Today is officially the 91st day of the NFL lockout, in which the most popular league in sports betting history is preventing its players union from working. While the lockout has officially been on for three months time, most betting online handicappers will tell you that the lockout began unofficially almost 12 months ago, on August 29th, when talks between the NFL and PA began to disintegrate. For sports fan not following the NFL, here is a quick overview of the lockout.
In February 2010, the Players Union proposed to the NFL that the salary cap be extended for one more year, even though the CBA from 2006 stated that the salary cap be abolished after the 2011 season. As a result the NFL franchise owners rejected the NFLPA’s offer and during Super Bowl weekend, DeMaurice Smith, head of the NFLPA told media outlets that the lockout would probably happen before the 2011 season. However, both sides were able to avoid the lockout until after the 2011 season.
Fast forward to March of 2011, US District Judge David Doty rules that $4 Billion of the $9 Billion the 32 franchises receive in NFL TV sharing revenue will be cut off in the event of a lockout. Literally two weeks after the ruling, the NFLPA decertifies in an attempt to get the owners to succumb to their proposal. Instead, the owner’s and NFL administration lockout the players and three months later here we are still entrenched in a lockout with two lawsuits.
The main issues being contested between the NFL and NFLPA are threefold. Firstly, the NFLPA wants a big percentage of the revenue that the NFL makes. As it stands, the NFLPA makes $140 million a year which is roughly 60 percent of what the NFL makes. Conversely, the NFL makes $9billion annually, and feels that the NFLPA is making enough money as is.
Secondly, the owners want to get rid of the rookie wage scale, after several draft busts put teams in financial trouble. For instance, in 2007 when the Oakland Raiders drafted JaMarcus Russell they gave him $60 million in guaranteed salary thanks to the rookie wage scale. In order to avoid the stupidity of the owners, they feel a rookie wage scale should be nullified.
Thirdly, the NFL wants to create an 18 game schedule in order to make more money for themselves without sharing with the NFLPA. However, as the theme of this whole lockout suggests, the players aren’t willing to budge unless they receive a bigger cut of the pie. The 18 game schedules is one staple of a reduced salary cap proposal. In essence, the reduction of the salary cap means the players make less for playing more games.
In only a few short days Super Bowl betting enthusiasts from across the globe will be taking in the 2010-11 edition of the NFL's Championship game. This year's Super Bowl 45 betting matchup featuring the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, marks the first ever matchup between the two clubs in playoff action. Furthermore, this will be the first Super Bowl to be held in Arlington, Texas at the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. The stadium itself is expected to bring in the biggest crowd in NFL history, at 105,000 people. Here is a preview of the game.
Donald Driver and Greg Jennings meet Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. Historically, two ground and pound defensive oriented teams, the 2010-11 editions of the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, are now known for an emphasis on the aerial offense with little regard if any for the run. Now that isn't to say, that the run isn't still a crucial part of either teams offense, as throughout this year's playoffs, football handicapping fans have seen the emergence of Rashard Mendenhall in Pittsburgh and James Starks in Green Bay.
However, as we saw with the Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are clearly a pass oriented offense as the young pivot passed for nearly 4,000 yards during the regular season. Meanwhile, for Rodgers counterpart Ben Roethlisberger, passing the ball to Hines Ward since 2005 and Mike Wallace the last three years, has been as common as handing the ball off to Mendenhall.
On paper, all signs point to a Pittsburgh victory as the Steelers have big game experience on their side, along with one of the best defensive lines in the history of the NFL. For the Green Bay Packers, despite being inexperienced in big games, and not having won a Super Bowl title in 16 years, the Packers, appear to finally be hitting their stride and gelling as a unit. Prediction Green Bay 30 Pittsburgh 24
In a matter of days, handicappers from around the NFL will finally find out if their Super Bowl betting predictions were right as two teams will emerge from this weekend's NFL Conference Championship series. Ever since the NFL betting commissioner's office adopted the 12 team six per conference playoff format in 1990, no two teams both ranked at number six have ever made it to the Super Bowl. Heading into Sunday's Conference Championship action, the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers have a chance to become the first two sixth overall seeds to make to the Super Bowl.
