Who claims their place today in Super Bowl 55?

(header image courtesy of NFL Twitter)

 

 

We’ll know after today, Championship Sunday, the identity of the teams that will contest Super Bowl 55 in a fortnight’s time.

And what absolute standouts we have. So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into a pair of almighty clashes on this Super Sunday of NFL action.

Ahead of the Conference finals, the Packers and Chiefs are joint-favs with Betfred at 15/8 for the big one in February.

Here’s the latest Super Bowl outright prices

 

Sun 8.05pm UK

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Green Bay Packers

The NFC’s finest fight it out at Lambeau Field, with ‘Pack’ QB Aaron Rodgers in red-hot order.

He’s an overwhelming favourite to clinch the NFL season’s MVP crown, and leads a side tonight who are extra-formidable at home. Standing in their way are Tampa Bay, and of course another QB for the ages – perhaps THE QB, from any age.

Thomas Edward Patrick Brady, 43 years young, and the proud owner of no less that 6 Super Bowl rings. All secured of course with New England, and right now he’s halfway through a 2-year deal to try to bring success to Tampa.

A place in the Conference Final is already a handsome return. Could it be more?

Back in October these two met at Raymond James Stadium, ironically where this year’s Super Bowl will be held. The Bucs just pounded Green Bay into submission (38-10) with a magnificent defensive display. It really was awesome.

Rodgers had a haunted look when he left the field that day, and the Bucs frankly need a repeat, but this time at fortress Lambeau. Protect Rodgers well and for me Green Bay win this football match. Give him time, and he’ll cut you open with a surgeon’s precision.

However, Tampa have tamed him once, and held Rodgers that day to 160 yards and 2 interceptions. Surely they can’t do it again – can they?

This is so close to call, and with everything on the line I’m going to play the total, as things could get very attritional. Should be an absolutely fantastic affair, and nothing will stop me taking up my spot in front of the telly for this one.

Brady to get to shoot for a 7th ring at Tampa’s home stadium? Rodgers going for his second, playing arguably the best football of his career at 37? You could hardly make it up, and the stage is beautifully set.

Game total points under 52.5 @ 20/21

 

Sun 11.40pm UK

Courtesy KC Chiefs Twitter

Bills’ highlights, courtesy NFL Twitter

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs

The big news ahead of this AFC title battle is that Patrick Mahomes, KC’s gifted QB, should be fit after overcoming last week’s concussion protocol and an ongoing toe injury.

I liken the Chiefs’ current situation to that of Liverpool in England’s Premier League. After a tremendous time last season which culminated in a Super Bowl, and several, spectacular, almost comic-book come-from-behind wins, the Chiefs have arguably not been as potent, not for me at least, this term.

They still have the game’s top tight end in Travis Kelce, and he’s had a stellar individual season. Mahomes of course is vital, and at his best, quite breathtaking.

After last week’s crunching tackle that saw him staggering to the sidelines, he won’t be keen to repeat anything like that tonight.

Presumably he’ll be looking to get the ball out of his hands pretty quickly, reducing the chance of any painful contact. Easier said than done for a man who throws a superb deep ball, which invariably means holding on, in or out of the pocket, to wait for receivers to run their routes upfield.

Opponents Buffalo however will have the harassment of Mahomes very much in mind. They have arguably over-achieved in clinching this final berth, but boy have they deserved it.

AFC East champions ahead of perennial winners New England, they put away the revered Baltimore outfit last week to reach this stage, and in QB Josh Allen have one of the season’s ace talents in their own ranks.

He’ll be looking to find his top receiver Stefon Diggs, especially with the deep ball, and the KC defense won’t be able to switch off for a second.

If Mahomes was fit and firing, and not coming off an injury and very narrow win against Cleveland that got them here, KC would be an extremely short order for this one.

The fact that it’s ‘only’ KC -3.5 @ Evs, at Arrowhead don’t forget, tells you all you need to know about how close the traders believe this one could be.

I’m taking exactly the same route for this one as the NFC final, and will play the total. If Mahomes, Hill, Kelce and company remember last season’s narrative, well, anything’s possible – but I’ve not seen enough of that this term to convince me.

The weather for both matches could also be important – with bitterly cold conditions hardly unheard of at this time of the year in both Wisconsin and Kansas.

Buffalo keep defying the odds somewhat, and will fight tooth and nail. So, once again, I’m hoping for an attritional thriller, and suggest under the total points (54.5), @ 10/11.

Have a fantastic Sunday with Betfred, and the NFL Conference Finals.

Whenever you bet, Betfred

Alan Firkins

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