cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
01/12/2013 03:04 PM


Division Round

Ravens at Broncos: What bettors need to know

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-9.5, 46)

For the Ray Lewis retirement tour to continue, the Baltimore Ravens will have to overcome an imposing obstacle when they visit Peyton Manning and the top-seeded Denver Broncos on Saturday in the AFC divisional round. Manning, in his first season in Denver, guided the white-hot Broncos to 11 consecutive victories to close out the regular season. Among those wins was a dominating 34-17 rout of the Ravens in Baltimore less than a month ago - a game Denver led 31-3 after three quarters. It was Manning's ninth straight victory over the Ravens.

Lewis returned from a 10-game absence to register a team-high 13 tackles and spark an emotional 24-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts a week ago. Unlike the Broncos, Baltimore stumbled down the stretch and lost four of its final five games before beating the Colts and permitting its fewest points since a 13-10 victory at Pittsburgh in Week 11. Still, the once-vaunted defense remains susceptible, allowing Indianapolis to hold the ball for more than 37 minutes.

TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS.

LINE: Early money took the underdog, dropping the opener to -8.5, but action has come back on the Broncos and could have this moving as high as -10 before the 4:30 p.m. ET kickoff

CONSENSUS: Over 56 percent of Covers Consensus players like the Ravens to cover and 57 percent are on the over.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low-20s with mostly cloudy skies. Winds will be light out of the east at 3 mph.

ABOUT THE RAVENS (11-6): Joe Flacco's resume hardly stacks up to Manning's but he is the only quarterback in league history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons. He threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts while compiling his highest passer rating (125.6) since the season opener. Veteran Anquan Boldin was his favorite target with five catches for 145 yards and a touchdown. Flacco struggled against Denver in Week 15, throwing a killer interception that was returned 98 yards for a TD to break the game open. Star RB Ray Rice was a non-factor in that game with only 38 yards on 12 carries. He also lost two fumbles in last week's win. Rookie RB Bernard Pierce has taken on a bigger role and had his second 100-yard game in three weeks against the Colts. Baltimore allowed Denver to control the clock for 38 1/2 minutes in the first matchup.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (13-3): Denver has not lost since a 31-21 defeat at New England on Oct. 7. Much has been made about the lack of quality competition during the winning streak, but the Broncos limited Baltimore to 56 yards rushing and 278 total. Manning had a rather pedestrian performance, throwing for a season-low 204 yards and one touchdown. He finished the season with back-to-back three-touchdown games, giving him 37 TDs vs. only 11 interceptions. Wideouts Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker each went over 1,000 yards and combined to catch 23 scoring passes. Knowshon Moreno, who took over for an injured Willis McGahee in the final six weeks, rushed for 115 yards and a score against Baltimore. Denver's defense, led by the pass-rushing tandem of linebacker Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, has peaked down the stretch and surrendered only 45 points in its final four games.


* Broncos are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall.
* Ravens are 1-5 ATS in their last six Divisional Playoff games.
* Under is 4-1 in Ravens’ last five road games.
* Over is 5-0-1 in Broncos’ last six games following an ATS win.


1. Denver has scored at least 30 points nine times and posted seven double-digit victories during its winning streak

2. Ravens S Ed Reed has eight interceptions in the playoffs, tied for fourth on the all-time list.

3. The Broncos own a stellar 13-3 home record in the postseason.



Division Round

Packers at Niners: What bettors need to know

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-3, 44.5)

The dream matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game last season never materialized after the Packers dropped the divisional round game at home to the New York Giants. This year Green Bay took care of business at home in the wild-card round, sending Aaron Rodgers and company to San Francisco to face a well-rested 49ers defense.

San Francisco got a win over Arizona in Week 17 to edge the Packers for a first-round bye and closed the season by winning five of its last seven, with the lone setbacks coming on the road. The 49ers went 6-1-1 in Candlestick Park this season and beat Green Bay 30-22 at Lambeau Field in Week 1. San Francisco has gone through a change at quarterback since then, replacing Alex Smith with Colin Kaepernick, and has seen a boost in its offense as a result. The Packers had little trouble shutting down the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson last Saturday in a 24-10 triumph.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FOX.

LINE: Some online books opened as high as San Francisco -3.5 and some have made the move off the key number to -2.5 with money coming in on Green Bay. The majority of markets opened the Niners as juiced field-goal favorites but have since moved to plus money with action on the Packers coming in at a 4-to-1 pace.

CONSENSUS: Over 61 percent of Covers Consensus players like Green Bay to cover and 59 percent are on the over.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the mid-40s with partly cloudy skies. Winds will be light out of the west at 5 mph.

ABOUT THE PACKERS (12-5): Green Bay has most of its defense healthy for the first time in weeks and spent the wild-card round attacking Vikings backup quarterback Joe Webb. Clay Matthews, looking fully recovered from a hamstring injury that has limited him at times, had a pair of sacks and forced a fumble while Charles Woodson played for the first time since breaking his collarbone on Oct. 21. With those two playmakers back, the Packers forced three turnovers and managed to hold Peterson under 100 yards rushing. The focus this week will be on Rodgers facing a San Francisco defense that has held opposing passers to 200.2 yards - fourth-best in the NFL - and finished second in the league in scoring defense. Rodgers passed for 303 yards but struggled until late in the game and was intercepted once in the first meeting. He should have a better rushing attack behind him in Saturday’s game, with DuJuan Harris and Ryan Grant taking handoffs. Rodgers was the leading rusher for the Packers in Week 1 and could be without one of his top receiving targets Saturday in Jordy Nelson, who is questionable with a knee injury.

ABOUT THE 49ERS (11-4-1): San Francisco has a solid candidate for Defensive Player of the Year in Aldon Smith and has surrendered an average of 13.9 points in eight home games. That defense is keyed on the front line by tackle Justin Smith, who has been dealing with a triceps injury and missed the final two games of the regular season. Justin Smith was wearing an elbow brace but has been practicing and is listed as probable for Saturday. On the other side of the ball, the 49ers will be giving the Packers a much different look than in Week 1. Kaepernick passed for a career-high 276 yards in a Week 17 win over the Arizona Cardinals and has opened up the playbook with his ability to extend plays with his legs and one of the stronger arms in the league. The 25-year-old finished up the regular season with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions and was at his best in some of the biggest games, including a four-touchdown performance at New England in Week 15.


* Packers are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Packers are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven meetings.
* Over is 4-0 in 49ers’ last four games overall.


1. San Francisco RB Frank Gore rushed for 112 yards on 16 carries against the Packers in Week 1 but has not reached 100 on the ground in any of the last nine contests.

2. Rodgers has only been intercepted four times in seven career playoff starts.

3. 49ers K David Akers tied the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in the Week 1 meeting but has struggled of late, prompting San Francisco to audition replacements. Veteran Billy Cundiff was signed on Jan. 1 to offer some competition.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
01/12/2013 03:18 PM

Saturday, January 12

Game Score Status Pick Amount

Baltimore - 4:30 PM ET Baltimore +9.5 500

Denver - Over 44 500

Green Bay - 8:00 PM ET Green Bay +3 500

San Francisco - Over 44.5 500

I love these picks today am using it in a 4 team parlay.....Don't snooze on this.........:dontknow:

01/12/2013 @ 01:30 PM NFL [109] BALTIMORE +9 1.91

01/12/2013 @ 01:30 PM NFL [109] TOTAL o44 1.91

01/12/2013 @ 05:00 PM NFL [111] GREEN BAY +3 1.87

01/12/2013 @ 05:00 PM NFL [111] TOTAL o45 1.91

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
01/19/2013 08:13 PM

Ravens, Patriots play AFC title rematch Sunday



AFC Championship Game
Kickoff: Sunday, 6:30 p.m. EDT
Line: New England -9, Total: 51.5

In a rematch of last year's AFC Championship Game, the Ravens will look to exact revenge on the Patriots on Sunday night.

In last year’s title game, Baltimore came within a dropped TD of a victory and a missed short field goal of forcing OT at New England. Lee Evans dropped this pass in the end zone with just 27 seconds left in regulation and Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal two plays later in the 23-20 defeat. Baltimore hasn't been as good defensively this year, allowing 400-plus yards six times this season and 398 yards in last week's amazing 38-35 overtime win in Denver. New England hung 41 points and 457 yards on Houston last week, but will continue to be without TE Rob Gronkowski (broken forearm). Even with last week’s victory, the Patriots are only 2-5 ATS in their past seven home playoff games, and they lost SU to Baltimore in the Wild Card round three years ago in a 33-14 rout. These clubs also met in Week 3 of this regular season, a game the Ravens won 31-30 on a last-second field goal.

Can the Ravens keep this game close with the possibility of a huge upset? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every NFL playoff game. So far during the postseason, the experts are a collective 11-3 ATS (79%), with Brian 4-0, Scott 2-0 and Gary 2-0.

Ravens QB Joe Flacco has been outstanding in the two playoff wins this year, completing 30-of-57 passes for 613 yards (10.8 YPA, 20.4 YPC), 5 TD and 0 INT. Great offensive line play has certainly helped, as Flacco has absorbed only two sacks combined in the two games. He has also been outstanding in his past three meetings with New England -- all since 2010 -- with 973 passing yards (324 YPG), 7 TD and 2 INT. WR Torrey Smith was heroic in the Week 3 victory, catching six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns less than 24 hours after his 19-year-old brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. Smith also caught two TD passes in last week's win, finishing with 98 yards on just three catches. While Smith provides the deep routes, Anquan Boldin works in the middle of the field, catching 11 passes for 216 yards (19.6 yards per catch) this postseason. TE Dennis Pitta is also a threat to the Patriots weak passing defense (271 passing YPG allowed, 4th-most in NFL) with five catches and a TD in each of the two meetings with the Patriots in the 2012 calendar year. But the Ravens are far from just a passing offense, as they rank 11th in the NFL in rushing yards (119 YPG) thanks to RB Ray Rice, who has destroyed New England in his career. In five meetings against the Pats, he has 665 total yards (133 YPG) with three touchdowns. He rushed for 159 yards and two scores in the playoff win in Foxboro in 2010, and is coming off a 131-yard effort (4.4 YPC) in the victory in Denver. Baltimore committed just 16 turnovers during the regular season (tied for 2nd-fewest in NFL), including only four giveaways in its past six road games combined. But the Patriots had 41 forced turnovers during the regular season (2nd-most in NFL), racking up at least two takeaways in 13 of 17 games this season.

New England led the NFL in both scoring (34.8 PPG) and total offense (428 YPG) during the regular season, and started off the postseason with 41 points and 457 total yards versus Houston. But in the past three home meetings with Baltimore, the Patriots have just 20.0 PPG on 307 total YPG. Tom Brady has a subpar 7 TD and 8 INT in seven career games versus the Ravens, but he played very well in Baltimore in Week 3, completing 28-of-41 passes (68.3%) for 335 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT. Brady has put up huge numbers in his 23 career playoff games (63% completions, 5,629 passing yards, 41 TD, 20 INT), but his worst two postseason passer ratings have both come versus this Ravens defense (49.1 in 2010, 57.5 last year). Although Brady won't have the services of injured TE Rob Gronkowski, several of the team's talented receivers stepped up in his absence last week. WR Wes Welker gained 131 yards (120 in the first half), while TE Aaron Hernandez added 85 and RB Shane Vereen chipped in with 83 receiving yards and two scores. Vereen also rushed for 41 yards on seven carries (5.9 YPC), while top RB Stevan Ridley gained 82 yards and another TD on 15 attempts (5.5 YPC) and a touchdown. This duo will try to establish a running game that has been missing in this series, as New England has averaged just 89.8 rushing YPG on 3.2 YPC in the past five games versus Baltimore. Although the Ravens defensive ranks this season were below average (20th in rushing, 17th in passing), it has allowed just 298 total YPG in the past four games. A huge reason for New England's offensive success it its lack of turnovers (16, tied for 2nd-fewest in NFL), and Baltimore has managed just five takeaways in the past five games combined. However, all five forced turnovers have come in the past two games since LB Ray Lewis returned to the field. In these two playoff wins, Lewis has 30 combined tackles (19 solo, 11 assist). Ravens CB Corey Graham was the big playmaker last week with two interceptions of Peyton Manning, returning one for a touchdown.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
01/19/2013 08:16 PM

49ers visit Falcons in NFC Championship Sunday



NFC Championship Game
Kickoff: Sunday, 3:00 p.m. EDT
Line: San Francisco -4, Total: 48.5

The top two seeds in the NFC are each looking to secure Super Bowl berths for the first time in nearly 15 years when San Francisco visits Atlanta on Sunday afternoon.

The 49ers haven't played in a Super Bowl since the 1994 season, while Atlanta's only franchise Super Bowl appearance occurred after the 1998 campaign. The Falcons nearly let this opportunity slip away last week by letting a 20-point, fourth-quarter disappear before a last-second comeback at home in a 30-28 win over Seattle. They’re now 8-1 SU, but 4-5 ATS at home, and they haven’t been a home underdog since October 2011. QB Matt Ryan is 34-6 SU career at the Georgia Dome, and the Falcons have won 12 of 13 SU at home, with the lone loss coming in a meaningless Week 17 game. In two years under Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco is 6-1 SU and ATS in the Eastern time zone. QB Colin Kaepernick is coming off an NFL single-game quarterback record with 181 rushing yards in a 45-31 home win over Green Bay, but he went just 2-2 SU on the road as a starter during the 2012 regular season.

Who will win the NFC and advance to the Super Bowl? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every NFL playoff game. So far during the playoffs, the experts are a collective 11-3 ATS, with Brian 4-0, Scott 2-0 and Gary 2-0.

Kaepernick finished with 444 total yards of offense last week with 263 through the air and 181 on the ground. Although he's just 2-2 SU on the road as a starter this year, he still has a solid 89.8 rating away from home with 7.7 YPA, 6 TD and 3 INT, while rushing for 170 yards on 29 carries (5.9 YPC). And although the Falcons ranked 5th in the NFL in scoring defense (18.7 PPG) during the regular season, they finished 24th in total defense (365.6 YPG), 23rd in passing defense (242.4 YPG) and 21st in rushing defense (123.2 YPG). The last time they faced a dual-threat quarterback like Kaepernick was in Week 14 at Carolina when Cam Newton burned them for 403 total yards (287 passing, 116 rushing) and 3 TD in a 30-20 rout. Kaepernick's passing has been greatly aided by WR Michael Crabtree, who has 657 receiving yards and 6 TD in his past six games, including 119 yards and 2 TD last week. And in the past three games, the Falcons have allowed 1,033 yards through the air (344 pass YPG). But one player who has not benefited from Kaepernick being under center is star TE Vernon Davis, who has only seven catches and zero touchdowns in his past seven games combined. The 49ers have rushed for at least 120 yards in eight of their past nine games, thanks mostly to RB Frank Gore, who is coming off a huge 119-yard performance (5.2 YPC) in the win over the Packers. Gore also caught two passes for 48 yards last Saturday night, giving him 413 total yards (138 YPG) in his three career postseason games. Ball protection will once again be a key here, as the Niners have four multi-turnover games on the road this year, and the Falcons have 11 takeaways in their past four home contests.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan finally earned his first career postseason win last week, completing 24-of-35 passes for 250 yards, 3 TD and 2 INT. That gives him just 14 TD and 12 INT in nine home games this year, compared to 21 TD and 5 INT on the road. And although he successfully navigated the waters against Seattle's sixth-ranked passing defense last week, the 49ers have been even better, placing 4th in the NFL with 200 passing YPG. They also have an elite pass rusher in DE Aldon Smith (19.5 sacks), but San Francisco recorded just one sack last weekend. Ryan certainly has an impressive arsenal for his receiving corps with WRs Roddy White and Julio Jones to go along with TE Tony Gonzalez. Each of these players caught at least five passes last week, combining for 186 receiving yards and two touchdowns. However, the most impressive part of the Falcons offense last week was the ground game that rumbled for 167 yards on just 26 carries (6.4 YPC) led by Michael Turner's 98 yards on 14 attempts (7.0 YPC). But the Niners also rank fourth in the NFL in rushing defense with 94 YPG allowed, and have held seven of the past eight opponents to under 110 rushing yards. Atlanta has done a nice job of protecting the football down the stretch, as even with last week's two giveaways, the Falcons have 0-or-1 turnovers in eight of their past 11 contests.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
01/19/2013 08:20 PM

Total Talk - Championships

January 16, 2013

Divisional Playoff Recap

The Wild Card round offered up four clear-cut 'under' winners and last week's Divisional Playoffs produced four easy 'over' tickets. For the most part, all eight of the postseason outcomes were never in doubt except for the Seattle-Atlanta matchup last Sunday. Even though the Falcons led 20-0 at the break, the Seahawks left a handful of points off the board in the first-half. Total players chasing the 'over' saw a second-half number of 23 and that winning ticket cashed early in the fourth quarter.

Championship History

Even though both championship games went 'under' last year, the trend has been leaning to the 'over' in the conference title games. The AFC Championship has seen the 'over' go 7-3 the past 10 seasons, while the NFC Championship has produced a 6-4 mark to the 'over.'

Year Result Total
2011-2012 New England 23 vs. Baltimore 20 49, UNDER
2010-2011 Pittsburgh 24 vs. N.Y. Jets 19 38, OVER
2009-2010 Indianapolis 30 vs. N.Y. Jets 17 40, OVER
2008-2009 Pittsburgh 23 vs. Baltimore 14 35, OVER
2007-2008 New England 21 vs. San Diego 12 48, UNDER
2006-2007 Indianapolis 38 vs. New England 34 47, OVER
2005-2006 Pittsburgh 34 @ Denver 17 41, OVER
2004-2005 New England 41 @ Pittsburgh 27 35, OVER
2003-2004 New England 24 vs. Indianapolis 14 43, UNDER
2002-2003 Oakland 41 vs. Tennessee 24 47, OVER

Year Result Total
2011-2012 New York 20 @ San Francisco 17 42, UNDER
2010-2011 Green Bay 21 @ Chicago 14 42, UNDER
2009-2010 New Orleans 31 vs. Minnesota 28 54, OVER
2008-2009 Arizona 32 vs. Philadelphia 25 47, OVER
2007-2008 N.Y. Giants 23 @ Green Bay 20 41, OVER
2006-2007 Chicago 34 vs. New Orleans 14 42.5, OVER
2005-2006 Seattle 34 vs. Carolina 14 43.5, OVER
2004-2005 Philadelphia 27 vs. Atlanta 10 37.5, UNDER
2003-2004 Carolina 14 @ Philadelphia 3 36.5, UNDER
2002-2003 Tampa Bay 27 @ Philadelphia 10 34, OVER

NFC Championship – San Francisco at Atlanta (FOX, 3:00 p.m.)

Oddsmakers at CRIS sent out an opener of 47 and it was quickly pushed to 48. Las Vegas outfits, LVH and William Hill, both opened at 48 and moved to 49.

Similar to last week’s total between San Francisco and Green Bay, something has to give. The 49ers have watched the ‘over’ cash in five straight and eight of their last nine games. Meanwhile, the Falcons have seen the ‘under’ go 7-2 at the Georgia Dome this season.

San Francisco’s offense has been on a serious roll behind quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Since the second-year product from Nevada took over the starting duties for the 49ers, the team has scored 27 or more points in six of his eight starts. A lot of people compare Kaepernick to Carolina’s signal caller Cam Newton, which is fair when you measure up their size and speed. Against the Falcons this season, Newton helped the Panthers offense rack up 404 and 475 yards, which translated into 28 and 30 points in their two encounters.

One thing you might want to note is Kaepernick’s hype has overshadowed the 49ers’ defense, which has been very suspect lately. They’ve allowed 520, 346 and 352 yards in three of their last four games, which were the three highest totals of the season. To no surprise, the defense only mustered up three sacks in those games and they allowed 34, 42 and 31 points. Unlike last season, it’s fair to say the 49ers offense is ahead of their defense.

If you believe both teams can get to 24 points, then the ‘over’ is the easy winner. Atlanta has averaged 25.1 points per game at home and the 49ers have scored 31 and 41 in their two road non-divisional games with Kaepernick. We mention the division angle because San Francisco was stifled to exactly 13 points on the road against the Rams and Seahawks.

Lastly, we should mention that both Atlanta’s head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan won their first playoff games last week. Ryan takes a lot of heat, deservingly too. However in the four playoff games under Smith, the Falcons have allowed 30, 48, 24 and 28 points. Something tells me a defensive coordinator will be let go if the 49ers light up the scoreboard on Sunday.

AFC Championship – Baltimore at New England (CBS, 6:30 p.m.)

This number opened at 51 and has held steady all week long. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the total dip come Sunday based on the weather. The latest reports are expecting temperatures in the thirties and wind gusts between 15 to 25 miles per hour.

The Ravens have posted 24 and 38 points in their first two playoff games while giving up a combined 44 points, 35 coming to the Broncos last week. However, two of Denver’s scores came from its special teams unit.

Keeping New England close to that number won’t be easy considering its averaging 34.8 points per game. Outside of an 18-point anomaly to Arizona in Week 2, the Pats have posted 28-plus points at home and it’s busted the 30-point barrier six times in the other eight contests. In last week’s playoff win over Houston, the Patriots put up 41 against the Texans, which helped the ‘over’ improve to 12-5 on the season and 7-2 at home.

Baltimore has leaned to the ‘over’ (10-8) as well this season and if you take out its six divisional games, the ‘over’ has gone 8-4 (67%) for the Ravens.

These teams have met six times in the previous six seasons, which includes two playoff encounters, most recently last year’s AFC Championship. New England beat Baltimore 23-20 and that game stayed ‘under’ the closing number of 50 albeit very luckily. Five of the nine scores in that game were field goals and all five of the kicks were less than 40 yards. We also had dropped touchdowns and the potential of overtime with another missed field goal as well. For some unknown reason, the Ravens defense has been able to let QB Tom Brady and company move the ball at will but they concede field goals instead of touchdowns.

Earlier this season in Week 3, Baltimore avenged the loss in last year’s title game by beating New England 31-30 at home in a game that had back-and-forth action. The Patriots scored six times but had to settle for three field goals, two coming inside the 40-yard line. The 61 combined points was the most put up by both teams during the aforementioned six-game span.

If you bet totals on a regular basis in football, you understand that the difference between winning and losing an ‘over’ or ‘under’ is the ratio of touchdowns to field goals. Last week, we saw 35 touchdowns and 10 field goals posted in the Divisional Playoffs. Are you surprised the ‘over’ went 4-0? Not at all. At the same time, you shouldn't be shocked that the ‘under’ went 4-0 in the Wild Card round when you realize there were 15 field goals and only 13 touchdowns?

Fearless Predictions

We split last week and dropped 10 cents ($10). On the season, we're ahead $580. Since we only have three games left in the season, let's go with one Best Bet and one Team Total wager. As always, Press, Pass or Fade but in the end - Good Luck!

Best Total: Over Atlanta-San Francisco 48 1/2

Best Team Total: Over 22 Atlanta

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
01/19/2013 08:23 PM

Baltimore at New England

January 19, 2013

The Patriots needed a pair of plays to go their way in last January's AFC Championship against the Ravens. A dropped touchdown by Lee Evans and a missed 32-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff propelled New England to its fifth AFC title in 11 seasons, as the two teams meet once again for the conference championship at Gillette Stadium.

New England hasn't won a Super Bowl since January 2005 when the Patriots edged the Eagles in Jacksonville, as the Pats have lost each of their last two Super Bowls to the Giants. New York is long gone, but that fourth elusive title for Bill Belichick seems to be within reach again. The Pats overcame a slow 1-2 start to the season to win 11 of their final 13 games, as both losses came to playoff teams in San Francisco and Seattle.

Joe Flacco and the Ravens won a playoff game for the fifth straight season after claiming an AFC North title for the second consecutive year at 10-6. Baltimore took care of Indianapolis in the Wild Card round, 24-9 as 7 ½-point favorites, but the Ravens rallied past the Broncos in an epic divisional playoff showdown last Saturday.

The Ravens entered Denver as 9 ½-point road underdogs, but overcame a pair of kick returns for scores by Trindon Holliday to tie the Broncos at 28-28 after three quarters. Peyton Manning's 17-yard touchdown strike to Demaryius Thomas in the fourth quarter seemed like enough to push the Broncos into the AFC Championship, but Flacco proved to make the clutch plays. Flacco connected with Jacoby Jones on a 70-yard fling down the field to tie the game at 35-35, forcing overtime. Rookie kicker Justin Tucker sent the Ravens to the AFC Championship with a 47-yard field goal in the second overtime, a welcome sighting for Baltimore fans after the Cundiff miss prevented the Ravens from a Super Bowl appearance a year ago.

The Patriots used the bye week to their advantage with a comfortable 41-28 triumph over the Texans in the second AFC divisional playoff game. New England beat up Houston for the second time in a month, as the Pats cashed as 9 ½-point 'chalk.' The Pats' offense sliced up the Texans again, scoring a combined 83 points in the two wins over the AFC South champions, while Tom Brady tossed three touchdown passes and threw for 344 yards. New England's offense eclipsed the 'over' for the seventh time in nine home contests, as the Pats broke the 34-point mark for the ninth time this season.

Baltimore and New England met back in Week 3 at M&T Stadium in a Sunday night thriller, as the Ravens rallied late for a 31-30 victory. The Pats managed a cover as 2 ½-point underdogs, but New England squandered a 13-0 advantage and even led by nine points in the final quarter. The Ravens scored the final 10 points of the contest, including a disputed field goal at the gun by Tucker, as the replacement officials called the kick good even though replays indicated it may have gone wide of the right upright.

Last season's AFC Championship was a back-and-forth affair that ended with Baltimore failing to score in a 23-20 loss at New England. The Ravens managed a cover as seven-point 'dogs, as John Harbaugh's club held a four-point advantage heading into the final quarter. Brady's short touchdown run less than four minutes into the fourth quarter gave the Patriots the lead for good, as the game finished 'under' the total of 50.

New England has struggled to cover numbers in the AFC title game, posting an 0-3 ATS record the last three times in the conference championship ('06 vs. Colts, '07 vs. Chargers, '11 vs. Ravens). In Harbaugh's tenure in Baltimore, the Ravens have slightly profited as a road 'dog in the playoffs by putting together a 4-3 ATS ledger since 2008.

The last road team to win the AFC Championship was the '05 Steelers, who routed the Broncos, 34-17 in Denver. The home club has covered four of the last six conference title games, while the Ravens are playing in their fourth AFC title game in franchise history, all on the road.

The Patriots are listed as 7 ½-point favorites, as money has come in on the Ravens all week. The total is set at 51 ½, but the weather conditions will not be cozy as the temperature is expected to dip into the 30's. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 PM EST from Gillette Stadium as the game can be seen nationally on CBS.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
01/19/2013 08:25 PM

San Francisco at Atlanta

January 18, 2013

Fourteen years after these teams met in the NFC semifinals and nearly two decades after these clubs were division rivals in the NFC West, Atlanta and San Francisco will square off again Sunday in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome.

There’s plenty of history in this rivalry, although most of it has been enjoyed by the 49ers, who lead the all-time series 44-30-1. There was the day at the old Fulton-County Stadium when Jerry Rice torched Tim McKyer for five touchdown catches. And there were plenty of blowouts at Candlestick Park with Joe Montana and Steve Young sticking it to Atlanta.

But the Falcons have had their moments, too. In fact, they have won four in a row against San Francisco dating back to 2001. There was the game in January of 1999 that we’ll discuss below because of its crazy finish for our purposes.

There was the ‘Big Ben’ play in 1983 when Steve Bartkowski hit Billy ‘White Shoes’ Johnson for a touchdown on a Hail Mary pass as time expired. There was also the time, Nov. 3 of 1991 to be exact, when Billy Joe Tolliver gave the Falcons an improbable victory on a Hail Mary pass to Michael Haynes with no time left.

Of course, none of those things will matter Sunday. Ronnie Lott, who still insists Johnson was down before getting into the end zone, won’t be in uniform. Montana, Young, Rice and Dwight Clark won’t dress out, either. Instead, the cast of characters will include names like Kaepernick, Crabtree, Gore, Willis, Ryan, Jones, White and Rodgers.

As of early Friday morning, most books were listing San Francisco (12-4-1 straight up, 10-7 against the spread) as a four-point favorite with a total of 49. Gamblers can take the Falcons on the money line for a plus-170 payout (risk $100 to win $170).

Atlanta (14-3 SU, 9-7-1 ATS) advanced to the NFC Championship Game for only the third time in franchise history by beating Seattle 30-28 thanks to Matt Bryant’s 49-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining. However, the Falcons made fourth-quarter mistakes galore to cost their backers as 2 ½-point favorites after leading 27-7 going into the final stanza.

Seattle rookie quarterback Russell Wilson orchestrated a brilliant comeback by directing four touchdown drives in the second half. Wilson threw for a career-high 385 yards, rallying his team from a 20-0 halftime deficit.

Matt Ryan completed 24-of-35 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns, but he was intercepted twice. The second pick was costly, helping the Seahawks turn a 27-14 deficit into a one-possession game quickly.

Four plays after Ryan’s second interception, Wilson found Zach Miller for a three-yard scoring strike to make it 27-21. Both teams would trade punts before the Seahawks took over at their own 39 with three minutes left.

With Seattle facing a third-and-five situation at the Atlanta 27 with 44 ticks remaining, the Falcons came with the blitz and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon appeared to have Wilson dead to rights. But Wilson somehow avoided the sack and rolled to his left before finding Marshawn Lynch for a first down and more.

Lynch took the pass and went 23 yards to give Seattle a first and goal at the four yard line. Following an offsides infraction against Atlanta, Lynch plunged into the end zone from two yards out with 34 seconds left.

Trailing 28-27 at its own 28 with two timeouts left and 25 ticks on the clock, Atlanta took the field in hopes of getting into field-goal range. It wouldn’t take long.

Ryan found Harry Douglas for a 22-yard gainer to midfield. Next, the Boston College product connected with tight end Tony Gonzalez for 19 yards and just like that, the Falcons were in field-goal range. Bryant took care of things from there.

