Championship Sunday! – 24th Jan

Only 3 more games left of the season, and this week decides who competes in Superbowl 50 in San Francisco in a fortnights time.

First up at 2000 tonight is the Broncos hosting the Patriots. I don’t like the Broncos, I don’t like how they play, I don’t rate their offence, their QB is frankly terrible (now anyway. He used to be one of the best, and holds records saying he’s the best ever) So i’m definitely siding with the Patriots, Brady is having one of his best seasons, and despite a plethora of injuries, has guided them through this far. The weather in Denver won’t be an issue, it’s expected to be mild, so won’t affect the Patriots passing attack at all (they have no running attack so I expect it to be pretty much entirely through the air) and with Edelman and Gronk getting fitter by the week, I can’t see the Broncos keeping up with their scoring. I think that Edelman will get targeted a lot in the slot (had 10 catches last week against a solid chiefs D) and he’s likely to be up against Harris, who’s carrying a shoulder injury. Obviously you’ve got Gronk and you can never back against him, but I can ignore him to score anytime at 1/2, it’s not worth the risk for the reward

The one and only good thing that Manning has done, and he’s admitted he’s just along for the ride at the moment, is call plays at the line of scrimmage to counter the defensive set-up he sees. For this reason, and this alone, i’d be tempted to go with CJ Anderson combined yards (went for 84 and a TD last week, 90 the previous game), Manning can’t throw deep, and I don’t really like Hillman who’s the other RB for Denver so i’ll side with Anderson.

I’m also tempted by u4.5 TDs @ 5/4 in the game, the Broncos won’t get many, and if they play well they can keep out the Patriots quite a lot, however, I don’t like betting on unders, so i’ll give it a miss, but it’s there if you feel like risking it.

Patriots -3 @ 10/11 (3pts)

Edelman o7.5 receptions @ 10/13 (1pt)

CJ Anderson o66.5 combined yards @ 5/6 (1pt)

Anderson and Edelman both to score @ 11/2 Skybet (1pt)

—————————–

The later match should be a cracker, featuring the 2 best teams left in the competition, the Cardinals and the Panthers. Both are electric on offence, and have solid defences. So could realistically end up really high scoring, or really low depending on how the game plays out, i’m willing to believe that it’ll be high scoring though, so i’m going for the overs in this one (o47pts)

The Cardinals have the best receiving core in the league with Fitzgerald, Brown and Floyd all having extremely good seasons. One of those players is likely to be up against Josh Norman for a lot of the game, it seems unlikely however that it will be Fitzgerald, who plays mainly in the slot, so expect him to have a big game against a weaker opponent. Floyd usually pops up with a TD or two, and although he’ll spend some time up against Norman, I still think he’ll manage to get free for one at some point. The Cardinals run game that looked so good earlier in the season has fallen off a cliff in the last few weeks and Bruce Arians (coach) said this week that his offensive line is beaten up and not creating gaps for David Johnson which is another good reason why they’ll take to the air and use their WRs a lot in this match, as well as probably being a high scoring game and needing quick yards.

Have to start at QB for the Panthers, league MVP in waiting Cam Newton has had an amazing season, both passing and rushing. Although last week he didn’t need to rush so finished with just 3 rushing yards, he’s capable of 70+ if needed. One of the reasons he wasn’t used last week was the return of Jonathon Stewart who went for over 100 yards and 2 tds in the first half destruction of the Seahawks. In the air his main target is Greg Olsen who i’ve been hot on all year and can see him getting another score today. Down the field he aims for Ted Ginn who usually catches one or two for big yards in the game, but I think he’ll be up against Patrick Peterson who’s a brilliant defensive player for Arizona.

Total points o47 @ 10/11 (2pts)

Fitzgerald o68.5 rec. yards @ 4/5 (2pts)

Olsen and Floyd anytime @ 13/2 (1pt) – Olsen and Fitzgerald anytime @ 11/2 (1pt)

 

Doubles for the evening.

Patriots -3 and Cardinals v Panthers over 47 pts @ 2.65 (3pt)

Both players to score double – Anderson and Edelman and Olsen and Floyd @ 47.5/1 (1pt)

Edelman receptions and Fitz yards @ 2.20 (1pt)

 

17pts outlay

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