NFL: Only Colts and Cowboys capable of springing playoff shocks
We’re pretty much at the business end of the NFL campaign, with eight teams left in the Super Bowl XLIX betting and AFC and NFC titles yet to be decided.
There’ll be some sweaty palms grasping pigskin over the weekend. Here’s our 18/1-plus playoff acca, which accounts for a surprise result or two:
The Massachusetts behemoth ceded momentum with a 17-9 loss at home to the Buffalo Bills in their last regular-season fixture, but quarterback talisman Tom Brady came through the match unscathed, and influential tight end Rob Gronkowski was given the day off.
Both will be fresh after a two-week rest, and the Patriots’ record of 10 victories from their past 12 outings bodes well ahead of Baltimore’s visit.
John Harbaugh’s boys pulled off the only shock of the postseason so far by winning in Pittsburgh during wildcard week, but getting past Brady and Co at New England’s Gillette Stadium headquarters looks beyond them.
Last year’s Super Bowl champions cruised into the postseason on a six-game winning streak and have only been beaten once in their last 10 matches, but Carolina have now seen off five opponents on the spin, having lost their previous six fixtures.
Wedged in the middle of those reverses was a 13-9 defeat to the Seahawks at the Panthers’ Charlotte base. With so much at stake in Seattle, a similar scoreline looks on the cards between these form sides.
The Texans only scraped into the next stage of the playoffs after beating the plucky Detroit Lions 24-20 at home during wildcard week, but their record over the regular season was virtually identical to Green Bay’s, with 12 wins and four losses racked up by each.
Furthermore, Dallas won four matches in a row prior to downing Detroit by at least 11 points each time, so they’re not out of this.
The Colts have only been beaten by Dallas and New England since the end of October, with their outstanding QB Andrew Luck largely to thank for their good fortune.
Broncos, on the other hand, lost to the Cincinnati Bengals over Christmas, who Luck and co made easy meat of during wildcard week, so Indianapolis should be backed to keep it tight against former hero Peyton Manning’s Super Bowl XLVII runners-up.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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