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NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

NEW ENGLAND (13 - 4) at DENVER (14 - 3) - 1/19/2014, 3:00 PM

Top Trends for this game.
DENVER is 15-5 ATS (+9.5 Units) as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points over the last 2 seasons.
DENVER is 21-11 ATS (+8.9 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
DENVER is 21-11 ATS (+8.9 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
DENVER is 20-8 ATS (+11.2 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.
DENVER is 18-6 ATS (+11.4 Units) in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.
DENVER is 46-28 ATS (+15.2 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 42-23 ATS (+16.7 Units) as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 80-47 ATS (+28.3 Units) as an underdog since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 160-120 ATS (+28.0 Units) against conference opponents since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) against AFC West division opponents over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 98-71 ATS (+19.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 69-44 ATS (+20.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
NEW ENGLAND is 4-0 against the spread versus DENVER over the last 3 seasons
NEW ENGLAND is 4-0 straight up against DENVER over the last 3 seasons
4 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

SAN FRANCISCO (14 - 4) at SEATTLE (14 - 3) - 1/19/2014, 6:30 PM

Top Trends for this game.
SEATTLE is 24-11 ATS (+11.9 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
SEATTLE is 24-11 ATS (+11.9 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
SEATTLE is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) in home games over the last 3 seasons.
SEATTLE is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) in home lined games over the last 3 seasons.
SEATTLE is 19-8 ATS (+10.2 Units) against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
SEATTLE is 17-7 ATS (+9.3 Units) in home games in games played on turf over the last 3 seasons.
SEATTLE is 11-3 ATS (+7.7 Units) revenging a loss against opponent over the last 3 seasons.
SEATTLE is 14-5 ATS (+8.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.
SEATTLE is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons.
SAN FRANCISCO is 12-5 ATS (+6.5 Units) in all games this season.
SAN FRANCISCO is 12-5 ATS (+6.5 Units) in all lined games this season.
SAN FRANCISCO is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in road games this season.
SAN FRANCISCO is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in road lined games this season.
SAN FRANCISCO is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in all games where the total is between 35.5 and 42 points this season.
SAN FRANCISCO is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in road games when playing with 6 or less days rest this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
SEATTLE is 5-1 against the spread versus SAN FRANCISCO over the last 3 seasons
SAN FRANCISCO is 4-2 straight up against SEATTLE over the last 3 seasons
4 of 6 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

The total has gone OVER in 7 of New England's last 9 games when playing on the road against Denver
New England is 14-6 SU in its last 20 games on the road
Denver is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing New England
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Denver's last 9 games when playing at home against New England

San Francisco is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Francisco's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Seattle's last 5 games when playing San Francisco
Seattle is 16-1 SU in its last 17 games at home

New England at Denver
New England: 7-0 ATS against AFC West division opponents
Denver: 17-4 OVER after leading their last 3 games by 7+ points at the half

San Francisco at Seattle
San Francisco: 10-2 OVER after a game with a turnover margin of +2 or better
Seattle: 11-3 ATS revenging a loss against opponent

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

NFL Football: Streaks, Tips, Notes

New England at Denver

The final four squads are set. The Denver Broncos' behind an unusual stifling defense earned their shot at an AFC Conference title by defeating Chargers 24-17. The Patriots behind a run-heavy offense made short order of Andrew Luck and the Colts walking off with a 43-22 victory setting up this much anticipated Round-15 of the Brady vs Manning tournament. The Broncos opened -6.5 point chalk but have already been bet down to -4.5. Brady typically beats Manning when the two face off against each other winning 10 out of 14 encounters including this year's 34-31 week-12 squeaker in Foxboro. The victory gives Brady a 10-4 (8-5-1 ATS) mark split between 7-2 (5-3-1 ATS) in Foxboro 3-2 SU/ATS as a visitor when facing Manning.

Other Key Betting Trends:
- Patriots are 2-6 ATS on the road this season, 1-4 ATS away vs a team with a winning record.
- Patriots are 9-4-1 ATS as a road underdog L5Y's w/Brady
- Patriots are 6-2-1 ATS on the road after a 20 or more point win
- Patriots are 3-5 ATS L8 post season games w/Brady.
- Broncos are 5-3-1 ATS at Mile High this year, 1-1-1 ATS vs a team with a winning record.
- Broncos are 19-10-1 ATS as a favorite L2Y's w/Manning including 10-6-1 ATS at Mile High.
- Broncos are 0-2 ATS in post season w/Manning and the pivot is 2-6 ATS L8 second season games w/Broncos, Colts.

San Francisco at Seattle

The NFC Championship features Seattle Seahawks hosting bitter rival San Francisco 49ers. The Seahawks earned it's spot powering past Saints 23-15 behind a heavy dose of Marshawn Lynch (140 RY, 2 TD) while it's top-ranked defense kept Brees and company scoreless through three quarters. Meanwhile, San Francisco advanced to its third consecutive NFC Championship Game and like Seahawks counted on a dominant defense to send Panthers packing with a 23-10 victory. The early betting market has Seahawks 3.5 point favorite with the total set at 39.5 at most locales. The teams split their the two meetings this season each winning at home but Seahawks took the cash both times moving the mark to a sparkling 6-2 ATS since coach Pete Carroll took over including 4-0 ATS at CenturyLink Field.

Other Key Betting Trends:
- Seahawks have won an amazing 16-of-17 (13-4 ATS) in front of the frenzied home.
- Seahawks are 6-4 ATS last two years at home vs a team with a winning record.
- 49ers have a 4-2 ATS stretch going in second season under coach Harbaugh.
- 49ers have a 12-7-1 ATS stretch on the road vs a team with a winning record including 6-3 ATS dressed as an underdog.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

Brady, Manning collide

New England (13-4 SU, 9-8 ATS) at Denver (14-3 SU, 10-7 ATS) Opening Line: Denver -2.5, Total: 54.5

Tom Brady’s Patriots look to secure a sixth Super Bowl berth in the past 13 years on Sunday afternoon when they visit Peyton Manning’s Broncos seeking their first AFC Championship since 1998. Brady is 10-4 head-to-head versus Manning, including 2-1 in the postseason, but is just 2-4 SU all-time in Denver.

New England overcame a 24-0 halftime deficit in a 34-31 home win in Week 12 over the Broncos, as Brady threw for 344 yards and 3 TD, while Manning threw for a season-low 150 yards and 2 TD. But the story of that game was turnovers, as the Patriots lost fumbles on each of their first three drives, but Denver committed four turnovers to let New England back into the game.

The Pats are red-hot, having won their past three contests by an average of 23.0 PPG, but they are just 2-6 ATS (4-4 SU) on the road this year. The Broncos have also won three straight games by an impressive 17.0 PPG, and are 5-3 ATS (8-1 SU) at home this season.

Both teams have favorable betting trends for Sunday, as the Patriots are 20-8 ATS (71%) as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points, and 25-10 ATS (71%) versus excellent passing teams (260+ pass YPG) under head coach Bill Belichick. But Denver is 15-5 ATS (75%) as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points, and 12-4 ATS (75%) versus poor passing defenses (235+ passing YPG allowed) over the past two seasons.

Both teams are dealing with significant injuries. New England LB Brandon Spikes (knee) is out, while P Ryan Allen (shoulder) and rookie WRs Aaron Dobson (foot) and Kenbrell Thompkins (head) are all questionable.

For the Broncos, they lost CB Chris Harris (knee) for the season, and three other members of the secondary are also hurting -- S Duke Ihenacho (concussion) and CBs Champ Bailey (shoulder) and Kayvon Webster (thumb) -- but all three are expected to play on Sunday.

Starting with the comeback win over Denver in Week 12, the Patriots offense has been rolling with 33.3 PPG on 419 total YPG in their past seven games, where they've gone 6-1 SU (4-3 ATS). While in the past this offense was mostly due to QB Tom Brady throwing the football, the Patriots have considerably more rushing yards (214 rush YPG) than passing yards (153 pass YPG) during their three-game win streak.

The man mostly responsible for this improved ground game is RB LeGarrette Blount, who has rushed for 431 yards on 64 carries (6.7 YPC) and eight touchdowns over the past three contests. Blount lost a fumble on his second carry of the game against Denver in Week 12 and did not touch the ball for the remainder of the contest, but he will need to be an integral part of this offense for his team to win on Sunday.

New England knows it cannot be one-dimensional against what has been a strong Broncos run defense, and Brady threw all over Denver's subpar secondary on Nov. 24, completing 34-of-50 passes for 344 yards (6.9 YPA), 3 TD and 0 INT. Brady is now 5-6 with 7.4 YPA, 23 TD and 8 INT all-time versus the Broncos, including 7.8 YPA, 11 TD and 7 INT in six trips to Denver. WR Julian Edelman and RB Shane Vereen were Brady's main targets in Week 12, combining for 17 catches, 170 yards and 2 TD in that victory. Edelman has been outstanding all season with 111 receptions for 1,140 yards and 6 TD in his 17 games, racking up 59 catches for 640 yards and 4 TD in his past seven contests.

The New England defense has had its problems throughout the season (374 total YPG allowed), which includes 244 passing YPG on 6.6 YPA, and 130 rushing YPG on 4.4 YPC. But the unit has allowed only 21.2 PPG this season, and just 16.3 PPG during its three-game win streak, which is helped greatly by its eight takeaways during this stretch. But they shouldn't expect the Broncos to turn the football over another four times like in their last meeting.

Denver has committed only five turnovers in its six games since losing in New England. Although QB Peyton Manning threw for a mere 150 yards in that defeat, with no receiver gaining even 50 yards, the Broncos were still able to amass 430 total yards on offense, compiling 280 rushing yards on 48 carries (5.8 YPC). RB Knowshon Moreno had 224 of those on 37 attempts (6.1 YPC), but he hasn't been great since that super-human effort, rushing for just 296 yards (3.8 YPC) in the past six games combined.

Manning has relied on four main pass catchers this season in WRs Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker, and TE Julius Thomas, who was injured for the game in New England. Julius Thomas led the team with 76 receiving yards in last Sunday's 24-17 win over San Diego, while Demaryius Thomas and Welker scored the touchdowns. Welker, who played with the Patriots for six seasons, managed just four catches for 31 yards against his former team in Week 12 and has not reached 100 yards in a game all season.

Manning improved his career playoff record to 10-9 last week, while increasing his postseason stats to 5,488 passing yards (7.6 YPA), 33 TD and 22 INT. These numbers are similar to what he's done in 15 career games versus New England (5-10 record), where he has 4,225 passing yards (7.2 YPA), 31 TD and 20 INT.

But Manning should have more faith in his defense that has been playing at a very high level over the team's three-game win streak, holding opponents to 14.7 PPG and 251 total YPG. That's a huge improvement from what the Broncos gave up in their first 14 games of the year (26.6 PPG and 372 total YPG). Denver has been especially stingy against opposing rushers during the win streak (72.0 YPG on 3.4 YPC), and has the ability to slow down the Patriots suddenly potent ground game. But since forcing three fumbles against New England on Nov. 24, the Broncos have totaled just six takeaways in the past six games combined.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

Round 3 - 49ers at Hawks

San Francisco (14-4 SU, 11-5-2 ATS) at Seattle (14-3 SU, 12-5 ATS) Opening Line: Seattle -3.5, Total: 38.5

The 49ers look to secure a ninth straight victory and a second straight NFC Championship when they visit the division rival Seahawks on Sunday.

