cnotes Posts:27389 Followers:33
On 01/15/2012 10:39 PM in NFL

Cnotes NFL Football AFC/NFC Championship Best Bets !

Championship Openers

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)
Baltimore (7/1)
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.

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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.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27389 Followers:33
01/15/2012 10:43 PM

Championship Angles

January 15, 2012

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS

It’s Championship Week in the NFL and with it two teams are one win away from playing in Super Bowl XLV in Indianapolis on Feb. 5. Like most football fans nationwide, everyone has an opinion on the teams that figure to advance. Our database does, too. There are generally three schools of thought when it comes to handicapping the final four teams on this week’s card. You can look at them fundamentally, statistically, or you can analyze them technically.

While having varying opinions on which of the four teams will advance, and why, handicappers alike often times speak in foreign tongues. With reasons ranging from players and coaches to fundamentals to situations, the views are many.

But since our database speaks a language of its own, we are limited to asking questions and reading answers germane to our query. Here are answers to five Q&A queries we posed to the database and the answers we found surrounding NFL Championship games.

All results are ATS (Against the Spread) and since 1980, unless noted otherwise.

Q – How have home teams fared in this game?

A – NFC hosts are 22-9 straight up and 18-13 ATS, while AFC home teams are 20-11 SU and 17-14 ATS.

Q –Who is the better money winner, favorites or dogs?

A – Favorites have owned the edge, going 42-19 SU and 35-26 ATS, including 33-17 SU and 32-18 ATS when laying less than 10 points.

Q – How do teams that own the better record perform?

A – As the majority of time these are almost always the home team, the record for teams with a better win percentage are solid, going 40-17 SU and 33-24 ATS. When installed as dogs or favorites of less than 10 points these better record teams are 30-16 ATS.

Q –How has the Over/Under fared in these games?

A – Surprisingly, these games have had a tendency to fly over the total in this round, going 27-16-1 ‘Over’ in games since 1990. More specific, games in which the posted totals have been at the opposite end of the ladder (more than 46 points or less than 41) have gone ‘Over’ in title games to a greater degree. That’s confirmed by the fact that those games with a total of more than 46 points have played ‘Over’ the number in eight of 10 occurrences, while totals of less than 41 have gone 12-4-1 to the ‘Over’ as well.

Q –What wins in conference title games, offense or defense?

A – When it comes to advancing to the Super Bowl one fact is critical: size matters when it comes to putting points on the scoreboard in divisional round playoff games. Teams who score 14 or fewer points in championship games are soon to be extinct as they are 4-36 SU and 5-35 ATS since 1980. On the flip side, those teams who score 28 or more points in conference title games are 32-5 SU and 31-6 ATS over the same span. FYI: home teams that manage put up 28 or more points in this round are an eye-opening 23-0 SU and 21-2 ATS.

There you have it. The database has spoken. Somewhere between its language and yours is a winner or two on this week’s card. Enjoy the games…

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27389 Followers:33
01/16/2012 11:13 AM

NFL opening line report: Early action shifting odds

NFC Championship Game, New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers, 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday

Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook opening line: Pick, 44.5; Moved to 49ers -1.5

The Sports Club recommended line: 49ers -1, 45

Betonline.com line opening line: 49ers -1, 44.5; Moved to 49ers -2.5

MGM Mirage opening line: 49ers -2.5, 44.5

BetCris.com line as of late Sunday: 49ers -3 (even), 43.5

The 49ers money that poured in after books hung San Fran -1 or pick-‘em in the NFC Championship Game might be misleading sharp action, one industry leader told ***********.

“We think most of the money is going to come in on the Giants and these are false moves,” said Jay Kornegay, director of the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook. “I think they’re just trying to drive the line up.”

Kornegay also expects the public to back the Giants in a big way.

“They haven’t been on San Fran all year,” he said. “I can’t see ‘em being on San Fran here against this Giants team. I’m pretty confident it will be close to a pick by kickoff, or the Giants might even be favored by kickoff.”

Nevertheless, the Hilton and other books were forced to react to the early money. The Hilton moved from pick to Niners -1.5. Offshores, which opened anywhere from Giants -1 to Niners -1, generally moved to Niners -2.5.

BetCris was offering Niners -3 (even) late Sunday night.

Expect this line to be all over the place this week.

In Week 10, the Niners beat the Giants 27-20, covering as 4-point favorites. The score went over the 42.5 total.

The game wasn’t decided until the final minute, when the Niners batted down Eli Manning’s fourth-down pass inside their 10-yard line.



Super Bowl futures update

The Giants have won and covered four straight, outscoring their opponents 121-50. If they go on to win it all, it will be the worst of the four possible outcomes for books’ Super Bowl futures.

A few bettors hold 80-to-1 Giants tickets; more have the Giants in the 60-to-1 to 30-to-1 range.

But, as usual, Super Bowl futures cashed for the books. They wrote boatloads of worthless tickets on the Packers, Saints, Steelers and more.

“We were taking big bets on everybody except the Jaguars, basically,” Kornegay said. “We don’t have any VCUs out there, that’s for sure.”

