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NFL Playoffs: Steelers vs. Patriots Over-Under Pick from Sean Murphy: January 22nd 2017

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots
NFL Playoffs Over-Under Pick: Under 51 points (January 22nd 2017)

Sunday NFL free play. My selection is on the ‘under’ between Pittsburgh and New England at 6:40 pm et on Sunday.

We missed the mark with the ‘under’ in the Patriots sloppy blowout win over the Texans last Saturday night. I won’t hesitate to go back to the well with the same play here, however.

The Chiefs laid out a pretty good gameplan for slowing down the Steelers offense last week, or at least for how to keep them out of the end zone. I expect the Patriots to employ a similar bend but don’t break style here in the AFC Championship Game.

While the Steelers are known for their offensive prowess, it’s been their defense that has arguably led the way in these playoffs. This is a unit that’s brimming with confidence right now, and one that is playing with a lot of swagger – something they’ll need against the Patriots, who are rarely taken down at home in the postseason.

The oddsmakers have been off the mark with Steelers totals in both previous playoff games and I believe that’s the case again here. Two familiar opponents lends itself to a lower-scoring game than anticipating on Sunday night. Take the under (8*).

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Arizona State vs. USC Basketball Pick from Brandon Lee: January 22nd 2017

Arizona State Sun Devils vs. USC Trojans
College Basketball Pick: USC -8 (January 22nd 2017)

I’m going to back the Trojans at home against the Sun Devils. It’s not been the start some expected for USC in Pac-12 play. The Trojans are just 3-4, but three of those losses have come against really good teams in Oregon, Utah and Arizona. The other a 1-point loss to a talented Cal team. While it’s early, this feels like a must-win game for the Trojans and I expect an all out effort here. Arizona State is a team USC can take advantage of. While the Sun Devils can score, they play zero defense and it’s resulted in a number of ugly losses this season. It’s also a horrible spot for Arizona State, who is playing their 3rd straight game on the road after laying it all on the line at Arizona and UCLA in their previous two games. Give me the Trojans -8!

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Packers vs. Falcons NFL Playoffs Over-Under Betting Pick from Jesse Schule: January 22nd 2017

Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons
NFL Playoffs Over-Under Pick: Under 61.5 points (January 22nd 2017)

It was just a few days ago now that the Houston Rockets hosted Golden State, in a game that featured the highest NBA total in modern history (at least the last 10 years). The number opened at 236.5, and closed as high as 242. This is what I said prior to tip off: ” Even for those who think this game is going to be a shootout, there’s just no value betting over with such an inflated total.”

The Warriors went on to win that game by a score of 125-108, which would normally be an easy cash for over bettors. Not in this case though, because the number was just too high. I feel the same way about this year’s NFC Championship Game. While I expect both teams to score plenty of points, I still think it’s going to be hard to reach what is expected to be the highest NFL total in playoff history.

In order for both teams to score 30+ points, everything has to go right offensively. There’s plenty that can go wrong. An injury to a key offensive player (heaven forbid one of the quarterbacks). We could see several drives cut short by turnovers (fumbles or INTs). Or one or both teams could be heavily penalized. Offensive holding penalties, offensive pass interference, unsportsmanlike conduct etc.

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I do expect this to be a high scoring game, and I’ve loaded up on prop bets for individual players to score TDs. I don’t need 61.5 total points to cash in all those bets, and I think the chances are a lot higher that the total lands between 50-60, than they are for the total to go over 61.5.

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