We are getting down to the pointy end of the season and Neil Monnery's love/hate/despair relationship with the Seahawks continues. He previews their game along with Carolina's trip to New Orleans.
"If Wilson can throw the ball like he did last week then his team will be the most dangerous wildcard in the play-offs, in either conference."
Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings
Start-time: Sunday 18:00
TV: Live on Sky Sports 2
First things first, cracking game this. Sky have nailed the 18:00 choice with two play-off chasing teams. Seattle are coming off of a superb victory at home to the Steelers last week. I wasn't surprised by the win, I even tipped them to win by at least 7.5 points but the high-scoring nature of the game wasn't expected. In all honesty Pittsburgh win that game if it wasn't for brain fades and boneheaded plays. Minnesota bounced back from the Green Bay loss in week 11 by squeaking by the toothless, pathetic Falcons.
This game though features arguably the best running back in the league this year in Adrian Peterson and the best back-up in Thomas Rawls. The Seahawks have used Rawls a fair bit this season and with starter Marshawn Lynch out again, this match-up will be fun to watch.
Speaking of fun, watching Russell Wilson last week was most enjoyable. I've never been a huge Wilson fan because I like the traditional pocket passer type of quarterbacks. Wilson has always been seen as more of a dual-threat type but on Sunday he threw the ball for 345 yards and five scores. It was one of the best games of the season for the neutral but also one of the most impressive QB performances of the current campaign.
With that being said I'm starting to lean towards Seattle, am I becoming a believer again? I'm not sure but I have always been very much on the fence with regards to Minnesota. If Wilson can throw the ball like he did last week then his team will be the most dangerous wildcard in the play-offs, in either conference. I am gritting my teeth and saying that he can.
Betting wise as the lines are so close I'm not going to play with them. The full three points on Seattle to win straight up at 1.865/6 on the exchange is my top tip for this one. The over/under points line has been set at 42.5 and I do like the overs, this is at 20/23 on the Sportsbook and in the first TD market, if Minnesota are going to score first then it will surely be AP so a point there and for Seattle then I like 12/1 for Jermaine Kearse.
3pt Back Seattle to win straight up at 1.865/6 on the Exchange
2pt Back over 42.5 points at 20/23 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Adrian Peterson to score first at 9/2 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Jermaine Kearse to score first at 12/1 on the Sportsbook
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
Start-time: Sunday, 21:25
TV: Live on Sky Sports 2
Whereas Sky nailed the 18:00 game, they had four choices in the late window and picked the most uninteresting and potentially most noncompetitive by far. I really don't get them sometimes.
Here is the long and short of it, New Orleans are terrible. Like really terrible. Especially defensively. They give up over 400 yards of offense a game to go with the average of 30.8 points they let the opposition pile up on them. The least they've given up all season was 20 points against the Brandon Weeden-led Cowboys and second was the 24 they gave up last week to TJ Yates' Texans, oh and in that game they lost 24-6.
On the other sideline Carolina are still undefeated, have an MVP candidate under center, have a pound-and-ground running game that opens up the big play and if that wasn't enough, they have a stifling defense who are ranked below only Denver.
I don't think I need to waste my time writing too much more, waste your time reading too much more and waste the editors' time editing too much more. All the stats, the players, the form and everything else points towards a Carolina win.
So this game isn't about who'll win unless something genuinely bizarre happens. This is all about what spread we are taking for Carolina and I think they win big so I'm taking the largest I can get on the Sportsbook and that is Carolina - 9.5pts at 27/20. Another three bets for me here, too. Over 52.5 points is at 5/4 so I'll throw a couple of points at that market. And for the first TD I'm going Greg Olsen at 7/1 and Mark Ingram at 8/1. A point a piece.
3pt Back Carolina to win with a -9.5pt handicap at 27/20 on the Sportsbook
2pt Back over 52.5 points scored at 5/4 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Greg Olsen to score first at 7/1 on the Sportsbook
1pt Back Mark Ingram to score first at 8/1 on the Sportsbook
Neil Monnery NFL P/L 2015 Season
Staked - 132pts
Returned - 172.42pts
P&L - +40.42pts