NFL NFC Playoff Preview
We look ahead to this weekend’s NFL playoff games, continuing on to the National Football Conference.
This week we see the Runners up of the NFC North; The Detroit Lions travel to Century Link Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks. The other game is probably the highest quality match up of the weekend with the New York Giants travelling to the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay to take on the Packers in a classic playoff match up.Nik Hatzi
Game #1: Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks
Could someone please let me know where the real Seattle Seahawks are? No seriously, this bunch are playing nothing like the perennial playoff contenders we’ve known to come out of Seattle. After laying the wood on last year’s runners up the Carolina Panthers, the Seahawks got their bottoms slapped in Green Bay, walked all over the Rams (who isn’t these days), beaten by the Cardinals at home when the Cardinals have been shocking on the road and closed out their season by beating the 49’ers by 2 points. That’s all… 2 points! Wow. What in the world is going on with this team! Punters beware of what performance you’re expecting from these guys.
Detroit on the other hand just played a magical game against their divisional rival Packers and were in the game till late only losing by a touchdown. Matthew Stafford has been a beast this season, easily takes my most improved player of the year award. The guy threw two touchdowns for 347 yards in Green Bay. He’s also lead a normally rubbish Lions squad after having lost Calvin Johnson aka “Megatron” to the playoffs. Hats off to the cavalier quarterback.
Moving on, I do see this as being a matchup many of us expect Seattle to dominate and the money pouring in on the Seahawks justifies that notion. The line in this one opened at 4 points and was quite quickly bet up to Seattle being 8 point favourites. At first glance I don’t know if I have the stomach to bet Seattle to cover more than a touchdown. In saying that I do feel this team with a competitive nature, a top tier defence and an offence that somehow manages to make things happen in big games to get the win.
The Lions are banged up, shallow in many positions especially corner and running back and overall don’t have the quality to overcome the names of Chancellor, Bennett, Sherman and co.
At first glance: Be wary of this line for those wanting to play Seattle, there isn’t much value left. Those wanting to take the Seahawks to cover the 8 should keep your wallets in your pockets till later in the week as I see this line only getting lower from this inflated position. Seattle to win by 1-13 points should offer some nice value at this stage.
Game #2: New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers
This is the game we should all be most excited to see. Big Blue with their great defence go to Lambeau field to take on a red hot Packers outfit.
New York recruited a number of free agents in the offseason to bolster their defence namely, Jenkins in the secondary, Damon Harrison and Olivier Vernon. A lot of money later and the Giants boast one of the top 3 defences in the league. They also hang their hat on being the only team to be able to beat the upstart Dallas Cowboys, which they did twice.
A lot of punters have predicted this game to be a close encounter with the line of -7 at a lot of offshore books in favour of the Packers being quickly bet down to 4. With 75% of the money in this one going towards the Giants I can see this line settling at Packers-3 come game time.
At first glance: I like the Giants plus the 4 points in this one. I’m unsure of this Green Bay defence. Holes upon holes have been exposed in recent weeks and only due to the class of Rodgers and the offence haven’t been fully exploited. That giants defence though. Without harping on too much about it, they’re pretty damn good. How do you describe the Giants offence? Eli is just plain weird. The guy is less than average all year and somehow this is exactly how he went when he won his 2 Superbowls. The Giants have found their running game through Paul Perkins and with that have started to balance their offence a bit.
If you like the Giants get on them earlier rather than later. If you’re planning on playing the Packers, hold your horses. The line should be moving in your favour.
Recommended plays on every NFL playoff matchup will be released later in the week. Check back for more NFL playoff content.