Are the Baltimore Ravens a team of destiny? Can anybody stop the New England Patriots offense? What does the Gronk injury mean? Let's take a closer look at this AFC conference championship.
MarketsHere's a point spread that I expected to come out higher than it should have. In the theoretical look-ahead line prior to the Divisional round, the Patriots were actually -6 favorites vs the Ravens. That's very surprising on every level. What did we see over the weekend to suggest this should come out at -9? By my numbers, the Patriots are clearly more than touchdown favorites in this match-up. I have the "true line" at -7.5. Throughout the week we've seen a trickle of support for the Ravens as we are now looking at -7.5 to -8's across the board. Where will this line go leading up to kickoff? I can't imagine it hitting -7 as most of the general public will be betting both favorites this weekend.
No Mysteries in This Game
After their 14-10 loss against the Tennessee Titans, a game in which quarterback Mark Sanchez committed five turnovers, four of which were interceptions, the New York Jets have been reported as being interested in dealing Sanchez as well as Tim Tebow, who they acquired last season in a trade with the Denver Broncos. Tebow saw little of the field as a Wildcat option quarterback, and will in all likelihood be wearing a different uniform come 2013.
With the Jets exploring quarterback options, one name that came to mind was Philidelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who it appears is not in the Eagles long-term plans at quarterback, with a new regime very likely to come in Philidelphia. Vick has shown that he can still perform in this league, especially with his arm and athleticism.
But Vick should not be on the radar for a team like the Jets, who could be a solid quarterback away from contention. But why not pursue Vick in the off-season?
If this game was on Sunday, I don't think very many people would be interested in it outside of each respective fan base. Yet, here we are. A prime-time tilt between the Jets and the Titans. Let's take a closer look at the betting angles.
Just like the game itself, there isn't much to report in the betting marketplace. Vegas put up the Titans as -1.5 point favorites in the look-ahead line. When it re-opened on Sunday, it opened at -1 (odds from SBRforum). Don't read anything into this though because sportsbooks often do this to keep it out of the "teaser window".
One short week after manhandling their AFC rivals the Houston Texans, the New England Patriots have another potential playoff team in their sights.
Not having won a Super Bowl for seven long seasons has been a constant thorn in Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichicks side. His studious view on the game has won him many plaudits, and at times angered others. No doubting though the relationship and understanding he has with his quarterback Tom Brady is nothing short of a winning one. They are arguably the best Head Coach/QB tandem the game has seen.
In that seven year span, New England have of course come close. Twice being out=though and out=played by the pair of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning of the New York Giants. These losses do nothing more than spur the Patriots duo on.
They’ve hit a tremendous roll at present, dominating teams by scoring big. Over 50 points twice, and 40+ on four other occasions. Some say they have to score huge as they are a little suspect on defense, but when called upon that part of their game has stood up well in close games.
One pretender to their AFC crown this season is the Texans.
Have the Bills turned the corner? Are the Rams on the verge of a flat performance after riding high vs the 49ers? Let's see how it will shake out.
MarketsThe standard consensus regarding home field advantage lies somewhere around 2.5/3 points on the point spread. Of course not all home fields are equal, but is Vegas trying to tell us these teams are even on a neutral field? If so, I'm more than happy to grab a full field goal with the Rams.In fact, nothing that happened on the weekend seemed to change bookmakers minds either. The look ahead line also had the Bills -3 (odds from SBRforum). If I had to set this line I'd make Buffalo -1 to -1.5 point favorites. There were signs early in the season where it looked like the Rams were going to have a home/road dichotomy this year, but they've bucked the trend and currently sit at 4-1 ATS on the road. I'll take it.