Frankie Lally's NFL Wildcard Picks And Super Bowl Predictions

Frankie Lally's NFL Wildcard Picks And Super Bowl Predictions
By Balls Team
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Every week, Frankie Lally gives you the tips you need to make the right picks when you do your NFL betting. This week, he's supplied us with his tips for the NFL's wildcard weekend as well his thoughts on who'll be fighting it out for the Lombardi trophy on the first weekend of February.

Frankie’s Wild Card Lock: Cincinnati Bengals (+4.5) @ 10/11 (General)

Cincinnati travel to Houston today to square off with the Texans and they should have more than enough to keep this one tight.

The Texans collapsed down the home straight in the regular season. They only needed to win one of their final two games to clinch the top seed and they couldn't do it.

First they lost at home to Minnesota and then they were outdone at Indianapolis against a Colts team that had nothing to play for having already clinched the fifth seed.

In contrast, the Bengals are bang in form, having won seven of their last eight games. The only defeat in that eight game stretch was a one point overtime defeat to the Cowboys after a last-gasp field goal.

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Geno Atkins has led a defence that managed 51 sacks during the regular season and the Bengals will be the reason Matt Schaub's first taste of the playoffs is one to forget.

Frankie’s Wild Card Double
Cincinnati (+4.5)
Minnesota (+8)

Frankie’s picks against the spread (Picks in BOLD, HOME teams in caps):

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Cincinnati (+4.5) v HOUSTON
Minnesota (+8) v GREEN BAY
Seattle (-3) v WASHINGTON
Indianapolis (+7) V BALTIMORE

Frankie's Super Bowl winner: New England Patriots @ 4/1 (William Hill, Sky Bet)

The Indianapolis Colts did Bill Belichick's Patriots a huge favour by beating the Houston Texans in the final game week.

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That Colts win – tied in with New England's huge victory over the Miami Dolphins – meant Belichick's men earned the AFC's No. 2 playoff seed and a first-round bye.

What that now means is that the Patriots will host a playoff game in just over a week and can possibly even host the AFC Championship game IF the Denver Broncos slip up.

That makes it a far easier trip to the Super Bowl than what it could have been for the Pats, who will be looking to bounce back from last year's devastating Super Bowl defeat to the New York Giants.

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I have no doubt they can go all the way this year. With the No.1 ranked offence in the NFL, Tom Brady and co. have looked unstoppable at times, averaging 427.9 yards-per-game in total offence over the regular season.

The Patriots defence comes in for a lot of criticism at times, but that is largely unfair. A lot of the points the Pats have conceded over the regular season have been in games which are already in the bag. Their redzone numbers are quite impressive too, although in tight games they seem to struggle.

Frankie's Super Bowl flop: Denver Broncos @ 11/4 (Various)

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The Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos are the current favourites to go all the way to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans and win. I can't see that happening.

The Broncos are on an 11-game unbeaten run since they lost 31-21 to the Patriots way back in October. But if you look at their schedule since that trip to Foxboro it hasn't been that daunting.

Of course they can only beat who is in front of them – and they have beaten some decent teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens – but looking through their side, they don't scream out Super Bowl champions to me.

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Experts have ranked the quality of the units the Broncos' offence and defence have faced as 31st and 26th respectively – those numbers could leave them prone to a shock in the playoffs.

Another worry I have over the Broncos is Manning. Unquestionably the 36-year-old is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and is having a wonderful season, but he was prone to post-season disappointments with the Indianapolis Colts. Once he won a ring those concerns were put to bed, but they could always come back to haunt him with Denver.

Frankie's Super Bowl finalists Atlanta Falcons v New England Patriots @ 10/1 (Ladbrokes)

This one is pretty simple really, I've already outlined why I reckon the Patriots are going to go all the way and I think the Atlanta Falcons will be the team to join them there.

I've liked the look of Atlanta all season and sometimes they haven't got the respect the deserved. The could shock a few people by making it to New Orleans.

You can contact Frankie on Twitter – @FrankieLally

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