January 15, 2012
Through the first eight playoff games, home teams have gone 7-1 straight up and 6-2 against the spread. The Giants stopped the bleeding for the visitors with their outright road victory over the Packers on Sunday, helping the team cash generous 3/1 (Bet $100 to win $300) money-line tickets.
Total players riding the ‘over’ run cashed another 3-1 weekend and it could’ve easily been 4-0 if the Texans and Ravens didn’t slow down in the second-half (3 points) of their battle.
Prior to this weekend, Sportsbook.com had the following odds on the four final teams:
New England (5/2)
N.Y. Giants (10/1)
San Francisco (12/1)
The “Early Super Bowl Line” was NFC -4.5 but you can be assured the number will move the other way, with both NFC favorites Green Bay and New Orleans getting knocked out of the Divisional Playoff round.
Sunday, Jan. 22
Baltimore at New England
Line: Patriots -7.5 (50.5)
Movement: Depending where you shop, you might’ve been able to get 7 or 8. One major offshore (5Dimes.com) opened New England at -8 and are offering -9 (+110). The Wynn in Las Vegas opened the total at 49 before adding a hook (49.5) but most other shops have the number at 50.5.
Notes: In the 2009 playoffs, the Patriots were blasted 33-14 at home to the Ravens in the Wild Card round. New England snapped its three-game playoff skid last Saturday with a 45-10 blowout win over Denver. The Pats enter this game with a nine-game winning streak (6-3 ATS), with five victories coming at home. Baltimore was inconsistent on the road this season, producing a 4-4 ledger. Under the combination of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the Patriots are 4-1 in the AFC Championship, the lone loss coming in the 2006 title game to Indianapolis (34-38). Baltimore is 1-1 in its last two trips to the conference finale, with its most recent loss coming to Pittsburgh (14-23) in the 2008 postseason.
N.Y. Giants at San Francisco
Line: 49ers -2.5 (44)
Movement: Most books opened 1, with a few adding some cents (-20, -30) on top. The Greek must’ve received some heavy SF action as they pushed the number to 3 (EVEN). A lot of other offshore outfits also jumped to 3, with the shops in Las Vegas holding strong anywhere at 2. The total was holding steady but took a dip to 44 and has gone as low as 43.5 points. San Franciso is minus-135 (Bet $135 to win $100 on the money-line) at most counters.
Notes: These two teams met from the Bay Area in Week 10 and San Francisco captured a 27-20 victory over New York as a four-point favorite. The first six scores were field goals, but the game ended with four touchdowns. And the Giants turned the ball over on downs on the SF 10-yard line in the final minute. Including Saturday’s upset over the Saints, the 49ers have gone 8-1 SU and 8-0-1 ATS at home this season. The lone loss came in overtime against Dallas (24-27) in Week 2. New York enters this contest on a four-game winning streak, both SU and ATS. The Giants have produced a 6-3 record away from home, which includes the win over Green Bay in the Divisional Playoffs. These two franchises met in the 2002 playoffs and San Francisco rallied from a 24-point deficit for a 39-38 victory at home. For those who forgot the wild affair, try to remember the 49ers’ prolific combination of Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens.