Tag Archives: Super Bowl

Beating Vegas: Super Bowl Prop Bets

The Super Bowl is not only the biggest sports event of the calendar year.  It is also the biggest gambling day of the year.  The folks at Vegas are taking tickets for just about any kind of action they can this Sunday, and for good reason.  This is the day that the hardcore gamblers look at as “their last chance to win big this year” and for the people who don’t normally place a wager on action – they feel they “must” for the Super Bowl.  Besides the general lines and prop bets, the Super Bowl goes nutty with prop bets as Vegas tries to suck your wallet dry – at least one last time.  Lucky for you, your pocket has looked pretty good this football year, if you’ve been following the Beating Vegas articles and podcast.  Let’s continue that trend with the final, Beating Vegas article of this football season, by looking into these ridiculous prop bets.

Will a roughing the passer penalty be called in the game?

Yes EVEN (1/1)
No -130 (10/13)

This is an easy one.  Patriots coach Bill Belichick knows that this game is just too big for Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, or at least he hopes.  Foles will not be given the privilege of seeing line backers drop into a zone coverage in the early going, as Belichick will be looking to get him shook up early – and often.  This increases the chances of a roughing the passer penalty getting called on the Patriots, who aren’t the best pass-rushing defense out there and might get over-zealous.  On the flip side of things, the Eagles are a good pass rushing team, and Tom Brady is arguably the most hated offensive player of all time if you ask any defensive player for the last 15 years.  Due to this fact, referees are quicker to throw a “roughing the passer” penalty in favor of Brady to keep defenses in check.

The Pick: “Yes” at Even money

Total rushing yards – Jay Ajayi (PHI)

Over/Under 62½

Remember how Jay Ajayi was traded from the Dolphins to the Eagles mid-season?  Yeah, that’s because he’s not that good.   Ajayi had a fluke of a season last year and has had attitude problems and problems adjusting to defenses for most of this season.  He’s gone over the 62.5 rushing yard mark seven times this season.  He’s also going to be splitting carries with LeGarrette Blount how is averaging 4.4 yards a carry to Ajayi’s 4.1 and although lately Ajayi has been getting more carries than Blount, expect the former Patriot to get some action against his former team being he’s the veteran with playoff and veteran experience. The Patriots rush defense is pretty good, and will be focused on having more men in the box anyway against Nick Foles.

The Pick: Under 62.5 Rushing Yards

Will there be a score in the final two minutes of the first half?

Yes -300 (1/3)
No +240 (12/5)

Doug Pederson hurried and got the Eagles into field goal range before the first half ended, already up 21-7 against the Vikings, to hit a field goal with no time left – giving them a 24-7 lead at the half.  This showed Pederson’s willingness to “kick” an opponent when he’s down and it also showed that Pederson believe’s that “anything can happen” and if you can score points, you score the points.  Belichick has more trust in Tom Brady to get points before the half than probably any coach ever.  Belichick is also (for lack of better words) a “dick” to some degree and will look to put it in the endzone (or uprights) whenever he can and as many times as he can.

The Pick: Yes -300

 Will “nipplegate” be said during broadcast?

Yes +500 (5/1)
No -900 (1/9)
**Note: From kickoff until final whistle, halftime does not count.

Absolutely not, unless people want to get fired on-air during the biggest televised sporting event of the year. . .

The Pick: No -900

Will Justin Timberlake cover a Prince song during halftime?

Yes -120 (5/6)
No -120 (5/6)

Here’s a little fact on Justin Timberlake that people either don’t know, or refuse to believe.  He’s kind of a jerk.  Timberlake is all about him and what he can do to further his agenda.  He has a new album coming out in mid-February and he will be most likely performing the two (god-awful) songs he’s released and pepper in a lot of the this that we all know and love him for.  Prince has been an inspiration to many artists like Justin Timberlake, and I would not doubt for one second that Timberlake is a huge fan of Prince, but Prince-Estate is apparently holding any and any rights to the late-Prince’s likeness and won’t let that go down.  Also, the death of Prince has had some time to settle in and won’t be as big of an emotional impact that J.T. would be looking for.

