New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers
I could see either of these teams making the Super Bowl. Both have a dangerous offense, solid defense, and come into the postseason bang in form. But to quote the 1980s classic film Highlander - there can be only one. I think neutral fans will be the real winners though, as I can't see this this being anything but extremely close. Green Bay are on a six-game winning streak. New York have won nine of their last 11. So both will be confident.
Now here's a fascinating stat for you - Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers have both won the same number of postseason games at Lambeau Field - two. That's amazing, and is down to the fact that New York won play-off games in Wisconsin in 2007 and 2011. On both occasions, the Giants went on to lift the Lombardi Trophy. So their fans could be forgiven for viewing a trip to Green Bay as a lucky omen.
But it's not just in Green Bay that Manning excels. A record of 8-3 in post-season road games suggests that Manning is one of the NFL's greatest ever travelling quarterbacks. Yes he blows hot and cold. But there's good reason why he has two Super Bowl rings, and his ability to perform well on the road is part of it.
Manning's been sacked just 22 times this season - that's the third fewest in the NFL. And if he's granted time on the ball, he could do serious damage to a Packers D that's been one of the most porous in the league. Odell Beckham is a big time, showtime player who can win games all on his own. I like him to make some major plays in the deep, which is Green Bay's achilles heel. Sterling Shepard has almost as many TDs though and offers a much better price for the opening score.
Likewise Green Bay have all the tools to do plenty of damage of their own. Aaron Rodgers is back playing at his very best. And receivers Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson have been working in tandem to rip opposing defenses apart. Last week Adams shone brightest, which means this week it will probably be Nelson who leads the way in yardage.
The Giants'' secondary has been really strong against the pass though, and is getting better each week. I can see them frustrating Rodgers for long periods here. Someone who could have a sneakily big game however is Jared Cook. New York have proven vulnerable to opposing tight ends and Cook has impressed since returning from injury. He can surpass his quote of 48 yards and is a big price to find the end zone.
Neither side can run the ball very well. But both are good at defending it. That should make it really hard for either team to move the ball with regularity and leads me to expect a low score - something that's been a regular theme to New York's road games. A close contest would likely mean lot of action for the kickers - and hence I can see there being quite a few field goals here.
The five point head start the Giants are getting is to big for me. Three points either way is my call and so I'm siding with the Giants on the handicap. And I fancy this could be a tense, low-scoring affair - so going low on points has appeal too.
5pts New York (+5.5) to win @ 2.001/1
5pts New York (+3) to win at half time @ 5/6
5pts Total Points Under 44.5 @ 2.0621/20
5pts 1st Half Points Under 22.5 @ 1.9620/21
3pts Ty Montgomery rushing yards Under 50.5 @ 5/6
3pts Back a first quarter field goal @ 5/6
3pts Back a fourth quarter field goal @ 4/7
1pt Cook to score 1st TD @ 14/1
2pts Shepard to score 1st TD @ 10/1
3pts Nelson receiving yards Over 70.5 @ 5/6
1pt Overtime to be played @ 15.0014/1
3pts Rodgers passing yards Under 269.5 @ 5/6