THE NFL season has reached the play-off stage and who better to find us the best value bets than expert punter Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn).
Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks | Sunday 20.05 | Sky Sports 1
I don’t think that it’s a stretch to say that a lot of this game will come down to how healthy Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is. Rodgers has been suffering from a calf injury of late and was visibly limited in their win over the Cowboys last week.
Sadly everyone will be in the dark as to how severe it currently is until we see how his movement and mechanics look on Sunday, which makes betting on this match tricky. I do, however, find the line on how many points Green Bay scores in this game to be quite low given that they are the #1 scoring team in the league.
Of course they are going up against Seattle’s #1 defence too, but I do like Green Bay to go Over 17.5 Points in this one. The Packers have only scored fewer than 18 points on three occasions this season – against Seattle, Detroit and Buffalo, with the Seattle and Detroit games coming early in the season when the Packers were still finding their feet.
They are a considerably more refined team now and also will benefit from having the extra film on the Seahawks. The Packers should hopefully have their main RB Eddie Lacy, who went down with a concussion during the first meeting, fit for the entire game this time around too. His power running style will be key to keeping the Seattle defence honest and giving Rodgers more time to throw.
It will be a struggle, as it always is against Seattle’s defence, but I’ll be putting my faith in the league’s top offense’s ability to put 18 points on the board in their most important game of the season.
Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots | Sunday 23.40 | Sky Sports 1
There has been a lot of talk around the league this week about how Colts QB Andrew Luck has become the top QB in the AFC after Indianapolis’ victory over Denver last week. Whilst I’m not quite ready to crown him as such just yet, a lot of the reason he is talked about in such high regard is his willingness to carry the team on his back, take chances and not get fazed if it doesn’t always work out.
To that end he has thrown 18 INTs, including the two post-season games, to go along with his 43 TDs this season – he is not afraid to throw it up and let his WRs try and make a play on the ball. There was evidence of this in the game against the Broncos where Luck effectively “punted” on third and long by heaving it up and seeing if he could get a big play or a penalty. Two INTs were the result, but to Luck it was worth the chance.
Due to this style of play from Luck, I’ll be backing the Colts to have the most turnovers in this match. Patriots QB Tom Brady just does not turn the ball over as much as Luck, with only 10 INTs this season. Luck has also struggled against the Patriots’ defence in his three career games against them, throwing eight INTs, compared to Brady who has only been picked off twice in those games.
The Colts ball-carriers have also fumbled the ball more than their Patriots counterparts, putting the ball on the ground 16 times compared to only five for New England. All things point toward the Colts giving the ball away more than the Patriots – especially if New England can get a lead and force Andrew Luck to take more chances.
Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks – Green Bay Packers to score Over 17.5 Points (1/1 Bet365)
Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots – Most Turnovers = Colts (6/5 William Hill)