NFL: Back Seahawks and Patriots in Championship Double
The NFL playoffs enter their penultimate round with this week’s NFC and AFC championship games, and Coral continue to give great offers to their customers.
Here we tell you why you should back Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots both to win their respective conferences at an enhanced 5/6 price.
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Defending NFL champions Seattle can progress to a second straight Super Bowl by overcoming Green Bay at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks are in superb form heading into Sunday’s game, having won all of their last seven games – a winning streak during which they have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 165-56.
Seattle’s success has been built upon a rock-solid defense that was the best in the regular season in points, total yards and against the pass, and also ranks third against the run.
However, their attack cannot be underestimated, and they rank first overall in rushing offense this term. Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch matches up well against the Packers’ rushing defense, which ranked just 23rd out of 32 teams in the league this year. Lynch can be backed at 5/1 to score the first touchdown.
Washington state side Seattle have already faced their opponents Green Bay at home this season, in September, when they emerged as comfortable winners (36-16) in a game in which Lynch scored twice. The Seahawks were able to effectively shut down Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers that night, limiting him to just 189 yards passing.
Rodgers is sure to once again face a tough tussle with the number-one ranked defense, but his task could be further complicated if he fails to shake off a lingering calf injury that has severely hampered his mobility in recent weeks.
Even a fully-healthy Rodgers may find himself out-duelled by his opposite number Russell Wilson – Seattle’s quarterback has proven to be consistently brilliant since entering the league in 2012.
The Seahawks have won 25 out of their last 27 home games in that span; and incredibly, when up against elite quarterbacks with at least one Super Bowl win, Wilson has won nine times and lost none. He has been victorious in both his meetings with Rodgers and Green Bay so far.
Wilson has displayed a particular ability to raise his game when the stakes are high – and he was in phenomenal form last week against Carolina Panthers. On third down alone, he completed 8/8 passes, generating three passes for touchdowns.
It is that big-play ability which should be enough to see Wilson and Seattle triumph here and advance to the Super Bowl once again.
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady can secure a record sixth Super Bowl appearance with a win over the Colts in the AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium.
Brady has been at the forefront of a New England side which has dominated the NFL for the last 15 seasons. During that time, he has won 19 playoff games, and also thrown 46 touchdown passes, both of which are the most ever by a quarterback.
These two sides have already met once this term, when the Patriots blew out the Colts 42-20. In that game, Brady threw two passes for touchdowns, both of which went to tight ends.
The physicality of New England’s tight ends matches up well against the Colts defense, whose strength is in the secondary rather than their linebackers, and no tight end in the NFL is more dominant than Rob Gronkowski. He could have a big day here, and punters can back him at 1/2 to score anytime.
Indianapolis have a promising young quarterback in Andrew Luck, but they may struggle in this encounter because his supporting cast is not up to the standard of what Brady has to work with in New England.
The running game has been a big disappointment this season, with Trent Richardson putting in mediocre performances that led to him being benched in last week’s game. In the passing game, Luck’s favourite target is TY Hilton, who will be up against Patriots’ star cornerback Darrelle Revis this weekend.
If Revis – widely considered to be the best man-to-man defender in the league – marks Hilton out of the game, then Luck could struggle to make the big plays necessary in order for Indy to win.
And the Colts are also prone to making mistakes – they are the only side left in the playoffs with a negative turnover-difference this season (minus five). Any errors by them on Sunday could be punished by New England.
Indianapolis are a young team on offense, and while they have potential, their lack of experience is likely to count against them here. Punters can expect the Patriots – led by the experienced Brady – to triumph in Foxborough and advance to yet another Super Bowl.