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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 9:55 AM

So, you tell us: What will make for the juiciest Super Bowl XLVII matchup come the evening of Sunday, February 3rd?

According to one off-shore book we checked with yesterday, the slightest of odds have it being a Denver versus San Francisco showdown in New Orleans on the first Sunday in February but here's the up-to-the-moment lines to win it all as we head into this weekend's slam-bang NFL Divisional Playoffs (based on a $100 per play wager):





+ 150

The Broncos have gone to the Super Bowl 4 times in 5 tries when sitting pretty with the AFC's #1 seed (you can look it up!)

New England

+ 175

Still hard to believe that the Patriots have not won in all since the 2004 season but stepped-up ground game could be the real key

San Francisco

+ 300

If the Niners win their first crown since 1994, than the Bay Area will become the new "sports capital" after SF Giants won World Series

Green Bay

+ 375

Many cheese heads believe this Saturday's game in San Fran will be the Packers' toughest test this post-season - and they could be right


+ 400

The Falcons don't need us or anyone else to remind 'em of recent playoff failures but reality is getting 4-to-1 odds with a #1 seed is a bargain


+ 600

Russell Wilson's the only rookie QB still standing but even he hasn't been able to lead the 'Hawks to back-to-back road wins this year


+ 900

Now did anyone really think they could get the Texans to win it all at 9-to-1 odds just a month or so ago? No way!


+ 1250

Guess the oddsmakers "don't believe" in the Ray Lewis Farewell Tour ending with a Super Bowl crown but that would be Hollywood stuff, right?

Okay, so let's get you a nugget on the NFL Divisional Playoff games this weekend with a reminder that we'll bring you our in-depth previews these next couple of days - so don't miss out!:

On Saturday, it's ...
BALTIMORE (11-6) at DENVER (13-3) - 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
The Broncos have not lost since October 7th (see 31-21 defeat at New England) and lost amidst all the QB Peyton Manning hype is the fact the Denver defense ranks third in the NFL in both rushing and passing defense - note that this stop unit allows just 91.1 yards rushing per game and so maybe hot-shot rookie RB Bernard Pierce (13 carries for 103 yards in the 24-9 wild card win against Indianapolis last weekend) shouldn't expect some huge rushing lanes here.

GREEN BAY (12-5) at SAN FRANCISCO (11-4-1) - 8 p.m. ET, Fox
Go back to that Week 1 tilt at Lambeau Field when the 6-point underdog San Fran 49ers rolled to a 30-22 win against the GB Packers and you'll re-discover that the Niners won the rushing battle 186-to-45 and how about the fact San Francisco averaged a whopping 5.8 yards a carry in that tilt? If Green Bay doesn't bring up eight or even nine men in a box here, we'll be shocked and so Niners' QB Colin Kaepernick may have to win this one, after all.

On Sunday, it's ...
SEATTLE (12-5) at ATLANTA (13-3) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
No doubt the rough-and-tumble Seahawks' secondary is getting lots of love from the national media folks this week but do you realize here that Pete Carroll's defense will be facing a trio of Falcons' pass-catchers that combined for 264 receptions in regular-season play as TE Tony Gonzalez (93 receptions), WR Roddy White (92 catches) and WR Julio Jones (79 snatches) were legit stat-sheet stuffers. Best stat-within-a-stat here is that White/Jones combined for 35 of the team's 46 receptions that covered 20-plus yards.

HOUSTON (13-4) at NEW ENGLAND (12-4) - 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Note that in the Patriots' 42-14 rub-out win over the Texans back on December 10th, New England led 21-0 some 19 game minutes into action and Bill Belichick's crew cashed in on three red-zone opportunities in as many tries while piling up a whopping 27 first downs. The QB Tom Brady stat line for that first go-around versus the Texans: He completed 21-of-35 passes for 296 yards with 4 TDs and 0 INTs and a sizzling 125.4 QB rating. Keep in mind that marked one of nine regular-season games this year in which the Pats scored 31-or-more points while Houston's not scored 31-or-more points since its controversial 34-31 overtime win in Detroit back on Thanksgiving Day ... remember?


We say a final bye-bye to the NCAA Football season that - once again - crowned the Alabama Crimson Tide the kings of the sport but here's what you really want to know: The 35 college bowl games produced the following:

College Bowl Betting Favorites finished up 19-15-0 with one Pick 'Em affair (see Virginia Tech over Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl) for a .559 winning while "totals" players know that "over" sides went 15-20 versus the vig for a .429 winning percentage.

Check out our accompanying Jim Sez chart and you'll note that there were 11 outright upset winners in all - or almost one-third of all bowl games - while we dig a little deeper and tell you that double-digit betting favorites went 5-3 ATS (against the spread) while the mighty SEC only registered a 5-4 ATS mark with bowl covers by Vanderbilt, Georgia, Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Alabama. Just thought you'd like to know!

Now, here's the whole College Bowl Game-by-Game Re-Cap:

12-15 New Mexico Arizona - 8.5 Nevada 49-48 Dog
Idaho Potato Utah State - 10 Toledo 41-15 Fav
12-20 Poinsettia BYU - 3.5 San Diego State 23-6 Fav
12-21 Beef O' Brady UCF - 7 Ball State 38-17 Fav
12-22 New Orleans UL-Lafayette - 6 East Carolina 43-34 Fav
Las Vegas Boise State - 4 Washington 28-26 Dog
12-24 Hawaii SMU + 13 Fresno State 43-10 Dog
12-26 Little Caesars Central Michigan + 6 Western Kentucky 24-21 Dog
12-27 Military San Jose State - 7 Bowling Green 29-20 Fav
Belk Cincinnati - 9.5 Duke 48-34 Fav
Holiday Baylor + 3 UCLA 49-26 Dog
12-28 Independence Ohio + 7 UL-Monroe 45-14 Dog
Russell Athletic Virginia Tech PK Rutgers 13-10 (ot) ---
Meinke Car Care Texas Tech - 13 Minnesota 34-31 Dog
12-29 Armed Forces Rice + 2 Air Force 33-14 Dog
Fight Hunger Arizona State - 13 Navy 62-28 Fav
Pinstripe Syracuse + 3.5 West Virginia 38-14 Dog
Alamo Texas + 3 Oregon State 31-27 Dog
Buffalo Wild Wings Michigan State + 1.5 TCU 17-16 Dog
12-31 Music City Vanderbilt - 7.5 N.C. State 38-24 Fav
Sun Georgia Tech + 7.5 USC 21-7 Dog
Liberty Tulsa - 2.5 Iowa State 31-17 Fav
Chick-Fil-A Clemson + 6 LSU 25-24 Dog
1-1 Heart of Dallas Oklahoma State - 17.5 Purdue 58-14 Fav
Gator Northwestern - 2 Miss State 34-20 Fav
Outback South Carolina - 5.5 Michigan 33-28 Dog
Capital One Georgia - 10 Nebraska 45-31 Fav
Rose Stanford - 4 Wisconsin 20-14 Fav
Orange Florida State - 14.5 Northern Illinois 31-10 Fav
1-2 Sugar Louisville + 14 Florida 33-23 Dog
1-3 Fiesta Oregon - 7.5 Kansas State 35-17 Fav
1-4 Cotton Texas A&M - 3 Oklahoma 41-13 Fav
1-5 Compass Ole Miss - 4 Pittsburgh 38-17 Fav
1-6 Go Daddy.Com Arkansas State - 2.5 Kent State 17-13 Fav
1-7 BCS Championship Alabama - 9.5 Notre Dame 42-14 Fav


Here's what we're really checking out on this key Wednesday night college hoops card ...

#3 LOUISVILLE (13-1) at SETON HALL (12-3) - 7 p.m. ET, espn2
The underlying theme here is Louisville coach Rick Pitino goes against the son of one of his dearest hoop friends and that's Ralph Willard's "kid" Kevin - and no surprise that The Hall tries very hard to play just like the U of L Cardinals who saunter into this Big East affair averaging 78 points a game (second-best in the league) with veteran PG Peyton Siva (11.9 ppg and 6 assists per game) really "getting it" for a Cards club that has Final Four material and Final Four moxie.

One thing to watch for here is what will the 'Ville get here from freshman Montrezl Harrell who starts for an injured Chane Behanan who suffered a high ankle sprain in the team's Monday practice.

Note that the do-it-all Behanan is averaging 11.4 ppg and 7.1 rebounds per game and he's a real in-the-paint force whether keeping balls alive or bodying opposing front-court players - no doubt his absence will be keenly felt here.

#8 MINNESOTA (13-1) at #12 ILLINOIS (14-2) - 9 p.m. ET, Big 10 Network
Here's an early-Big 10 season monster showdown of two ranked teams and the $64,000 question is can the Fighting Illini follow up their sparkling 74-55 upset win against 3-point road favorite Ohio State last Saturday with yet another league gem here?

No doubt first-year Illinois head coach John Groce - the former sideline star at Ohio University - loved his team's "passion" and "toughness" last weekend while diving for loose balls and keeping the Buckeyes to just 20-of-60 FG shooting while Illini star Brandon Paul filled the stat sheet with 19 points and 7 rebs but here comes a Minnesota team that's already beaten the likes of Memphis, Stanford and Michigan State and this Tubby Smith-coached Golden Gopher gang has been beaten by just one team ... #1 Duke! Watch for Minnesota's Andre Hollins (13.1 ppg) who might make or break this particular conference clash with his triple tries - if he's on, Minnesota should cash.

NOTE: Catch the NFL Divisional Playoffs Previews beginning in the next edition of Jim Sez

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