Jim Harbaugh’s team is back in the NFC title game for a second straight year after sending Green Bay into vacation last Saturday night with a 45-31 win as a 2 ½-point home favorite. Harbaugh’s decision to go to second-year signal caller Colin Kaepernick has proven to be a stroke of genius and we saw why against the Packers.

Kaepernick threw a pick-six on the opening possession but spent the rest of the night making amends. The University of Nevada product rushed 16 times for 181 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 56-yard scamper to put his team ahead for good midway through the third quarter. Kapernick connected on 17-of-31 passes for 263 yards and two more scores.

Frank Gore rushed for 119 yards and one TD on 23 carries while also making two catches for 48 yards. Michael Crabtree had a team-high nine receptions for 119 yards and two TDs.

Kaepernick will be making his ninth career start on Sunday. In eight starts since taking over for Alex Smith, he has 12/4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. For the season, Kaepernick has rushed for 596 yards and seven TDs on 79 attempts.

San Francisco has been a road favorite five times this year, going 3-2 ATS. On Harbaugh’s watch the last two seasons, the 49ers are 5-4 as road ‘chalk.’

During Mike Smith’s five-year tenure, Atlanta has gone 4-2 ATS with three outright victories in six games as a home underdog.

The ‘under’ is 11-6 overall for the Falcons, 7-2 in their home games. Meanwhile, the 49ers have watched the ‘over’ go 10-6-1 overall, 4-4 in their eight road assignments. The ‘over’ has been a winner in four consecutive San Francisco games and seven of its last eight.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Eastern on FOX.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

I was at the Ga. Dome 14 years ago when the building hosted its first playoff game. Atlanta raced out to a 20-0 lead in the first half and almost had more when Chuck Smith picked up a fumble for a scoop and score. However, Smith’s TD was called back due to a penalty and Steve Young rallied the 49ers in the second half. In the final minute, San Francisco scored to make it 20-16 as a three-point underdog. Bettors appeared to be looking at a push until there was a bad snap on the extra-point attempt. Young, the holder, rolled to his left after gathering the snap and threw for a two-point conversion and an unfathomable cover in a 20-18 loss. The Falcons lost to the Broncos in John Elway’s last career game two weeks later

--Matt Ryan is 36-4 in 40 career home starts.

--The ‘under’ is 5-2 in the last seven head-to-head meetings between the Falcons and 49ers dating back to 2000.

--Updated NFL futures via 5Dimes: Patriots +100 (even money), 49ers +185, Falcons +610 and Ravens +880.

--Lines for potential Super Bowl matchups per 5Dimes (30-cent line, -115 both ways): 49ers -3.5 vs. Ravens, Patriots -2 vs. 49ers, Falcons -1.5 vs. Ravens, Pats -6 vs. Falcons.

--I’m not sure we can possibly overstate what an incredible football game we saw last Saturday night in the Mile High City. There were four guaranteed Hall of Famers on the field and three of them played poorly. Champ Bailey got abused all day and Ed Reed was way off of his game, missing a critical tackle at crunch time. Peyton Manning made plenty of good throws but there’s no way to look past his three turnovers, including a pick-six and an unfathomable interception that set the Ravens up for the winning score in an epic double-overtime classic. Ray Lewis, the other given Hall of Famer, played masterfully and inspired his team to victory in his ‘Last Ride.’ And what about Joe Flacco? The dude takes so much grief despite producing in January every season.

--Stat of the Week: Flacco has seven career postseason wins, while Peyton Manning has a 9-11 straight-up record during his career in the playoffs.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
01/19/2013 08:32 PM

Vegas Money Moves

January 19, 2013

When the numbers opened up last Sunday for this weeks Conference Championship games, most of those in the know agreed that the favored teams spread were too high, but only one side was bet accordingly.

The LVH opened the Patriots as 10-point favorites over the Ravens and immediately got bet down to 9.5. This was considered a game that should be maybe only Patriots -7.5 considering all their recent history and the level of play the Ravens have come with the last two weeks where we saw Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed all on the field for the first together this season.

Over in the NFC, the 49ers opened a very high three-point favorite, but rather than immediately take the value with the points, bettors quickly ran the game up to -4 on Sunday night and eventually -4.5 on Monday. It was a classic example of bettors believing more about what they saw last.

On Saturday night, they had just seen one of the most amazing QB performances in the playoffs by Colin Kaepernick, and his 49ers happened to destroy a respected Packers squad.

As for the Falcons, the entire betting world saw them almost blow a 20-0 halftime lead against the Seahawks on Sunday and hang on in dramatic fashion with a late field goal, 30-28. The 49ers looked sensational and the Falcons looked like the same team that never seemed to wow us all season.

So the sports book already knew what way the betting was going to go and figured it would be better to think high and come down. But when they posted Falcons -3, a number off by at least two points from their ratings, they had to be surprised to see the flood gates open with 49ers money. It was apparent, they just wanted the Super-Niners, regardless of the number.

The threshold for the madness in the 49ers number movement was apparently 4.5, because that's the point that attracted large Falcons money. The small 49ers money is still piling in but many sports books have been reluctant to move the number, despite a large risk.

The Patriots number has been dropping steadily all week, down to a new low of -7.5 on Friday. The large money has all been on the Ravens, but what has been surprising is that the small public money is also liking the Ravens.

The Patriots have been one of the most popular public teams this season, but now they're jumping ship. The regular Joe Public bettor always loves to take the favorite, but in this instance they're on the dog and with very same logic.

These two teams have a nice history together with several close games. The Patriots have won four of the past six meetings, but never won by more than six points in any of those games. The Ravens bet the Patriots in Week 3, 31-30, and have covered the last two playoffs games against the Patriots. Last seasons AFC Championship game went down to the wire with the seven-point underdog Ravens losing, 23-20.

The Super Bowl the public wants to see is the Patriots and 49ers hooking up, a Ravens-Falcons big game would be dreadful, but of course, would still be bet.

Here's a look at the opening Super Bowl numbers William Hill posted on the four possible matchups:

Patriots -2 vs. 49ers, total 49

Patriots -6 vs. Falcons, total 51 ½

Patriots -4 vs. Ravens, total: 46 ½

Falcons PK vs. Ravens, total 49 ½

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
01/19/2013 08:35 PM

Handicapping NFL Championship Games

And then there were four.

NFL’s version of the ‘Final Four’ kicks off this Sunday in the Championship Games where surprises aplenty have certainly been the buzzword.

That’s confirmed by the fact that underdogs have managed to pull off upsets in 14 of 44 title games since the 1990 season, the most recent being the New York Giants win at San Francisco last season en route to capturing Super Bowl XLIV.

Let’s take a quick look at what’s worked and what hasn’t in the Championship Games, because when it comes to handicapping games at this stage of the season we can use every edge imaginable.

Note: all results are ATS (Against The Spread) and are since the 1990 season, unless noted otherwise.

Gravity Alert

While high-scoring games are the norm in the NFL these days, teams arriving to the Championship Round off a high-scoring effort in their last game tend to come back to earth harder than a skydiver with a faulty chute.

Consider: nearly half of the 17 teams in this round who put 38 or more points on the scoreboard in a Divisional Round victory fell short of the Super Bowl, going 9-8 straight-up.

Worse, these teams are just 9-8 SU and 4-13 ATS, including 1-12 ATS when facing a foe that tallied less than 34 points in its previous game.

With Baltimore and New England canceling one another out, that puts San Francisco on warning this Sunday.

Situational Circumstances

The linemakers have done a nice job overall during this round, with favorites checking in at 23-21 ATS, and home teams 20-24 ATS.

Home chalk of 9 or more points has struggled, though, posting a dismal 2-8 ATS mark.

In addition, teams who played in a Wild Card game are 11-13 SU and 14-10 ATS in title tilts, including 5-0 ATS when facing opposition that scored more than 35 points in the division round.

That’s music to the ears of Baltimore backers.

Over There

Points aplenty in this league of late have forced the linesmakers to raise the over/under totals bar.

It's what happens when there have been 27 OVERS and 17 UNDERS in Championship Games.

Surprisingly, the higher the total the more OVERS there have been as games with a posted total set at 46 or more points going 9-3 OVER.

Been There Done That

Three of the four head coaches have had the luxury of coaching teams in Championship Games – namely Bill Belichick and the Harbaugh brothers, Jim and John.

Jim’s Ravens are 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS, while John’s 49ers fell as 2-point home favorites last year.

New England’s Belichick brings a lofty 5-1 SU and 3-3 ATS record with the Patriots in Championship Games. The Hoodie has been favored by 7 or more points in two of those contests, losing the money both times – including last year’s 23-20 win-no-cover over the Ravens.

Enjoy the games and good luck as always.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:34935 Followers:38
01/19/2013 08:38 PM

Long Sheet

Conference Championships

Sunday, January 20


SAN FRANCISCO (12 - 4 - 1) at ATLANTA (14 - 3) - 1/20/2013, 3:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
SAN FRANCISCO is 22-12 ATS (+8.8 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN FRANCISCO is 22-12 ATS (+8.8 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
SAN FRANCISCO is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) in all games where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points over the last 2 seasons.

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


BALTIMORE (12 - 6) at NEW ENGLAND (13 - 4) - 1/20/2013, 6:30 PM
Top Trends for this game.
NEW ENGLAND is 8-2 ATS (+5.8 Units) as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points this season.
NEW ENGLAND is 18-8 ATS (+9.2 Units) against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 51-31 ATS (+16.9 Units) revenging a loss against opponent since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 94-68 ATS (+19.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 66-41 ATS (+20.9 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 UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


Short Sheet

Conference Championships

Sunday, January 20, 2013

San Francisco at Atlanta, 3:00 ET FOX
San Francisco: 5-1 Over off a win by 14+ points
Atlanta: 3-19 ATS at home off a home win

Baltimore at New England, 6:30 ET CBS
Baltimore: 6-1 ATS as a #4 seed in the playoffs
New England: 11-1 Over off a home win by 10+ points


Conference Championships

Trend Report

3:00 PM
San Francisco is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Atlanta
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Francisco's last 7 games when playing Atlanta
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Atlanta's last 7 games when playing San Francisco
Atlanta is 7-14 ATS in its last 21 games when playing San Francisco

6:30 PM
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Baltimore's last 7 games when playing on the road against New England
Baltimore is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against New England
The total has gone OVER in 12 of New England's last 15 games
New England is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games

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