Football Forecast - Divisional Playoffs
Volume 19, Edition 19… January 13-14, 2018
50-Unit NFL Playoff Game Highlights 4-0 Weekend
I Went 3-1 In Last Weekend's Playoffs
Las Vegas Bookmakers Say They'll Go Broke If Atlanta Falcons Win Saturday Since The Have All One-Sided Action In Game With #1-Seeded Eagles
100-Unit College Basketball Game Of Month Wins Saturday Right Back On Sunday With 50-Unit Blowout
Bookmakers Say Patriots-Vikings Favored Duo To Make Super Bowl...If You Agree You Can Get $270 For $100 Bet...Think It's Titans And Eagles? Bet $100 And Win $11,500
By Kelso Sturgeon
Most bookmakers predict the New England Patriots (13-3) and the Minnesota Vikings (13-3) will meet in the Super Bowl, and they may right, but they will first have to get past their opponents in this week's divisional playoff games and then win next week's conference championships. No easy task, my friend, as was noted last weekend in the wildcard games that two underdogs won outright and all four underdogs covered the number. Nothing comes easy at this level of play.
The situation Saturday and Sunday is the same song, second verse, of last weekends games. Any of the eight teams in action can win outright, period. It's the nature of the beast when a team is just two games away from playing in the Super Bowl. Every team is one fumble or one interception away from losing and seeing their hopes for the championship going right down the drain.
Still I am quite confident I have found elements and edges that puts me in line to go 4-0 this weekend after going 3-1 last week.
- On Saturday I will be releasing both games - one at the 50-unit level, the second at 15 units.
- On Sunday I will be releasing both games - one at 25 units, the second at 15 units
You can win all four games for just $50, charged to your major credit card or to Pay Pal. They will be available online or at my office, toll free at 1-800-755-2255.
My 3-1 Wildcard Record Last Weekend
25 Units...Titans (+9) 22, Chiefs 21 (Won)
25 Units...Falcons (+5.5) 26, Rams 13 (Won)
100 Units...Jaguars (-8) 10, Bills 3 (Lost)
25 Units...Panthers (+6.5) 26, Saints 31 (Won)
So much to consider when handicapping this weekends four games. For the first time since the NFL playoffs went to 12 teams in 1990, a #1 -seed, the host Philadelphia Eagles, are an underdog. It's all about the Eagles being without starting quarterback Carson Wentz who had a sensational season before being injured and then a universal lack of confidence in backup Nick Foles. The Eagles will take the field as 3-point underdog against the Atlanta Falcons (11-6) and bookmakers say they have been overwhelmed with one-way action on the latter. Needless to say they are pulling for the Eagles.
In Saturday's second game, the AFC's #1-seeded New England Patriots are 13.5-point favorites over a Tennessee Titans (10-7) team that has not won in Foxborough, ever. More currently it has been all New England in their past six meetings, with the Pats going 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS. Something to ponder: in the history of NFL playoffs 18 teams have been 13.5-point or greater underdogs and have gone 3-15 SU and 8-9-1 ATS.
As noted I believe I have the edges to win them all and you can get all four winners in a single package for just $50, charged to your major credit card or to Pay Pal. It’s 4-0 time - do not miss it. If you want to play day-by-day, it's $30.
Saturday’s Divisional Playoff Games
American Football Conference
Atlanta Falcons (11-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
Atlanta is -3, With Total Of 41
Kickoff 4:35 Eastern…NBC
Vegas bookmakers say if Wentz were playing the Eagles would be about a 4-point favorite and question whether the shift of 7 points the other way is too much. Maybe they are campaigning for Philadelphia action - thus far nonexistent. Regardless, A Falcon Win Will Ruin Their Weekend.
National Football Conference
Tennessee Titans (10-7) at New England Patriots (13-3)
New England is -13.5, With Total Of 48
Kickoff 8:15 Eastern…CBS
With Bill Belichick in charge, the Patriots stand 25-9 in the playoffs and have gone 17-3 at home in their last 20 post-season games. In their last 10 playoff games in Foxborough, the Pats are 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS with six of the wins coming by double-digits. New England has won two of the last three Super Bowls, including last year’s come-from-behind 34-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Sunday’s Divisional Playoff Games
American Football Conference
Jacksonville Jaguars (11-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
Pittsburgh -7, With Total Of 41
Kickoff 1:05 Eastern…CBS
These teams met in Week #5 in Pittsburgh and the Jaguars won in shocking fashion, 30-9 as 7.5-point underdogs. In that game, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger had one of the worst games of his career, throwing five interceptions. That said, Roethlisberger has gone 13-7 in playoff games and that includes a 6-3 mark at home. It is of note Pittsburgh has gone 5-1 SU and ATS in their last six home playoff games and won the five by an average of 10 points
National Football Conference
New Orleans Saints (12-5) at Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
Minnesota -5, With Total Of 46.5
Kickoff 4:40 Eastern…FOX
The Vikings opened in Las Vegas books at -3.5 and within hours they were bet out to -5. This game also has bookmakers nervous since both the public and the sharps used Minnesota in almost all their parlays. These teams met in the opening game of the season in Minnesota, with the Vikings winning, 29-19, as a 3-point favorite. It is of note Minnesota closed out the season 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS. This will be the 33rd meeting of these two teams and the Vikings stand 21-11 in the previous 32. The bottom line - It’s the Saints offense against the 3rd-ranked NFL defense.
Like Titans And Eagles To Get To The Super Bowl?
If You Do Bet $100 To Win $11,500
Some sports books are offering futures wagering on which two teams will get to the Super Bowl. In odds from Intertops, a book located in Antigua and Barbuda, a matchup between New England and Minnesota, is listed as the most likely to happen at +270, which means for every $100 wager you would receive $270. Longest price on the board is a Tennessee-Philadelphia game at +11,500, meaning you would win $11,500 for each $100 wager.
Here are the proposed matchups from Intertops.
New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings +270
New England Patriots vs. New Orleans Saints +550
New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons +600
New England Patriots vs. Philadelphia Eagles +800
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Minnesota Vikings +650
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New Orleans Saints +1200
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons +1300
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Philadelphia Eagles +1700
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Minnesota Vikings +2000
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans Saints +3500
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Atlanta Falcons +3800
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Philadelphia Eagles +4900
Tennessee Titans vs. Minnesota Vikings +4700
Tennessee Titans vs. New Orleans Saints +8300
Tennessee Titans vs. Atlanta Falcons +9000
Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles +11500
The Road Is The Killer In College Basketball And That's Why I Call It The Devil's Highway
There are two things that will get the best basketball teams in the country beat - (1) going on the road and (2) being nationally ranked. The road has forever been a hazard for all teams but more so for those that are leading the chase for a national championship. When teams host one of the big boys they go all-in for the win to put a feather in their camp.
Number 1 ranked Villanova (15-1) suffered its only loss this season at Butler, 101-93, as a 6-point favorite.
Number 4 ranked Michigan State (16-2) lost at Ohio State, 80-64, as a 6-point favorite Its other loss came on a neutral floor to Duke.
Number 7 Duke (14-2) suffered its two losses on the road, at N.C. State, 96-85, as a 12.5-point favorite, and at Boston College, 89-84, as a 15-point favorite.
All I am saying is that any nationally-ranked team that leaves home has a big target on its back and is going to face teams that are pumped up and ready to fire their best shots. The broader bottom line is that good teams still win on the road and their "away" form tells you just how good/bad they are.
Number 5 ranked Wichita State is an exception to the rule. After last night's 95-60 blowout win at East Carolina the Shockers are 47-6 on the road over the past five seasons - the best record of all 353 NCAA Division I teams. They will try to make that 48-6 at Tulsa Saturday.
Handicapping Hint Of The Week
At some point of the college basketball season bookmakers catch up with reality and alter the betting landscape considerable. More often than not the changes they make are reflected in a team's numbers again the spread. For instance, Marquette opened its season 2-5-0 ATS but in its last nine games stands 6-2-1. In other words the same team that opened 2-5-0 is the same team with the 6-2-1 record. The team has not changed but those making betting lines have made adjustments to reflect reality. Current betting lines tell a far more accurate story of a team's ability and bettors need to pay attention to them.
College Basketball Injury Updates
St. John's second leading scorer, guard Marcus LoVett who averaged 14.9 points per game, has been lost for the season with a knee injury.
Indiana center De'Ron Davis (9.6 points, 4.3 rebounds per game) will miss the rest of the season after having surgery for a torn Achilles tendon.
Siena's leading scorer, guard Nico Clareth, (15.1 points per game) has left the team, returned home to Baltimore and says he will transfer. He was the only player on the team scoring in double-digits.
Texas shooting guard Andrew Jones, a key component of the Longhorns attack, has been diagnosed with leukemia and is under going treatment.
100-Unit College Game Of Month Wins Saturday Followed Up With 50-Unit Blowout Sunday
The weekend's college basketball schedule is loaded with marquee matchups - Georgetown at Seton Hall, TCU at Oklahoma, Oregon at Arizona and North Carolina at Notre Dame, to name just four - but my biggest winner - my 100-unit College Basketball Game of the Month - won't be one of those. Winners come from anywhere and everywhere and I have found a game between two lesser-know teamsn, with one of them grading out with a 90% chance to win and cover. That will be the big one and you can win it with me for just $40.
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