The Pick: No -120

 

Super Bowl MVP

Dion Lewis +1000 or Rob Gronkowski +1000

At +1000 these are both good bets because Gronkowski is the ultimate x-factor when he’s in the game and Dion Lewis has been great since he’s come back into form.  Of course the popular vote here usually sides with Tom Brady (who is at -175) but what’s the fun in that?

The Game Itself

New England Patriots -4 versus Philadelphia Eagles

I pick the Patriots to go to the Super Bowl every year because – why not?  The Eagles impressed me this year.  Even after I read and listened to people hyping them up before the season started, I saw them as a .500 team.  I was dead wrong.  Underestimating Carson Wentz was the lamest thing I did all year and seeing him go down was probably the worst thing that happened to the Eagles and the league this year, as many – including myself – thought he could be league MVP in just his second season.  Coach Doug Pederson has kept it all together though and now has Nick Foles at quarterback.  Foles was once thought to be the future of Philadelphia football not-to-long ago and now he has the chance to make history for the franchise. Unfortunately for him, he’ll be going up against a true dynasty in the New England Patriots.  The Patriots were actually a five point favorite, until some Vegas big shots laid down $700,00 on Eagles money line and a nice million on the Eagles with the points.  Now the Pats sit at about 4 point favorites at most spots.  For either sentimental value of the Eagles maybe winning a championship or pure hatred towards the Patriots the public is going with the sharps and laying it all on the Eagles.  Looking at the Eagles without Wentz you see a shoot-out victory against the pitiful Giants, a lackluster win over a bad Oakland team, a gross 6-0 win against Dallas and two playoff wins where they looked like two totally different teams.  In this case, the public just wants to see Belichick and Brady lose but as mentioned before, if Belichick has two weeks to game plan against a back-up quarterback – how can you go against the hood?

Four points, may not be what I’d want – buy the whole point and at least take it down to a 3 to be safe.

Final Score should read Patriots 23 Eagles 18, in something of a grind.

As always good luck and wager wisely!

 

G.W. Gras

Twitter @GeeSteelio

Super Bowl Aftermath

During the pre-game of this year’s Super Bowl match up between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, Troy Aikman made sure to make mention of the Falcons’ “inexperience.”

Was Aikman totally off-base?  No, but still – the Falcons were bringing to the table the league’s number one offense and the league’s current MVP, quarterback Matt Ryan.  The Falcons were also bringing to the table, a head coach in Dan Quinn who has played a part in three of the last four Super Bowls.  The same man, Quinn, who has implemented a defense, concentrated on speed and athleticism that had gotten increasingly better as the season progressed.

And “defense” was all the start of this game was about.  The first quarter ended in a tie as both defenses seemed to be up to the challenge.

Then came the second quarter. . .

The Atlanta Falcons showed the world what the youth can do.  After the defense stripped Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount of the football, the Falcons responded with two passes to Julio Jones and then they had Davonta Freeman handle the rest as the Falcons took the first lead of the game.

Late in the second quarter, the Patriots found themselves down 14-0 but putting a drive together, mostly due to three third-down holding calls against the Falcons defense.  But even when things seemed to be going their way, things went terribly awry for Tom Brady and the boys and Brady tossed an interception into the hands of Falcons corner back Robert Alford, who returned it 82 yards for a touchdown.

But something happened at halftime.  Maybe it was Bill Belichick changing up the game plan, Tom Brady remembering he was Tom Brady or maybe it was Lady Gaga’s halftime performace (I give it a 8.5 out of 10 – solid performance.)  Whatever it was, things had to change for the Patriots.

Instead of change though, it appeared to be more of the same as Matt Ryan threw his second touchdown pass and the Falcons went up 28-3.  The Patriots finally put up a touchdown before the end of the third quarter, but their kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point.  After three quarters of play the Patriots weren’t even in double-digt-points.  Total disaster for the proud Patriots franchise. . .

Let’s go back to Lady Gaga for a second.

During her stellar halftime performance she performed a medley of her songs.  Two of those songs stood out “Edge of Glory” and “Born This Way.”   Those two song titles must’ve been the reason the Patriots decided to wake up in the fourth quarter to play some football.  There is no closer “edge” to glory than being down 19 points in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl.  And the Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady is just cut from a different mold of legendary quarterbacks.  It’s something that can’t be coached up, or even explained.  He was simply “born this way.”

Tom Brady, along with running back James White, must’ve saw either fatigue or inexperience settling into this Falcons defense, because they looked flawless in execution against them.  Meanwhile, Falcons offensive coordinator must’ve had his head and heart already in San Francisco (where he accepted the head coaching position) because the play calling, which has been nearly perfect all year – became highly questionable.  The Falcons were averaging just about five yards a carry against this Patriots defense and he seemingly abandoned it.  Most questionably when it was 3rd and 1 and they decided to throw a pass from shotgun and when they could’ve controlled/killed more of the clock –  they kept on throwing it. . .

The Patriots redefined the term “stealing the momentum,” as the Falcons looked completely shell-shocked. They not only gave up 19 unanswered points in the fourth quarter – they gave up 25 unanswered points to close the game as the Patriots put up a touchdown in overtime, courtesy of James White to win the Super Bowl.

Keep this in mind.

Matt Ryan threw for 284 yards, 2 touchdowns and had a quarterback rating of 144.1.  The Falcons as a team were averaging 5.8 yards a rush and 7.5 yards a play. They even won the turnover battle (2-1).  The Falcons also had history on their side.  In the history of the NFL Playoffs, teams that lead by 19 or more points going into the fourth quarter were 93-0.   Now because of the Falcons, that record is 93-1.

But was history really on their side?

Tom Brady creates history.  Re-writes history.  Becomes history.  Embodies it.

As shocking as this incredible comeback was – this was the one team, led by this one player and this one coach – who have been incredible their entire careers together.  Achieving the impossible is well within the Patriots’ grasp.  They prove it all the time.

G.W. Gras

@GeeSteelio

 

How the Falcons Will Beat The Patriots

It’s all come down to this.  Finally.

The Super Bowl is upon us and we have the Atlanta Falcons representing the NFC and the New England Patriots representing the AFC.  At this point, it’s a given that the Patriots have made it this far again.  This dynasty has been one of the most consistent and dominant of any dynasty – in all of sports.  Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, scoffed at his silly four game suspension and ran through the league on a 12 game revenge tour throwing 28 touchdown passes and only 2 interceptions.  We all know the accolades Tom Brady possesses and we know that winning this Super Bowl only adds to his incredible legacy but the truth is – we all already know how great Brady is.  Him and head coach Bill Belichick will be the quarterback/coach combo people will compare future pairings to for years to come.  But all good things must come to an end.  Don’t they?

When Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was a freshman at Boston College, Tom Brady had already won two of his four Super Bowls and was en route to becoming an American sports icon.  Both of them in the state of Massachusetts, separated by a 35 mile drive along Interstate 95.

Fast forward into time and Matt Ryan is now in his ninth season as a pro and Tom Brady is in his fourteenth season – in which seven of those led him to the Super Bowl.

This Super Bowl brings a story line most love to see in the playoffs – NFL’s number one defense verse the NFL’s number one offense.  The Patriots are only allowing 15.6 points per game while the Falcons are averaging 33.8 points per game.  Keep in mind the Patriots played five of six worse teams in the NFL this year, and they played against a plethora of back up quarterbacks this year (or guys who are at least the equivalent to back-up quarterback status).  Without taking anything away from them though, in the AFC Championship game they held a Steelers team that averages 25 points per game to 17, and held Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to average 6.7 yards per attempt.  What helps New England is that they are third in the NFL in points scored at 27.6, but again – the competition wasn’t much and the offense would usually find itself in great field position.

The Falcons are a young defensive team (four rookies starting) and had their struggles in the early going of the season and then it started to look as if it was coming together right when it needed to.   In their playoff games against the Seahawks and the Packers, they won those games at scores of 36-20 and 44-21 respectively.  All season long the Falcons had been giving up 25 points per game and their offense would generally score about ten more points than that to add a check in the win column.  Now, with this defense making life easier for an offense that is 3rd in passing yards, 7th in rushing yards and 2nd in total yards per game – – this team has gotten from “scary-good” to flat out “dangerous.”