For Green Bay Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears represents a coming full circle notion of sorts, as the Packers were able to defeat the Bears on the final day of the regular season in order to make the playoffs. Now almost a month later, and the Packers have an opportunity to go from almost not qualifying for the playoffs, to making the Super Bowl finals outright. On paper, the biggest thing going for the Packers is that they got healthy at the right time. In the beginning of the season for example, Green Bay lost 15 of its opening day starters.
Entering Sunday's action, Green Bay has gotten several of those 15 starters back and has emerged as the team with the best chance to win the Super Bowl. What's more, in the two games they have played thus far in the post season, Green Bay has clearly been the better team. First they shut down MVP hopeful Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, before moving on to crush top seed Atlanta.
Meanwhile, the New York Jets the AFC's sixth seed also has a chance to make history as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although listed as a heavy underdog against Pittsburgh, the Jets were actually the last team to beat the Steelers at Heinz Field. What's more, while the sportsbooks take New York lightly, you can guarantee the Steelers will not. Heading into this weekend's action, the Jets have had to face the toughest competition of anyone, as they had to knock off Indianapolis in round one, before beating divisional foe New England last week. If the Jets can defeat the Steelers, they will become the most battle tested Wild Card team in the last few years to make the Super Bowl.
Today NFL betting lines will close as sportsbooks take in their final wagers for this weekend's Wild Card round of the playoffs. With eight NFL betting online teams competing for four spots in week two of the playoffs, here are our four picks for this weekend's matchups.
Saturday January 8, 2011
New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks - This NFC Wild Card game kicks off the playoffs for this season. Going into the game, only a handful of people who specifically bet on underdogs, are taking the Seattle Seahawks to win this game outright. Ultimately, despite the loss of tailback Pierre Thomas to a season ending ankle injury, we feel that Drew Brees and the Saints have what it takes to defeat the Seattle Seahawks. Look for this game to get ugly fast, with the Saints making a statement while cruising to victory.
New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts - Playing in prime time is no easy task, however both the Jets and Colts have made careers off of doing as much. With that said, this will be one of the most highly anticipated football games in recent memory, as these two teams collided last year in the AFC Championship. However, we feel that the Wild Cards will go for two for two on Saturday, as the Jets should win this game since they are healthier than the aging Colts.
Sunday January 9, 2011
Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs - The weekends only upset in our opinion will take place during the early game on Sunday as the wild card Ravens will fall to the AFC West Champion Chiefs. Although both of these teams had ugly final games of the regular season, we see the Chiefs coming out with something to prove. Last week they were crushed by the Oakland Raiders and now everyone is underestimating them. However, we think that the Chiefs will come out firing on all cylinders as they cruise to a date with the New England Patriots.
Green Bay Packers vs. Philadelphia Eagles - If you thought the Jets vs. Colts game was going to be the most televised game this weekend, you were mistaken. This year, nobody has come on to the scene and had as much of an impact, as Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles, as he's guided the team to an 11 and five record and his own MVP selection. Add that in with the Green Bay Packers finally getting healthy, and you have the makings for one of the best football games in not only the season but the decade as well.
This coming Sunday, the Green Bay Packers will essentially be playing the most important game of the NFL betting season, as they face the New York Giants. The game itself has football betting experts believing that a miracle must happen for the oft injured Packers to squeak into the playoffs, as they are literally hanging on by a thread. On Wednesday December 22, the Packers received a giant boost as starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers was cleared to return to practice.
Two weeks ago in week 14 action, Rodgers was knocked from a game against the Detroit Lions. Rodgers left after the first half with an apparent concussion, and the Packers went on to lose the game by the minimal score of seven to three. However, this past weekend during a game against the New England Patriots, it appeared that the Packers may have been able to survive the remainder of the season without Aaron Rodgers.
During their week 15 affair with New England, the Packers under the guidance of backup pivot Matt Flynn were almost able to pull of the shocking upset of the league's best team, as they led for the majority of the game. However, the Patriots as they've done all season were able to come out of nowhere and win the game outright.
With the return of Aaron Rodgers this week, NFL handicappers from around the league will be glued to their televisions. The Green Bay Packers have an overall record of eight wins and six losses, while rival the New York Giants have a record of nine wins and six losses. Although they play in separate divisions, both the Packers and Giants will be looking to win the game on Sunday, as they are battling for one of the two final Wild Card berths in the NFC.