An exciting yet unpredictable weekend in the NFL divisional playoff rounds lead to surprising results that could have been rewarding or costly for gamblers who put bets on the games. The double overtime round in the mile high city upset the hometown favourite, while two road teams who were expected to run all over the fields they visited were unable to run deep enough. The outcome either made or cost gamers a lot of money, while it set up divisional championship rounds that few sports bettors will be able to predict.
Peyton Manning was supposed to be the star of a comeback year with the Denver Broncos finishing with a Superbowl ring, but those dreams were dashed when the visiting Baltimore Ravens kicked the game winning field goal in double overtime. A Hail Mary from Baltimore’s QB Joe Flacco lead to the tying touchdown pass that sent the game into overtime, when Manning through an interception that gave the Ravens the chance to setup the game winning field goal. Baltimore knows they were considered the upsets and will retain that role when they go to New England next weekend for the AFC divisional championship – the Patriots are considered the toughest team in the NFL, but Baltimore won’t let the pressure get to them.
In the NFC divisional rounds, the visiting teams were considered the favourites yet were also plagued with upset losses. The Green Bay Packers – having befallen bad luck earlier in the season – got their game back to their quality standard, but the hometown San Francisco 49ers wouldn’t let the Packers push them around. Instead the 49ers ran circles around the Packers defense, and walked away with the win – boasting one of the toughest secondary defenses of their own. They will rely on their defensive strength to exploit holes in the Atlanta Falcons offensive lines next week.
Speaking of Atlanta, they were the number one seed in the NFC, yet were considered upsets to the visiting Seattle Seahawks. The Falcons have a history of botched playoff opportunities that bettors expected to once again be on display, which nearly came to fruition when Atlanta blew a 20 point lead. However, the defense came back together near the end of the 4th quarter to hold Seattle in check and a field goal opportunity for Atlanta flew between the posts to take them to victory. The Falcons will host the 49ers next weekend in a game that will be tough to determine a favourite – the Falcons have a strong offense, but the 49ers have depth in their defense.
Considering the unpredictable divisional rounds it will be difficult for any sportsbetting site to make predictions next weekend. The Patriots are the favourites for the AFC, but the NFC is not as clear. Lady luck was onside for some gamblers this weekend and offside for others – next weekend, the odds could be in anyone’s favour.