The New England defense on average, allows 3.9 yards a rush, while the Atlanta Falcons average 4.6 a carry.  This results in what I have named a “Clash Average” of 4.25 yards a carry – favoring the Atlanta Falcons (don’t ask how I come up with this method – but it’s proven and it works).

New England’s pass defense will come under attack as well. They already allow the opposition to complete 61% of it’s passes and the Falcons are humming at a nearly 70% completion percentage.  While New England’s Malcolm Butler has transformed himself from a Super Bowl hero to a top five corner back in the league – he’ll be matched up against the best wide receiver in the game in Julio Jones.  Butler will probably have safety help (as they did for many plays against Antonio Brown in the AFC Championship) but that leads to a lot of issues going against the Falcons.  Much like Brady, Matt Ryan doesn’t “force” anything – he takes what you give him.  In doing so, the speed they have after-the-catch kills a lot of teams.  Sanu, Robinson and even the running backs Tevon Coleman and Davonta Freeman make things happen after slant, hook and “dump” passes.

Brady loves to do the same with the talent he has – but Atlanta’s defense has something that New England’s lacks — speed and athleticism in the linebacker department.  Head coach Dan Quinn is a defensive minded coach and he has built this defense more on speed than strength.  This means the rushes will be faster and the reaction to receivers who are “sitting in a zone” will be noticed quicker.

Vegas has set this game at -3 favoring the Patriots since last Sunday night and it hasn’t changed one bit.  The over/under is set at 59.  Falcons as a three-point dog and the over would be the way to go but when it’s all said and done we all just want to know who wins the Super Bowl and not just cover the spread. 

Matty Ice and the Falcons win this one 38-24.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Beating Vegas: Super Bowl Deluxe Edition

It’s been fun here at “Beating Vegas” all football season.  We finished about 10 games over 50% so all in all, not a bad season.  Now it all comes to the end with the biggest sporting event of the year – the Super Bowl.  The NFL’s most valuable and exciting player, Cam Newton on one side and one of the NFL’s most recognizable celebrities, Peyton Manning, on the other.   Vegas knows that this is their last chance to bank on football action for at least six months and they like to throw EVERYTHING at you.  The trick is to not bet all over the place, but to use your head and think logically – eh, forget logic, it’s the Super Bowl – it’s a time to let loose, drink, eat and have fun – BUT, here is my advice to you on those prop-bets and the game itself.

Total Receptions By Ronnie Hillman:

Ronnie+Hillman+Cincinnati+Bengals+v+Denver+P3JRrnaRSrql

Yeah, this is a weird and random place to start but it could  be easy money come Super Bowl Sunday.  Ronnie Hillman is the smaller speed back, that shares the Broncos back field with the more physical CJ Anderson.  Hillman has more of the game breaker speed in him, but he is prone to injury and is known to fumble.  Anderson though will have his hands full trying to run the ball all day against a Panthers defense that allows less than four yards a carry.  The Broncos will look for ways to get the ball out of Peyton Manning’s hands quickly all game and they will look to slow down the Panthers’ blitz attacks.  Screen passes and check downs in the direction of Ronnie Hillman will help the Broncos in achieving that.  The over/under for total receptions by Ronnie Hillman is set at 1.5.  Hillman is dangerous in open space and his speed is deadly once he takes off.  Take the over – it’s probably the easiest bet of the day and the payout is at +155. 

 

Total Field Goals Scored By Broncos:

Emmanuel+Sanders+AFC+Championship+New+England+OxBu5tE7JAil

The Denver Broncos have a three and out percentage of 26.13% and that number should be there or even worse against one of the NFL’s best defenses in Carolina.  The Broncos are not a high octane offense anymore due to Manning’s declining ability as a quarterback and Kubiak’s predictable, conservative offense.  The Broncos won’t get cute on fourth down when in the Panthers territory and they have a lot of faith in their kicker Brandon McManus who was perfect kicking from 20-39 yards this season.  From 40-49 yards out he was 5-8 and from 50 yards are more he was 5-7.  Points will be hard to come by for Denver but getting at least three field goals should be possible.  The over/under is 2.5 with a payout of +340 and that’s definitely worth the shot, at least for a small dime, for more than three times the payout.

