When LeVeon Bell went down in the Q1 a fortnight ago, my big earner went with him. All hope is lost.
The Patriots will win this because ultimately they edge things on the defensive side - Atlanta are horribly exposed at the corners. The total is massive and worth opposing.
I hope these picks brought the occasional warm glow and maybe even a quid here and there. Enjoy the game and thanks for reading.
[b]Pick: Patriots -3 @ 2
Pick: Under 58.5 @ 1.91
Pick: Anytime TD Julian Edelman @ 2[/b]
END OF TERM NUMBERS
Don't spend it all at once!
Two middling defences (you won't sell me on the Packers' run D - check the schedule) against the hottest offensive hands in football is a mouthwatering prospect and if Rodgers can overcome the injuries Green Bay are carrying on that side of the ball, it'll be nothing short of a miracle.
Atlanta to win, Green Bay to cover.
[b]Pick: Green Bay +6 @ 1.91
Pick: Anytime TD Jared Cook @ 2.5[/b]
I revealed my Super Bowl pick on this blog on the 25th September last year (yeah, my full and exciting life means I have time to look it up) and I'm going to stay with the Steelers here.
Bell has to have a HUGE game against a tough run defense and the Steelers' ball hogging, opportunistic defense has to make some plays, but I'm hoping a fit Roethlisberger will take advantage of a Patriots team intent on keying on Bell, thus freeing up Brown deep.
My reservations? It's Brady, it's Belichick, it's Blount, it's Ben on the road. It's a road that, in truth, I'm travelling in hope rather than expectation.
[b]Pick: Steelers +6 @ 2
Pick: LeVeon Bell Over 112.5 Rushing yards @ 1.91
Pick: Tom Brady Under 285.5 Passing yards @ 1.85[/b]
There might be a stronger case for the hawks resisting the Atlanta juggernaut were it not for Earl Thomas's broken leg: it hasn't gutted the stats on defense, but his absence could be critical today.
Seattle have to get after Ryan, and on the other side a cheeky £2 on Jimmy Graham to find the end zone is in order, but the home team should have too much.
[b]Pick: Falcons -5 @ 1.95
Pick: Anytime TD Jimmy Graham @ 2.75[/b]
Only one team in football history has given more points in this round.
However, Houston has a very capable defense (put the Texans in your notebook for next year when they get key players back on both sides of the ball) and Lamar Miller and DeAndre Hopkins can make some plays.
The Pats will win, but I can't give anyone over 15 points, even with Brock Osweiler under centre.
[b]Pick: Texans +15.5 @ 1.91[/b]
Capping the Giants has been a nightmare ever since Archie told the Chargers to lay off in 2004. His boy Eli can be anyone on any given day, including a Super Bowl winner.
The Giants have gone into Lambeau and stuck it to the favourite Green Bay before and this is a decent spot for them with the Packers cobbling together a secondary that has struggled all season. The problem is, Manning has looked average at best this year and Dom Capers has pushed Eli in the past.
Aaron Rodgers is playing out of his mind, and the Giants need to contain him in the pocket, otherwise they run the risk he'll put numbers up on the ground - he torched Detroit last week. The New York secondary is the toughest Rodgers will have seen and he'll need to be at his elusive, and accurate best; Ty Montgomery has...
As my devoted reader knows, I got on the Steelers preseason to go all the way and they're likely to put up a ton of points at Heinz Field with three of the most potent offensive threats in football suiting up, but giving this many points is a stretch, even with Matt Moore under centre.
Don't get too involved, because the Steelers may put a prison beat down on the fins, but I'll take the points and the Over.
[b]Pick: Dolphins +11.5 @ 2.05
Pick: Over 46.5 @ 1.95[/b]
I've tried to excuse Stafford's injured hand twice now, and got burned both times. Now he arrives in perhaps the most hostile stadium in football in a playoff game.
The Lions have a chance if they can attack the sub par Thomas-less Seattle secondary, but much depends on their ability to resist the hawks' pass rush and that pesky finger.
Rodgers gave the Lions fits extending plays and running last week and Russell Wilson has similar, if lesser, skills.
Where the Seahawks are unbeaten in the postseason at home, the Lions are winless in eight attempts to progress. The herd like the Lions plus the points, so ...
[b]Pick: Seahawks -8 @ 2[/b]
I remember once meeting an old guy in Vegas who told me, "Son, never forget that in post season football you're only one hit away from disaster" and he was only parking my car! He was right though, and so I give you ...
Connor Cook (probably) versus Brock Osweiler. Jeez.
Take the Texans and move on.
[b]Pick: Texans -3.5 @ 1.94[/b]