Can Gronkowski steer the Patriots to Super Bowl glory?

Last year I learnt my lesson the hard way, a great defense will trumps a great offense. I had backed the Denver Broncos to beat the Seattle Seahawks, and like a lot of people thought my money was safe. That year the Broncos were statistically the number 1 NFL offense of all time, setting the record for most touchdowns in a season with 76. The Seahawks were a good team, but Peyton was having far and away the best year of his career, it just seemed like such a sure thing. We all saw how that game played out, from the first play of the game, a botched snap resulting in a safety, it was clear that the Broncos didn’t have their mojo and the Seahawks had come to play.

 

Super Bowl XLIX Betting Odds:

New England Patriots -1115

Seattle Seahawks -105

(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

So after learning my lesson last year you’d expect me to back the Seahawks defense, right? Well there is the little issue of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. As someone who has read the writing of Bill Simmons for a few years I’ve picked up a few gambling lessons from him. One of those is to never bet heavily against Brady and Belichick. I know plenty of people who made money on the last two Super Bowls which this pair featured in, but I have to ask myself the question, could Tom Brady lose 3 Super Bowls in a row?

Brady is currently in a critical moment of his career, where he can end countless debates arguing who the best quarterback of all time is and make the decision a unanimous one. The consequences for Sunday’s game are so huge for the legacy of Brady. Win his fourth Super Bowl ring and he cements himself as the best quarterback of all time. Lose his third Super Bowl in a row and the whole myth of Tom Brady alters; there is no way he avoids being labelled a “choker”, the most humiliating word an NFL quarterback can be associated with.

 

I just can’t imagine living in a world where Tom Brady is branded a choke artist, and I don’t think Tom Brady can either. Looking at the odds, betting outright on the Patriots isn’t something that will offer a favourable return. So instead I would take a Patriots win coupled with Gronkowski scoring a touchdown. Despite the quality of the Seahawks secondary, they have been susceptible to tight ends this year, and it is seemingly impossible to shutdown Gronkowski who has had a touchdown in each of his last 5 games (including playoffs). The Patriots leading wide receiver seems to alternate weekly between Edelman and Lafell, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable betting on either of those guys, but Gronkowski is guaranteed to get targets from Brady in the Super Bowl.

Although if you don’t see Tom Brady’s fairytale career culminating in a fourth Super Bowl ring and are backing the Seahawks, then the safest bet is to go with a Seahawks victory and Marshawn Lynch to score a touchdown. Lynch, like Gronkowski, is the focal point of his offense, and ended his season hot, having scored a touchdown in 5 of his last 6 games. In a game which appears so close on paper it is hard to feel confident about anything, but Gronkowski and Lynch have been the two superstars of their team all season long and whichever team wins will do so because of the impact of their star player.

 

Betting Instinct tip – AllYouBet.ag is offering odds on which of Gronkowski and Lynch will score a touchdown first. Gronk to score a touchdown before Beast Mode is -105.

mattm MATT MCGRATH writes about American football, be it college or NCAA (because betting on unpaid student athletes is fun and definitely ethically correct). Follow him on Twitter.

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Could Marshawn Lynch score the opening Super Bowl touchdown again?

Everyone remembers the first touchdown scorer at the Super Bowl, and this is reflected in one of Intertops Sportsbook‘s most popular prop markets. For all the bluster and build-up ahead of the game it’s often that moment when one of the stars of the biggest sporting event of the year truly announces himself.

Last year Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch took the honors, forcing his way into the endzone early in the second quarter. ‘Beast Mode’ is the pregame favourite to do it again, but only just.


Super Bowl XLIX – First Touchdown Scorer Odds

Marshawn Lynch +550
Rob Gronkowski +650
Julian Edelman +1000
LaGarrette Blount +1000

(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate
as of today and subject to change)


Lynch found the endzone an incredible 17 times in the regular season, ahead of Gronk’s 12, and while the Patriots might be one-point favorites to bring Tom Brady his fourth ring, they will face a tough task against a Seattle Seahawks side looking for back-to-back Super Bowl victories.

In addition to the first touchdown market, you can back Lynch (-167) or Gronkowski (-143) in the anytime touchdown stakes, with Blount (+120) and Edelman (+140) not far behind. Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin both contributed touchdowns in Seattle’s victory last year, and the pair are +175 to repeat the feat in 2015.


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MVP market hotting up as Super Bowl XLIX approaches

If you bet on the MVP market ahead of last year’s Super Bowl, and if you don’t own a crystal ball, chances are you walked away empty handed.

Malcolm Smith was a surprise winner for many reasons, and his odds of +10000 to repeat the feat are testament to that, but often the market is easier to predict.


Super Bowl XLIX MVP Betting Odds:

Tom Brady +150
Russell Wilson +225
Marshawn Lynch +450

(All odds provided by AllYouBet.ag are accurate
as of today and subject to change).


Tom Brady is chasing his fourth Super Bowl ring and his third MVP award after 2002 and 2004, and the winning quarterback is often the recipient of that particular honor. It is unsurprising, therefore, that Brady’s opposing QB Russell Wilson is second favorite.

However recent years have seen unlikely names buck the trend, and while a repeat for Smith might not be high on most people’s expectations, there are a few other outside bets who have captured people’s attention.

Richard Sherman (+2500) has hit the headlines in the days leading up to the game, while Brandon LaFell (+5000) has been talked up as a potential MVP this time around (all odds from AllYouBet Sportsbook are subject to change).

So who’s your money on this year? Are you going for one of the favorites or does an outside bet take your fancy? Have your say in the comments section below.


AllYouBet.ag Sportsbook Super Bowl BetsBet on Super Bowl XLIX at AllYouBet Sportsbook
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 TOM VICTOR (editor) is the editor and co-founder of Betting Instinct. He has written for a variety of sports sites in the past, including JustFootball, Footy Matters and BeNeFoot. You can follow him  on Twitter.

Patriots and Seahawks to lock horns in closely contested Super Bowl

The Seahawks and Patriots have met only a handful of times this century

The Seahawks and Patriots have met only a handful of times this century

It’s that time of year again; the Super Bowl is upon us, and this year’s promises to be one of the best in recent memory.

The Seattle Seahawks – last year’s Super Bowl winners – take on the New England Patriots in Glendale, Arizona a week on Sunday for the right to win the Lombardi Trophy.

 

Super Bowl XLIX Betting Odds:

New England Patriots -120

Seattle Seahawks +100

(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

The Seahawks’ road to the Super Bowl was far more dramatic that it was a year ago; a comfortable win over the Carolina Panthers was followed up with a staggering comeback against the Green Bay Packers. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw four interceptions before eventually throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to win the game in overtime, with the Packers blowing a 16 point lead.

The Patriots had it in reverse – a tense, close win over the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round, before swatting aside the Indianapolis Colts in a 45-7 thumping to reach the Super Bowl for a sixth time under the leadership of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

 

Whilst the Seahawks hammered the Denver Broncos 43-8 in New York a year ago, this year’s game should be far closer affair.

The game will hinge on how New England’s superb offense, spearheaded by Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski, will manage to move the ball against a vaunted Seahawks defense, with Richard Sherman leading ‘the Legion of Boom’ – the nickname for the Seahawks secondary.

The two teams have played each other just three times since 2000, but the last game saw Seattle win 24-23 in 2012, with Brady and Sherman clashing as they walked off the field in a rivalry that will finally be renewed on the biggest stage of all.

On the other side of the ball, Seattle are methodical, relying mostly on running back Marshawn Lynch and the improvisation of quarterback Russell Wilson, whilst New England will be hoping for a shutdown game from star cornerback Darrelle Revis, who is playing in his first Super Bowl.

 

There were more than 50 points in last season’s game, but it would be something of a surprise to see that happen again. It should be a much, much tighter encounter than when Seattle dominated Denver last season, with head coach Pete Carroll no doubt desperate to stop his former employers winning a fourth Super Bowl since he left New England.

With a win, Seattle can become the first team to win successive Super Bowls since the Patriots in 2004 and 2005, but the Patriots are slight favourites with most bookmakers in an incredibly close market so far.

Betting Instinct tip – Back less than 48 points at -110 with AllYouBet.ag

 

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.

Seahawks – 49ers rivalry renewed in Thanksgiving Day special

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Image credit: PhilipRobertson

One of the burgeoning rivalries in the NFL hits our screens once again on Thanksgiving Thursday as the San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

It’s not difficult to see how the rivalry has really caught fire in recent years. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and his Seahawks adversary Pete Carroll had a tempestuous relationship whilst coaching in college with Stanford and USC respectively, and that has continued after both landed roles in the NFC West.

 

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers Betting Odds:

49ers win -125

Seahawks win +105

(All odds provided by AllYouBet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

It’s been one way traffic of late in these games though, with the Seahawks winning three of the last four meeting between the two sides – though all of those victories have been at home, in front of the vaunted CenturyLink Field crowd.

Finally winning against their biggest rivals on the road would really prove that Seattle are back, having stumbled their way to a 7-4 record just months after being crowned Super Bowl champions.

The keys to the game are simple; Seattle will hand the ball to star running back Marshawn Lynch time and time again, and rely on quarterback Russell Wilson to avoid turning the ball over in order to win.

It’s not a dynamic offense, with the Seahawks having only scored 30+ points in three of their 11 games this season, and it sometimes holds them back, leaving them to rely on their defense.

 

On the other side of the ball, we’ll finally get to see cornerback Richard Sherman go up against 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree again after their public spat in the NFC Championship Game back in January, whilst the return of linebacker Bobby Wagner helped the Seahawks to end Arizona’s winning streak on Sunday.

Wagner’s presence will make it harder for San Francisco to have joy in the running game, though in Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde, they have a promising one-two punch at running back, whilst quarterback Colin Kaepernick is also a threat with his legs.

Defensively, the 49ers were superb against Washington on Sunday, with the return of pass rusher Aldon Smith serving as a huge boost – and he’ll be smelling blood once again as he takes on a porous Seahawks offensive line.

The emergence of rookie linebacker Chris Borland has been a welcome boost for the 49ers with Patrick Willis on injured reserve, with the former Wisconsin standout proving his reputation as a tackling machine.

 

Both teams are lagging behind Arizona in the race to win the NFC West, giving this clash something of an early play-off feel – so expect to see a feisty encounter with huge hits, plenty of running yards and a low scoring encounter as two of the NFC’s heavyweights lock horns once again.

 

Betting Instinct tip – we should expect a tight game, and under 19.5 first half points is -105 with Intertops.eu

Intertops Sportsbook is offering stake-backs up to $100 on the ‘first touchdown scorer’ market in this game, if either Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson scores a rushing TD. For this, and for more Thanksgiving NFL props, visit www.intertops.eu

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.

Welcome to gambling Christmas: the Super Bowl

You can bet on almost anything at the Super Bowl, even the toss of a coin

You can bet on almost anything at the Super Bowl, even the toss of a coin

Merry Christmas! Kind of, because you see, while the Super Bowl is many things to many people, to gamblers, specifically NFL gamblers – it’s our Christmas. This season will be no different, with a heap of different stuff to bet on, as well as one of the tastiest looking matchups in years – Denver Broncos taking on the Seattle Seahawks. Here’s the plan – we’ll take a quick look at the game, and then get on to the fun bits – the bets.

 

Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos Betting Odds

Seattle win – 1.98

Denver win – 1.78

(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)

It’s hardly possible to express too much excitement about this matchup. What Peyton Manning has done this season is something else. The Broncos’ offensive unit which he has led has set a record for points, while he has set single-season yardage and touchdown records. His set of receivers offers countless weapons. Well, not countless, that would be ridiculous, but the receiving quartet of the Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker would be pretty terrifying with an average QB at the helm, with Peyton Manning in control, it’s downright obscene, and their running game, spearheaded by Knowshon Moreno is a more than useful accompaniment.

However, Peyton and co will face one of the best defences in the history of the league. A pass rush that can get to the QB in any number of ways, and a secondary led by ‘that guy’ Richard Sherman and backed up by the best safety in football, Earl Thomas. It couldn’t be a tougher test for Peyton, nor could this secondary face a tougher one.

 

It feels like those two will cancel each other out, so the game may come down to how well Seattle can score. Russell Wilson has yet to catch fire in the playoffs, but with x-factor Percy Harvin back and BEAST MODE Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, they’ve got weapons. The Denver D is missing a big piece in Von Miller, but have performed brilliantly against the Patriots and Chargers in the playoffs thus far – two of the best offensive units in the league.

To be honest, we could talk for hours about the game. Here’s the deal – Seattle opened up as favourites, the line quickly moved to make Denver favourites, it’s going to be tight between easily the two best teams in the league, I say grab the points.

 

Betting Instinct Tip  – Seattle +2.5 is 1.91 at allyoubet.ag, get all over that.

 

Now for the fun bit, the Super Bowl has all kind of rubbish you can bet on. Here are a few of my favourites. (All of these are found at Intertops.eu)

 

Heads or tails: 1.98

You can bet on stuff that happens before kickoff! C’mon, who doesn’t want some of that! I’m not going to tell you which way to go, but this is always a fun way to get the gambling night going.

Total penalty yards 126 or over: 2.50

This is an odd little bet, but Denver and Seatle are two of the most penalised teams in the league, averaging over 130 yards a game combined, add in a some Super Bowl nerves (offside and false start penalties) and chippiness (RICHARD SHERMAN) and this one should go over.

More goals in West Brom-Liverpool than Peyton Manning TD passes: 1.87

Cross-sport bets are brilliant and I love this one. Peyton will score points, but Liverpool scored four midweek, and West Brom lost by the odd goal in seven.

There will be a defensive/special team TD: 2.35

There has never been an NFL post-season with a defensive or special teams touchdown. There hasn’t been one so far during the playoffs, bet on the streak to keep going, especially with Percy Harvin involved.

The MVP to thank his coach(es) first: 9.00

I’m all over this one – a lovely bet to finish the night. The MVP will (probably) be a quarterback, Russell Wilson has had Pete Carroll onside from the start, while John Fox’s belief in Peyton brought him to Denver. (Though you may want to cover a Russell Wilson win by taking God at 4.50.)

 

And if you’re still looking for somewhere to watch the game, head down to Bloomsbury Lanes for the mother of all Super Bowl parties. Fun and games, beer pong, pool, bowling, food, we’ve got it covered. Details and tickets at www.bloomsburylive.com/superbowl

 

Jamie avatarJAMIE CUTTERIDGE (jamiecutteridge) is a journalist for a real magazine, but spends an inordinate amount of time writing about NFL. He’s the editor-in-chief of anygivensundaynight.co.uk and its associated twitter feed @UKNFL

Super Bowl Winner Too Tough to Call — MVP Bets Getting a Lot of Action

Too hard to predict who'll win the Super Bowl? No worries -- there are loads of other Super Bowl odds and props to choose from!

Too hard to predict who’ll win the Super Bowl? No worries — there are loads of other Super Bowl odds and props to choose from!

The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks both entered the playoffs as number one seeds and had exactly the same wins/losses record, so predicting a Super Bowl winner might require a crystal ball. However, since, Seattle is better at home and Peyton Manning’s already won a Super Bowl, Intertops Sportsbook oddsmakers are giving the Broncs a  slight advantage.

If you’re like me and don’t have psychic powers have a look at some of the other Super Bowl odds and props listed at the world’s first online sportsbook.

Intertops says they’re getting a lot of action on their MVP bets. They’re even taking bets on who the MVP will thank first! Peyton Manning (+100) leads the MVP odds list, followed by Russell Wilson (+350) and Marshawn Lynch (+500). Oddsmakers expect him to thank one or all of his teammates first (+275), if not then either God (+350) or nobody at all (+350).

Intertops Sportsbook has rolled out some generous special offers for Super Bowl XLVIII: a $100 Free Bet and a $100 Bonus. A 20% up to $100 Super Bowl Deposit Bonus will be added to all deposits made between now and kick-off February 2nd. And everyone wagering $1,000 on Super Bowl bet offers before January 29th can claim a $100 Postseason Free Bet on January 30th.

“It should be a fascinating contest between the best offense and the best defense in the league” said Intertops’ sportsbetting blogger ‘tipsterchris’ “This game is between superstar quarterback Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson, a young man who has the potential to emulate him in the future.”

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The Gamblogger gambling blogGAMBLOGGER (gamblogger) is one of the editors of BettingInstinct. He talks mainly about poker and casino games in his gambling blog and on his YouTube channel but can’t help but get caught up in sports betting during Super Bowl and March Madness.

Close battle anticipated at Super Bowl XLVIII

Peyton_Manning_(cropped)

Peyton Manning is favourite to be named MVP

Last year’s Super Bowl was one of the closest this century, with the Baltimore Ravens edging out the San Francisco 49ers by 34 points to 31, and AllYouBet.ag expects the 2014 version between Seattle and Denver to be another tight battle.

The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are the number one seeds from the NFC and AFC respectively, and will go head-to-head in what AllYouBet anticipates to be a low-scoring game.

Super Bowl XLVIII Betting Odds

Seattle Seahawks win – 2.10

Denver Broncos win – 1.77

(All odds provided by AllYouBet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

Seattle has one of the hottest players in the NFL in Marshawn Lynch, who followed his 14 regular season touchdowns with three more in postseason. Lynch leads the way in the anytime touchdown scorer at 1.44, with Denver’s Demaryius Thomas (1.90) and Knowshon Moreno (2.00) both fancied to end impressive years on a high.

There are plenty of other markets available at AllYouBet, with Peyton Manning favourite to be named MVP at 2.00. You can even play the Super Bowl against this weekend’s English Premier League soccer action, by betting on whether you think the number of successful field goals on Sunday will be higher or lower than the number of goals scored in the London Derby between Arsenal and CrystalPalace.

AllYouBet.ag has a number of generous offers ahead of one of the biggest games on the world sporting calendar. Deposit up to $100 using bonus code SBBONUS14 to receive a 50% bonus absolutely free or earn a $50 monthly free bet by wagering a total of $500 on NFL, NHL or NBA outrights before the end of January.

Betting Instinct Tip – If you fancy the slight underdog, Seattle to win by 1-6 points is 5.00 with AllYouBet.ag

tvTOM VICTOR (editor)  is the editor and co-founder of Betting Instinct. He has written for a variety of sports sites in the past, including JustFootball, Footy Matters and BeNeFoot.

Race for NFL playoffs hots up in the cold

Can Larry Fitzgerald help the Cardinals keep up their playoff chase?

Can Larry Fitzgerald help the Cardinals keep up their playoff chase?

Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally where the NFL switches into a higher gear as the race for the playoffs heats up. This year is no difference and two games this weekend will decide the shape of the post-season in the NFC.

Cardinals @ Eagles

Three weeks ago, this game looked like being a boring irrelevance as both teams slid towards winter mediocrity, however recent bursts of form have seen Arizona and Philadelphia enter the last few weeks of the season with the playoffs in sight.

Despite an inferior record, the 6-5 Eagles have a smoother road to the knockout stage than the Cardinals. Consecutive wins over the Raiders (featuring 7 (seven – such a ridiculous number that it demanded double brackets) Nick Foles touchdown passes), Packers and Washington Professional Football Team (no place for that nickname), have put them atop the NFC East alongside the Cowboys, even before Dallas’ traditional wintery demise. Their offense is moving the ball nicely, with Foles playing the best football of his young career alongside the league leader in rushing, LeSean McCoy. The Chip Kelly offense has breathed new life into the slumbering DeSean Jackson. After a quiet couple of years, Jackson has the sixth most receiving yards in the league thus far this season, and alongside the controversial Riley Cooper, he makes up one half of a fearsome duo.

The real question mark for the Eagles is their defense. Yes, they’ve restricted teams in their last three wins, but with all due respect Terrell Pryor was barely fit, Scott Tolzein continued to be Scott Tolzein and RG3.0 yards per attempt is a different beast to last year. The newly invigorated Carson Palmer will be a trickier test.

Or will he?

There’s no doubting Carson Palmer’s upside. The former Heismann Trophy winner and number one overall pick in 2003’s talent is not in doubt, but his decision making occasionally is. There’s no QB in the league who throws into double or triple coverage with more regularity, but very few are able to do so with such accuracy. It’s that aspect of Palmer that makes him both frustrating and exciting, and with a pair of receivers such as the legendary Larry Fitzgerald and the breakout Michael Floyd he’s able to take more risks than many signal callers in the league. The Cardinals sit at 7-5 and in with a good shot at the final NFC wildcard spot, but face tough competition from divisional rivals, the San Francisco 49ers.

Unlike the Eagles, Arizona’s defense has been the real star this season. They restricted Andrew Luck and the Colts to just 11 points last weekend, and will go into this game confident of a similar performance, with their dominant defensive front backed up by the star power (and talent!) of Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu in the secondary.

It’s a tough one to call and both teams will know that a win is crucial to keep them in the playoff hunt, but I fancy the Cardinals defense to make the difference in this one.

Betting Instinct tip: Cardinals +3  is 1.91 with Intertops Sportsbook

Saints @ Seahawks

The matchup between possibly the two best teams in the NFC will go a long way towards determining the playoff hopes of these two sides. Both New Orleans and Seattle probably hold the two best home-field advantages in the league and a number one seed in the NFC for either side will make them very tough to beat. Seattle go into this one with a single game lead over the Saints and the winner of this one will see it as a huge step towards the Superbowl.

For the Saints, there was never any doubt about the productivity of their offense going in to the season – the combination of Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham and a myriad of receivers meant scoring points wasn’t going to be the issue. But New Orleans has stepped up on the defensive side of the ball this season. Rob Ryan has been the brains behind the revival from last year’s historically bad unit, and without adding any spectacular pieces (rookie Kenny Vaccaro has been impressive) there has been a huge improvement in that unit – enough to keep them in games when their offense has spluttered.

The Seahawks are known for their tough, uncompromising defense, and this season has been no different. They’ll be without a couple of key pieces from their secondary on Monday after (MORE!) suspensions for substance-related misdemeanours but it still remains a team strong on that size of the ball. That’s not to suggest that the Hawks will struggle to score points – Russell Wilson has continued to impress in his second season, and will be delighted to have Percy Harvin alongside him, after a small debut cameo in their game before the bye week. Add that to Marshawn ‘Beast mode’ Lynch and you have an offense that will go toe-to-toe with the Saints.

There’s much to love about both of these teams, but the line is too high here to back the Seahawks.

Betting Instinct Tip: Saints +5 is 1.91 with AllYouBet.ag

Jamie avatarJamie Cutteridge is a journalist for a real magazine, but spends an inordinate amount of time writing about NFL. He’s the editor-in-chief of anygivensundaynight.co.uk and its associated twitter feed @UKNFL