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2014 NFL Conference Championships against the spread preview & handicapping tips

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We are down to the Final Four in the Super Bowl chase and one could argue that it is the best four teams still standing. Many had predicted just this – a Seattle/San Francisco NFC Final and a Broncos/Patriots AFC Final.

Last week we went 2-2 in our picks Against the Spread – Indy’s inability to hang with New England and Denver’s penchant for letting San Diego hang around made the difference.

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This week we have a pair of rematches of games earlier this year – there is a sample size of work for us to take a look at.

Let’s break it down in the Capperspicks NFL Conference Championship Against The Spread Preview.

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (-4.5), TOTAL 55

Another duel between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning has football fans salivating. Two of the biggest groundbreakers at the quarterback position will write another chapter in what has been an absolutely scintillating career series between the two.

8 of the 14 Manning-Brady games have been decided by 7 or fewer points, including 6 of the last 7, Tom Brady has 26 TD and 12 INT in the 14 previous games going up against Peyton Manning’s team. Manning has 29 TD & 20 INT in those games.

These teams have taken completely different paths to this Championship game – the Pats have endured a rash of injuries on both sides of the ball and have re-invented themselves seemingly each and every week to this point. LeGarrett Blount has been absolutely off the charts in his last two games and Brady’s chemistry with Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola is at its best right now. The loss of Rob Gronkowski hurt this team but forced them to focus on other ways to win – something that they have succeeded in – obviously.

The Broncos have also become a balanced offensive team – the running game has been a terrific compliment to the most prolific passing offense the NFL has ever seen. Nobody has slowed the Broncos this season except for the San Diego Chargers and they may have developed a formula for defeating this juggernaut Denver squad.

The problem with the Broncos? The defense. You can add cornerback Chris Harris to the list of injured Broncos. This unit wasn’t great to begin with and now they will be forced to play without arguably their most reliable defender.

I, like most would love to see all the talk of Peyton’s inability to win the big game come to an end. But I don’t see that happening this week. Brady and the boys have found themselves a running game – one that will only serve to open up the field a bit more for the passing game.

The first game ended in a 34-31 Pats win – I see something similar happening Sunday.
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San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5), TOTAL 40

The rubber match in the season series between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks will determine the NFC’s representative in the Super Bowl February 2. Each team has defeated the other on each other’s home field – the Niners won a close one a few weeks back and the Seahawks absolutely manhandled the 49ers in Seattle at the beginning of the year. Seattle has outscored San Francisco 71-16 in the last two meetings at CenturyLink overall.

But these teams enter this game on opposite ends of the spectrum – San Francisco is absolutely the best team in the NFL right now with eight straight wins while the Seahawks have not quite looked like themselves the last month or so – particularly Russell Wilson.

Michael Crabtree has made a huge difference for this team allowing Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis a little more space – Colin Kaepernick looks like a different guy since Crabtree’s return. Also a guy like Frank Gore who has had some success against Seattle absolutely has to be a difference maker Sunday.

We can talk about offense all we want but this game is going to come down to defense and an X-factor or two (Seattle fans know what I mean). The two best defenses in the NFL will go at it in what is sure to be a low scoring game. Despite the recent play of San Francisco’s front 7, Seattle’s defense, particularly on home field has the edge.

Add in THE X-FACTOR – the 12th man that has given Colin Kaepernick fits the last two seasons and this is Seattle’s game to lose. CenturyLink seems to suck the life out of the 49ers, like many other teams – I think it happens again Sunday.

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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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