Great to report a raft of successful selections last week – it is nearly Chrimbo after all.
Week 14 now beckons in this wide-open, topsy-turvy season – who ya got?
Super Bowl betting still looks more like a competitive handicap at the Cheltenham Festival. It’s 7/2 the field right now (Bills), and I wonder if one of the tastier-priced outfits can come with a run and do the business?
Plenty of wildcard teams for example have deep postseason joy, and with everyone highly capable of getting beat on any given day you just never know.
I’m thinking the likes of Cincinnati Bengals (12s), same price SF 49ers; perhaps Minnesota Vikings (18/1), or the Ravens (20s)? If I’d just mentioned the eventual Lombardi lifters I’d not be surprised in the slightest.
Right – let’s have a closer look at one or two of the likelier clashes at weekend. As I said, great results from the selections last week – more of the same would be splendiferous, or something like that.
Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions, Sunday 6pm UK-time, Ford Field Detroit
A vital NFC North affair, and little expected to be between these two committed rivals. The Vikings top the Division at 10-and-2, with the Lions in second (5-and-7). Minnesota arrive in good heart (won last 2) and are also highly potent on the road.
The two met in September at US Bank, with the Vikings edging a close one. They have illness concerns though ahead of Sunday, and there’s an inescapable feeling drifting across from the States that the motor city outfit can gain a degree of revenge and close the gap this weekend.
Lions’ QB Jared Goff is in prime nick, and has steered his side to wins in four of the last 5 outings. The solitary loss was to the Bills, and it was a narrow one at that.
These Lions need a win to fan postseason flames, and I’m expecting a cup final-style atmosphere to help them achieve just that.
Selection – Detroit Lions to win, money line, @ 4/5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers, Sunday 9.25pm UK-time, Levi’s Stadium Santa Clara
Tom Brady lifted the Bucs over the line a few days ago against the Saints in a low-scorer. Plenty points to a similar war of attrition in California at weekend.
We have a clash here of NFC Division leaders – ‘niners in the West, and Bucs in the South. SF have a slightly more convincing record, but a rookie starting at QB in Brock Purdy. Points could well be at a premium.
Brady’s offense has been stuttering for some time. The component parts are there in the main, but ordinary O line protection means Brady gets rid of the football ultra-fast. That limits his options, and ability to read the field and extend.
It’s make-do-and-mend stuff that hardly makes the most of this generational talent.
For SF, standouts like George Kittle at tight end are always a great watch, plus recently acquired RB Christian McCaffrey. How about all-round threat Deebo Samuel, and defensive wrecking ball Nick Bosa? Box-office, big time.
Both defenses are mean and sound – another hint towards a small total perhaps?
SF are 1/2 on the money line (TB are 13/8), it’s -3.5 SF on the spread, and that total is set around 37.5. I think the total is most likely to stay under, and it might pay to get interested in the first half total, too.
Selections – game total points under 37.5 @ 20/23
1st half total points under 18.5 @ 20/21
Have a brilliant NFL weekend – take care, as always, and enjoy.