San Francisco is 0-5 ATS (1-4 SU) in the past five trips to Seattle, scoring less than 20 points each time (11.6 PPG). This includes a 29-3 blowout loss in Week 2 when the club committed an uncharacteristic five turnovers. But since that matchup, the Niners are 8-0-1 ATS (8-1 SU) in non-home games, and are outscoring these clubs by 14.0 PPG. And their current eight-game win streak includes a 19-17 win over the Seahawks when they nearly doubled Seattle's rushing yards (163 to 83). But the Seahawks are extremely tough to take down at home, going 8-1 SU (5-4 ATS) at CenturyLink Field this year, where they hold visitors to 13.9 PPG and 271 total YPG.

There are plenty of positive betting trends for both teams in this matchup.

Since 2011, San Francisco is 10-1 ATS when facing a top-level team (75%+ win pct.), outscoring these elite opponents by an average score of 29 to 18, and 17-8 ATS (68%) in road games, including 8-1 ATS on the road versus good passing teams (61%+ completion pct.). But NFL road underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points, coming off two straight road wins with a winning record, facing another winning team are just 5-24 ATS (17%) since 1983.

Also, since Pete Carroll became the team's head coach in 2010, Seattle is 24-10 ATS (71%) at home and 15-4 ATS (79%) when revenging a loss against an opponent.

Both teams have a couple of injury concerns for Sunday, as the 49ers could be without CB Carlos Rogers (hamstring) and FB Will Tukuafu (knee), while the Seahawks have two key contributors, WR Percy Harvin (concussion) and DT Jordan Hill (groin), who are listed as questionable.

The 49ers don't have an explosive offense (25.1 PPG on 326 YPG), but they have been slightly better on the road where they average 26.0 PPG on 327 YPG. They prefer to utilize their impressive ground game that has compiled 139 rushing YPG on 4.4 YPC this year, but are also efficient throwing the football with 7.1 YPA. QB Colin Kaepernick is 3-0 in true road games in his postseason career, throwing for 656 yards (8.3 YPA) and 3 TD while rushing for 134 yards (7.9 YPC) and one touchdown, which came last week in Carolina. But he has not played well in three career starts against Seattle, completing just 50.5% of his passes for 546 yards (5.9 YPA), 2 TD and 5 INT. He has found some running room in this series though, with 149 yards on 25 carries (6.0 YPC).

RB Frank Gore has faced the Seahawks 16 times in his long career, piling up 1,800 total yards and 5 TD, while rushing for a hefty 5.3 yards per carry. This includes 110 yards on just 17 attempts (6.5 YPC) when the teams met in Week 14, but he was held to 16 yards on nine carries in the Week 2 defeat in Seattle, showing that his performance will go a long way in determining the outcome of this game.

If Gore cannot find any running room, San Francisco has plenty of talented receivers to move the chains through the air. WR Michael Crabtree was injured for that Week 2 loss, but was able to catch four passes in the Dec. 8 meeting. Crabtree also opened the playoffs with a huge performance in Green Bay (8 catches, 125 yards), while teammate WR Anquan Boldin did the heavy damage last week versus the Panthers with eight catches for 136 yards. Although Boldin's 93 receiving yards helped the Niners defeat the Seahawks in Week 14, he was nearly invisible in Seattle in Week 2, catching just one pass for seven yards. TE Vernon Davis has caught touchdown passes in 13 of his 17 games this season, including seven straight road games, but had 41 combined receiving yards and one touchdown in two meetings with the Seahawks this year.

While the San Francisco offense has been up and down this year, the defensive unit has been consistently outstanding. For the season, the Niners allow just 16.8 PPG on 315 total YPG, holding opponents to 96 rushing YPG on 3.8 YPC, while limiting opposing quarterbacks to a 59.6% completion percentage, 219 passing YPG and 6.2 YPA. They have done a great job on third downs all season (34.8%), and their red-zone efficiency (50% TD rate) has been even better in the two playoff games (29% TD rate), thanks in part to nine postseason sacks, including 4.5 sacks from LB Ahmad Brooks. The unit has also forced at least two turnovers in 11-of-18 games this season, totaling 32 takeaways, but has forced exactly one Seahawks turnover in five straight meetings.

Seattle's offense has been slightly better than San Francisco this season with 25.9 PPG and 335 total YPG, but the teams have virtually the same amount of rushing yards (139 YPG) with the Seahawks averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Seattle's passing offense has been much more efficient than the Niners though with 63.0% completion rate and 7.6 YPA. QB Russell Wilson has had a stellar second season in the NFL with 26 TD passes and just 9 INT, but he was pretty quiet in last week's win versus New Orleans when he completed just 9-of-18 passes for 103 yards (5.7 YPA), 0 TD and 0 INT. He also struggled against San Francisco this season, completing just 23-of-44 passes (52%) for 341 yards (7.8 YPA), 2 TD and 2 INT in the two meetings.

While he doesn't have a 1,000-yard receiver to rely on, WRs Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are both reliable pass catchers, combining for 117 catches and 1,719 receiving yards this season with five touchdown catches each. Tate does a great job of turning short passes into long gains, as he led the NFL with 7.8 YAC per reception during the regular season. Baldwin is more of a field stretcher with 15.5 yards per reception, and he caught a 51-yard pass in the Week 2 win over the Niners. TE Zach Miller also has 5 TD grabs on the season, but caught just three passes for 35 yards in the two meetings with San Francisco and was held to one catch last week.

But for this team to reach the Super Bowl, it will continue to ride RB Marshawn Lynch. The bruising back is one of the rare players that have had success against the 49ers, compiling 832 total yards and 7 TD in eight career meetings. This includes 316 rushing yards on 4.2 YPC and 6 total TD (4 rushing, 2 receiving) in three meetings at CenturyLink Field. In Week 2, Lynch burned San Francisco for 135 total yards and three touchdowns, and last week against the Saints, he rushed 28 times for 140 yards (5.0 YPC) and two scores.

No defense was better than Seattle during the regular season, as the club led the NFL in total defense (274 YPG), scoring defense (14.4 PPG), passing defense (172 YPG) and red-zone efficiency (36% TD rate). This unit also placed seventh in the league in rushing defense, allowing 102 YPG on 3.9 YPC. Since surrendering 163 yards on 4.9 YPC against the Niners in Week 14, the Seahawks have limited the past four opponents to a meager 71 rushing YPG on 2.8 YPC. Turnovers have also been a staple of this defense, as it has racked up multiple takeaways in 12 of 17 games this season, forcing 40 turnovers overall (22 at home). This has been accomplished because of a lock-down secondary (CB Richard Sherman leads the league with 8 INT) and a pass rush generating 45 sacks.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

NFL Conference championship

Patriots were favored in their last 11 playoff games; this is their first road playoff game since losing AFC title game 38-34 (+3) to Colts seven years ago. Patriots are 3-2 in road playoff games with Brady at QB, with only five of his 24 playoff tilts on foreign soil (3-2 in Super Bowls). Belichick is 5-2 in AFC title games, winning twice at Pittsburgh. Manning is 4-10 vs Brady's teams- Broncos (-2.5) got beat at Foxboro 34-31 in OT in Week 12, after leading 24-0 at half in sloppy game where Denver ran ball for 280 yards but turned ball over four times (-1). Patriots are 2-4 in last six road games overall, winning at Houston/Pittsburgh. This is only second time in last nine AFC title games the #'s 1-2 seeds played: NFL-wide, favorites are 4-3-1 vs spread in last eight conference title games between 1-2 seeds. Welker will have a big day against his old team, who unwisely let him walk.

49ers got crushed last two times they visited Seattle, 42-13/29-3; in two games vs Seahawks this year (Niners won rematch 19-17 at home), they scored 16 points in five red zone drives, one TD/four FGs- they'll need to do better here. Since 2000, #1 seeds are 3-3 vs spread when facing team in this round that didn't get first round bye; since 2001, #1 seeds are 6-9 overall vs spread in conference title games. This is third year in row 49ers are in this game, splitting last two, with road team winning both. 49ers didn't win a road playoff game from 1970 until LY, but now have won three in row; problem, this is now their 4th straight Sunday on road. Seattle is 5-4 as home favorite this year, with only SU loss to Arizona in Week 16. Harbaugh once beat Carroll's USC team as a 42-point underdog when he was at Stanford; no love lost between the two.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

Total Talk - Championships
By Chris David
Divisional Playoff Recap

After watching the ‘over’ dominate the NFL gridiron all season, it’s fair to say that things are starting to balance out in the playoffs. The ‘under’ went 3-1 in the Divisional Playoffs round and is now 6-2 (75%) in this year’s postseason.

Championship History

There hasn’t been a dominant total trend to back or fade in the championship round. The NFC and AFC title games have both seen the ‘over’ go 6-4 (60%) in their last 10 matchups but the ‘under’ has gone 3-1 the last two years.

During this span, we’ve only had one matchup with a total listed in the fifties, the 2010 NFC Championship between the Saints and Vikings, which went ‘over’ the number. On the other side of the spectrum, we can see below that there were five games with totals listed below 40 and surprisingly, the ‘over’ went 3-2 in those matchups.

AFC Championship

New England at Denver: This total opened 54½ and has been bet up to 56, with a few shops going to 56½ and I believe this number will close higher. The weather is expected to be perfect and that should only help Denver’s top-ranked offense (37 PPG, 452 YPG) against a New England defense (376 YPG), which gave up 386 yards to a less-talented Colts team last Sunday. The Broncos defense (24 PPG) isn’t great by any stretch and losing defensive back Chris Harris to a knee injury will be tough to replace.

When the teams met from Foxboro in Week 12, the Patriots rallied past the Broncos for a 34-31 victory in overtime. The Broncos and Patriots had comparable numbers in first downs (28-27), yardage (412-440) and more importantly turnovers (4-3), which created one defensive score and plenty of short tracks for both teams.

These teams met in the 2012 regular season as well and New England captured a 31-21 win at home over Denver. In this meeting, the Patriots ran for 251 yards on the Broncos and most believe they’ll try to duplicate this blueprint on Sunday and keep Peyton Manning off the field. While we noted that Denver’s defense isn’t great, its last three opponents have been held under 100 yards on the ground, and that includes San Diego’s 65-yard effort last weekend.

The Patriots started the season with a 5-3 mark to the ‘under’ but the ‘over’ has gone 7-2 in their last nine games. Conversely, Denver saw its first eight games go ‘over’ the number before watching the ‘under’ go 6-3 in its final nine games.

Tom Brady and New England averaged 25.1 PPG on the road this season and that includes a six-point effort at Cincinnati. Defensively, the unit allowed 21.6 PPG in eight road contests.

