Bookies Speculate on New England Patriots’ Chances without Star Quarterback Tom Brady

NFL free betThe NFL season begins next week and one of the most interesting NFL bets is on how the Patriots will fare in their first four games without Tom Brady.

Brady was given a four game suspension last spring for the so-called Deflategate controversy.

“Since the Patriots’ star quarterback got suspended for the first four games of the regular season it’ll be interesting to see how they will perform without him,” noted an Intertops Sportsbook  oddsmaker, “The pressure’s really on their backup QB, Jimmy Garoppolo.”

“We ran a Madden NFL 17 simulation of the Patriots’ first four games without suspended quarterback Tom Brady,” wrote Will Brinson, a senior writer at CBS Sports.  “New England didn’t do very well with Brady suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo starting. Garoppolo himself wasn’t terrible, but the Patriots finished 1-3 during their first four games of the season.”

New England Patriots vs Arizona Cardinals is one of 13 games being played Sunday, September 11.  Odds on the Patriots first game of the season are currently Patriots +5.5@-110.

The Broncos are also a big question this season now that Peyton Manning has retired.  The 2016 NFL season opens September 8th when the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers.  Current odds have the Broncos at +3@-110.

It’s early days yet but oddsmakers favor the Seattle Seahawks (+750) to win the 2017 Super Bowl in Houston next February.  The New England Patriots (+800) and Carolina Panthers (+950) are also looking good.


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Can Manning Live up to His Hype, or Will Sunday be His Final Game?

Peyton_Manning_2014

He hasn’t been at his best all season, but Peyton Manning can still come through, in what could be his last Super Bowl, by grabbing his second ring in Santa Clara this Sunday.

The Denver QB hasn’t quite lived up to his hype since the road to San Francisco opened up in September. He has been plagued by injury this season and many speculate that he will be retiring at the end of the game on Sunday. Manning himself has refused to deny these speculations.

However, the post-season is when the true greats shine, and the Panthers could be the subject of one final demolition by Manning.

Manning and his Broncos have the experience to give Newton and the Panthers a run for their money. With the league’s No.1 defense battling the No.6, I don’t see it as a high scoring game, but it will certainly be and exciting one.

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Thane Colcy sports bloggerTHANE COLCY is a Canadian sports fan currently living in Melbourne, Australia but still following American football and basketball from down-under.

Cam Newton Confident in Carolina Victory

Does Cam Newton have the team behind him that can make his Super Bowl dream come true this Sunday?

With the big game in Santa Clara less than a week away, it’s all or nothing for the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday. But Cam Newton doesn’t seem too worried claiming that even if both teams play their best, it will still be a victory for Carolina in Super Bowl 50.

The question is, is Newton speaking with too much assurance of himself and his team? Or is there truth to his confidence? Looking at the past season, you can see why the Carolina QB feels so assured, they are just the fourth team on record in the NFL to start a season with 14 successive wins. They led the NFL in total points, point differential and takeaways. So it’s not like Newton doesn’t have a leg to stand on with his claims.

Of course, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos aren’t going to hand anything over to Newton and the Panthers. Super Bowl 50 will be a tight game no question. But you have to admire Newton’s confidence and passion to win. Newton says that he has “been dreaming of this moment since I was 7 years old.”

Could Newton just be a bit over-confident? Or is does he have the team behind him that can make his dream come true? Based on the past season combined with his passion, I’m not one to argue with him.

 

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Thane Colcy sports bloggerTHANE COLCY is a Canadian sports fan currently living in Melbourne, Australia but still following American football and basketball from down-under.

47 NFL stars reject Pro Bowl

Pro Bowl 2012

After beating the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals respectively last weekend, the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers are preparing for the Super Bowl – but still have over a week to wait until locking horns in one of the world’s biggest sporting events.

To fill the void in the weekend before the Super Bowl, a host of stars from the rest of the NFL will take part in the Pro Bowl; a casual game to recognize the best performers of the campaign.

Unfortunately for the NFL, an unprecedented number of players have pulled out of this year’s Pro Bowl match. 47 NFL stars have rejected the chance to play in the Pro Bowl, meaning that the total number of players invited to play has now reached 133, with all seven of the voted New England Patriots player declining the game after a long season.

Still, the NFL is attempting to make the game fun and ultimately watchable, and is sticking with the recent draft format for selecting the two teams. Legends Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice take it in turns to pick from the available players, and then pit their sides against each other in Hawaii on Saturday evening.

Irvin had the first pick and plumped for Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, whilst he also has other stars such as St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman on his side.

Meanwhile, Jerry Rice made New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning his first pick of the draft, meaning both team captains unsurprisingly went with QB’s as their first selections. Rice also added Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews to his ranks.

These matches tend to be high-scoring affairs, as only once since 2010 has there been fewer than 50 points scored in the game, with the 2012 edition ending with 100 points on the board between the two teams.

There may be fewer stars than planned after all the rejections, but this should be a fine warm-up to the Super Bowl next week, with a more casual offering of American football in store for supporters this weekend.

 


Olly avatarOLLY DAWES is a Sports Management graduate and sports journalist for Here Is The City, whilst he also writes about NFL for Colts Authority.

Cam Newton expected to come out on top in a Panthers Super Bowl Win

Cam Newton Carolina Panthers

Can Cam Newton lead the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl Victory?

Tom Brady has fallen out of the spotlight, but the quarterbacks are still ruling the headlines preceding Super Bowl 50.  As an exciting season draws to a close, predictors say that Cam Newton will lead Carolina to victory over Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday.

But nothing is written in stone yet! Peyton Manning’s experience is still a major factor and, come game time, that experience will put Newton and the Panthers to the test. However, the fact remains that with Newton leading the way, the Panthers have had success in 22 out of their last 24 games going all the way back to the end of the 2014 regular season.

Could Newton be the key to Panther victory? Newton is the leading candidate for the NFL MVP award after being a league leader with 45 touchdowns during the regular season.

MVP is seeing a lot of betting action and so are ‘First Touchdown Scorer’, ‘Winning Margin’ and ‘Double Result’ wagers.

There is no way to tell for sure. But in my opinion, Panthers fans should feel a fair amount of confidence come kickoff this February  7th.

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Thane Colcy sports bloggerTHANE COLCY is a Canadian sports fan currently living in Melbourne, Australia but still following American football and basketball from down-under.

Newton Will Present a Unique Challenge for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers will make for worthy adversaries against the Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday

Quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers will make for worthy adversaries against the Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday

Cam Newton lead the Carolina Panthers to victory in their NFL Conference Championship game over the weekend with a 49-15 win against the Arizona Cardinals. While Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos didn’t have quite the same experience, they still managed to win their game by squeaking by Tom Brady and the Patriots 20-18 on Sunday, with Manning throwing two touchdown passes.

Newton will present a unique challenge for Denver in Super Bowl 50. While Manning and the Broncos have piled up 14 wins this season, they haven’t played a quarterback quite like Newton, who is looking as though he will be up for MVP honors this season.

Newton’s journey towards MVP didn’t truly begin until halfway through the season, after which he greatly increased his efficiency and decreased his turnovers, making him a much more dangerous opponent. However, all that matters now is that Newton and the Panthers will surely be a force to be reckoned with come Super Bowl Sunday.

All things considered, odds makers’ early line predict Cam Newton and the Panthers a 4.5-point favorite in their clash with Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Santa Clara. I think they’re right.

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Thane Colcy sports bloggerTHANE COLCY is a Canadian sports fan currently living in Melbourne, Australia but still following American football and basketball from down-under.

Don’t Be Fooled by Hype: A Brit’s Picks for NFL Conference Championships this Weekend

Peyton Manning - Denver Broncos NFL

Manning will start, he will lose a record 14th playoff game, and Brady will be sizing up his Super Bowl ring finger.

After the breathtaking playoff drama, the results thus far appear to have gone by the books. The 1st seeded Broncos host the 2nd seeded Patriots for the AFC Championship, and the 1st seeded Panthers host the 2nd seeded Cardinals.

AFC Championship Game

The game at Mile-High feels like the worthy culmination of the AFC championship this year. The best two teams on paper from the start of the year, and possibly the last time we will ever see the epic Manning v Brady match-up under center. The only evidence we have to go by is an OT win for the Broncos in November that ended the Patriots perfect season, and considering how tight that contest was, this should be a tough game to pick a winner from.

In terms of playoff form, there is nothing much to reveal either. Both New England and Denver cruised into the Championship game in the end, though the Broncos might have been a bit jittery coming into the fourth quarter. Nothing unexpected happened either, except maybe the Broncos decision to go back to old faithful, Peyton Manning, instead of sticking with his very impressive replacement Brock Osweiler.

This decision may well hold the key predicting the outcome of this game. Manning was unimpressive in Denver’s victory over Pittsburgh, and with the body clock ticking and a questionable playoff record, it’s hard to see anything other than Brady taking centre stage. However, the Patriots are far from invincible, and their over-reliant passing game has shown signs of coming unstuck. Their defence against the run also came unstuck against C.J Anderson last time out, meaning the Broncos won’t be reliant on Manning’s arm.

This is the playoffs though, and there have been far too many good examples of big time players carrying teams. Brady, Gronkowski, Edelman and company are big time players, and there is too much uncertainty over a talented Broncos team under pressure. If the Broncos pick Osweiler and mix things up a bit with some creative plays, they may come out on top… but they won’t. Manning will start, he will lose a record 14th playoff game, and Brady will be sizing up his Superbowl ring finger.

NFC Championship Game

Like the AFC game, this feels like the perfect culmination to the NFC. With the Packers and the Seahawks proving that they don’t quite have enough this season in the playoffs, the big boys rightly stepped aside for the long-time second fiddles. This is also the first time these teams have seen each other this season, so it will be a fascinating match-up.

In terms of playoff paths, the Panthers showed they have no problem with post-season inexperience when they took an experienced Seattle team to the cleaners with a scintillating first half display. The Carolina defence made Russell Wilson look like he’d never seen the Seahawk’s playbook with two key picks in the first half to virtually put the game to bed before it had even started. The Cardinals were also cruising against the Packers until Aaron Rodgers’ epic two Hail Marys showed up a worrying weakness in the Cardinals secondary. Crucially, however, Carson Palmer threw another 300-yard game. He has looked ruthlessly efficient with this season’s playbook, and there is no evidence to suggest he won’t be ruthlessly efficient against this Carolina defence. Whilst Carolina have all-pro players in each part of the defensive field, there are still weaknesses to exploit, and it could be argued very effectively they have not come up against an offence as solid in the air the Cardinals. Furthermore, the Cardinals have talent on the ground to back their scintillating passing game up.

It may be foolish to rule out a 15-1 team with an MVP potential quarterback, but I genuinely think the Panthers have only gone 15-1 because the NFC has not been particularly competitive. Don’t be fooled by the odds, don’t be fooled by the hype. Carolina have not faced a team as good as the Cardinals all season and they will come unstuck against this well balanced offence in Charlotte at the final hurdle.


Scott AvatarSCOTT SIMPKIN is a UK sports journalist with a growing interest in sports in the US, particularly American football and baseball. He has previously contributed to publications including Palatinate Online and FourFourTwo.


NFL Bets: 4 Thanksgiving Weekend Tips

Buccaneers to beat the Colts

The Bucs are on a winning streak and Jameis Winston is starting to look like the real deal. This Thanksgiving, NFL fans in Tampa Bay are just thankful that they have a team that looks like it can compete! The Colts have not been totally ‘Luck-Less’ (Matt Hasselbeck has proved himself a worthy replacement), but their ageing squad is showing signs of predictability and tiredness. Expect them to fizzle out and the Bucs to keep the good times rolling in Tampa.

Vikings to beat the Falcons

Don’t be fooled by Atlanta’s tasty looking 6-4 record… This is a team on the brink after four losses in five and a developing penchant for conceding turnovers. This is a team that also looked good at points last year, but really, the good times seem to be papering over deep cracks in this franchise. The Vikings, on the other hand, have only lost to two Superbowl contenders this season (Broncos and Packers), and display the consistency against lesser teams that the Falcons wish they had. Atlanta’s only hope is getting the same luck on the passing rush as Green Bay did last time out, but Minnesota should cruise this one and put another nail in the Falcons’ coffin.

Steelers to beat the Seahawks

This, arguably, is the boldest call of the lot. Earlier in the season I suggested that the Seahawks may struggle to make the playoffs with the Cardinals looking so good, and this is something I stand by after 11 weeks of football. The Seahawks have a point to prove after losing to every serious playoff contender they have played so far. The Steelers provide the latest challenge, since they are looking very good for at least a wild-card spot. This will all come to one of the most intriguing one-on-one matchups of the season: Pittsburgh’s irresistible wide receiver Antonio Brown against Seattle’s NFL legendary cornerback Richard Sherman. With Antonio Brown in scintillating form and question marks still lurking over the Seahawks post-season potential, Pittsburgh will end Seattle’s season here.

Patriots to beat the Broncos

The Patriots are a 16-0 team. There, I said it. They have overcome injuries to key players and whilst they haven’t always looked invincible, you know what they say about teams that still win when they don’t play their best… Tom Brady has been the once constant this season, and that is no co-incidence. His experience and brilliance have been too much for all 10 teams they have played this season, and whilst the Broncos will provide them with their toughest test so far, Mr Brady isn’t about to relinquish his chances of a post deflate-gate perfect season. Brock Osweiler is proving that the Broncos have a future past Peyton Manning, and they are certainly a playoff team, but the Patriots have all the answers and will find away past Denver on Monday night.


Scott AvatarSCOTT SIMPKIN is a UK sports journalist with a growing interest in sports in the US, particularly American football and baseball. He has previously contributed to publications including Palatinate Online and FourFourTwo.

NFL Thanksgiving games see Cowboys planning to end Panthers’ perfect season

Panthers vs Cowboys Thanksgiving NFL

The Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton has sites set on perfect NFL football season

U.S. Thanksgiving Day means 3 things to many Americans: turkey dinner, family and football. With redemption, pride and perfection at stake, it’s looking to be a great day of NFL action.

Long-standing Thanksgiving game day host, the Dallas Cowboys, are looking optimistic following the return of Quarterback Tony Romo on Sunday. After losing 7 straight games without Romo, the Cowboys 24-14 win against Miami kept Dallas’ minor playoff prospects going, though it is still unclear if Romo and the Cowboys can triumph over the undefeated Panthers. Cam Newton and the Panthers crushed the Redskins 44-16 in Week 11 with Newton throwing a career-high 5 touchdown passes to keep a perfect season well on the horizon.

The Bears may have improved their game in recent weeks but they couldn’t defeat the Broncos after losing by 2 at home to the Broncos on Sunday. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers busted out of their three-week rut with a crushing 30-13 defeat of the Vikings.

Historically, Detroit plays host to a Thanksgiving game but a disappointing season so far puts the Lions right out of the running for the playoffs. Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles come to town licking their wounds after being destroyed 45-17 by Tampa Bay and rookie QB Jameis Winston at home on Sunday. Fortunately for them the NFC East is still up for grabs and the Eagles are still contenders, in spite of their troubling 4-6 record.

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Thane Colcy sports bloggerTHANE COLCY is a Canadian sports fan currently living in Melbourne, Australia but still following American football and basketball from down-under.

 

 

Panthers may be going into Thanksgiving undefeated… but Tony Romo is back!

NFL Thanksgiving betsAs American sports fans prepare for a four day weekend of football and food, the Carolina Panthers are hoping to give their fans a real Turkey Day treat with yet another win in Dallas.  Thanksgiving Day betting is always heavy and this game – one of three NFL games on Thursday — is seeing a whole lot of action. 

“The Panthers are still undefeated, but Tony Romo just returned from an injury,” noted one Intertops’ bet manager.  “The win at Miami after 7 straight losses in Romo’s absence has kept Dallas’ slim playoff hopes alive, but can the Cowboys stop the still-perfect Panthers, that’s the question.”

“Cam Newton’s career-high 5 TD passes against Washington showed that he has no intention of letting up with a perfect season in his sights.”

On Thanksgiving Day both QBs will be keen to use their arm and if one of them throws for over 300 yards in the game, Intertops Sportsbook customers betting on “Total Team Points” get losing stake back.

Along with pages of other NFL bets this holiday weekend, Intertops Sportsbook has the Carolina Panthers as an early one-point favorite over the Dallas Cowboys.

“That could change by Thursday, of course,” reminded the Intertops bookie.  “It could easily move a point either way.”