Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 12:00 PM
You get the sense talking to football fans in Las Vegas sportsbooks that a Green Bay Packers/New England Patriots Super Bowl is a foregone conclusion this season. Yes, everyone knows that “anything can happen” in the postseason. But…there aren’t many teams right now who you can imagine playing well enough to knock off Green Bay or New England on their home fields come January.
*Both teams are way above their conferences in Power Ratings
*Both teams have manageable schedules
*Barring QB injuries, both should earn #1 seeds
*That means extra rest and a bye in the playoffs
*These teams might win out even if they had to play only ROAD playoff games!
Can Denver stop New England? Have you see Peyton Manning’s passing lately? Even fans of the team were calling for the backup QB in the second half of the Cleveland game Last Sunday. Cincinnati? Let the Bengals win one important playoff game before asking them to win a few in a row? The Jets? We’ll learn about that this weekend when the Jets and Pats play each other. The Jets used to match up well with New England because Rex Ryan had their number. He’s not the coach any more.
Look…there’s plenty of time between now and the end of the season for another AFC contender to rise up and be a threat. Maybe Pittsburgh if Ben Roesthlisberger can get back in the lineup. Though, New England already has a home win over the Steelers. So, Pittsburgh has to get better than they were to have a chance!
In the NFC…everyone seems to think Seattle still has the talent to win the conference. The market is pricing their games that way even though the Seahawks aren’t covering many spreads. Obviously, that’s a team that knows that it takes. Have they lost their hunger? Have they grown sick of each other? Something’s wrong…and it’s probably not going to get fixed right away. Also, we have a case here where Seattle’s already lost to Green Bay. Frankly, they should have lost last season’s NFC championship game to Green Bay. It was a miracle they won it.
KELSO STURGEON isn’t going to sit here and tell you in October that Patriots/Packers is a lock. But, it is a heavy favorite. It will take a mix of some of the following elements to create a different matchup.
*Major injuries to Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers
*One poor playoff game in the turnover department
*One tough draw in the playoffs vs. an elite defense
*One “out of his mind” playoff performance from an opposing quarterback
We’ve all seen these things happen. Tough opposing defense seems to be the Kryptonite for the Patriots in particular because a few punts are forced, and then some opponents are able to run clock in a way that keeps Brady from finding a rhythm. Brady’s not the type to self-destruct. You have to keep him off the field or out of synch to beat him.
So…Denver’s great defense could make life miserable for Brady the way Rex Ryan’s Jets used to. Forget about Peyton Manning for a moment. The Broncos DEFENSE is championship caliber and could loom large in January.
Carolina’s playing great defense in the NFC. Maybe they can disrupt Rodgers for 60 minutes on the frozen tundra. Philadelphia is as well though the media still spends too much time on Chip Kelly’s offense.
My point us…UPSETS are possible. Nobody but Green Bay or New England is likely to head into the postseason as a conference favorite unless Rodgers or Brady are out of the lineup. Those teams are going to be the top seeds…or highly respected #2 seeds if somebody else stays hot against a weak schedule. Computer ratings and market estimates will have Packers and Patriots as the favorites. Either could get upset.
For fans…that might make the NFL a little boring this year. For veteran handicappers, we don’t care about entertainment value. We want to pick winners! Students here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping should keep focusing on PLAYMAKERS AND GAMEBREAKERS as well as THE MOTIVATION FACTOR as you study the lines every week. I should emphasize that the market seems to be missing some developing stories on the defensive side of the ball. So…don’t forget to study DEFENSIVE PLAYMAKERS as well.
The classic fundamentals still work. That’s true in both pro and college football (where the tea leaves are much more difficult to read right now in the championship picture). If you’d like some help applying those fundamentals, KELSO STURGEON’S top plays in all sports can always be purchased right here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions about extended service can be answered personally by one of my representatives in the Vegas-Sports-Masters office at 1-888-777-4155.
Have a great weekend. Money-making opportunities abound Thursday through Monday Night this week. It’s shaping up as one of the strongest cards I’ve seen in years. Your hard work is going to pay off!