MGM Mirage sportsbook manager Jeff Stoneback said only the Lions could have caused a loss on Super Bowl futures.

“The Giants would be our smallest winner, then the 49ers,” he said.



AFC Championship Game, Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots, 3 p.m. ET Sunday

MGM Mirage opening line: Patriots -7.5, 49.5

Wynn Las Vegas opening line: Patriots -7, 49.5; Moved to -7 (-120)

The Sports Club recommended line: Patriots -7 (-120), 52

Betonline.com line as of late Sunday: Patriots -7.5, 50

Cantor Gaming opening line: Patriots -7.5, 49.5

Pinnacle line as of late Sunday: Patriots -9, 50

MGM Mirage’s opening line of 7.5 for Ravens-Patriots looked solid Sunday night, as if it might hold all week. Sharps didn’t pounce either way.

“Apparently it’s a good line because nobody’s jumped on it,” Stoneback said. “It hasn’t moved. Hopefully next Sunday we can still say it was a good line.”

But that line wasn’t unanimous. Pinnacle was offering -9 late Sunday.

Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook manager John Avello opened at -7 and moved to -7 (-120) after taking Patriots money.

“Call it three-and a half for homefield and they’re probably three-and-a-half points better than Baltimore, so that’s my number,” Avello told ***********, adding he hopes he doesn’t have to move to 7.5.

Stoneback said the line has to be more than a touchdown given how impressive the Pats looked Saturday, when they blasted Denver 45-10.

“They seem to be clicking at the right time,” he said. “They made a good Denver defense look bad.”

Most books are using a total of 49.5 -- by far the highest for a Baltimore game all season. The Ravens own the league’s No. 3 defense (16.6 points).

“It’s the combination of New England’s offense and its defense,” Stoneback said, meaning the Pats can give up points as fast as they score them.

New England beat Baltimore 23-20 in Week 6 at home last season, but when they met in the playoffs after the 2009 season, the Ravens rolled 33-14 in Foxborough.

Baltimore rushed for 234 yards and four touchdowns, and intercepted Tom Brady three times in that upset. The Ravens were getting 3.5 points.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27389 Followers:33
01/16/2012 06:21 PM

The long-last vindication of Alex Smith

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's taken just one year for Jim Harbaugh to undo nearly a decade's worth of missteps and restore the San Francisco 49ers back to prominence.

But for the quarterback who helped steer the previously-fallen franchise to its first NFC Championship Game appearance since the 1997 season, the road to validation has been anything but a short and smooth trip.

Alex Smith hadn't envisioned the wait to experiencing one of the pinnacle moments of the life of an NFL player -- relishing in the ecstasy of playoff victory -- would take nearly seven full years, nor could have anybody connected with the 49ers back when the organization made the former University of Utah standout a controversial first overall selection of the 2005 draft.

It would be the last time in quite some time that both Smith and the Niners were associated with being at the top. A chaotic combination of injuries, coaching instability and a damaged psyche had turned the mild-mannered triggerman from promising prospect to colossal bust, and the gradual rise to stardom of Aaron Rodgers -- taken 23 spots behind Smith in that same draft and a local favorite from his exploits at nearby Cal-Berkeley -- further reinforced the prevailing sentiment that then-personnel director Scot McCloughan had made one of the egregious errors in judgement in recent memory.

Alex Smith delivered by far his bestseason in helping the 49ers becomethis year's overnight sensation.
McCloughan wouldn't be around for San Francisco's meteoric turnaround under the boundlessly-spirited Harbaugh, having been removed from his post in the 49ers' latest administrational overhaul following the 2009 season, but he too received a measure of redemption when Smith and tight end Vernon Davis -- the first pick of McCloughan's second draft class of 2006 -- teamed up to create one of the most dramatic events for a franchise renowned for producing periods of postseason poignancy.

The 14-yard connection that capped San Francisco's heart-stopping 36-32 win over the more publicly-acknowledged New Orleans Saints in Sunday's NFC Divisional Playoffs should also serve as the play that shatters the dreaded stigma that Smith has been forced to bear all throughout his star-crossed tenure as a professional.

Clearly galvanized by Harbaugh's positive energy -- a complete contrast to the confidence-sapping methods of maniacal predecessor Mike Singletary -- and the stress-relieving scenario of having the starter's role all to himself, Smith delivered by far his best season in helping the 49ers become this year's overnight sensation. The cerebral 27-year-old eclipsed the 3,000-yard passing mark for the first time in his career, while his 1.1 percent interception rate was the best in the NFL and third-lowest in league history.

Yet despite those overall solid numbers, Smith still ranked at best a distant third to his team's ultra-opportunistic defense and Harbaugh's culture-changing leadership in the credit department when assessing San Francisco's sudden shift from 6-10 also-ran in Singletary's swan song to a 14-win powerhouse that's now one game away from an unforeseen Super Bowl trip. His once-soiled reputation may have been substantially repaired, but Smith continued to carry a label that no quarterback wants to wear -- that of a game manager.

But when a defense that had been so good at warding off the Herculean challenge of the ever-explosive Saints for most of the afternoon finally broke in the game's furious final minutes, the 49ers needed Smith to be more than a mere caretaker.

And the young man who had endured seven years of nearly every imaginable hardship, everything from a revolving door of play-callers (the Niners are on their seventh offensive coordinator since drafting Smith), a career-threatening shoulder injury and several justified benching, was more than ready for the task.

Smith came through with a pair of throws that fell into the category of world- lass on the thrilling game-deciding drive, dropping in a perfect deep strike to Davis for a 47-yard gain before skillfully threading the needle to his beastly tight end for the go-ahead score with a mere nine seconds to spare on the game clock. He also had a nifty 28-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes left that briefly put San Francisco in front before New Orleans quickly responded.

"Might be time to give Alex a little credit, huh?," Harbaugh quipped in his postgame press conference.

Davis, another who's been through the lean years, also raised his game to the next level to assist in the 49ers' first playoff win since 2002. The determined sixth-year pro racked up an astounding 180 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches to break Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow's 30-year-old postseason record for receiving yards by a tight end.

"I'm so glad for [Smith] and Vernon, the guys who've been here a long time," said Niners special-teams ace Blake Costanzo. "It's a tribute to their success."

DIVISIONAL ROUND QUICK HITS

With the exception of New England's obliteration of the grossly-overmatched Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos, turnovers were the principal theme of this past weekend's matchups. The 49ers' trademark of forcing and capitalizing on mistakes continued in Saturday's rousing victory over New Orleans, in which the NFC West champs took advantage of five Saints giveaways, while both the Giants and Ravens induced four takeaways to land spots in their respective conference title games with wins on Sunday.

Top-seeded Green Bay's stunning 37-20 loss to resurgent New York -- an outcome that wasn't even as close as the final score indicated -- offered the latest example of a team ramping down the intensity at the end of the regular season once its playoff positioning was secured and paying the price. After not committing more than two turnovers in any game while building their sensational 15-1 record, the Packers had four against the Giants. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers also didn't seem as sharp in the MVP candidate's first outing since Christmas, and poor tackling by his team's problematic defense also played a big part in Green Bay extending the strange streak of defending Super Bowl champions not winning in the playoffs the following season to six consecutive years.

Hands-down winner of the Divisional Round's Bonehead of the Week award goes to Houston wide receiver Jacoby Jones for his inexplicable decision to field a Baltimore punt near his own goal line. His subsequent first-quarter fumble set up an easy Ravens' touchdown that proved to be critical to the Texans' 20-13 defeat, and three interceptions from rookie quarterback T.J. Yates were fatal blows as well to a Houston squad that dominated Baltimore across both lines of scrimmage for the majority of the day.

Sure seemed like the time off helped the Patriots overcome their late-season issues of starting slow. New England put up a pair of touchdowns in the opening nine minutes of its emphatic 45-10 trouncing of the Broncos, and five of Tom Brady's playoff record-tying six scoring passes came prior to intermission as the Pats roared out to a overwhelming 35-7 advantage. And even though the pass- deficient Broncos weren't really a true test, New England's maligned defense did look as good as it has all season.

Finally, a little food for thought for the wagering population. Six of the eight games held over the past two weeks have gone over the expected total, and this year's playoffs nearly became the first since the 1970 merger in which the home team prevailed all throughout the initial two rounds. The Giants have been the lone entry to win on the road so far in this tournament.

THE FINAL FOUR AT A GLANCE

Baltimore at New England (Sunday, 3:00): Patriots have won six of their seven lifetime meetings with Baltimore, but the Ravens' lone triumph in the series occurred in a 2009 AFC First-Round Playoff clash at Gillette Stadium in which Baltimore rushed for a whopping 234 yards and intercepted Brady three times en route to a 33-14 verdict. New England's last three victories over the Ravens have all been by six or less points.

N.Y. Giants at San Francisco (Sunday, 6:30): These teams played one another to the wire at Candlestick Park back on Nov. 13, with the 49ers holding on for a 27-20 decision after coming up with a fourth-down stop at their own 10-yard line with under a minute left. History will be on San Francisco's side in this one, as the home team has won six of the seven all-time postseason bouts between the two and the NFC has sent a different representative to the Super Bowl in each of the last 10 seasons (the Giants went in 2007, while the Niners haven't been there since 1994).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27389 Followers:33
01/16/2012 06:26 PM

Brady, Patriots Host Ravens For AFC Crown

The Baltimore Ravens aren’t getting much respect from the oddsmakers for Sunday’s AFC title game at the New England Patriots.

Don Best has the just-released NFL conference championship odds and New England is a solid 7½-point favorite with a total of 50½. CBS will broadcast at 3:00 p.m. (ET) from Gillette Stadium.

The NFC title game at 6:30 p.m. (ET) has the New York Giants as 2½-3 point ‘dogs at San Francisco. The Super Bowl future odds are also out with New England (+130) ahead of the 49ers (+225), Giants (+240) and Ravens (+480).

The Ravens (13-4 straight up, 8-8-1 against the spread) advanced Sunday with a 20-13 home win over Houston. They not only failed to cover as 7½-point favorites, but were outgained 315-227 in total yards, getting helped immensely by four Texans turnovers. Three of those were picks off rookie quarterback T.J. Yates.

