49ers-Patriots Potential Super Bowl Preview Headlines Live NFL Betting At Bovada
Last Monday night's game between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans was being touted as a potential AFC Championship Game preview. Except it wasn't much of a game, with the Patriots making a big-time statement with a 42-14 rout. That win moved New England past Houston and into the favored spot for both the AFC title (13/10) and the Super Bowl (3/1).
Open a betting account at Bovada and grab an instant 50% Free Bet Bonus on your first deposit.
Now on a short week the Patriots have another mammoth challenge Sunday night in Foxborough: the San Francisco 49ers, who are the NFC title favorites at 5/2. The Patriots are opening six-point favorites and there will be live play-by-play betting at Bovada. A Texans-49ers back-to-back double isn't unique this season. The Chicago Bears lost to both in Weeks 10 and 11.
New England (10-3, 8-5 ATS) puts two fairly incredible December streaks on the line. The Patriots have won 20 straight games at home in the month, which dates back a decade. They also have won 13 straight December games regardless of location, tied for the second-longest streak in modern NFL history (2006-09 San Diego Chargers won 18 in a row).
Tom Brady may have caught and passed Denver's Peyton Manning as the MVP favorite in Monday's win. Brady threw for 296 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. That's the 14th time the future Hall of Famer has had a four-TD, no-INT game, the most ever. Brady, who is tied for the NFL lead in QB rating, also has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 45 straight games, nine short of tying the record set earlier this year by the Saints' Drew Brees; Brees' run ended two games ago.
New England leads the NFL by a wide margin in scoring at 36.3 ppg. It has scored at least 37 five times during the current seven-game winning streak (4-3 ATS). Yet even with a win Sunday, the Patriots still won't be guaranteed a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, although the No. 1 seed is now in play with at least one more loss by Houston (11-2). New England likely will be rooting for Denver (10-3) in Sunday's other big AFC game against Baltimore (9-4). That's because the Patriots hold a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Broncos but lose it against the Ravens.
Brady and Co. torched one of the NFL's best defenses in the Texans, but the 49ers are No. 1 in the league in scoring defense at 14.2 points per game, a distant 1.3 points ahead of No. 2 Seattle. The 49ers (9-3-1, 8-5-0 ATS) have yet to allow 30 points this season - their worst outing was a 26-3 Week 3 loss against the New York Giants. The total this week is set at 46.
A big key to that defense is second-year pass-rushing demon Aldon Smith, who leads the NFL with 19.5 sacks. The single-season NFL record is 22.5, set by the Giants' Michael Strahan in 2001 thanks to a little help from buddy Brett Favre.
The 49ers will clinch a playoff spot with a win and the NFC West title with a win and Seattle loss to Buffalo. If Sunday's game comes down to turnovers, as many in the NFL do, it could favor New England. The Pats are No. 1 in the NFL in turnover-margin at plus-24, while San Francisco is tied for 11th at plus six. Brady has thrown only four interceptions all year, but three have come in losses. San Francisco has turned the ball over a total of seven times in its three losses.
This is the first meeting between the teams since 2008.
Sunday's Other Live Betting Games
*-Broncos at Ravens (+3, 48): As noted above, this game also is crucial for a potential first-round AFC bye, and Baltimore can probably forget about it with a loss. They have lost two-straight and coach John Harbaugh apparently was fed up so he made the very unusual decision to fire offensive coordinator Cam Cameron this week. Quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell, who has never called plays, takes over. The Ravens plan to play at a faster pace and use Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice more.
Denver has the NFL's longest current winning streak at eight in a row (5-3 ATS), with Manning just barely behind Brady and Robert Griffin III for the NFL lead in QB rating. The Broncos have failed thus far against the NFL's elite, however, losing to Atlanta, Houston and New England. The only team currently with a winning record that Denver has beaten in the winning streak is 7-6 Cincinnati (which could be .500 after Thursday). After facing Baltimore, the Broncos host Cleveland and Kansas City and will be huge favorites. So a win Sunday should have Denver in good shape for a potential first-round bye.
*-Steelers at Cowboys (+2, 44): Certainly Pittsburgh versus Dallas has to be considered the NFL's top interconference rivalry as the two met in three Super Bowls. Together they have combined for 16 Super Bowl appearances (eight each) and 11 titles (six for Pittsburgh). However they haven't met in the regular season since 2008.
It's a crucial game for both teams for the postseason. Pittsburgh (7-6, 5-7-1 ATS) currently holds down the final wild-card spot in the AFC but enters off being dominated at home last week by San Diego. Next week's Steelers-Bengals matchup could well determine the AFC's final playoff team.
Dallas (7-6, 5-8 ATS) did the Steelers a huge favor last Sunday, rallying from nine points down in the final seven minutes to win 20-19 at Cincinnati. The Cowboys are currently on the outside looking in for the NFC playoffs but are just a game out of the wild-card and the NFC East lead.
The big injury news for Dallas is whether top receiver Dez Bryant plays. He has a fractured left index finger but wants to play through it. However, if he were to injure it again it could cause permanent stiffness and obviously affect Bryant's ability to catch. He will need medical clearance to play. Bryant is finally living up to expectations with 1,028 receiving yards (10th in NFL) and nine touchdowns (tied for third). The Steelers lead the NFL in pass defense.
Flying High: from deep passes to goal line stands, the NFL brings the action every week. Make your own big plays with Live Betting at Bovada. Raise Your Game.