What color will Beyonce’s footwear be when she comes on stage for the halftime show?

Beyonce+Knowles+2015+Global+Citizen+Festival+NEsczwJcNcgl

If your “guy” has this prop bet, consider these lines: Black: 3/2, Gold/Brown: 5/2, White: 11/14, Silver/Grey: 19/4 and any other color: 7/1.   Beyonce is a diva.  Beyonce is a trendsetter and (much like myself) a “walking fashion statement.”  Last time she performed at the Super Bowl, she had on black boots.  She wouldn’t be caught dead wearing something similar at the same function a few years later, so scratch that.  She probably won’t match up with Coldplay’s bland attire and she might want to separate herself from Bruno Mars, who is pretty unpredictable.   To prove her “queen” like ways, I expect her to go with something flashy and at the same time classy which is why the Silver/Grey line is more to my liking here.

How many times will “dab” or “dabbing” be said by the announcers during the broadcast?

Phil+Simms+Super+Bowl+XLVII+Broadcasters+Press+xPsOM1PuOhwl

The over/under for this line is 2.   Phil Simms and Jim Nantz are probably the most out of touch guys to ever call a football game.  Sometimes they don’t even know what’s going on during a football game so do you really think they have a chance to know about anything in pop-culture?  If it wasn’t for the commercials, I’d watch this game with the mute button on.  Take the under and good luck to us all having to deal with these two lame asses. . .

Super Bowl MVP:

Luke+Kuechly+Carolina+Panthers+v+Tennessee+VdV8gInN-eMl

There are only two names to look at here, Cam Newton who is the favorite at -145 and Luke Kuechly who is a long shot at +1400.  Cam is the obvious choice because the offense runs through him, he is dynamic and the NFL is more likely to give quarterbacks the credit for a win, than anyone else.  Luke Kuechly is an interesting name though, especially considering the payout.  This game has a slight chance of being a low scoring defensive battle or a high chance of being a blowout in favor of the Panthers.  Either way, Kuechly is a player who finds himself around the action and the football often.  If the defense is all the way dominant, it will be mostly because of his doing.  Eight tackles, coupled with a forced fumble, recovered fumble or interception might be enough for a defensive player to become MVP of this game, and who would be more likely to achieve that than Kuechly?

The Super Bowl Line:

Super-Bowl-50-Logo-524x437

The Carolina Panthers are a six point favorite in this game against the Denver Broncos and if you’ve read this article, you can guess where this paragraph will lean. . . Peyton Manning is a fraction of what he once was and against this secondary, he might be in for one of his worst performances since.  . . the last time he played in a Super Bowl.  Manning has never been a “big game” quarterback, even in his prime, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see him struggle in this one.  Denver’s defense will be on the field for most of the game and have their back’s up against the wall a lot.  This works in favor for a Carolina offense that likes to be physical.  Cam is a difference maker, and there is really no way to coach how to stop him, because even he has no idea what he’s set to do at any given moment.  Carolina and Denver may be close in the first half, but in the second half Carolina pulls away and wins by at least 15 points.

The Pick: Carolina -6

 

Hope you guys have enjoyed “Beating Vegas” this football season.  We’ll be back next year and continue our winning ways here.  Thank you for checking back each week and as always: “GOOD LUCK AND WAGER WISELY!”

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cam Newton: More Than Just a Road to the Super Bowl

At 26 years of age, Cam Newton has come into his prime in his professional football career.  When he was drafted as the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, the Carolina Panthers were hoping they cashed in on their “franchise quarterback” and they definitely did.  This season is a special season for Cam Newton though.  In all areas of life, Cam has certainly come of age, professionally and personally.

Cam+Newton+Carolina+Panthers+v+Atlanta+Falcons+O4tNcGrrBIal

This season Cam has established himself as the NFL’s most valuable and entertaining player in the league.  During this campaign he has led the Carolina Panthers to their second ever Super Bowl appearance and he has also witnessed the birth of his first child, a son he named “Chosen.”  This is a fairy tale like season for Cam and the Panthers but the road to getting here has had many ups and downs for Newton.