Baltimore was fortunate to win with just 11 first downs and now faces a quarterback at the other end of the spectrum in Tom Brady. The road also hasn’t been kind to John Harbaugh’s team at 4-4 SU and ATS this year. All four of those losses were as favorites.

New England (14-3 SU, 10-7 ATS) had a much easier time this past weekend, a 45-10 home win over Denver as 13½-point favorites. The Pats were more than ready for Tim Tebow and the unorthodox Broncos offense, and Brady tied a playoff record with six passing TDs (363 yards overall).

The ‘over’ is now 7-0 in New England’s last seven games, the Patriots scoring an amazing 37.9 PPG.

The Patriots badly need that performance after losing to Baltimore (33-14) and the New York Jets (28-21) in their last two playoff games, both at home. Brady had four total picks in those contests and some were questioning whether he’s still a clutch playoff performer at age 34.

New England went mostly no-huddle against Denver and will almost definitely do so again this week. That will help tire out a Ravens defense that has two aging superstars in linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed.

Reed is listed as questionable after hurting his ankle late against Houston, but he’s a warrior and should play.

Coach Bill Belichick’s offense is predicated on creating mismatches and the tight end combo of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez gives every team fits. Hernandez even lined up as a running back last game and led the team with 61 yards on five carries. He got his bell rung in the fourth quarter running the ball with a big lead (a rare dumb move by Belichick), but is not on the injury report.

Brady will look to exploit the Ravens’ linebackers in coverage as well as strong safety Bernard Pollard. Pollard is the guy who caused Brady’s season-ending knee injury in 2008 while with Kansas City, so there is extra motivation there.

Baltimore’s offense needs to play a lot better this week to have a chance. Ray Rice (1,364 regular season rushing yards) was stuffed by Houston for 60 yards on 21 carries. The Patriots did a nice job against Denver (144 yards on 40 carries), but were run against some in the regular season (117.1 YPG, ranked 17th).

Quarterback Joe Flacco didn’t have a turnover last game, but had just 176 passing yards and is averaging 146 YPG over the last three weeks. Anquan Boldin (887 yards) was the regular season leading receiver, followed by rookie Torrey Smith (841) and Rice (704). Smith is the main deep threat, but has just 80 total yards and no TDs his last three games.

Offenses feel a lot of pressure playing New England, needing to match points. The Ravens must stay balanced and not have Flacco throw it 35 times. The Patriots were second-worst in the league in passing yards allowed (294 YPG) during the regular season, but having safety Patrick Chung healthy has made a difference and their best play could be ahead of them.

The Ravens’ have two main missions on Sunday, pressure Brady and create turnovers. They ranked tied for third in the regular season in sacks (48), with Terrell Suggs at 14, although they were shut out against Houston. Reed (one pick last week) is very dangerous at free safety and Brady may hold the ball a second or two longer to account for where he is.

The only other meeting since the January 2010 playoff game came that following October. New England won 23-20 at home in OT after trailing 20-10 in the fourth quarter. Brady had two picks and was sacked three times for 25 yards.

Early weather predictions have temps in the low 40s with a 30 percent chance of rain. Wind could go up to 10 mph. Brady will be able to throw in those conditions, so it will be up to Baltimore to stop him.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27389 Followers:33
01/16/2012 06:28 PM

NY Giants, SF 49ers Meet In NFC Championship

It's been about 4½ months since the NFL kicked off the 2011 season in Green Bay where the Packers hosted the New Orleans Saints. As the season progressed, it appeared those same two teams would close out the NFC portion of the playoffs with a rematch in the conference championship.

A rematch is on for Sunday's NFC Championship, but an upset and a thriller this past weekend made sure it won't be the Saints and Packers. Instead of a battle between those offensive juggernauts on the potentially frozen tundra of Lambeau Field, a meeting between more defensive-minded clubs is in store on what is forecast to be soggy turf at Candlestick Park.

The San Francisco 49ers (14-3 straight up, 12-4-1 against the spread) provided the thriller with Saturday's 36-32 victory over the Saints. Not to be outdone, the New York Giants (11-7 SU, 10-7-1 ATS) pulled off the upset on Sunday, a 37-20 triumph against the defending NFL champion Packers. Champions of the NFC's West and East Divisions respectively, the Niners and G-Men will meet in San Francisco on Sunday evening (6:30 p.m. ET) with FOX providing the broadcast. The contest is the second between the clubs this campaign following a 27-20 win for the 49ers in Week 10 on this very same field, but before we look at that game in more detail, a quick review of the just completed division round of the playoffs is in order.

Technically, both games this past weekend qualified as upsets, though you might be hard-pressed to find a majority of fans who would agree that San Francisco's win at home meets the criteria of a surprise despite getting three points from NFL oddsmakers. Those who saw the game are too busy talking about the exciting conclusion to the 49ers-Saints contest to be thinking much about the pointspread.

It is understandable why the ending is a huge topic of conversation around the water cooler this morning. The Saints and 49ers combined for 34 points in the fourth quarter, exactly half of final scoreboard tally of 68 that went well 'over' the closing 46-point total. Field goals, long pass plays and a quarterback sweep for 28 yards by San Fran's Alex Smith were all part of the back-&-forth nature during the final 15 minutes.

