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I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Super Bowl LI Preview

This Houston Super Bowl LI
has all the intrigue!
The say it bluntly, outside of one game, the NFL Playoffs have not offered much in terms of thrilling finishes.  You could say a second game (PIT vs. KC) but PIT didn't even score a TD.  No NFL game in which the winning team doesn't score a TD can qualify as a"thrilling".  However, Super Bowl LI seems to be a heavyweight matchup that can't miss.  Number one Falcons offense vs. number one (scoring) Patriots defense.  On the other side, Tom "four rings" Brady tries to enter immortality with a fifth ring.  He's never lost a Super Bowl to a team that wasn't the Giants (although one of them he didn't win, that was Pete Carroll making a dumb play call).

But for last week, both J.R. Ewing and Bulldog Babe (@bulldogbabexo) split the two games (that they disagreed about).

So J.R. pretty much pushed the weekend, not much activity
Bulldog Babe stole the show this Playoffs,
will she be right in Super Bowl LI?
Total coming into week: $210
Straight Up (1-1): $0
ATS (1-1): -$10
O/U (1-1): -$10
Weekly Total: -$20
Total through three weeks: $190

So will Super Bowl LI live up to the billing?  Last time the Patriots won a Super Bowl in Houston it came down to the final seconds as they edged the Panthers.  Hopefully for fans, this one is as close as that.


Lines and spreads are from CappedIn.com, a great website to track picks and play along for fun.  Amazing how up to date data they have (with very informed members).
 
February 5, 2017: 18:30 EST
New England Patriots  (-3, -150) vs Atlanta Falcons (+3, +130) O/U 58.5

New England (16-2)
Last nine games: 9-0

Against Playoff teams: 6-1
Key Injuries: Rob Gronkowski (out)

Atlanta Falcons (13-5)
Last eight games: 7-1

Against Playoff teams: 4-2
Key Injuries: None

J.R. Ewing prediction
I keep picking against the Atlanta Falcons and I keep losing.  I bet on the New England Patriots and do nothing but win.  I have a gut feeling for the Falcons.  Matt Ryan is playing amazing football.  The Patriots have not had to face a decent offense this postseason.  First the Texans (enough said), then the Steelers without Le'Veon Bell.  Without that running threat, they easily rolled their defense to stop Antonio Brown and pinned their ears back on Ben and shut him down.  The Falcons can run (with two legit RBs) can throw (with Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones), not to mention a half dozen other complimentary weapons.  This will be a game of ball control with each possession at a premium.  Keeping Brady on the sideline is the way to beat the Patriots (Texans actually succeeded for three quarters) and this Falcons offense can do it (note the Patriots don't allow big plays).  It will actually be high scoring efficiency, but low scoring (both red zone defenses are good).  And the Falcons finish their miracle season.

Final Prediction: Falcons 26 Patriots 23

Bulldog Babe prediction:
I will fully admit that the two best teams in the NFC & AFC are playing next weekend. Atlanta and New England will be a great matchup, full of crazy things to happen. Atlanta has had the dream season, while New England is going to compete for their fifth Lombardi. While New England may be the favorite to win, I firmly believe in upsets. So I think the Atlanta Falcons will be the Super Bowl Champs! RISE UP

Final Prediction: Falcons 27 Patriots 21

This has been the most fun I've had doing the postseason blog, primarily due to the contributions of  Bulldog Babe (@bulldogbabexo).  The real fun was the private Twitter message debates and banter.  And she wanted to pass on thanks as well (her words):

"Thank you guys for reading my predictions and to @lhd_on_sports for allowing me to make predictions for the playoffs this year. I had a blast doing this & I hope you guys enjoyed reading these predictions."

We did enjoy BB, and I'd love to have you back for next year or hopefully sooner NASCAR or college football discussion.

In the meantime to all fans, enjoy your Super Bowl LI, it's the game for the fans!

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