Sunday Night Football: Large spread favors Seahawks over Panthers

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Based on each team’s history with large lines, Russell Wilson’s Seattle Seahawks and Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers might be in for a tight game. The Seahawks opened as a 6.5-point favorite against the visiting Panthers for the Sunday night matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Seattle is 7-2 straight-up and 6-3 against the spread in their last nine games as a favorite of 6.5 points or more, according to the OddsShark NFL Database, and all three ATS losses have come in the past 12 months. By the same token, Carolina is 2-5-1 SU but 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight outings where oddsmakers spotted them 6.5 or more points.

Carolina, at 4-7 SU and 3-6-2 SU, is having a post-Super Bowl malaise. The convenient narrative that their offensive line was exposed during the Super Bowl 50 defeat against the Denver Broncos is backed up statistically, as Newton has been sacked 27 times.

The Seahawks, with their combo of DE Cliff Avril and DE Michael Bennett, should be able to exert some edge pressure. While WR Kelvin Benjamin can expect to have CB Richard Sherman in his face, Seattle FS Earl Thomas (hamstring) and CB DeShawn Shead (hamstring) are nearing a return to the lineup.

The playmaking of Newton, along with creative use of slippery WR Ted Ginn, are wild cards for Carolina, which is 3-0-1 ATS on the NFL betting lines in its last four games against Seattle. Jonathan Stewart, along with Newton, gives Carolina stable rushing output.

Seattle is 7-3-1 SU and 5-5-1 ATS as it vies to regain the NFC West title. Carolina is third in the NFL in sacks, thanks in large part to OLB Thomas Davis, DE Mario Addison and DT Star Lotulelei, so they stand a good chance of containing Wilson. The Panthers’ chances will also improve if MLB Luke Kuechly and SS Kurt Coleman each complete concussion protocol and return to solidify the second level of their defense.

The Seahawks offense is inconsistent but certainly not wanting for weapons in the passing phase, as WR Doug Baldwin and TE Jimmy Graham are facing the NFL’s 29th-ranked pass defense. The Seahawks are almost as bad (27th) at running the ball; Thomas Rawls is the starter mostly by default with promising C.J. Prosise (scapula) injured.

The total has gone OVER in nine of the Panthers’ last 10 games as road underdogs. The total has gone OVER in the Panthers’ last three games against the Seahawks

Patriots looking to break slump for betting favorites at Super Bowl LI

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With their vast collective edge in Super Bowl experience, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are favored against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, although that’s not always a harbinger of success.

The Patriots opened as the three-point favorite against the Falcons with a 58.5-point total in the Super Bowl LI matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The NFL’s championship game will be played on February 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston, with Brady trying to become the first quarterback with five Super Bowl victories while the Falcons will try to win their first championship.

The favored team is 0-5 straight-up and against the spread in the last five Super Bowl matchups, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The Patriots are also 1-4 ATS in their last five games in the Super Bowl, although three of those matchups saw them raise the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The other general trend is that the designated away team is 8-2 SU in the last 10 years, and New England will be considered the away team, just as it was when it defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX two seasons ago.

The Falcons, who are 13-5 SU and 12-6 ATS, have lost and failed to cover the spread in their last four games against the Patriots. The Falcons are also 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games against the AFC. A team’s more recent body of work can have more bearing than a sample stretching beyond a decade, though, and with Ryan as the triggerman in their well-balanced offense the Falcons are 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog.

They are also 6-2 SU and ATS in their last eight games against teams with winning records.

The Patriots are 16-2 SU and 15-3 ATS on the season, including a current 7-0 ATS run. New England’s ability to peak at the right time is not overestimated either, as they are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS over the last three postseasons. They are also 6-1 SU in their last seven playoff games as a favorite, with the loss coming last season in the AFC Championship Game on the road against the Denver Broncos, who had a historically dominant defense.

The Patriots are 13-4 SU against the NFC over the last four seasons. The opposing quarterbacks of record for the losses were Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Sam Bradford and Cam Newton.

The total has gone OVER in the Falcons’ last eight games. The total has gone OVER in six of the Patriots’ last seven games against teams with winning records. The total has gone UNDER in three of the Patriots’ last four games in the Super Bowl.

New title for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady: Best beer chugger?

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There’s been a lot of talk about Tom Brady’s diet and pajamas, but Brady’s ability to drink?

This is a new one.

Former Patriot Ross Tucker said on The Dan Patrick Show Monday that a young Tom Brady was the best beer chugger he’s ever seen.

“He’s the best I’ve ever seen. And I was in a fraternity,” Tucker said. “It sounds funny when you say it, but the guy has every positive male quality known to man, like I was almost mad that he was that good of a chugger. Because I was sitting there thinking, ‘This is just not fair.’ Why is God not spreading the wealth a little more?”

There’s a pretty good chance that his current diet doesn’t permit drinking, but for argument’s sake: What type of beer would Brady drink?

The New England quarterback doesn’t strike me as a craft beer drinker, but maybe he picked up an affinity for Bell’s while at Michigan or adopted Harpoon while living in New England. Who knows, he’s could be a cheap beer fanatic and enjoy a good PBR.