Lost in the closing stages of the game was a 10-point swing between the two clubs in the first quarter. New Orleans opened things with a long drive that ended inside the 49ers five when Pierre Thomas was blasted by Donte Whitner that forced the first of three Saints fumbles on the afternoon. That not only cost the Saints at least three points, it was also the last we saw of Thomas who never returned to the game.

About eight minutes later, Drew Brees threw the first of two first-half interceptions with Dashon Goldson returning the pick inside the New Orleans five. Three plays later, Alex Smith connected with Michael Crabtree to put the Niners up 14-zip.

New York's triumph made the grade as an upset in every sense of the word. The Giants scored the outright win as 8½-point underdogs, did so on the road, and took out the Super Bowl champs who just a few short weeks ago looked to be on their way to a perfect season. Not bad for a Giants team that was given up for dead around Thanksgiving.

Just as the Saints' five turnovers played a huge role in their loss to San Francisco, Green Bay's four giveaways proved fatal in the defeat at the hands of the Giants. New York's defense took Aaron Rodgers and the Packers out of their game, sacking the Green Bay quarterback four times, picking him off once and forcing 20 incomplete throws – many of them drops by his receivers – after Rodgers had been accurate on over 68 percent of his passes for the season.

Meanwhile, Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks were enjoying a huge day for the Giants. Manning completed 21-of-33 tosses for three touchdowns and 330 yards, exactly half of those yards to Nicks who hauled in seven passes for 165 yards and a pair of scores.

Oddsmakers have pegged San Francisco as 2½-point favorites for Sunday's NFC Championship, with the total sitting at 43-43½ depending where you shop. Those numbers are very close to the lines in the Nov. 13 meeting between the two at Candlestick where San Fran closed as 4-point chalk with 43 for the scoreboard tally.

That clash shared a few similarities to the 49ers-Saints contest from Saturday, starting with most of the scoring coming late in the game as all four touchdowns went on the board in the final 17:25. The game also turned in San Francisco's favor thanks to a Giants turnover, and it ended with the 49ers keeping New York off the scoreboard after the G-Men reached the red zone.

Sunday will mark the 13th time the 49ers have appeared in the NFC Championship, and first since losing at home to the Packers in Jan. 1998. San Francisco is 5-7 in the previous 12 appearances. The Giants are in their fifth conference title game and have won all four of their previous tries, most recently in Jan. 2008 when they topped the Packers in overtime at Lambeau Field, 23-20.

The teams last met in the playoffs during the wild-card round of the 2002 postseason when the 49ers overcame a 24-point deficit to beat the Giants in a wild 39-38 affair.

The weatherman is currently calling for a 70 percent chance of rain in San Francisco on Sunday when the thermometer should be in the low-50s for kickoff.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27389 Followers:33
01/16/2012 06:31 PM

NFC Championship Preview: Giants at 49ers

NEW YORK GIANTS (11-7)

at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (14-3)


NFC Championship
Kickoff: Sunday, 6:30 p.m. EDT
Line: San Francisco -3, Total: 43

The Giants try to continue their improbable run when they visit San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.

On Christmas Eve morning, New York was 7-7, having just lost five of six games. But the Giants then ran off four straight victories, including a stunning 37-20 win at 15-1 Green Bay on Sunday. But the task doesn’t get much easier as the 14-3 Niners, who beat the Giants on Nov. 13, await. In that Week 10 matchup, the teams played a back-and-forth affair, with San Francisco scoring two early fourth-quarter touchdowns en route to a 27-20 win. The Giants outgained the 49ers in that game, 395-305. New York QB Eli Manning has won five straight non-home playoff games (SU and ATS), but San Francisco has won seven straight home games (SU and ATS), holding five of those opponents to 10 points or less. Will the Giants continue another magical run to the Super Bowl, or will the defense-first 49ers take care of business at home? The StatFox Pro Football Pass gets you all the insight you need for Sunday's games and, of course, the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

Both teams played in games that went Over the total last Saturday and this rare five-star FoxSheets trend also backs the OVER for the NFC Championship.

Play Over - Any team where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points (N.Y. GIANTS) - after covering the spread in 6 or 7 out of their last 8 games, with a winning record on the season playing another winning team. (31-4 over the last 5 seasons.) (88.6%, +26.6 units. Rating = 5*).

The Giants have benefitted from huge plays during their four-game win streak, with touchdown passes of 99 yards and 74 yards to Victor Cruz, as well as Hakeem Nicks scores of 72 yards, 66 yards and a 37-yard, first-half-ending Hail Mary in Green Bay. In two playoff games, Nicks has 13 receptions for 280 yards and 4 TD, and he also had a 32-yard TD catch in San Francisco in Week 10. Manning had a strong performance against the Niners that day, completing 26-of-40 passes for 311 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT. In his past seven postseason games, Manning has a 6-1 record with 12 TD and just 4 INT. San Francisco ranked 16th in passing defense during the regular season (231 YPG) and allowed the Saints to net 435 yards through the air on Saturday. This certainly bodes well for New York’s pass-happy attack.

The Giants will not likely be running the ball very much on Sunday. They ranked last in the NFL with 89 rushing YPG during the regular season, including being held to 93 yards on 29 carries (3.2 YPC) in San Francisco Week 10. Ahmad Bradshaw didn’t play that game, but he’s been pretty strong this postseason with 126 yards on 26 carries (4.8 YPC), while adding 43 more yards on eight catches. He’ll need to have an extraordinary game though to chew up yards on a 49ers run defense that has allowed just 75 YPG on 3.5 YPC this season.

San Francisco QB Alex Smith is coming off a tremendous performance against the Saints, completing 24-of-42 passes for 299 yards, 3 TD and 0 INT. He also ran for a 28-yard score with 2:11 left to put his team in front. TE Vernon Davis caught two of those touchdowns as part of his monster seven-catch, 180-yard performance, capped off by a game-winning TD catch with nine seconds left in regulation. Davis also caught a 31-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of the Week 10 matchup that gave San Francisco the lead for good. The duo should have another big afternoon considering New York allowed the fourth-most passing yards in the NFL during the regular season (255 YPG).

But the key to this game could come down to San Francisco controlling the clock with its running game, powered by Frank Gore. The Niners ranked eighth in the NFL in rushing yards (128 YPG), while the Giants allowed 121 rushing YPG (19th in league). Gore was solid against the Saints, rumbling for 89 yards on just 13 carries (6.8 YPC). But he was held in check against New York in Week 10, gaining zero yards on six carries. Backup RB Kendall Hunter rushed for 40 yards on six carries against New York in the November meeting including a 17-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. The rookie Hunter has piled up 172 yards on 34 carries (5.1 YPC) in the past three weeks.

Both teams took advantage of turnovers last week, with San Francisco going +4 against New Orleans, and the Giants sporting a +3 ratio in Green Bay. But the Giants will be hard-pressed to force the Niners into mistakes, as they are coming off a record-setting-low of 10 offensive turnovers for the entire regular season. New York has also done a great job of protecting the football lately with just two total turnovers during its four-game winning streak.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27389 Followers:33
01/16/2012 06:33 PM

AFC Championship Preview: Ravens at Patriots

BALTIMORE RAVENS (13-4)

at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (14-3)


AFC Championship
Kickoff: Sunday, 3:00 p.m. EDT
Line: New England -7.5, Total: 50.5

The Ravens try to win a playoff game in Foxboro for the second time in three years when they face the Patriots for the AFC Championship on Sunday afternoon.

New England is 6-1 SU (2-4-1 ATS) in seven meetings with the Ravens since they relocated to Baltimore in 1996. But the one loss came in January 2010 when the Ravens destroyed the Pats 33-14 in the first round of the playoffs. Ray Rice scored on an 83-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and the defense forced four Tom Brady turnovers (3 INT, 1 fumble) in the blowout. They played again last season, with the Patriots winning 23-20 in overtime despite two Brady interceptions. But New England was clearly the better team last weekend, pummeling Denver 45-10 behind Brady’s 6 TD passes, while the Ravens needed four Houston turnovers to edge the Texans 20-13. Can the Patriots get back to the Super Bowl and cover the big spread, or will Baltimore shock them again on their home turf in the postseason? The StatFox Pro Football Pass gets you all the insight you need for Sunday's games and, of course, the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

The Patriots have played seven straight games Over the Total and this pair of four-star FoxSheets trends also backs the OVER for Sunday’s game.

Play Over - Home teams against the total (NEW ENGLAND) - after covering the spread in 3 out of their last 4 games, top level team, winning 75% or more of their games, in the second half of the season. (29-4 over the last 5 seasons.) (87.9%, +24.6 units. Rating = 4*).

NEW ENGLAND is 9-0 OVER (+9.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons. The average score was NEW ENGLAND 36.2, OPPONENT 18.7 - (Rating = 4*).

The Ravens are 9-0 at home this year, but are just 4-4 (SU and ATS) on the road. Baltimore’s offense sputtered Sunday versus Houston, gaining just 227 total yards (3.6 yards per play). Rice was held to a mere 60 yards on 21 carries, failing to gain 10 yards on any of his rushing attempts. But he has loved playing New England in his career, piling up 350 rushing yards (5.7 YPC) and 2 TD, while adding 87 yards on 13 catches in three lifetime meetings. Second-string RB Ricky Williams rushed for 27 yards on six carries against the Texans and also has a long history of running over Patriots defenders with 917 yards (3.9 YPC) and 7 TD in 13 career games versus New England. The Pats run defense has been decent this year (118 YPG), but has allowed a hefty 4.5 yards per carry.

Baltimore QB Joe Flacco has won playoff games in each of the past four seasons, but he hasn’t always been great, completing just 53% of his passes for 5.81 YPA, 6 TD and 7 INT. In the big playoff win at New England two years ago, Flacco attempted just 10 passes all game, going 4-of-10 for 34 yards, 0 TD and 1 INT. Last week against Houston he made some nice throws, but he finished 14-of-27 (52%) for 176 yards, 2 TD and 0 INT, and took five sacks. His favorite target was WR Anquan Boldin who caught four balls for 73 yards and scored his first touchdown since Nov. 20. The Patriots defense allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL this year (294 YPG), but only gave up 108 passing yards on 9-of-26 completions to Broncos QB Tim Tebow on Saturday.

