Can the Seahawks dig themselves out of the 0-2 hole in the NFL’s NFC West?

Seattle SeahawksOne of the biggest stories at the start of this NFL season is that the Seahawks are occupying the basement of the NFC West. The team that won the 48th Superbowl, and should have won the 49th Superbowl have given themselves an uphill struggle to reach Superbowl 50. Is the mass hysteria justified, or will the Seahawks fly back on course in and reach the playoffs?

The context to the Seahawks’ losses is certainly the most important thing to analyse before declaring them a team in meltdown. The two losses have both been on the road, to the Green Bay Packers and St Louis Rams. The Packers are a formidable force, especially at home with Aaron Rogers in the kind of mood that saw him throw 9 for 9 and 91 yards in the 4th quarter. The Rams have been the Seahawks’ bogey team and the season opening loss marks the second time in two years Seattle have lost at the death in St Louis. Both of these losses were not expected, but they were predictable. The Seahawks have got fellow 0-2 strugglers Detroit and Chicago in their next two home games, and a probable 2-2 position in two weeks time looks likely, and a lot less dreadful.

Turning an 0-2 into a positive record is one thing, but winning enough games to dispatch all of their NFC West rivals is another. One of their rivals, the 49ers, will probably be out of the playoff picture in a month judging by their cataclysmic capitulation at the hands of Pittsburgh Steelers last time out. Yes, they have Colin Kaepernick, but too many question marks surrounding him. Another rival, the Rams, started the annual “it’s going to be their year” bandwagon when beating the Seahawks. But a weak performance against a poor Washington team has threatened to derail them already. The Seahawks have enough to haul themselves back above those two, which only leads the Arizona Cardinals to deal with… The Cardinals fell short when Carson Palmer got injured last season, but now with him back and an impressive 2-0 start they are looking ominous. Larry Fitzgerald has 199 receiving yards in 2 games, and their dynamic offense looks the real deal.

The Seahawks have given a 2-win head start to the Cardinals, and that is too much for a team with an offense so frighteningly productive. The NFC West culminates with a week 17 matchup between; you guessed it, the Seahawks and Cardinals. That could well be the decider, but watch this space – one bird will be flying on top of the NFC West in January, and I think it might just be a Cardinal.

 

 

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.

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Las Vegas sportsbooks report heavy losses over Sunday’s NFL opening

Las Vegas sportsbook image from Wikimedia Commons free media repository originally posted to Flickr by G0SUB.

Las Vegas sportsbook . G0SUB @ Flickr.

After several popular favorites covered the spread this weekend, Las Vegas sportsbooks say they’ve never had such a bad NFL opening Sunday. Sportsbooks usually do quite well on the first Sunday of the NFL regular season.  Last year in Week 1, underdogs covered the spread in 10 of 13 games.

The underdog Giants covered against the Cowboys in a 27-26 loss, which helped the books. However after the Green Bay Packers and Miami Dolphins both covered the day was already a loss.

The St. Louis Rams, who took the Seattle Seahawks 34-31 in overtime, were a popular pick among savvy bettors. Some books had 2.5 times more money on the Rams. Ouch!

Although the season started off a little rocky for most, Nevada sportsbooks won an all-time high of $114 million on football in 2014.  So they don’t need our sympathy!

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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$100 free matched bet available

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An Idiot’s Guide to Betting On Super Bowl XLIX

As well as being the biggest sporting event in the world, Super Bowl XLIX is the biggest gambling event in the world. You can bet on the game, the coin flip, the national anthem, the half time show, the colour of the Gatorade shower. If it happens on Sunday night, you can bet on it. But where to start with such an array of options? Here’s a newbie’s guide to avoid losing all your money on Super Bowl XLIX.

DON’T BET ON THE COIN TOSS

Betting on the pregame coin flip is the most tempting, yet most futile of all Super Bowl gambles. The odds of winning are 50/50, yet the returns are lower. There’s no skill, no advantage. It’s utterly pointless. A sneakier bet, is for the Seahawks to get the first possession and/or score first. The odds on this shouldn’t be overly weighted, but New England Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick (yes, him of the deflated balls) will always defer the kickoff and give the opposition the ball. (And if you really want to bet on the coin toss, remember, tails never fails.)

GO ALL IN ON SAFETIES

The odds on a safety appearing in a Super Bowl are always monstrously high (+500 with Intertops.eu) and yet in two of the last three Super Bowls, there’s been a safety. With pressure as high as it gets, mistakes are possible, and with late tactical tweaks from two of the smartest coaches around in the offing, we may even see a repeat of Baltimore’s deliberate safety from two years ago.

CLOSE GAME HEROICS

A couple of minor prop bets here: firstly, have a look at their being a score in the final two minutes of the first half (-300 with AllYouBet.ag). In Tom Brady and Russell Wilson we’ll see two of the smartest QBs in football match up, and both possess fine clock management skills which could see you cashing in on this. The other one is this: we’ve never seen a Super Bowl go to overtime, but this looks like being one of the closest games in years, and may well end up being a pick’um. With that in mind, overtime is a definite possibility.

MVP

There are two ways to approach MVP betting – the smart, QB focused approach, or the fun, ‘who’s going to become a hero’ approach. The QB approach is to back the quarterback of whichever team you think will win – as the QBs, more often than not, come away with the individual prize. Alternatively, you could look for other possibilities. Marshawn Lynch, in possible his last game as a Seahawk, is a strong shout for Seattle, but why not look further down the list. Last year’s MVP Malcolm Smith has barely been heard from since, but saw two turnovers land in his lap. Kam Chancellors’ big play ability may give him an outside shot at the award, and he possibly should have won it last year. For the Patriots, have a look at the Gronk, Rob Gronkowski. The big tight end is Tom Brady’s favourite weapon, and covering tight ends is one of the few weaknesses of the fearsome Seattle defense.

Betting Instinct tip Rob Gronkowski to be named Super Bowl MVP is +1000 with Intertops.eu

It’s not too late to grab your ticket to London’s biggest and best Super Bowl party – happening at Bloomsbury Lanes. Tickets and details at bloomsburylive.com/superbowl

Jamie avatar JAMIE 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

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.

 


 

tv

 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.

NFL set for its elite eight!

NFL Divisional Playoffs this weekend!

Tom Brady is looking to lead the Patriots a step closer to Super Bowl glory!

The race to Super Bowl XLIX continues to pick up momentum as we head into the Divisional Playoff round of games this weekend. The top four teams from the regular season are back after their weekend off and are the bookies’ picks to continue their quest towards the biggest single game in US sport on February 1st.

Wild Card weekend saw the Carolina Panthers take down the ailing Arizona Cardinals to be “rewarded” with a trip to face defending Super Bowl champions Seattle. The Seahawks, who started the season looking anything other than potential “repeaters”, are now the team of the moment in the league. They are almost unbeatable in front of their own boisterous crowd at CenturyLink Field and even the most loyal of Carolina fans will admit to them having little chance of causing an upset.

The same cannot be said of the other three weekend matchups. Whilst the Packers, Patriots and Broncos all start their home games as warm favourites, the Cowboys, Ravens and Colts have the qualities to get the job done on the road. Baltimore, especially, looked good when defeating AFC North rivals Pittsburgh in their Wild Card encounter last week and Men In Purple have won two of three postseason encounters at Foxboro since 2000.

Many neutral fans would love to see yet another instalment of the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning rivalry in the AFC Championship Game, but there is still plenty of work to be done by both the Pats and the Broncos before this showdown can become reality.

NFL Divisional Playoffs Odds

Baltimore Ravens 3.45 New England Patriots 1.34

Carolina Panthers 4.90 Seattle Seahawks 1.19

Dallas Cowboys 3.20 Green Bay Packers 1.38

Indianapolis Colts 3.45 Denver Broncos 1.34

All odds provided by allyoubet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change

CHRIS 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

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.

Cardinals dreaming of Super Bowl at home!

Cardinals dreaming of the Super Bowl!

The Cardinals could be playing in the Super Bowl in front of their home fans.

After picking up three wins in their first three games this season, the Arizona Cardinals have without a doubt been one of the major surprises in the young NFL season and with February’s Super Bowl showdown taking place in their own University of Phoenix Stadium motivation is extra high to keep the run going.

Week 3 saw coach Bruce Arian’s team underline their intent by beating one of the nation’s top teams, NFC West rival San Francisco – and that with their second-string quarterback at the helm. Arizona’s original starter Carson Palmer has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury, but stand-in Drew Stanton has looked the part, playing conservative yet mistake-free football to pick up two wins.

The Cardinals enjoyed a week off in Week 4 and return this Sunday to face a true test of their Super Bowl credentials – a trip to last season’s AFC champion Denver. The Broncos with superstar Peyton Manning leading the way suffered an OT defeat in their Super Bowl rematch with the Seattle Seahawks last time out, but started the season with wins over both the Colts and the Chiefs and are a test for anyone in their own Mile High Stadium.

Arizona started the 2012 season at 4-0 before going on to amazingly lose their next nine(!) games, but this year’s vintage looks as though it has the quality to avoid another such disastrous collapse. Everyone at the franchise is insisting on taking the season one game at a time, but there can be little doubt that the thought of a Super Bowl appearance at home is lingering in their minds!

NFL Week 5: Arizona Cardinals @ Denver Broncos Betting Odds

Arizona Cardinals 3.9
Denver Broncos 1.28

To win the Super Bowl Betting Odds:

Seattle Seahawks    4.5
Denver Broncos      5.5
Cincinnati Bengals  11.0
Arizona Cardinals   21.0

All odds provided by allyoubet.ag are accurate as of today and subject to change

CHRIS 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

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+.