DIVISIONAL ROUND: SUNDAY TIPS
The Chiefs become the last team to enter the play-offs and we get a matchup between Brees and Brady that should probably be on the History Channel.
Steve Moore breaks down the betting angles for the Sunday games of Divisional Weekend:
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CLEVELAND BROWNS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
If you did not already know that things are weird right now, the Cleveland Browns are two wins from the Super Bowl.
Cleveland’s 28-point first-quarter was the biggest shock of the entire Wildcard weekend (save maybe Heinicke) and is the entire reason we have the Browns going to Arrowhead for a place in the AFC Championship game.
Pittsburgh’s start in that one is almost reminiscent of the way the Kansas City Chiefs started the divisional round after their bye last year, where they were 24-0 down to the Texans early in the second quarter.
Andy Reid has potentially exacerbated the situation this year by resting Patrick Mahomes in week 17. Whilst the Chiefs are likely to be better off than they were against the Texans last year, everything is built for the Browns to make a quick start and backing them to win the first quarter (13/5 with PaddyPower and Betfair) makes sense.
Based off this, backing the Browns to lead at Half-Time (29/10 with BoyleSports) and if you believe the Chiefs will eventually win, then a Browns HT/Chiefs FT (15/2 with BoyleSports) bet is excellent value.
With the game set-up like this, expect a healthy dose of Nick Chubb, which puts him well on course to go over the 70.5 yards rushing (5/6 with various) line.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
As a Buccaneers fan, trying to reasonably tip anything involving the match result is just too painful to contemplate. Despite this, having watched too many of these matchup’s over my lifetime, there are somethings that are just too obvious to not tip.
This includes my bonafide NAP of not just the week, but possibly the entire season. A half-fit Mike Evans broke the franchise record for receiving yards last week; surely then a fully-fit Evans should go off against the Saints too?
Enter Marshon Lattimore. As he has tweeted himself, the last three meetings between Lattimore and Evans have resulted in just six targets and not a single reception. Evans hasn’t actually gone over 70 yards receiving against the Saints since 2018.
Lattimore will once again track Evans around the field and given all of the Bucs weapons, Evans may go without any receptions at all so will certainly end up with less than 66.5 yards receiving (5/6 with Skybet).
Meanwhile, Todd Bowles loves having the Bucs defense play plenty of soft zone behind the blitz and Brees’ record against such defenses is frankly obscene. This is proven by the Saints record against the Bucs since Bowles arrived, with the Bucs conceding over 30 points in all four games. Being able to get odds against on the Saints getting over 28.5 points (11/10 with SkyBet) seems like a error in pricing.
- Browns to win the first quarter (13/5 with PaddyPower and Betfair)
- Browns to lead at Half-Time (29/10 with BoyleSports)
- Browns HT/Chiefs FT (15/2 with BoyleSports)
- Nick Chubb over 70.5 yards rushing (5/6 with various)
- Saints over 28.5 points (11/10 with SkyBet)
NAP: Mick Evans under 65.5 yards receiving (5/6 with SkyBet)
A Welshman exiled in Luton, Steve Moore has been a Buccaneers fan ever since he thought a stadium with a pirate ship was cool (he was only 9 at the time!).
Steve has also hosted podcasts on both the NFL and British Universities football and was the statistician for 2008 College Bowl finalists, Staffordshire Stallions