Brady has a 15-5 record in his playoff career, throwing for 239 passing YPG (6.66 YPA), 36 TD and 17 INT. He was incredible in Saturday night’s win, completing 77% of his passes (26-of-34) for 363 yards, 6 TD and 1 INT. Three of those TD tosses were to TE Rob Gronkowski who now has a ridiculous 20 touchdowns in 17 games this year. Gronkowski caught 10 passes against Denver for 145 yards. WR Deion Branch (3 rec, 85 yds), WR Wes Welker (6 rec, 55 yds) and TE Aaron Hernandez (4 rec, 55 yds) each had one touchdown reception against the Broncos. Branch was the most targeted receiver in last year’s OT win over Baltimore, catching nine of his 12 targets for 98 yards and a touchdown. But the Ravens were fourth in passing defense during the regular season (196 YPG) and allowed a league-low 58.8 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks.

Despite the excellent pass defense, the Ravens have struggled trying to stop the run lately, allowing 125 rushing YPG (4.4 YPC) in the past four games, considerably more than the 86 rushing YPG (3.3 YPC) they surrendered in the first 13 games this year. New England has also done a better job rushing the football in the past four games, totaling 544 yards (136 YPG). Hernandez led the team Saturday with 61 yards on just five carries. RB Danny Woodhead added 25 yards on just four attempts, and also led the Patriots with 63 yards (5.7 YPC) in last year’s OT loss to Baltimore.

It’s no secret the Ravens won Sunday because of going +4 in the turnover battle (and committing zero penalties), but that’s not likely to happen against New England. In the past nine games, the Patriots have turned the ball over just five times. And if Baltimore fails to sack Tom Brady like it failed to sack Houston quarterback T.J. Yates, it could be a long afternoon for the Ravens defenders.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27389 Followers:33
01/16/2012 06:37 PM

Texans, Giants cash for Books

January 16, 2012

The entire landscape of the NFL postseason changed when the Packers lost at home to the Giants, 37-20. Green Bay was supposed to be the ‘it’ team after going 15-1 during the regular season, but the combination of maybe be too much rest and a relentless Giants attack on both sides of the ball sent the NFC’s No. 1 seed packing in the Divisional Playoff round for the fourth time in five years.
The LVH Super Book readjusted their Super Bowl line drastically due to the Packers no longer being a player in the game. Prior to Sunday, the NFC was a 3 ½--point favorite in the Super Bowl line they have had posted all season. On Monday morning the AFC was posted as a 4 ½ -point favorite and the total had dropped from 54 to 50.

The Packers and Patriots had been 9/5 co-favorites (Bet $50 to win $90) to win the Super Bowl following New England’s 45-10 win over Denver, but with Green Bay out of the mix, the Patriots are now the 10/11 (Bet $110 to win $100) favorites.

The Super Bowl everyone is hoping for is the Patriots-Giants in a rematch from the 2007 season where the Giants did the unthinkable by knocking off an undefeated Patriots squad, a team that steam rolled through the entire season like no one had ever seen before.

“There’s no doubt about it, the public wants the Patriots and Giants to meet again and it would be our best scenario as far as handle goes,’ said Caesars Palace’s Todd Fuhrman.

Of the four remaining teams, there is no matchup that would create the type of buzz New York and New England would. You’ve got the Patriots on a nine-game winning streak going against a Giants team that looks very similar to the Giants Wild Card team from 2007. This season’s version of the Giants and 2007’s both had to win at Green Bay to advance.

The Ravens and the 49ers are almost an afterthought at this juncture to everyone other than their fans, but it’s definitely a Super Bowl Las Vegas doesn’t want.

“Our worst case scenario is definitely the Ravens meetings the 49ers,” said Fuhrman. “It’s a nice story with the brothers meeting against each other in the Super Bowl, but it wouldn’t translate well through the betting windows like any other possible match-up.”

The public loves the possibility of a high-scoring game and the total helps set the stage. The Giants and Patriots would be listed at 51 or 52 while the Ravens and 49ers would be set around 40 or 41.

The least popular team in the entire equation is the Ravens. Their brand of football has been successful, but let’s face it, they’re not a fun team to watch. Joe Flacco is the weakest of the four remaining quarterbacks, including Alex Smith, and great defensive teams don’t get the type of respect these days like they used to.

While the 49ers have a defense equal of better than the Ravens, they won over America with their 36-32 victory against the Saints last Saturday. Late in the game, they answered scores by the Saints in thrilling fashion and Smith showed the world that he was the original Tim Tebow under head coach Urban Meyer at Utah.

The Ravens have the longest odds to win the Super Bowl at 6/1. The 49ers and Giants are each at 7/2.

The Patriots opened as 7-point home favorites against the Ravens and was quickly bet to -7 ½. The two teams met last season in New England with the Patriots winning 23-20 giving them a 6-0 record against Baltimore in the regular season. However, in their only playoff meeting, following the 2009 season, the Ravens won 33-13 at New England in the Divisional Playoff round.

