Sunday January 24th, 2010, will be a defining moment of the 2009-10 NFL season. Just four teams remain, each vying for a conference title and a one way ticket to Super Bowl 44. The action will be intense and the games should be relatively close. At this stage of the game, there’s no such thing as a “runaway winner”: the best of the best are pitted against each other, and every yard will make a difference.
AFC Championships: Sunday January 24, 3:00 PM EST on CBS
David vs Goliath? Not quite, but you have to give the New York Jets credit for making it to the conference championship game. Their opponent, the Indianapolis Colts, already have a lot of credit earned for their performance this season: Peyton Manning and teammates have orchestrated a powerful offense that continually destroys the opposition. Despite these accolades, there’s a twist in this story. The Colts had an undefeated season, that is, until they played the New York Jets, who delivered them their first loss. So, in many ways, this is a rematch of two talented teams.
The current odds are -8/+8 Colts/Jets respectively. Out of the 4 competitors remaining in the NFL playoffs, the Jets are facing the longest odds of winning the Super Bowl. On the other hand, the Colts are heavily favored to take home the Lombardi Trophy in February. Where’s the smart money? It’s looking like the Colts are a safe bet, but watch out for that 8 point spread, you could easily get beat by the sportsbooks during this matchup. It might also be worth your while to make a 2 team parlay bet. A Colts/Saints combo might be easy money ripe for the picking.
NFC Championships: Sunday January 24, 6:40 PM on FOX
We’ve heard it many times before from the Vikings’ Brett Favre, “I’m leaving the NFL…”, only to magically reappear and drive his team towards one its most successful seasons in recent memory. On top of that, Favre, one of the league’s oldest quarterbacks, is posting personal records left and right. To put it another way, he didn’t throw this good during his “heyday” in the mid 1990s. That’s OK for Vikings fans: they’re ready to rumble and plow forward to the Super Bowl.
There’s just one problem: the New Orleans Saints, who, like the Colts, were on their way to an undefeated season up until the final weeks of regular season play. Drew Brees and his stalwart offense could make the Vikings heat fizzle, sending them back up North to wait it out until next season.
The current odds on this contest (on average) are +3.5/-3.5 Vikings/Saints respectively. In other words, this game should be close. Also, the fact that most sportsbooks have that extra half point tacked on to the odds means they’re looking for a tie: this matchup is do or die for all participants, whether or not they’re making a friendly wager on the game. Most sports pundits believe New Orleans will scrape by with a narrow margin of victory. The catch? You’ll have to see if they can do it by 4 points or more.
You have to factor in the unexpected. While these teams are fairly evenly matched, their will be a lot of factors in motion that will determine how many points they can put on the board. Mark Sanchez of the Jets will need to have the game of his life. Peyton Manning will need to his usual over-achieving self. Brett Favre will need to be well rested and backed up by a solid lineup of offensive players. Drew Brees will need to run his offense like a General, putting together successful drives that eventually will sink their opponents. Don’t miss out on the fun: BET NOW!
Good Luck Sports Betting during the NFL Conference Championships!