Peanuts For The Playoffs (Part Two)

By Chris Johnson
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Green Bay Packers v New York Giants

Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images

Yesterday I previewed the Saturday games and ways to make a few extra peanuts in 2012.  Today we are going to look at the Sunday games, some player props I like, and odds for teams to win the Super Bowl. So without further ado, let’s get to it.

Starting with the 1 p.m. game, the Atlanta Falcons at the New York Giants, I have to admit I love this game as a peanut maker.  Looking at the Giants first, Vegas has them listed at -3, meaning they think the teams are even and they are giving them the home nod.  The Giants are a sneaky playoff team, and I think they could make some noise in these playoffs.  They played Green Bay tough earlier in the season, their front line can make things difficult for anyone, and if you are going to take down one of the quarterback juggernauts like Brees and Rodgers you have got to put pressure on them.  But before we start having the Giants upset the Saints or Packers, they have to get past the Falcons first.  Playing outdoors first of all will be a huge advantage for the G-Men – we all know that the Falcons play better indoors and the cold weather could definitely be a factor Sunday.  I give New York the advantage in defense, quarterback and wide receivers.  On the other side of the ball, I want to talk about how little I believe in the Falcons as well.  As I looked through Atlanta’s schedule, I found a staggering stat – five of their six losses have come on the road.  As I said before, they are not built for the road.  Also, out of their nine wins on the season, seven of the teams ended up with a losing record, one was .500, and only one team, the Tennessee Titans, had a winning record.  What does all this mean?  It means that Atlanta is not that good, and well-put-together teams find a way to beat them.  So I love the Giants at -3, and I’m making that my lock of the week.

Now the 4 p.m. game is a little trickier.  On paper, sure, one would think the Steelers should manhandle the Broncos.  It seems Tebow’s magic has run out, and if the Texans slid into the playoffs, then the Broncos skidded in there.  Denver wins games by controlling the ball, keeping it close on defense and making plays in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh normally should be able to score enough to keep them from doing that.  Other than a couple of games this season, the Steelers have looked poised to make a return trip to the Super Bowl.  However, the Steelers have problems, and with Roethlisberger banged up, and no Mendenhall in the backfield or Clark in the secondary, there is an opportunity for Denver to upset the Steelers – or at the very least cover the spread. Currently the spread is at Pittsburgh -9, so I like Denver to cover, but Pittsburgh to win, so I would take the Steelers and the money line.

If you want to pick a team to root for throughout the playoffs instead of week to week, you may want place some peanuts on the Super Bowl future bets.  As of today the odds are listed as this: Green Bay 9/5, New England 4/1, New Orleans 9/2, Baltimore 15/2, Pittsburgh 11/1, San Francisco 11/1, New York 18/1, Atlanta 35/1, Detroit 40/1, Houston 40/1, Denver 50/1 and Cincinnati 65/1.  I see a couple that I think have good value, such as Pittsburgh at 11/1 and New York at 18/1.  If any two teams have as good of a chance as anybody it’s these two.  Both teams are well experienced in the playoffs, both have elite quarterbacks who know what it takes to get it done, and both teams can easily put together a four game winning streak.  Of course, New England, Green Bay and New Orleans are easy bets, but the other two have much more value.

There are some player props I like for the weekend as well, starting with Matthew Stafford getting over 2.5 passing touchdowns.  We all know how lethal Stafford has been this year, and this game is going to be high scoring.  I like Stafford for at least three.  With that being said, I also like Stafford at over .5 interceptions – like I said, he is going to be throwing a lot.  One of the best bets of the weekend is whether Ndamukong Suh will get a 15 yard penalty at +200 for yes.  The pure nature of this bet is great to me: the fact that you are rooting for someone to get an unsportsmanlike penalty is humorous alone.  We all know Suh plays out of his mind, so it’s hard not to take that one.  Another bet from that game that jumps out at me is for Jimmy Graham to score a touchdown at -155. One other one I like is Victor Cruz over 85.5 yards.  Since getting the starting job, Cruz has had only four games where he didn’t have at least 86 yard, and in one of them he had 84.  Tim Tebow for over 45.5 yards rushing seems like a safe one as well.

Good luck this weekend in all your games, and let us know if there are any bets you like more than these.

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