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The home teams in the NFL playoffs almost went a perfect 8-0 straight up, but the Packers were a complete no show even as the slow zebras did their part trying to keep them in the game.

All Pro Aaron Rodgers looked like the QB that lost to the Chiefs 19-14. So the question everyone was asking during and after the game was if the zebras were in the bag for the Pack?

There is no answer to that except that after watching all the games these past two weeks I have concluded the zebras are too small and slow. They just cannot keep up with the speed of these players.

That is just my opinion. You could bag it and just have your view that the refs favor one side over the other or get influenced by the crowd. They are human and as my father, the one and only “Broadway Bennie,” would tell me, “Locks were made for honest people.”

The zebras are protected by the instant replay and for some reason the upstairs stripes don’t get it right all the time. Some plays are called as it stands even if it is wrong. My answer is bet the games, don’t worry about the guys in the stripped shirts and just hope you are on the right side.

It is gambling, you know.

I thought the Texans played a super game and their young QB (T.J. Yates) looks like a good one who would be a real nice acquisition for many teams. If you watch these NFL games year after year it’s the teams with the great QB’s that get the money.

Without a top QB, no matter what the rest of the team is, you just can’t win in the NFL. Attest Tom Brady, a healthy Big Ben, and look what happened to the Colts without the other Manning. Eli looks like a Super Bowl QB, but it’s on the road again for the G-men and a cross country trip and that may not fare well.

Let’s just wait and see what I have to say when I get to my picks.

There were several bad beats, but the one that got me was if you bet the UNDER 27½ in the first half of the Packers game. Now that was a bad beat to say the least.

Ok, let’s look at the two games this week.

Sunday, AFC title

Ravens +7½ at Patriots (50½)


These two teams did not meet this year but did face each other in the 2009 playoffs when the Ravens traveled to New England and won straight up getting +3½ points. In 2010 they made another venture to Foxboro but lost 23-20 getting 3. The books did not like that score.

So the question is why 7½? The Ravens are not the Broncos. Well, the answer is TOM (as in Brady) and the bettors watched Baltimore eke out the win at home against the Texans compared to the Pats just blowing out Denver. The Ravens defense is not the same one that went to New England in the past. They are older and slower.

The New England defense could make the Baltimore offense look better than it has of late. So what is the play? The Ravens don’t win the game but could cover that 7½ points with a turnover here and there. If that doesn’t happen the Pats could get the cover.

I will just play a little teaser and see who New England will play in the Super Bowl. Don’t forget to be careful when the Big Game gets here as the NFL gestapo will be out looking for anyone using the words “Super Bowl.” PATS -1½, OVER 44½ (TEASER)

NFC title

Giants +2½ at 49ers (43½)


These two met in San Francisco back on Nov. 13 when the G-men were on a three-game winning streak fresh off a big win in New England the previous week. They were getting +3½ points but back-to-back tough road games did not agree with them.

We have the almost exact scenario as the G-men come off the big win at Lambeau and travel cross country this time only getting +2½. They are playing like winners and as head coach Tom Coughlin says, “They are road warriors.”

But not this scenario. The 49ers have not lost a game at home with wins over the Steelers, Giants and Cowboys. Their defense is just brutal and will be all over Eli. As the old song says, “Eli’s Comin’,” with East meeting West in the Super Bowl. 49ERS -2½.


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