NFL Playoffs Tips: Back fast start when Packers go to San Francisco

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers
Can Rodgers find Graham and land Mike's bet?

Mike Carlson picks his bets from this weekend's two NFL playoff games as Green Bay go to San Francisco and Kansas City host Tennessee...

Value Bet: Jimmy Graham over 2.5 catches at evens

"Jimmy Graham is basically Aaron Rodgers' number two downfield target after Davante Adams, and he'll probably get four or five balls thrown at him during the course of the game."

Is it my imagination or do the bad beats get worse in post-season? Last week was another curate's egg of picks (although, really, an egg good only in parts is actually a bad egg, unlike Iron Mike). My best bet, the under 47 in Baltimore-Tennessee was a doddle.

But then I tried to get clever. The value pick, of Kirk Cousins over 21.5 completions fell short, as he completed...21! I screamed at both the obvious drops that cost me. My other value pick, George Kittle to go over 6.5 catches was simply wrong; the Niners ran the ball 40 times and, probably anticipating coverage, threw to him only five times, with only three catches. As Jimmy G threw only 19 times, completing only 11, no Niner receiver had more than three.

My outside bet was the worst beat of the season. Seattle plus 4.5 seemed to me to be more than an outside pick. I had it as a field goal difference kind of game, and when Seattle scored to make the score 28-23, I should have been right. In fact, four TDs to three plus a FG is the prototype four point game. But of course, they had scored late, and thus decided to go for the two point conversion, to bring them within a field goal of tying. Make the deuce and we all go home happy. Miss it, and I will be making excuses until the draft comes around in May.

With only two games this weekend, and both intriguing match ups, we find the unusual situations of both home teams being favoured by 7.5 points, and both road dogs an attractive 27/10 to win on the moneyline.

Quick-starters make first-half overs the bet

Best Bet: San Francisco vs Green Bay - away team (GB) first half over 9.5 points at 17/20

I'm a little hesitant now, because I picked the over on this one as my best bet for the Betfair NFL Only Bettor Podcast Wednesday, but the line was 45, which means money came in on it at that level. I would still take the over at the current 46.5 at 11/10 but I'm not sure I'd follow this one much over 47. Green Bay has been a quick-starting team; they maintained that through both the first quarters last week and got 21, while the Niners had 14, and I see something more like a 17 or 14 to 14 or 10 first half scoreline, which works in any combo you choose if you take the first-half over 23.5 also at 11/10. There's all three bets sorted.

Value Bet: Jimmy Graham over 2.5 catches at evens

Jimmy Graham is basically Aaron Rodgers' number two downfield target after Davante Adams, and he'll probably get four or five balls thrown at him during the course of the game. I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Matt LaFleur figures out a way to get him in position to catch three of them.

Outside Bet: Kansas City vs Tennessee under 52.5 at 10/11

I know the odds aren't screaming 'outside bet' but I see this as a 50/50 chance: they game could be high scoring, as it was when the teams met in week 10 and the Titans won at Arrowhead 35-32. Or it might not feature the special teams miscues and pick six that helped the Titans score more than their share of the points. Plus the Chiefs' D is better now than it was then. On the other hand, Mahomes and his O line are both healthier, which means the Chiefs could put points on the board. But if you think it will be relatively low scoring, you could try taking the Titans plus the 7.5 at 17/20.

But if you really want an off-the-wall outside bet, how about the 49ers' Richard Sherman to get an interception against Green Bay, anytime, at 11/2? Worth a flutter.

Listen to Mike and the gang in this week's NFL...Only Bettor

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles