NFL Playoffs Betting Preview: Packers odds on for revenge against the Vikings
The road to Super Bowl XLVII is heading towards the final straight following an enthralling finish to the regular season. Much of the talk since last weekend's final regular season games has been dominated by 'Black Monday' after seven coaches were fired earlier this week but attention can now turn towards 'Wildcard Weekend'.
Eight of the 12 teams who have made the play-offs are in action in the Wildcard play-offs on Saturday and Sunday, with the four other teams (Broncos, Patriots, Falcons and the 49ers) lying in wait in the Divisional Round as they enjoy byes this weekend....
Cincinnati Bengals (15/8) @ Houston Texans (4/9) (Saturday, 9.30pm)
The first match of the weekend sees Cincinnati Bengals (10-6-0) head to Houston Texans (12-4-0) and this is an intriguing match. If you had taken a look at this fixture four weeks ago you would have been all over the Texans and their current 4/9 price in the match betting with PaddyPower. They started the season 11-2 but they have limped into the play-offs with a 1-3 record in their last four and those three defeats came by a 57-point combined total.
They can at least console themselves with the knowledge they are 6-2 at home for the regular season but the Bengals look capable of causing a big upset. Cincinnati have been hugely impressive defensively as they have won seven of their last eight and they are 6-2 on the road. They could provide interest at 15/8, while they are 10/11 with a +4.5 advantage in the point spread.
Minnesota Vikings (31/10) @ Green Bay Packers (1/4) (Sunday, 1am)
The second match of the weekend is another fascinating contest as Green Bay Packers (11-5-0) welcome Minnesota Vikings (10-6-0) to the Lambeau Stadium for a re-match of their final regular season game. Adrian Peterson carried 34 times for 2,000 yards in a quite heroic performance last Sunday as he helped the Vikings to a 37-34 win and into the play-offs.
However, will Peterson be able to reproduce those sort of heroics again? Peterson has little time to recover and all of the stats are in the Packers' favour as Green Bay are 7-1 at home, while Minnesota are 3-5 on the road, with PaddyPower pricing the Packers 1/4 on and the Vikings are out at 31/10.
Indianapolis Colts (5/2) @ Baltimore Ravens (10/31) (Sunday, 6pm)
It could be an emotional match for Colts coach Chuck Pagano as he takes on his former employers on Sunday. Pagano is the former Ravens defensive coach and he will be looking to mastermind a surprise win, with the Colts currently a best price 5/2 to win in the latest betting with PaddyPower. That looks a very decent price as an admittedly inexperienced Indianapolis (11-5-0) have won five of their last six matches.
They are better at home on the road but momentum appears to be with them and they are riding on the crest of a wave as Pagano returned to the sidelines last weekend for the first time since he was diagnosed with leukaemia in September. His side duly delivered the goods as they beat Houston Texans 28-16 and rookie quarter-back Andrew Luck is likely to be key against a Ravens (10-6-0) side that has struggled defensively in losing four of their last five, with the Colts 10/11 to cover a +6.5 point spread.
Seattle Seahawks (20/31) @ Washington Redskins (13/10) (Sunday, 9.30pm)
The final wildcard play-off match sees Seattle (11-5-0) head to Washington (10-6) and it is the Seahawks who start 20/31 favourites. The match will no doubt be billed as a clash of two rookie quarter-backs as Russell Wilson comes up against his opposite number Robert Griffin III. The worry for Washington will be the fact RG3 has been carrying a knee injury during the last few weeks and he isn't expected to be at 100%. That should give the Seahawks a huge advantage and while they were excellent at home (8-0) during the regular season they look as if they can improve their 3-5 record on the road.
Latest Outright Superbowl XLVII Winner Odds
3/1 Denver Broncos
10/3 New England Patriots
11/2 Atlanta Falcons
6/1 San Francisco 49ers
7/1 Green Bay Packers
10/1 Houston Texans
14/1 Seattle Seahawks
20/1 Baltimore Ravens
20/1 Washington Redskins
66/1 Cincinnati Bengals
66/1 Indianapolis Colts
66/1 Minnesota Vikings
Odds supplied by PaddyPower.com, who provide live betting in-running for all NFL matches.
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