It seems like yesterday we were touting the opening of the 2009-10 NFL betting season, and it seems like we’ve finally reached the playoffs in the blink of an eye. This season has been very exciting, to say the least, and has given us a few surprises along the way. Looking back at the pre-season Super Bowl 44 Odds, most figured the Patriots would be a lock for winning it all. Now, however, they have to fight their way out of the AFC Wild card against the feisty Baltimore Ravens. So, while the Super Bowl is still a few important playoff games away, it’s safe to conclude that a few sports bettors are starting to sweat their Patriots futures bets. 🙂
Here’s how it looks before the big dance begins: we’ve got the New York Jets facing the Cincinnati Bengals (again) in the first AFC Wild Card game. If you watched this matchup over the weekend and were cheering for the Bengals, you were probably a bit disappointed after they got their clocks cleaned. The Jets pummeled the Bengals, who lost star offensive player OchoCinco during pre-game warmups with a torn muscle. Needless to say, it wasn’t surprising when the Bengals’ second string came out to play during the second half: they already knew they made the playoffs, so why not give the vets a rest?
The other AFC Wild Card game features a contest between the New England Patriots, who always have a lot of steam at the finish; and the Baltimore Ravens, who’ve been a bit inconsistent this season. Injuries have hurt both teams: the Pats are without Wes Welker, which definitely hurts Tom Brady’s offensive maneuvers. The Ravens are also short a couple good players, which leaves them in a comeback position if they want to make the AFC championship game.
Meanwhile, the Peyton Manning and the Colts, who had an undefeated record up until 2 weeks ago, and the San Diego Chargers, who many think could be lying in wait for a Super Bowl bid, will be waiting for the Wild Card winners to surface. The Colts have the best record in the entire League, allowing themselves to be defeated during the last 2 weeks of regular season action in order to save their veterans for post season play. After all, the fact that they gave up their “undefeated” status won’t matter if they’re the eventual Super Bowl 44 Champs.
Who would have thought Brett Favre would have one of the best seasons of his career after coming out of retirement multiple times? Clearly, Favre still has what it takes, and his Vikings are well prepared to make waves in the NFC playoff bracket. Favre’s 2009-10 season, however, isn’t the only Cinderella story: just have a look at the Wild Card contestants.
In the first Wild Card matchup, you’ve got the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals. If you asked us who would win this game 6 months ago, most likely we would say the Cardinals. Now, though, it looks like many are favoring the Packers, who’ve kept a number of notable opponents at bey to earn their NFC Wild Card berth. For what it’s worth, the Cardinals have performed well in the clutch, weathering a frustrating season and just barely scraping together their own Wild Card bid.
Then, there’s the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, in the second NFC Wild Card matchup. Michael Vick is still a prick, but you can’t argue with the Eagles’ success this season. Most sports pundits believe they’ll beat the Cowboys handily, although you can’t count them out just yet. They earned their own spot in the NFC playoffs and will definitely turn a few heads if they’re able to beat the Eagles and move forward.
Awaiting the Wild Card winners are the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings. We already mentioned the amazing season of Favre and his Vikings – and their dominant push into the playoff picture. We would be remiss, however, if props weren’t given to Drew Brees and the outstanding New Orleans Saints. They usurped all expectations this year, going head to head with the Colts for undefeated honors up until the last weeks of regular season play. Like the Colts, it’s clear the Saints are saving their best players for the twilight hours of the 2009-10 season, and we’re confident that they’ll be in the NFC Championship game without a doubt.
NFL betting fans: make your picks and plan out your betting for the playoffs while you can. Super Bowl 44 is just around the corner, and there’s still time to get your bets in. At this point in the season, it’s safe to go with straight bets on the championship games. If, on the other hand, you’re the daring type, perhaps a 4 team parlay on the Wild Card matchups might be an exciting way to go. Check the stats and injury reports carefully, you might just be able to make a killing when it matters most, and load up your bank roll for Super Bowl 44!
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