stats that they could cause an upset here. The Falcons are the unpredictable’s of the Wild Card round, and while their running game needs to kick up a gear, they should be able to more than hold their own against the Giants. Would take the factor of consistency here against the wildness of the Giants. The Giants pulled out some massive wins when they needed to do so to take their divisional title. The Giants success will all depend on how what kind of mood Eli Manning is in, because he will either win them the game, or potentially lose it for them. Again, inconsistencies here have stopped the Giants having a much better season than they did. They rounded out the season with two wins, but they are the only team in the Wild Card round with a minus in the net points stat. That’s because they score high and concede high. Have backed the Giants in tight corners this season and they have pulled through. Would edge them to do it again, but this should be the closest match for your NFL Betting in the Wild Card round.
Giants 4/6, Falcons 5/4 at SkyBet
Points Spread Giants -3 for Evens at Bet365

NFL Play Off Picture

AFC Wild Card Round (January 7-8)
Bengals at Texans
Steelers at Broncos

AFC Divisional Round (January 14-15)
Lowest winning seed from AFC Wild Card Round at New England Patriots
Highest winning seed from AFC Wild Card Round at Baltimore Ravens

NFC Wild Card Round (January 7-8)
Detroit @ New Orleans
Atlanta @ New York

NFC Wild Card Round (January 14-15)
Lowest winning seed from AFC Wild Card Round at San Francisco 49ers
Highest winning seed from AFC Wild Card Round at Green Bay Packers

Superbowl Betting Outright Odds
The Green Bay Packers are the outright favourites in NFL Superbowl betting, as the defending Champions lost just one game during the regular season. They have the magic firepower up front, but there are questions marks over their defence. Especially compared to the New Orleans Saints, who are still taking a lot of interest, even though they have to go through the Wild Card round. Superbowl success could hinge of the post season performances of the Packers Aaron Rodgers and the Saints Drew Brees at quarterback. They are the headline getters, who will stand up big on the road to the Superbowl?|

Green Bay Packers: 7/4 at Bet365
New England Patriots: 4/1 at SkyBet
New Orleans Saints: 5/1 at Bet365
Baltimore Ravens: 17/2 at Bwin
San Francisco 49ers: 12/1 at SkyBet
Pittsburg Steelers: 14/1 at Boylesports
New York Giants: 25/1 at Bet365

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6th January 2012 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Sports Betting

Jacobs (NY) - Bigby, Poppinga (Packers)

Little doubt about the big NFL betting clash of the New Year, as we look at Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants betting. This is a simple showdown scenario and whoever wins the big clash in the capital on January 2nd will be going to the play offs, while the losers will be finishing their season. This is the last division in the NFC to be settled, and this massive NFC East battle should be a thriller. There is always a little extra spice when these two rivals come together, but with both sitting on an 8-7 record for the season, then it really is all down to the wire. The big problem for Dallas is that their star quarterback Tony Romo has been struggling with injury and has only been able to put in limited practice ahead of the big game at the turn of the new year. Romo was injured as the Cowboys went down against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, which has left them in this precarious position. Romo does sound confident though, that his hand injury won’t be enough to keep him out of action on Sunday, as the Cowboys take to the field in New York. It is going to be a nervous few days for Cowboys fans as they await news on just how well Romo is expected to stand up in the heat of battle on the weekend.

The Giants pulled out a massively important win over the New York Jets in their last outing, putting them into a final showdown match for the NFC East title against the Cowboys, no matter what the Texas franchise did against the Eagles (which they lost). There are no such injury concerns for the Giants ahead of the big match, with their quarter back Jason Garrett fully expectant to see Romo lining up for the Cowboys, even if he is not able to last the game. This is the only matter left to really be settled in the NFC, as far as who is going to get into the play offs is concerned, and the Cowboys are the only other team in the hunt, with the Giants occupying top spot in the NFC East going into Sunday’s game. This is the final round of matches in the NFL regular season, as teams gun for glory at Superbowl XLVI. The Giants have a 3-4 home record this season, and are just 2-3 against divisional rivals. The Giants have gone 2-3 in their last five matches, and have a much worse defensive record than the Cowboys, while both of their offenses look pretty evenly matched.

The two sides did meet in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, in what was an absolute nail biter, with the visiting Giants running out 37-34 winners in a fantastic game. The Giants have pulled out some big wins when they have needed them, with recent wins over Dallas and the Jets keeping their Superbowl hopes alive. There is a great rivalry between these two divisional rivals, and some great trash talk has already been going on from the Giants’ Brandon Jacobs, who called the Cowboys fans loud and obnoxious. The match up Week 14, which saw the Giants overturn a twelve point deficit in just four minutes against the Cowboys to win in Texas has really set up the atmosphere for this one.

Cowboys v Giants betting should be a pretty high scoring game, with both offenses being better than their respective defenses. It should swing back and forth, with the defenses being picked off with relative ease you would think. The key factor in all this will be the health of Tony Romo’s hand. No doubt the Giants will be running hard for him in the early stages, looking to unsettle him and get the Cowboys on the back foot. That combined with the Giants being on home turf, as close of a game as Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants betting is going to be, would be looking for the Giants to come out on top again, in a high scoring, closely fought offensive shoot out. It is all on the line for these two now.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Betting Odds
Giants 7/10, Cowboys 5/4 at Boylesports

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Points Spread Betting Odds
New York Giants -3 for Evens at Bet365

In Superbowl betting, the Green Bay Packers are still riding as favourites at 2/1 with BetFair, with the defending champions having lost just one match all regular season. The AFC’s New England Patriots have closed the gap a little bit and are now trading at 4/1 with BetFair and the New Orleans Saints (who need a win in their last game and for the San Francisco 49ers to lose in order to skip the wild card round in the playoffs), are just back at 5/1 with Boylesports in the Superbowl betting odds.

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29th December 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Sports Betting

Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)

So no perfect season for the Green Bay Packers then in the NFL. Their unbeaten season came crashing down last weekend, as they got their first taste of defeat for the season against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a real turn up for the books, with the struggling Chiefs managing to hang on for a 19-14 victory over the success story of the NFL season. Didn’t see that one coming, but it should not make too much difference in the long run. There are just two games left on the season now, and while the Green Bay Packers have clinched their division, the NFC North, they will secure the Conference with a win in their last two matches. The New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers are both two games back from them, so the Packers need to only pick up one more win to clinch the NFC Conference too. It should happen. They can get the job done on Boxing Day, as the big match of the day, well, the only one, but it is a big one, is the divisional match up as we take a look at Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers betting.  The majority of the NFL play on Christmas Eve, while the Packers get to take centre stage on Boxing Day. One final match of the round, the Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints goes off on December 27th. So the focus on the Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers betting is all about the Wisconsin franchise getting that one win they need to clinch the conference. The Green Bay Packers hold a 6-0 home record for the season, and go up against a Bears side which have won only twice on the road in six attempts this season.

The Packers’ prolific offense was kept somewhat quiet against Kansas City, but the Bears are probably fearing the worst, that they are going to be in line for the Green Bay backlash. So far this season, the Packers are 4-0 against divisional rivals, and have gone 10-0 against Conference rivals. So they will still be firm favourites to pick up a Boxing Day win. They couldn’t pull off the perfect season, but they have still far too much power in the tank to be deprived of topping the Conference at this point. They are the NFL’s top scorers and have racked up 165 more offensive points on the season that Boxing Day opponents, the Chicago Bears. The Green Bay defence though has not been perfect this season at all, and the defending Superbowl Champions have relied on their offensive power to get them through some tough times, when their winning streak was still intact. The defensive lapses cost them badly against the Chiefs last weekend, unable to keep out the big plays, especially when trying to see games out after building leads. They have been vulnerable at the back, but the passing weapons that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has is really the pinnacle of a very good team going forward. They did lose a couple of offensive tackles in the game against the Chiefs, so a little reshuffle is going to be needed. The focus is on their injury list, which is starting to catch up with them as look to close out the regular season on positives. That being said, can’t see the Bears having enough  in offense to take advantage of a weakened, perhaps susceptible Green Bay on Boxing Day.