The LVH Super Book opened the 49ers at pick-em, but was quickly bet up the ladder to -2 ½. They also had their total bet down from 44 to 42 ½.

The 49ers beat the Giants 27-20 in Week 10 at San Francisco as 3 ½-point favorites. That loss was a week after the Giants’ big win over the Patriots, but started a succession of four straight losses that put their playoff hopes in serious jeopardy. Since getting off that skid, the G-men have reeled off five wins in six games, all coming in playoff-type fashion with a win or go home mentality.

Sports Books Have Good Weekend

The Divisional Playoff round went well for Las Vegas sports books with the key game being the Texans covering at Baltimore as 7 ½-point road underdogs. The Ravens were the common link to almost everyone’s parlay for the weekend.

The Saints (-4) were a popular choice against the 49ers to kick off the weekend and fell 36-32 in one of the most exciting playoff games in recent history. The Patriots went from -13 ½ to -14 by game day, making it not seem like a good decision for the house, but after all the money-line wagers on the Broncos (+600) were tallied, it ended up being a good decision closing out Saturday’s ledger.

Had the Ravens scored on their fourth-and-inches play at the goal line late in the game, the entire city would have been cashing, but the game stayed 20-13 and gave the books a big win. Sharp money pushed the total from 38 ½ down to 35 ½ early in the week, but the majority of public money was on the OVER.

Had the Packers-Giants (+8) game stayed under the total of 52, the books would have raked in almost all of the chips, but a late touchdown by the Giants made the score 37-20. Despite losing on all the money-line wagers with New York (+290), the Packers losing on teasers was the biggest difference one the day. Baltimore, Green Bay and New England were a popular teaser combination. In the Baltimore game, all sides hit on the teaser.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:27389 Followers:33
01/17/2012 04:24 PM

NFL
Dunkel

Conference Championships

NY Giants at San Francisco
The Giants look to build on their 7-0 ATS record in their last 7 road playoff games. New York is the pick (+3) according to Dunkel, which has the game Even. Dunkel Pick: NY Giants (+3). Here are all of this week's picks.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22

Game 301-302: Baltimore at New England (3:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Baltimore 135.275; New England 148.298
Dunkel Line: New England by 13; 47
Vegas Line: New England by 7 1/2; 50 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New England (-7 1/2); Under

Game 303-304: NY Giants at San Francisco (6:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Giants 143.438; San Francisco 143.069
Dunkel Line: Even; 45
Vegas Line: San Francisco by 3; 42 1/2
Dunkel Pick: NY Giants (+3); Over




NFL
Long Sheet

Conference Championships

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Sunday, January 22

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BALTIMORE (13 - 4) at NEW ENGLAND (14 - 3) - 1/22/2012, 3:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
NEW ENGLAND is 145-108 ATS (+26.2 Units) against conference opponents since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 90-64 ATS (+19.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 63-38 ATS (+21.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
NEW ENGLAND is 1-1 against the spread versus BALTIMORE over the last 3 seasons
NEW ENGLAND is 2-1 straight up against BALTIMORE over the last 3 seasons
2 of 3 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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NY GIANTS (11 - 7) at SAN FRANCISCO (14 - 3) - 1/22/2012, 6:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
SAN FRANCISCO is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) in all games this season.
SAN FRANCISCO is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) in all lined games this season.
SAN FRANCISCO is 8-0 ATS (+8.0 Units) in home games this season.
SAN FRANCISCO is 8-0 ATS (+8.0 Units) in home lined games this season.
SAN FRANCISCO is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) in all games where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points over the last 3 seasons.
SAN FRANCISCO is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in home games against conference opponents this season.
SAN FRANCISCO is 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) in games played on a grass field this season.
NY GIANTS are 35-17 ATS (+16.3 Units) in road games after 2 or more consecutive wins since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
SAN FRANCISCO is 1-0 against the spread versus NY GIANTS over the last 3 seasons
SAN FRANCISCO is 1-0 straight up against NY GIANTS over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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NFL
Short Sheet

Conference Championships

Sunday, 1/23/2012

BALTIMORE at NEW ENGLAND, 3:00 PM ET CBS
BALTIMORE: 10-2 ATS Away off ATS loss
NEW ENGLAND: 6-0 Over in January games

NY GIANTS at SAN FRANCISCO, 6:30 PM ET FOX
NY GIANTS: 7-0 Over off 3+ SU wins
SAN FRANCISCO: 7-0 ATS as home favorite

** (TC) Denotes Time Change




NFL

Conference Championships

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Trend Report
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3:00 PM
BALTIMORE vs. NEW ENGLAND
Baltimore is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against New England
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Baltimore's last 6 games when playing on the road against New England
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New England's last 6 games when playing at home against Baltimore
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New England's last 5 games at home

6:30 PM
NY GIANTS vs. SAN FRANCISCO
NY Giants are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games
NY Giants are 3-7 SU in their last 10 games when playing San Francisco
San Francisco is 7-3 SU in their last 10 games when playing NY Giants
San Francisco is 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games when playing NY Giants


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: