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.

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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.


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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.

Three Things to Look Out For at Super Bowl XLIX

Russell Wilson helped the Seahawks overcome an improbable deficit against Green Bay - can he do it again?

Russell Wilson helped the Seahawks overcome an improbable deficit against Green Bay – can he do it again?

As we count down to February 1st, most people are arguing over whether the Seattle can go back-to-back, or whether favourites New England can stop the Seahaws in their tracks. However there are a few more things to look out for at Super Bowl XLIX. 

So, as all eyes turn towards the University of Phoenix Stadium, what can we expect?

Tom Brady’s Quest for Ring #4

When a 24-year-old Brady led the Patriots to victory in Super Bowl XXXVI the idea of him repeating the feat was not beyond the realms of possibility, but few could have imagined that he would be still here some 13 years later.

However here he is, one of the biggest names in NFL and one of the most famous sportsmen in the world. And a fourth title this year would cap a phenomenal career at the highest level.

Seattle Back From the Dead

With three minutes left in the NFC Championship Game, the Seahawks were looking at a 19-7 deficit against Green Bay. Many said that was unassailable, but Russell Wilson wasn’t listening, dragging the side into overtime and ultimately into the Super Bowl.

Countless different sports have brought up comeback stories before, and it is often the case that a team considering itself blessed to even be taking to the field will play without the pressure of expectation and emerge victorious.


Super Bowl Betting Odds:

New England Patriots -1.5 -110

Seattle Seahawks +1.5 -110

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



Another Chance for a Surprise MVP

Over the years, the Super Bowl MVP honours have unsurprisingly gone the way of the winning quarterback, with 26 of the 48 to receive the award being QBs. However last year the Seahawks’ Malcolm Smith became only the third linebacker named Super Bowl MVP.

Could a surprise name like Smith come through again this year? Or will it be business as usual?

 


Super Bowl bets at Intertops SportsbookBet on Super Bowl XLIX at Intertops Sportsbook — You could win a trip to Super Bowl 50.

Up to $100 bonus now available.

 


 

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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.

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.

Seattle Seahawks begin chase for back-to-back Super Bowls

Can the Seahawks make it two in a row?

Can the Seahawks make it two in a row?

The Green Bay Packers will start off the new NFL season by facing the one team that no one really wants to; The Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are of course the defending Super Bowl champions after decimating the best offense that the NFL has ever seen in the Denver Broncos, holding Peyton Manning and company scoreless till the dying stages of the game as they ran out 43-8 winners. This puts the Seahawks confidently on the “Best team in the league” pedestal until anyone can prove otherwise. The Packers may not have the same offensive firepower as the Broncos but they’re damn close.

Aaron Rodgers is a name that often features in the argument about the best quarterbacks in the league, and were it not for an untimely injury last season, he was on pace to argue his case to be considered the very best. Eddie Lacy’s development was fast-tracked by the injury to Rodgers and when his number was called, the young running back proved to be more than capable of carrying the weight of the hopes of the Cheesehead Nation, running for 1178 yards on 284 attempts and winning rookie of the season honors. Jordy Nelson and James Jones were their exemplary selves, with Jarrett Boykin and Randall Cobb filling in perfectly as third and fourth options as the team finished a respectable 8-7-1.

 

Seattle Seahawks v Green Bay Packers Betting Odds:

Seattle Seahawks -265

Green Bay Packers +225

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

 

The defense always seems to be the weak point for the Packers; for all of their ability to score a dizzying amount of points, they’re also capable of giving up just as much and though they have managed to get better this offseason –including Julius Peppers to the new look defense – the loss of BJ Raji to a torn bicep is a calamity that the Packers can hardly afford. The Packers also have a new host of problems to worry about now on the other side of the football. A worrying trend for the offense has been the inability to keep Rodgers safe and upright, a task that has grown more daunting with injuries to center JC Tretter and Don Barclay, Tretter being out indefinitely and Barclay set to miss the whole season thanks to an ACL injury.
The Seahawks, as impossible as it seems, are actually improving. Those should be words that scare any NFL team since the Hawks were already an excellent team, in fact. Super Bowl winners excellent. Each year since his inception into the league, Russell Wilson has been allowed more and more freedom within the offense and this year, the offense will look to greatly expand and maximize his capabilities with a wide array of perimeter plays and formations that were kept hidden before. Throw in a healthy Percy Harvin, Christine Michael backing up “beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch and you have a recipe for an offense that will look to match the intensity of their lauded defense. The team offense lost Golden Tate and Sidney Rice but Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse have made the implied decline an afterthought. Protecting Wilson will also be much easier with the return of left tackle Russell Okung, right tackle Breno Giacomini and center Max Unger.

Speaking of the defense, they’re just as formidable as before. If preseason is any indication –or the last few years really—Richard Sherman is improving, which should boggle belief but is a real thing that’s happening. The Legion of Boom plays with too much pride to allow any complacency to creep in as they look to repeat as Superbowl champions, a feat that hasn’t been done since the Patriots almost a decade ago.

 

The last time the teams met, the Seahawks won in controversial fashion in what was dubbed the “Fail Mary” game when a hail mary that seemed to be an interception was called as a touchdown since Golden Tate had his hands on the ball. This time around, there are no replacement officials but the Seahawks will not need a similar play to win either. They have shown that they can shut down any and every offense and as great as Aaron Rodgers is, he will find it incredibly difficult to not only stay upright but to find an open receiver.

 

Betting Instinct tip – The Seahawks to win the NFC Championship is +300 with AllYouBet.ag

 

BdykNApCQAEQ_-t ZITO MADU (zitov2) is a writer for SBnation, and has written for Surreal Football, LiveBreatheFutbol,  and numerous other sports sites. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.

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

No need for hype as two #1 seeds clash at Super Bowl XLVIII

NFL fans across the globe can look forward to a Super Bowl clash between the two number 1 seeds, Denver and Seattle.

NFL fans across the globe can look forward to a Super Bowl clash between the two number 1 seeds, Denver and Seattle.

The biggest single sporting attraction in US sport need no extra hype this time around, as for just the second time in the last twenty years NFL fans across the globe can look forward to a Super Bowl clash between the two number 1 seeds. Both Denver and Seattle have dominated their conferences all season long, were rewarded as such with home games in the playoffs and are now ready to battle it out at Super Bowl XLVIII. It should be a fascinating contest between the best offense and the best defense in the league, as well as between veteran superstar quarterback Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson, a young man who has the potential to emulate him in the future.

Two years after returning to action after major neck surgery, 37-year-old Manning continued his amazing season piling up 400 passing yards against the Patriots on Sunday. After winning his duel with age-long Tom Brady, he now wants to secure his second Super Bowl ring after 2007 (with Indianapolis) by picking apart a ferocious Seattle defense which allowed just 231 points in 16 regular season outings. Winning a Super Bowl against Manning would be yet another amazing landmark in the meteoric rise to fame of 25-year-old Wilson. In just his second year as starter, he has put in performances way beyond his years, keeping his team at the very forefront of the NFC Conference race and has now been rewarded with a matchup against a legend.

Oddmakers slightly favour Denver in early markets, with the Manning-factor likely to play a major role in their thoughts, but a lot can happen in the two weeks until the big game and one thing is for sure, Wilson and his teammates have the self-belief that could lead to a first ever Super Bowl title for the Seahawks!

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos: Super Bowl XLVIII Odds

Seahawks 2.10
Broncos 1.77

(Odds supplied by www.intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)

 

______________________________________________

chrisives-50CHRIS I. (tipsterchris) is a European sports blogger who’s hooked on football — both NFL American football and European football.  Chris discusses betting tips and trends and includes betting odds in his regular posts at BI.

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