That small blip on their season, hasn’t changed much in the betting odds for the Green Bay Packers going ahead to defend their Superbowl title this year. The Packers are still trading at 13/8 with Bet365, clear and outright favourites in the American Football market. Behind them, the AFC’s New England Patriots, who are clicking along at 11-3 for the season, are second favourites behind the Packers, but well back at 4/1 with Totesport, and then the NFC’s New Orleans Saints, on the same season record as the Patriots, are just out a little further at 5/1 with William Hill. The race is on for the final jostling of positions for the post season in the NFL.

Interestingly, in what turned out to be a thrilling weekend of action last time out, the Indianapolis Colts actually won their first game of the season at the fourteenth time of asking. They beat out the Tennessee Titans and the word is that star quarter back Peyton Manning, who has been missing all season with injury, won’t be back for the final two matches.

In the NFC Conference, the Green Bay Packers are still 8/11 at SkyBet to take the Conference, tracked by their biggest threats, the New Orleans Saints at 11/4 with Bet365. In the AFC it is the Patriots who are dominating the NFL Betting market in this one, priced at 5/4 with Totesport, with their nearest challengers being the Baltimore Ravens back out at 10/3 with BetFred.

Would recommend getting some early market ante post NFL football betting odds down with online betting exchange BetFair before Christmas. You are more than likely pick up some great odds there, especially when going dipping into the handicap lines for the individual matches.

Bears @ Packers Betting Odds at BetFair
Packers 1/7, Bears 5/1

Bears @ Packers Betting Points Spread
Look for around +13 for the Bears, should be priced around Evens

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21st December 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Sports Betting

Free Bets & Promotions

It’s Thanksgiving in the US on Thursday, November 24th, and online bookie Paddy Power have a nice little Free Bet special running to celebrate. Not surprisingly this is surrounding American Football, which takes pride of place amongst the turkey and cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving. The big story around the NFL this season is the Green Bay Packers. The Wisconsin franchise are still unbeaten on the season, running off ten wins, and with just six matches remaining on the season, all the hype is over whether or not they can have the perfect season. The Green Bay Packers head to Detroit to face the Lions on Thanksgiving, the team directly beneath them in their division, the NFC North. The Lions are three games back from the Packers (having won 7 and lost 3 for the season) so this is not going to be an easy Thanksgiving for the Packers, and the Lions will be hungry to take a massive bite out of the Packers quest for a perfect season. The Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers match is just one of three Thanksgiving NFL matches which online bookmaker Paddy Power are running a betting promotion for.

In the NFC East, we see leaders the Dallas Cowboys face off against the Miami Dolphins in a Thanksgiving fest as well. This is in Texas and the Cowboys have the chance to rack up a good win here to keep themselves ahead of divisional rivals the New York Giants who hold the same season record as the Cowboys. The Miami Dolphins are struggling along in with AFC East, having won just three games all season, so we should see the Cowboys blow them out of the water here.

The third match up in the Paddy Power NFL Thanksgiving promotion, is the San Francisco 49er s at the Baltimore Ravens. The 49ers are a big threat to the Green Bay Packers in their hunt for the NFC Conference and Superbowl ambitions. The 49ers are on a 9-1 match record for the season and will look for a good win on Thanksgiving and hope that the Lions become the first team to breach the Packers. While no-one can match the power of the Packers attack, the 49ers have one of the best defences in the NFL, far better than Green Bay, and they will bank on that as they hit Baltimore, who are top of the AFC North with a 7-3 season record. This is likely to be a pretty tight game, with plenty at stake for both of the teams.

All of these three matches for November 24th are covered by the Paddy Power Thanksgiving NFL Free Bet Special. If the last score in any of these games is a Field Goal, then the highly popular bookie will refund all losing Match Handicap Bets as a free bet, to be used on the forthcoming weekends’ American Football coupon. So if you enjoy a handicap punt on the NFL, then you can take this bit of insurance for three of the hottest Thanksgiving match ups. Let us take a quick look at the handicap market for these three Thanksgiving matches.

Green Bay Packers (-6.0) for 10/11 at Detroit Lions (+6.0) for 10/11
Miami Dolphins (+7.0) for 10/11 at Dallas Cowboys (-7.0) for 10/11
San Francisco (+3) for 11/10 at Baltimore Ravens -(3.0) for 11/13

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23rd November 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Free Bets & Promotions

Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)

With the NFL season rapidly heading towards the post season, there are two big stories floating around, and that should give you some good betting opportunities. The big story to start off with is the Green Bay Packers, who are from Wisconsin for those who weren’t aware (which I wasn’t until yesterday). With a massive victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night, the Packers are now standing at a perfect 9-0 season record. Now the big hubbub here is whether or not they can produce a perfect season and go 16-0 heading to the post season. They are the dominant force, the team to catch at the moment in the NFL, and because of their record, they are red hot favourites to lift the Superbowl this season. While we will take a look at Superbowl betting in a moment, all the talk is whether or not the Packers can win every game this season in the NFL. At the moment, it is not all that far fetched and online bookmaker SkyBet are offering a nice price of 4/1 to see them go undefeated for the season. So, with them being well over half way there, it does make a decent punt. Their net points for the season is a remarkable 143 points, while they have ran up 39 TD’s, eleven more than their nearest divisional rivals, the Detroit Lions. This is largely due to the form of quarterback Aaron Rodgers who threw four more touchdown passes on Monday against the Vikings. They are one of just two teams in the NHL to have racked up over 300 points for themselves, so get a measure of the power that they have in their side. Subsequently, you can get a decent price of 9/4 at William Hill on the Green Bay Packers to go on and win the Superbowl.

A pretty strong bet for some fantastic value is backing Green Bay to go and win the NFC Conference at a price of 11/10 at SkyBet. In there they are being chased by the San Francisco 49ers who are 8-1 for the season, and the New Orleans Saints who are back at 7-3 at Coral. The NFL standings are based on wins, so for example the Packers hold a one game lead over the 49ers. The only slight question is over the Green Bay defence, which is likely to be the only chink that may see them miss out on their perfect season. They have given up a lot of passing yards, the second worst passing defence in the NFL, and they nearly came unstuck in their previous game, after opening up a big lead, when the San Diego Chargers put them under immense pressure in the fourth quarter. The Packers held out there though and hit back with top form in an impressive display to beat the Vikings. These last two matches have seen the Packers show a lot of character. So, beyond the Packers, the Saints and the 49ers are showing the most potential from the NFC to challenge the Packers over all in that betting market. The Saints are currently trading at 9/2 with Coral to take the NFC Conference, while the San Francisco 49ers are back slightly at 11/2 with SkyBet.

Over in the AFC Conference, things are a little big closer, with the New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texas and the Baltimore Ravens all looking fairly evenly matched. However, it is the Patriots, who are expected to come good in the end to take the Conference at a price of 7/4 with Coral, but they are being pressed hard by Pittsburgh and Houston, who are both 4-1 in their last five matches and are great value in AFC Conference betting. Houston though may just have lost their starting QB for the rest of the season. The Steelers are 4/1 at Coral and Houston are 7/1 at Bodog. Switching back to the Superbowl market, the New England Patriots are second favourites to win the Superbowl at 6/1 with Bwin.

The other big story of the NFL this season, and perhaps for all the wrong reasons are the Indianapolis Colts. The hapless Colts are also on for a perfect season, as they have lost all ten of their games so far, and are just six away from having a winless season. They have more holes in their defence than your kitchen colander, and naturally this is American Football betting fodder. Indianapolis are 9/4 at Bet365 to lose every game this season in the NFL. There is a big week coming up for the Colts, who face the Carolina Panthers in Week 12, who have just two wins on the season. So that represents the soonest chance that the Colts may pick up a win. So, online bookmaker Ladbrokes are offering odds of 7/4 for that match to be the first victory of the season for the Colts.

So interesting markets all around, from the impeccable Green Bay Packers to the winless Indianapolis Colts. The road to the Superbowl is heating up, and the longer the season goes on with these records, the more the tension surrounding them will grow.

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15th November 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Sports Betting

Sports Betting

American Football is gracing the hallowed Wembley turf on Sunday, as we take a look at Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Chicago Bears betting. An NFL match at Wembley  has been a staple annual diet for the past four years, and this year’s fifth showing of the glitz and glamour of sport, has maybe bigger implications than just to see who picks up the win abroad. The NFL is keen to grow the sport in Europe, and there have been talks about a British franchise hooking up with the NFL permanently. The chat, although informal about a franchise being opened in London is something that the sport’s executives seem to think will be a good thing. In the end it will be about the NFL expanding their wings and their profits. Sunday’s Wembley showcase has not been sold out this year because of a dispute by the player’s trade union which caused a lot of disruption and the game was only finally confirmed over a month ago, not giving ticket sales enough time to really flourish like they have done in the past. Last year we have the San Francisco 49’s beating the Denver Broncos in a great match up, and the 2011 showing will feature Tampa Bay for the second time in three years. Back in 2008, the Buccaneers crashed heavily against the New England Patriots in front of the London crowd. But any immediate excitement of having a British team in the NFL should be quelled because it is not something which is going to happen soon. Should it happen though, it could go either way, with the NFL perhaps spreading out in Europe on a bigger scale, or moving a US team to the London base. It is a little unlikely that the organization would look to expand to many more franchises, so a current US team relocating probably sounds like the most probable scenario. Of course there would be uproar and politics surrounding that, should it happen, but it is something which North American sports have encountered before.

Most recently the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers franchise was relocated to Canada as the Winnipeg Jets, so teams do change. The NHL too have, over the past few years reached out in to Europe, playing their season openers at different locations around Europe before heading back to North America for the rest of the season. There will be logistical problems of working in a London team to the NHL. So now we can focus on the US teams who are here, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, owned by the Glazer family who invested so much in Manchester United are the first team to return to London. The Buccaneers have started their new NFL season strongly, with four wins and two defeats. Interestingly they are not one of the highest scoring teams in the NHL, and neither do they have the best defence. But they have rocked out a 3-1 home record for the season nonetheless and are just about getting the job done and are riding fourth in the NFC conference. They head to London on a one match winning stream and have a positive 2-0 record against Divisional opponent and are 3-2 in the ascendancy over fellow Conference teams. Their opponents on Sunday, the Chicago Bears have split their opening six matches with a 3-3 record, but have put more points on the board than the Buccaneers. The Chicago Bears hit London with a one match winning streak and with a 1-2 match record against divisional rivals. All of the Bears’ matches have come against fellow NFC teams so far . So on paper the two look pretty evenly matched, but let us look as some Tampa Bay v Chicago NFL betting.

Tampa Bay should be pretty confident after scoring a good win against the strong New Orleans Saints in their last match. They are not averaging as many points per match as Chicago though. The Buccaneers are averaging 18.8 points per match, while Chicago are running at 24.3 per game. Neither defence is really sparkling at the moment, with the Chicago Bears ranking 29th out of 32 franchises in the NHL at the moment, but Tampa Bay are only running at the 25th best team in overall defence. Tampa may just have the edge, but this should be a pretty close match up.

Tampa Bay v Chicago Bears NFL betting
Chicago Bears to win: 20/23 at Boylesports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win: 21/20 at SkyBet

Points Spread Betting
As this is American Football, we can take a look at points spreads, which is a handicap system. You basically back a team to beat a set points spread on a match, for example the Chicago Bears -1 for Evens at BetFair means that the Bears will need to win by two points for the bet to win. With the spread set there, it gives a good indicator of how tight the match is expected to be, with two fairly unpredictable sides squaring off. Because the Bears are on a minus in the spread it means they are favourites, naturally. With Tampa set at +1 for the same price at BetFair, you will simply be backing the Buccaneers to not lose my more than one point. Check out online betting exchange BetFair for more options, as they offer a risk free £25 bet for new customers registering an account.

20th October 2011 / Lee A Jackson - Category: Sports Betting

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