NFL Tipsheet: Mini previews and recommended bets for the conference championships

Andrew Luck (left) of the Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck (left) of the Indianapolis Colts

Luca Bercelli predicted Peyton Manning's horror-show last week. What's he got for us this time?

"Andrew Luck is the number one quarterback in the league IMO, and I'll be stunned if he doesn't nick this with a seven point start"

Back the Indianapolis Colts +7pts @ 1.8810/11

Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks
Sunday 20:05

This game doesn't appeal too much from a viewing standpoint, even to a die-hard American Football fan like myself. It's a real shame, but this is going to be one-sided, and the reason is Aaron Rodgers' injured calf. He got away with it (just), against the Cowboys, but there's no way he's going to bluff his way past the league's meanest defense.

Hopalong Rodgers is not going to recover in a week, and he can say 'I've got 120 minutes left in me' all he wants, because I just don't believe him. I've torn a calf muscle, and believe me, even with a witch doctor in the locker room, it's not getting better in seven days.

I'm surprised the spread isn't bigger so I'll take the minus seven points all day, it's a great bet. Just put yourself in Seattle's shoes. They know Rodgers can't run, that's a third of his game they don't have to worry about. Their defense has been dominating fully fit teams; this just isn't fair, they'll go bananas when they see a statue in front of them. And god forbid, Rodgers goes off injured, because back-up Matt Flynn is awful.

I'd like the Pack to win because that'd boost my 'monster odds bet' on the Colts winning the Superbowl, but I just can't see it.

Recommended Bets
Back the Seattle Seahawks -7pts @ 1.991/1
Back Seattle to win Half Time/Full Time @ 1.855/6
Lay Aaron Rodgers Passing Yards @ Best Price
Back First Scoring Play to be a Seattle Safety @ [Best Price]

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots
Sunday 23:40

I told you Peyton Manning would suck against the Colts last week and boy did he deliver. But you didn't listen did you? No, and now you've only got yourself to blame. Not to worry though, because the real go-to guy in the entire league gets to work here, and he gives us plenty of chances to add to the stack.

Andrew Luck is the number one quarterback in the league IMO, and I'll be stunned if he doesn't nick this with a seven point start. Especially when you factor in the powder-puff performance produced by the Patriots' defensive line against Baltimore. I can't remember them pressuring Flacco once all game, and that is going to be a huge problem against Luck.

In fact, New England's whole performance last week was lacklustre to say the least, with even my man, the great Darelle Revis drawing a couple of yellow flags for inteference. Zero running game and a below par Tom Brady is not a good package for New England, but that's all they had.

They have to play better against the Colts, and I think they will, but I just keep looking at that seven point head start and I can't quite believe it. I mean, Indianapolis are solid on offence; great quarterback, great tight end, great wide receiver. They're also pretty good on defense, although not quite as good as Mr Manning made them look last week, so all in all, must bet material.

The spread is a no-brainer, but I also like Dan Herron as a change-of-pace running back so I'd look to buy his yardage. You could also throw a sell of total points into the mix as these games are often a lot tighter than you think.

Recommended Bets
Back the Indianapolis Colts +7pts @ 1.8810/11
Back Dan Herron rushing yards (over the spread at best odds)
Back Under 54pts @ 1.9210/11

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