After being recruited by the University of Florida as a five-star recruit, he won the role of back up quarterback job behind Tim Tebow and when he got his chance to start the 2008 season, he suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him (medical redshirt).  In that same year Cam was arrested for the purchase of another student’s stolen laptop computer.  Cam didn’t make himself look  innocent in the situation considering he tossed the computer out of his window in his attempt to not get caught with it.  After that, Cam found himself at Blinn University, a junior college where he led Blinn to the Junior College National Championship and put himself back into the focus of the recruiting plans for division one schools.  This is when the University of Auburn stepped in to win the services of Cam Newton.

Once at Auburn, he lit the world on fire.  He was destroying SEC defenses week to week.  The most memorable performance of his  was being down 24-0 to the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide defense, and he willed a comeback victory to seal the SEC Championship.  Even then, when things seemed to be approaching an undeniable climax, there was a cloud that hovered over Newton’s head.  Talk came about that his father was trying to talk Mississippi State into “buying” his son’s services for a certain price (rumored over $120,000).  In a weird turn of events Cam Newton was suspended for the National Championship Game by the NCAA but soon after called off the suspension.  .  . Cam won the Heisman Trophy (beating out Andrew Luck) and won the National Championship with Auburn.

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Cam had a ridiculous start to his professional career, breaking 9 rookie records and earning himself a Pro Bowl bid.   It was at that Pro Bowl though, where players and NFL personnel alike were turned off by Cam Newton’s pri-madonna like ways.  This was only assumed to an even greater scale in his second season, where the sophomore jinx was evident and Cam appeared more like an isolated brat on the sidelines then the man-child the NFL wanted him to represent.

The following three seasons showed a maturity in Cam Newton though.  He helped lead the Panthers to three straight playoff appearances and instead of relying purely on his athletic ability to win games, he put in the work and became better as a quarterback.  This season was the apex of him putting together his abilities as a quarterback and one of the NFL’s most gifted athletes.

Cam+Newton+NFC+Championship+Arizona+Cardinals+Y8H2GKUw510l

He has embodied what the NFL’s future should become.  A leader with a grin from ear to ear that can light up a stadium.  A player who can entertain the fans with gestures (whether to cheers or jeers) but at the same time will bear down and sacrifice his own body if needed just to get that extra yard.  The NFL playing field has become Cam’s personal playground and keeping that “playground” mentality as a focus for his brand, the younger fans are captivated by him.  That captivation is a product of what  he’s doing on the field or even how he engages with the kids in the stands and how he embraces every moment with open arms.

Cam+Newton+NFC+Championship+Arizona+Cardinals+5S5SU8USyIel

Cam Newton has taken on a lot of criticism, some was deserved and some wasn’t.  He has made it easy for him to be hated and at the same time made himself out to be loved.  Cam has taken his game to the next level and raised the bar for the future of the NFL.  Now he is set to play against the best defense in the NFL with the Denver Broncos and set to go against another quarterback who in his prime, raised the bar for the future of quarterbacks in the league in Peyton Manning.  Everything about these two quarterbacks is different – except for the fact they both possess commercial appeal to sell anything from pizza to yogurt.  This is a shining moment for Cam Newton to continue his path to football immortality and more importantly to do it his way.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

How To Play the Super Bowl Prop Bets

The Super Bowl is not only the biggest sports day of the year.  It is an unofficial American Holiday, a gathering of friends and family and also for all things considered, the end of “betting season” for many.  Whether it’s a blessing or not is the gambler’s issue – but the Super Bowl is the last time for many to cash in, feel the rush or hand their money over to their bookee one last time.  Vegas is aware of this and that is why “prop bets” were created.

Coin Toss:

All of the coin toss props are 50/50 and it’s a quick way to lose or make your money right at the start of the Super Bowl.  Heads or tails, which team will call heads or tails, will the team who wins the coin toss win the game, etc, etc.  If you have to get your early fix and bet on the coin toss, ride with history.  In the Super Bowl, Seattle is 2-0 in winning the coin toss while New England has only won the coin toss twice in seven trips to the big game.

Will There Be Three Unanswered Scores by Any Team:

This one is interesting because the line on YES is -200 and NO is +160.  Without giving away a Super Bowl prediction just yet, this game will be close.  The -1 line on the game itself (favoring Seattle) is proof enough that Vegas does not see any one of these teams running away with the game.  “NO” is the bet on this one.  Easily.

Richard+Sherman+NFC+Championship+San+Francisco+qweMxyyIZHzl

Will Richard Sherman Record A Interception:

This prop bet is tailor made for those who know the name of Richard Sherman but do not know the game of football.  In 16 regular season games Sherman had 4 interceptions but in the playoffs he has 2 interceptions in two games.  Both of those picks weren’t necessarily great plays by Sherman, but really a bad throw by Cam Newton and an uncharacteristically bad throw/read by Aaron Rodgers.  Sherman will be dealing with a Patriots offense that has had two weeks to prepare and game plan for him – oh, and Tom Brady is one of the leagues most annoyingly accurate perfectionist when it comes to in game execution.  The YES on this bet is at +195 while the NO is at         -250.  The  easy money is on the bigger bet, risk 250 for every hundred and laugh at the losers who will bet on Sherman because of his soup and headphone commercials.

Total Tackles + Assists by Kam Chancellor:

Kam+Chancellor+NFC+Championship+Green+Bay+jzoSJkVLUvEl

The over/under for this prop is set at 6.5 (over -155/under +105).  Kam Chancellor is an absolute animal.  The Patriots are no doubt going to try to soften up and find a crease within the tough D Line of the Seahawks and there is no doubt that Kam Chancellor will be called upon to navigate that line of scrimmage more than a few times. Aside from the running game, expect Kam to be dealing with Rob Gronkowski in the middle of the field.  Gronk is Brady’s favorite target and Chancellor is the kind of monster, competitively that wants to be the one to lay him out one on one.  The Pats use the middle of the field with their tight ends and (a-hem) eligible lineman so Kam will get many opportunities to get that tackle number way above 6.  Take the gamble and risk 155 units to win your easy 100.

Which Song Will Katy Perry Begin The Halftime Show With: 

Of course we have to talk some Katy Perry.  The odds for this one go like this: Firework 3/2; Roar 3/2; This is How We Do 5/1; Dark Horse 12/1; E.T. 12/1; Wide Awake 12/1; and Waking Up In Vegas 20/1.   Automatically eliminate Waking Up In Vegas because most people have forgotten about that song.  ET was  a hit but even then we’re talking some years back – The Songstress Perry is all about keeping things fresher.  Firework will no doubt be performed but that seems more like a closing song – TV-wise – this song was the highlight of her 2010 performance for Victoria Secrets.  Dark Horse may be too slow to kick off something as exciting as a halftime show should be which leaves three more: Wide Awake, This Is How We Do and Roar.   Wide Awake might be a song that would be on the edge of not even being heard, so that leaves Roar and This is How We Do.  Most would put money down on both but go for the longer shot and the safer start up song in “This Is How We Do.”  It still has some relevancy so it’s a safe bet.

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The Game Itself

No, this isn’t a “prop” bet but it’s the most important bet of the day.  As of now, Vegas has the Seattle Seahawks as a one point favorite over the New England Patriots.   The talk has been the Seahawks defense versus the Patriots offense – but folks should flip that around.  For all the fan fare that Russell Wilson gets, this Seahawks offense is a run first and run dominant offense, they are far from a juggernaut (although Marshawn Lynch represents the Marvel Comic villain of the same name at times).   Bill Belichik is one of the greatest coaches of all time and his integrity has been called into question because of “Deflate Gate.”  The Hood has had two weeks to get that defensive mind of his wrapped around this run heavy offense.  This WILL-NOT be a repeat of last year and the Seahawks are not set to repeat either.  Take the Patriots here at +1 and enjoy your Super Bowl viewing party.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

The Issue With Russell Wilson

When discussing quarterbacks in the NFL, there are two things people need to STOP doing.

1 – Stop issuing “wins” and “losses” to quarterbacks.  This includes Super Bowl wins, playoff wins, come from behind wins – all of them.   Offensive linemen never get credit for keeping their quarterbacks untouched in final drives, wide receivers are the ones making the catches the quarterbacks throw out there and running backs, more times than not, pick up blitzing corners and handle a lot of the dirty work in the trenches.   The quarterback did not win the game, the team did.  As cliche as that might sound it’s the truth.

2- Stop using the word “elite” when discussing quarterbacks.   This all goes back to the infamous Michael Kay radio interview with Eli Manning – and ever since then – the words “elite” have been tossed around like cuss words in a high school locker room.   The word “elite” has even gone hand in hand when trying to put Super Bowl winning quarterbacks into the “elite” class.  Joe Flacco.  Eli Manning.  Stop it.

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Wins, playoff success and the word “elite” have all come into play with the Seahawks third year starter, Russell Wilson.  Wilson, is a likable fixture in an NFL where the loud-mouthed, off-season troubled issues of many have cast a dark cloud over the sport.  Wilson is an intelligent, quiet, well mannered kid, who says all the right things when the camera is on him.  He has been in the playoffs all three seasons, including a Super Bowl win and another trip to the big game this year.   Even then – the praise has gotten out of hand.

The reason why the word “elite” now holds no meaning is because it meant something and now means virtually nothing.  That class of quarterback should only be the guys who throw for 35-40 touchdowns, 4500-5000 yards and have a touchdown interception ration of at least 4:1.   Without those guys at that position, their team accomplishes nothing.    In his three seasons, Wilson has played a total of 48 games – in those 48 he has only thrown for 3 or more touchdowns six times in a game (never achieving that mark once this year.)  In the same span of games he has only thrown for over 300 yards four times in a game.  These are not the consistent numbers seen with the word “elite.”

“But he wins games,” is what those with no argument say.

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Russell Wilson is the direct benefactor of being on one of the most talented squads in the NFL.   There is no question that no other team has been built better than Seattle’s in the last 4 years.   Wilson has benefited from a good offensive line and one of the most unstoppable forces at running back – Marshawn Lynch.  If there was ever an “elite running back” conversation – Lynch would be in the top three, without a doubt.  Not many other teams hand off to their running back on third and six situations – with confidence, none-the-less.  Defenses are forced to pack line-backers and/or safeties up on the line of scrimmage in order to stop this running game – leaving Russell Wilson many easy opportunities in the play-action game.

There is nothing wrong with Russell’s game, this is not an indictment on how well/bad he can play the game – but the credit that he is given is over-board.  Statistically  Russell Wilson’s numbers go neck in neck with the likes of Alex Smith (who many label a “game manager”), Derek Carr (rookie QB for the Raiders. . . yes the Oakland-Mess-Of-A-Franchise Raiders), Brian Hoyer (who played two less games and for Cleveland) and Andy Dalton (who gets crucified weekly for not being worth the money he’s signed to).   That’s the “elite” class Wilson’s numbers have him with.

“But his rushing yards, too. . .,” is the last thing those with no argument say.

This season he ran for over 800  yards, terrific.  Amazing.  Once again – let’s not give credit to the fact that half of those yards come off of play-action bootleg plays because defenses are concerned with stopping Marshawn Lynch and let’s also not mention that this receiving core does one thing extremely well – block on the outside.

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The argument of Russell Wilson being ‘great’ is just over-blown.   Wilson is the piece that’s needed at the quarterback position for this team.  That’s all that needs to be said.  He is neither great, nor terrible.  Truthfully, we won’t ever really know how good Russell Wilson is until he is served up the hefty contract which everyone knows is coming his way.  The Seahawks reportedly want to offer Wilson a “record breaking contract” which will leave not much money to throw around.  The Seahawks are very cap savvy but for how long will Wilson remain as the NFL’s most storied game-manager without the league’s best defense backing him up and an absolute beast named Marshawn Lynch to lean on offensively.

Maybe, some folks just have the bar set low, when it comes to being “elite.”

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio