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Packers heavy underdogs in NFC Championship betting

| 18.01.2015

Green Bay Packers will be looking for their fourth straight SU win and first Super Bowl berth since 2011 when they face Seattle Seahawks in Sunday’s NFC Conference Championship game, pegged as 7.5-point underdogs in NFL online betting Coral.

Led by QB Aaron Rodgers, who produced one of his finest performances of the season despite being limited by a torn calf muscle, the Packers squeezed by Dallas Cowboys in last weekend’s Divisional Playoff match-up. They posted a 26-21 win on the cold tundra at Lambeau Field, but failed to cover as 5.5-point favourites.

Rodgers tallied his ninth 300+ passing yard performance of the season against Dallas, also tossing at least three TDs for the ninth time this year. However, Green Bay have failed to reward punters in recent weeks, going 3-4 ATS in their last seven, with the point total finishing UNDER in five of those seven outings following a 9-1 run by the OVER to start the season.

The Packers face a Seahawks team that appears unstoppable after recording seven straight SU wins, 6-0-1 ATS, during which they have held opponents to an average of just eight points per game. Seattle have also won six straight SU at home, going 4-1-1 ATS, and are 6-2-1 ATS this season when favoured by seven or more points.

Of particular note is the Seahawks’ dominating performance in Green Bay’s last visit to CenturyLink Field in this year’s season opener. Seattle held Rodgers to just 189 passing yards, one TD and a pick in a lopsided 36-16 victory, easily covering as 4.5-point favourites, and pushing Green Bay to 1-3 SU and 1-2-1 ATS in their last four road contests against the defending Super Bowl champs.

In Sunday’s AFC Conference Championship matchup, New England Patriots welcome Indianapolis Colts to Gillette Stadium as 6.5-point favourites.

The Patriots captured the top playoff seed in the AFC with a strong 12-4 regular season record, but have been a betting disappointment of late, posting three straight ATS losses, and needed a heroic performance from QB Tom Brady in last week’s 35-31 Divisional Playoff win over Baltimore Ravens.

Although Sunday marks New England’s fourth straight appearance in the AFC Championship game, they have been mediocre playoff performers since winning Super Bowl XLVI four years ago. The Pats have failed to produce back-to-back SU playoff wins since, going 3-3, and are 2-4 ATS, including a pair of SU losses on home turf as betting favourites.

Conversely, the Colts look to be a team on the rise. Led by QB Andrew Luck, who has emerged this season as an elite NFL pivot, Indy have transformed themselves from a one-dimensional offensive juggernaut, into a team that is committed to defence while maintaining the ability to devastate opponents offensively.

The Colts enter Sunday’s matchup with the Pats with seven wins in their last eight games, holding opponents to an average of 13.9 points per game in each of those wins. Their only defeat coming against Dallas, a 42-7 Week 16 loss in a game that was meaningless for Indianapolis, who had already clinched top spot in the AFC South, but meant everything to the Cowboys, who needed the win to lock up first place in the NFC East.



Daniel Coyle