It’s Wild Card Weekend
Sunday 5th January
Game 3 Chargers @ The Bengals 6.05 Sky Sport 1
The consistent and exciting Cincinnati Bengals (I never thought I would write that) take on the incredibly fortunate but talented San Diego Chargers in Ohio tonight. This game is simply full of questions, like – Have the Bengals final arrived as a play off contender after so many years in the wilderness? After such an amazing route in to the play-offs are the Chargers pre-destined to greatness like the Ravens were last year. Can the Chargers play in the cold? Can Dalton play gun fighter football in the play-offs and still be relaxed enough to deliver under pressure?
My thoughts are disregard all the question and stick to the facts, which are. Rivers and Dalton have both delivered about the same amount of yards, roughly 4,300 each. BenJarvus Ellis-Greene is the best running back in either team. The Bengals score 2 more points per game than the Chargers and concede 2 less points per game. The Bengals are playing at home in freezing temperatures. The Chargers come from San Diego, where its hot.
I don’t think there is much in this game but I’m going with the Bengals.
My Bet : Bengals 4 units win @ 1/3 Sportingbet
Game 2 49er’s @ The Packers 9.40 Sky Sport 1
Last years Superbowl Finalists take on a standing dish since the arrival of Aaron Rodgers, in the Green Bay Packers – in sub zero temperatures. I think this game could be a belter. These two teams can play and Aaron Rodgers is the definition of a Franchise Quarterback. He wins games others cant and don’t.
So what of the 49er’s. They had a mid season wobble, righted the ship and bring a 5 game winning streak to the party tonight, with two of those wins on the road. The question is, can the Packers Defence contain the power running of Frank Gore and the unorthodox QB skills of Colin Kaepernick and if they cant can Rodgers find a way to score more points against one of the best defences in the league than his defence leaks? Confidence is high at Green Bay- the staff and the supporters believe Rodgers makes them walk on water and they may be right.
My view is, he cant. I think that the Packers simply cant score enough points, even with Rodgers fit and healthy, in a game, that if the weather allows will see a lot of points and if it doesn’t makes his job even harder. I think this game will be one in the trenches and on the ground.
My Bet : 49er’s 4 units win @ 20/31 Sportingbet
Saturday 4th January
Game 1 Chiefs @ The Colts 9.35 Sky Sports 1
The first game sees The Indianapolis Colts, who won the AFC South with an 11-5 record entertain the early season high flyers the Kansas City Chiefs, who finished second in the AFC West with a similar 11-5 profile but only second. Early in the season the Chiefs were unbeatable and were a lot of people’s lively outsider for Superbowl Glory. Alex Smith was on fire and he could find his running back Jamaal Charles both with a well disguised hand off or a bullet like pass. The Charles package soon got closed down and teams started to work out how to stop the Chiefs getting down the ground. That includes tonight’s opponents the Colts who disposed of the Chiefs just two games ago.
Whatever anyone says about the league being a Quarterbacks league, and it is during the normal season, when it comes to play-offs, defences win championship football. So for that reason I’m with the |Colts tonight to win the game. The have conceded just 20 pts in 3 games and the Chiefs have conceded 81 in the same 3 games. Obviously its not as simple as that but I don’t think there is much offensively between the two and for that reason least mistakes will win. For me that’s Andrew Luck and his crew who are now back on form with 3 consecutive wins.
My bet : Colts, 4 units win @ 6/5 Bet365
Game 2 Saints @ The Eagles 1.10 Sky Sports 1
This game is one of contrasting styles. The Saints and Drew Brees destroy teams by throwing the ball down the field and moving it with apparent ease to Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Darren Sproles. On the other hand the Eagles have clawed their way in to play off contention by playing controlled football and relying on the legs of Running back LeSean McCoy who has over 1600 yards this year. It has meant that his Quarterback Nick Foles has rarely been under immense pressure and with a 3rd down conversion rate of 40% McCoy has been phenomenal.
So, here’s the rub. Quarterbacks win regular season games and defences win play-off games. So who does that favour. The figures say New Orleans have both the better defence and the better QB, yet the layers say because of home ground advantage and how poor the Saints are on the road that the Eagles are favourites. Sod-em I say. We are going to go with Drew Brees to get the job done on the road and outdoors.
My Bet : Saints, 4 units win @ 31/20 with Bet365
Also recommend 2 units double both teams.