Submitted by Wayne Root on Friday, January 19, 2018 at 7:00 PM
WAYNE ALLYN ROOT is THE KING OF UPSETS, which means I’m looking long and hard at the upset potential in both of this Sunday’s NFL conference championship games. Can the Jacksonville Jaguars take out the New England Patriots? Or, will all the distractions surrounding Tom Brady’s hand injury make them lose their focus? The Philadelphia Eagles are a rare home underdog in a title tilt. Can backup quarterback Nick Foles take them to the Super Bowl?
I can’t release my official selections here in a web article. That wouldn’t be fair to my paying customers. I can tell you what I believe will be the keys for these dogs to score upsets.
*For Jacksonville, it’s two things. On offense, they must control the ball and the clock like they did in the first half last week against Pittsburgh. Things really got away from them last week after Leonard Fournette hurt his ankle. They weren’t as reliable at moving the chains, while blowing most of a big lead. When Tom Brady loses, it’s because opponents keep him off the field in the second half (which Atlanta couldn’t do in last year’s Super Bowl).
On defense, they can’t play as soft in the secondary as they did vs. Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger threw for more than 300 yards, leading the Steelers to 42 points. If Tom Brady is near 100%, or even at 80%, he can mix it up with his receivers in a way that will keep the Jags off balance. Jacksonville posted great defensive stats this season, but it came against the league’s easiest schedule. Last week’s narrow win showed some chinks in the armor that need to be overcome with tighter coverage.
I imagine I’d be making an upset call on the Jags if I get word from my sources that Fournette is back to his usual self, and if Brady is only around 50% effectiveness…or if Brian Hoyer gets the emergency start (granting the Vegas line will be much lower with Hoyer). But, I could actually be on this favorite if Fournette is still hobbled, or if the Brady stuff is just a smoke screen. I’m glad I have until Sunday morning to make a final call.
*For Philadelphia, the key will be on defense. Last week, the Eagles held Atlanta to 10 points, which makes it much easier to pull an upset! (Note that the Eagles were a PINNACLE winner for my clients and I last week.) They can do that again here because it’s a quality unit, and because the Vikings may play too conservatively with so much on the line. This Minnesota head coach, in particular, wants to win with defense…which could set up a low scoring struggle. It’s easier to score an upset when an opponent plays right into your hands!
On offense, Nick Foles needs to avoid mistakes while leading the team to at least field goal attempts. He had some nice drives last week. I don’t expect an explosive performance from the Eagles offense in this spot. Can they score enough to win a defensive war?
You regulars know that I like having a high-octane offense backing my upset calls. I can’t say that Blake Bortles or Nick Foles provides that here at the quarterback position. That’s a strike against making too big a stand on the dogs. It will take strong running back play, and percentage football for upsets to happen this week.
Also, I’m typically a “contrarian” handicapper, meaning I bet against the flow of public sentiment. Given the fact that the underdogs ARE getting support this week, there might be line value in swimming upstream. As I write this Friday morning, New England is down to -7 at some offshore locations, after being up closer to -10 earlier in the week. The Eagles are +3 (and sinking) after being +3.5 earlier in the week. If “the whole world” is betting the dogs, it would be just like WAYNE ALLYN ROOT to SHOCK THE SYSTEM by going 2-0 with surprising calls on the favorites.
Plenty of time to monitor the markets…to monitor the injury headlines…and to make my final calls. Of course, I’ll be building bankroll between now and Sunday in basketball. Smart bettors take advantage of every opportunity coming their way.
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Don’t ever forget that I’m only man in the sports betting industry with a star on the “Walk of Fame” here in Las Vegas. I haven’t just “been around” for a few decades. I’ve dominated the industry since the day I arrived from New York. I’m the man who wins the big games. I’ve proven that season after season, year after year.
Why waste your time with hunches or tips from your buddy. It’s very easy to make the biggest winner in sports handicapping history your new best friend. It’s time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!