Since Peyton Manning arrived in Denver, he’s led the team to a 15-3 record in 18 home games. Over that span, the Broncos have scored 30-plus points in 14 games. In the four other outcomes, Denver scored 25, 27, 20 and 24 points, which occurred last week versus San Diego. Against the Chargers, the Broncos were intercepted in the endzone at the end of the first-half, they missed a field goal and they had to settle for another field goal after failing to convert a short third-down conversion. Instead of seven scores, Denver had four on just eight possessions.

NFC Championship

San Francisco at Seattle: This total has received plenty of action with the number dropping from 41 to 38 ½ as of Friday and based on the last four meetings between the pair, the movement seems correct.

Dec. 8, 2013 – San Francisco 19 vs. Seattle 17 (Under 41)
Sept. 15, 2013 – Seattle 29 vs. San Francisco 3 (Under 44)
Dec. 23, 2012 – Seattle 42 vs. San Francisco 13 (Over 40½)
Oct. 18, 2012 – San Francisco 13 vs. Seattle 6 (Under 37½)

Also, the Seahawks (14.4 PPG, 273 YPG) own the best defense in the league and the 49ers defense is ranked third in points (17 PPG) and fifth in yards (316 YPG). Seattle’s defense has been ever better the last six weeks (11.2 PPG), which includes last Sunday’s 23-15 win over the Saints. The ‘under’ has gone 6-0 during this span and it’s not just the defense helping the cause. Even though the Seahawks have scored a combined 50 points in their last two games, the offense was held to 269 and 277 total yards. The attack is sputtering and second-year quarterback Russell Wilson is starting to show flaws.

San Francisco only surrendered 10 points to Carolina in last week’s Divisional Playoff round but the Panthers did move the football. In case you forgot, they got stuffed on the goal line twice, once turning the ball over on downs and the second time settling for a 24-yard field goal. Do the math and it’s fair to say that Carolina left 11 points off the board.

One team that continues to leave points off the board is San Francisco, despite showing the ability to move the ball. During the 49ers’ current eight-game winning streak, they’re averaging 25.6 PPG and they’ve posted 300-plus yards as well. The issue with the San Francisco is execution. Over the eight-game span, the 49ers have scored 43 times. Delving into those numbers further, kicker Phil Dawson has accounted for 24 field goals while the offense and special teams has produced 19 touchdowns.

Dawson has been automatic this season and you could argue that the former Texas Longhorns standout has been the best free agent acquisition the 49ers have made. Due to a 14-year stint in Cleveland, he’s only been in three playoff games in his career but it’s hard to ignore the fact that he’s 8-of-8 in those contests.

Fearless Predictions

After last week’s 1-3 effort, our bankroll is down a little more than three bucks ($330). I normally lean to the opposite of the betting public but it’s hard to disagree with them this week. We’ll need to win out to get back in the black and with only three games left, the clock is ticking unless you’re playing the ‘over’ in next week’s Pro Bowl (which has been as automatic as Dawson). As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end – Good Luck!

Best Over: New England-Denver 56
Best Under: Seattle-San Francisco 39½
Best Team Total: Over Denver 30½

Two-Team Total Teaser (6-Point, +100):
Over 50 New England-Denver
Under 45½ San Francisco-Seattle

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

NFL Trends & Angles

Well, it was another great week for our NFL Trends & Angles in the Divisional Round of the 2013 NFL Playoffs as we officially went 8-2-4 ATS on a game-by-game basis, and those of you that got better than +8 on the New Orleans Saints went 12-2 ATS! That makes us officially 13-4-4 ATS through the first two rounds of the playoffs (17-4 ATS if you bet Saints late).

Remember that not all of the enormous volume on these NFL Playoff games will come from bettors that have been betting all season, as this is the time of year that brings out many novice bettors, and because of that the betting lines are more likely to change on “square” money at this time simply because of the sheer dollar amounts bet. Thus, as ironic as it sounds, post-season lines are sometimes not as sharp as the regular season.

That often leads to some vulnerable lines for sharper players, and as usual, underdogs are a nice place to start with many of the novice players eager to back the popular favorites. That same logic suggests to look at playing the ‘under’ first when playing totals, with fans of high scoring games, especially the aforementioned squares, usually over-betting the ‘over’.

Note that because there are a grand total of only 11 post-season games every year, it is hard to get as large a sample size as we do during the regular season, when going back to the 2005 season suffices for our NFL Trends & Angles. Thus, our playoff angles have varying lengths basically out of necessity, and even with that, not all of them will have the larger sample sizes you are accustomed to seeing with our regular season trends.

So here are our NFL Trends & Angles for the Championship Game Round of the playoffs, beginning with two angles that we are using for the first time this season and followed by three angles we are bringing back from last week. Also note that these angles are based on closing lines, so for these purposes, the Seahawks lost ATS last week even though they were a ‘push’ vs. the Saints at the time we published.

We have specified the length of each Trends & Angle.

Play on any road playoff team that won on the road in the previous week (22-12, 64.7% ATS since 2005): It is supposed to be hard to win on the road during the playoffs, as road teams are the lower seed after all, but apparently once a team does win on the road it becomes easier to repeat the performance. That could be the reason why so many wild cards have made Super Bowl runs in recent years. Qualifier: 49ers +3½.

Play the ‘over’ in any playoff game if a team is coming off of three ATS wins (61-39. 61.0% since 1990): Yes the old axiom is “Defense win Championships”, but this nice angle that stretches all the way back to 1990 is evidence that teams that are playing well and usually advance in the playoffs are teams that can score points also. That is not to say that defense is not important, but teams have to be able to compliment those defenses with the ability to at least score some points if they want to reach the Super Bowl. Qualifying ‘over’: Patriots vs. Broncos.

In playoff rematches of non-divisional regular season meetings, play on the team that lost the regular season meeting straight up (43-25-1, 63.2% ATS since 2001): A lot of non-divisional regular season matchups take place once every four years or so, which means that the teams are usually unfamiliar with each other when they take the field. However, if fate allows those teams to meet again in the playoffs, the team that lost now has some actual game tape to dissect and can make adjustments to either get revenge in the playoffs or at least make the game more competitive. Qualifier: Broncos -5.

Play on any playoff underdog coming off of two straight up wins (61-40-2, 60.4% ATS since 1999): Obviously the favorites in the playoffs are usually the better team and the public loves to bet favorites, which becomes even more amplified in the playoffs with so much more novice money involved. That often leads to nice value on underdogs that are playing well while coming in on winning steaks. Qualifiers: Patriots +5 and 49ers +3½.

Play against any playoff home team that lost its last game against the spread (31-19, 62.0% ATS since 2002): Way back in the day before there was internet, there used to be a popular playoff system that said to play on a team that failed to cover its last game, with the theory being that the team would be undervalued following a ATS loss yet was obviously still a good team since these are the playoffs after all. As so oftentimes happens with systems like that though, the public gets wind of it and all of a sudden, the contrarians become the mainstream. Nowadays, if a playoff team loses its last game ATS, it can be taken at face value as a sign that the team may be vulnerable, especially at home where it is usually asked to give more points (or it gets fewer points as an underdog). Qualifiers: Patriots +5 and 49ers +3½.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

Patriots at Broncos: What Bettors Need to Know

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (-5.5, 57)

Peyton Manning is one win from advancing to his third Super Bowl, but he'll have to get past a longtime nemesis when the Denver Broncos host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. Manning shattered a number of passing records - including Brady's single-season touchdown mark - and is an overwhelming favorite to win an unprecedented fifth MVP award. Standing in his way is Brady, who is attempting to become the first quarterback to reach six Super Bowls.

It will mark the 15th overall matchup and fourth in the postseason for the two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. Brady has dominated the rivalry with a 10-4 record against Manning, including a 34-31 overtime win in New England on Nov. 24 - a game in which the Patriots erased a 24-0 halftime deficit. “It’s the Broncos versus the Patriots,” Manning said. “Certainly Tom and I have played against each other a lot. But when you get to the AFC Championship Game, it’s about two good teams that have been through a lot to get there.”

LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Broncos as big as 7-point home favorites and sharp money jumped on the Patriots, dropping the line as low as -4.5 with help from the public. Wiseguy action started showing on Denver and forced a move back up to -5.5. The total opened as low as 54.5 and was bet up as high as 57 points.

WEATHER REPORT: The forecast is calling for clear skies with temperatures in the mid 50s and winds blowing west at 6 mph, from sideline to sideline.

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Patriots (-5.0) - Broncos (-7.0) + Home field (-3.0) = Broncos -5.0

KEY INJURIES: PATRIOTS: Kenbrell Thompkins WR - (Head) Questionable, Aaron Dobson WR - (Foot) Questionable, Tom Brady - (Flu) Probable. Ryan Allen P - (Shoulder) Questionable. BRONCOS: Rahim Moore S - (Leg) Questionable, Joel Dreessen TE - (Knee) Questionable, Chris Kuper G - (Ankle) Questionable.

WHAT BOOKS SAY: "This is by far one of the more interesting games we’ve booked in recent memory, as the public is supporting the dog and the wiseguys are on the favorite." - Michael Stewart,

WHAT SHARPS SAY: "New England just doesn’t get blown out on the road, so it’s worth taking a long look at grabbing the points in what is shaping up as a field-goal game in Colorado. The Patriots are running the ball more than they ever have in the Brady-Belichick Era, and Belichick doesn’t mind playing in tight games in Denver." - Covers Expert Art Aronson.

WHY BET THE PATRIOTS (13-4 SU, 9-8 ATS, 10-7 O/U):
New England rode a punishing running game led by LeGarrette Blount and Stevan Ridley, who combined for 218 yards and six touchdowns. The 250-pound Blount has been a monster down the stretch with 431 yards and eight scores in his last three games, including a sledgehammer 166-yard, four-TD performance a week ago. New England's defense, which allowed an average of 21.1 points during the regular season, registered four interceptions and three sacks against Colts QB Andrew Luck last week.

WHY BET THE BRONOCS (14-3 SU, 10-6-1 ATS, 11-6 O/U): Manning orchestrated the top offensive season in league history, throwing for 55 touchdowns and an NFL-record 5,477 yards as Denver became the first team to surpass 600 points. The Broncos are the first team in history to have five players score 10 touchdowns, including wideouts Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, ex-Patriot Wes Welker and tight end Julius Thomas, who missed the first matchup with New England but had six catches for 76 yards in last week's 24-17 win over San Diego.


* Patriots are 4-0 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Home team is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.
* Over is 7-2 in the last nine meetings in Denver.

Patriots +5.5 (60.28%), Over 55 (68.34%)

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

49ers at Seahawks: What Bettors Need to Know

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5, 38.5)

The San Francisco 49ers are riding an eight-game winning streak and have posted back-to-back postseason road victories, but a return trip to the Super Bowl will hinge on overcoming a bitter rival and a venue that has been a house of horrors. The 49ers will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, seeking to erase a pair of ugly defeats in their last two trips to the Pacific Northwest. Seattle has won the last two home matchups with the 49ers by a combined 71-16 score.

The Seahawks held off San Francisco to capture the NFC West title due in large part to their dominance at CenturyLink Field, where they are 16-1 over the past two seasons, including last week's 23-15 victory over New Orleans. The teams have split the past four meetings, with San Francisco prevailing 19-17 at home on Dec. 8 to avenge a 29-3 beating in Seattle in Week 2. “We’re ready to go,” 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said. "We’re a different team than the last time we played them up there."

LINE HISTORY: Seattle opened as a field-goal home favorite and sharp action came in hard on the host, tacking a half-point hook on the line. The public money has sided with the red-hot Niners, however, and books are trying to stay at 3.5 by adjusting the vig on the Seahawks. The total opened at 41 points and action on the Under has pushed this number as low as 38.5. Books are bracing for wiseguys to come back on the Over if it continues to fall.

WEATHER REPORT: The forecast is calling for mostly cloudy skies and a 14 percent chance of rain with temperatures in the high 40s. Winds are expected to blow NNW, from corner to corner, but will only reach speeds of 1 mph.

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: 49ers (-6.0) - Seahawks (-7.3) + Home field (-3.0) = Seahawks -4.3

KEY INJUIRES: 49ERS: Carlos Rogers CB - (Hamstring) Probable, Will Tukuafu FB - (Knee) Questionable. SEAHAWKS:  Percy Harvin WR, (Concussion) Doubtful, K.J. Wright LB - (Foot) Questionable

WHAT BOOKS SAY: "Our bettors have been all over the 49ers in the playoffs. We’ve seen sharp money support the Seahawks at home all season and unlike last week, they’ve gotten the money more times than not. So this game and the line movement has been somewhat predictable." - Michael Stewart,

WHY SHARPS SAY: "It’s been four months since the Niners - disorganized at the time - went in to Seattle and got spanked. Since then, San Francisco has figured things out and playing on the road doesn’t seem to be all that much of an issue." - Covers Expert Art Aronson.

WHY BET THE 49ERS (14-4 SU, 12-6 ATS, 8-10 O/U): One difference from the first meeting is the presence of wideout Michael Crabtree, who has 30 receptions in seven games since returning to the starting lineup following Achilles' tendon surgery. Anquan Boldin had eight catches for 136 yards last week and tight end Vernon Davis caught his seventh touchdown pass in seven postseason games. Running back Frank Gore rushed for 110 yards against the Seahawks last month and has a pair of 200-yard games against Seattle.

WHY BET THE SEAHAWKS (14-3 SU, 11-6 ATS, 6-11 O/U): Seattle has the luxury of leaning on running back Marshawn Lynch, who piled up 140 yards and scored twice a week ago to give him five touchdowns and three 100-yard performances in his last five playoff games. The Seahawks' defense feeds off the raucous 12th Man crowd, ranking first in the NFL in points (14.4) and yards (273.3) permitted while also amassing a league-best 28 interceptions. The Seahawks have won six straight postseason home games, outscoring their opponents 174-109.


* Under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Favorite is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.
* Home team is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
* 49ers are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings.

CONSENSUS PICK: San Francisco +3.5 (61%), Under 38.5 (67%)

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

AFC Championship
By Kevin Rogers

The AFC Championship matchup everyone was anticipating since the start of the season has come to fruition with the Broncos and Patriots playing for the right to move onto New Jersey for Super Bowl XLVIII. Of course, the headline is the continuing rivalry of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, but the Broncos want to show they aren't just a great regular season team with nothing to show for it in the playoffs.

The last time these two teams hooked up at Gillette Stadium in late November, Denver jumped out to a seemingly insurmountable 24-0 advantage at halftime. The Broncos were aided by three New England fumbles on each of its first three possessions, including a 60-yard return for a score by Von Miller. However, the Pats struck back in the third quarter with three touchdowns, including a pair of strikes from Brady to get within, 24-21.

New England would score 10 more points in the fourth quarter to take a seven-point lead until Manning hit DeMaryius Thomas for the tying touchdown with three minutes remaining. The Broncos would fumble a punt in overtime to set up the game-winning field by Stephen Gostkowski to give New England the improbable 34-31 triumph as short one-point favorites. In two games since Manning joined the Broncos, Denver is 0-2 against New England, even though both games were played in Foxboro.

So far in the playoffs, both these squads have played just once after receiving first-round byes. The Broncos held off the feisty Chargers, 24-17, but 10 late points by San Diego gave the Bolts the cover as eight-point road underdogs. The Patriots advanced to their third straight conference championship following a 43-22 blowout of the Colts, easily cashing as 7 ½-point home favorites. Brady didn't even bust the 200-yard passing mark, but LeGarrette Blount paced the offense with 166 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

John Fox's club has won eight of nine games at Sports Authority Field this season, while posting a 5-3-1 ATS record. Following 'overs' in each of their first eight games, the Broncos are 6-3 to the 'under' in the past nine contests, including four straight 'unders.' The Patriots split eight road games this season, including losses to the Jets, Dolphins, Bengals, and Panthers. New England is listed as an underdog in the playoffs for the first time since the 2006 AFC Championship, when the Pats lost to Manning's Colts, 38-34 as 3½-point road 'dogs. NFL expert Joe Nelson talks about the ground game benefited Denver in the first matchup, "There has been a lot of focus on the recent transition to being a 'running team' for the Patriots, but in the regular season meeting between the two AFC finalists, the Broncos out-rushed New England 280-116. That game came in a terrible spot for the Broncos in between two games with division rival Kansas City and recall the first meeting between the Broncos and Chiefs was a hyped clash of 9-0 teams. Still, the Broncos led 24-0 in that game before the great comeback by the Patriots and then the mostly uneventful overtime that avoided a tie as a result of the special teams miscue for Denver."

From an ATS perspective, Nelson says that Bill Belichick's team steps up when receiving points, "The Patriots have historically dominated in the underdog role, going 38-20-1 ATS since 2000, including a 21-8 ATS run when getting more than four points. Brady has had the edge over Manning in the head-to-head matchups of two future Hall of Fame players, but this is just the third AFC championship meeting with Brady winning the first instance and Manning taking the most recent meeting all the way back in the Super Bowl XLI season for the Colts."

From a defensive standpoint with injuries all around, handicapper Antony Dinero says to keep an eye on who forces the most turnovers, "Expect the team that generates the most push up front to force a critical game-changing turnover, though it's not a perfect science. Denver got four sacks last week without allowing one, but was a -2 in the turnover battle against San Diego. The Patriots racked up four takeaways despite just three sacks and light pressure of Andrew Luck. On the road, New England will need the larceny to continue to advance to another Super Bowl."

Since Brady has taken over as quarterback of the Patriots, the AFC East champions are 5-2 in conference title games, while winning twice on the road in 2001 and 2004 (both at Pittsburgh). The Broncos are participating in their second conference championship since 2000, as Denver fell to Pittsburgh at home in 2005. In Manning's career, he is 2-1 SU/ATS in the AFC Championship, with both victories at home (all games as a member of the Colts).

Denver opened as 6 ½-point favorites, but that number has dropped to 5½ and even five at several spots this week following money coming in on New England. The total is set at 57 as the game kicks off at 3:00 PM EST and can be seen nationally on CBS.

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Re: NFL Betting News and Notes Sunday, January 19

NFC Championship
By Kevin Rogers

The 49ers have played each of their last three games on the road, winning the regular season finale at Arizona, followed up playoff triumphs at Green Bay and Carolina. Now, San Francisco has to pull off the highway trick one more time with a trip to the Pacific Northwest to take on the rival Seahawks with a return to the Super Bowl on the line.

San Francisco couldn't quite jump Seattle for the NFC West title, in spite of a 12-4 regular season. Jim Harbaugh's club invaded frigid Green Bay in the NFC Wild Card round and escaped with a 23-20 triumph as three-point road favorites. The Niners followed up that victory by avenging a November home loss to the Panthers last Sunday, 23-10 in a dominating second half performance. After trailing Carolina late in the first half, 10-6, the Niners took the lead at halftime with a Colin Kaepernick touchdown pass to Vernon Davis in the final seconds of the first half. San Francisco held Carolina off the scoreboard in the second half, while outscoring the Panthers, 10-0 to advance to its third straight NFC title game.

The Seahawks advanced to their first NFC Championship since 2005 after knocking off the Saints, 23-15 in the divisional playoffs. New Orleans covered as 10-point underdogs with a late touchdown, but the Seahawks shut out the Saints for the first three quarters. Russell Wilson completed only nine passes in the win, as the Seahawks' offense was saved by the running prowess of Marshawn Lynch, who scored two touchdowns and ran for 140 yards.

The Niners and Seahawks split a pair of meetings this season, with the home team winning each time. Back in Week 2 at CenturyLink Field, Seattle took a 5-0 lead into halftime, but blew the game wide open in the second half with three touchdowns by Lynch, including two on the ground. The Seahawks routed the Niners, 29-3 to easily cash as three-point favorites, while intercepting Kaepernick three times in the victory.

In the second matchup at Candlestick Park in Week 14, the Niners held on for a 19-17 victory thanks to a short Phil Dawson field goal in the final minute of play. Seattle managed a cover as 2 ½-point underdogs, while limiting Kaepernick to 175 yards passing and just one touchdown pass. The 49ers relied on their running game, as Frank Gore rushed for 110 yards, but Davis was limited to just two receptions in that win.

Following the loss at Seattle in mid-September, San Francisco has won eight of its last nine games away from the Bay Area, while covering seven times in this stretch. The Seahawks have won 16 of their past 17 home contests since the start of the 2012 season, while posting a 9-5 ATS record in the favorite role. When listed as a home favorite of nine points or less in this stretch, Pete Carroll's team owns an impressive 5-1 ATS mark, including two resounding victories over the 49ers. handicapper Antony Dinero looks at the impact of the big playmakers in this contest, "Seattle and San Francisco hate each and all that jazz, but execution, not emotion, is going to decide the winner in this season's third and final matchup. With Percy Harvin out with concussion symptoms, the Seahawks will be down an elite playmaker that popped off the screen against the Saints as an ingredient they clearly lacked. In Michael Crabtree, the 49ers have a weapon they lacked the first time they visited Seattle and were routed 29-3. Since both defenses are so sturdy, speed and the ability to break the big play may be the deciding factor, potentially giving San Francisco an edge."

NFL expert Joe Nelson feels the road weariness could turn into a factor for San Francisco, "The Seahawks will play a second game at home in a span of three weeks while the 49ers have been on the road for four consecutive Sundays, including the east coast trip to Charlotte last week. The third meeting of the season will determine whether the 49ers have unstoppable momentum or whether the reward for Seattle featuring the best record in the NFC is too steep to overcome. With the reputations of both defenses this game will feature one of the lowest totals of the season as only 11 regular season games featured a total below 40 with a solid edge to the 'over' in those games."

The last time the Seahawks hosted the NFC Championship, Seattle routed Carolina in the 2005 title game, 34-14 as 3½-point favorites.  Since 2005, the Seahawks have won all six playoff contests at CenturyLink Field, while only one victory came by less than five points (2006 Wild Card vs. Cowboys).

Both meetings between the 49ers and Seahawks this season finished 'under' the total, while Seattle is riding a five-game 'under' streak. The Seahawks are listed as 3½-point home favorites, even though most of the public is siding with the 49ers. The total is set at 40, as temperatures are expected to be in the mid-40's. The NFC Championship kicks off at 6:30 PM EST and can be seen on FOX.

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