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January-09-2004,
Get In The Game - with Nigel Ridgway of bet365 *US Edition*...By Rinkrat

NFL

Form turned on its head in Wild-card weekend Although all four favourites progressed from the four Wild-card clashes last weekend, regular season form was turned on its head in the three rematches that took place, with the losing team from the first clash making dramatic improvement.

Indianapolis` 41-10 massacre of Denver made a mockery of the handicap, and produced an amazing 45-point swing from their first encounter just two weeks earlier. After scoring from their first drive soon after kick off, the Colts gained the momentum and never looked back. Carolina produced a 23-point turnaround, showing more offensive potential than they had been given credit for, when getting the better of Dallas` top rated defence. Green Bay`s running back Ahman Green was kept largely quiet by Seattle but, after being on the brink of elimination, they just managed to scrape home. This was in stark contrast to their 35-13 victory in Week Five.

Divisional Play-offs Should this pattern be repeated then it could spell trouble for the top seeds, New England and Philadelphia, the two teams who have already beaten their forthcoming opponents this weekend. However, if we take a look at the statistics, the 4 Wildcard winners look to have it all to do with 80% of home teams winning in this round over the past ten years. The advantage of a bye week cannot be overestimated with the average success over that period coming by a convincing 12.6 points - more than enough to cover this weekend`s handicap lines!

CAR Panthers (+7.0) @ STL Rams (-7.0) Sa Jan 10 4:30 pm EST (FOX) 10/01/2004 21:30 GMT The Panthers will not only have to overcome this statistic, but also buck the trend of a travelling Wildcard team winning by more than 14 points at home - an 80% loser! They will need a strong showing from both their Running game and their Defence to keep this `greatest show on turf` close.

TEN Titans (+6.0) @ NE Patriots (-6.0) Sa Jan 10 8:15 pm EST (CBS) 11/01/2004 01:15 GMT The banged up Titans will not be relishing their trip to Foxboro to face the Super Bowl favourites and rested New England. Man for man Tennessee looks to have the better side, however, the `no-name Joes` of New England work as one of the best units seen this year. This should prove to be an exciting and tight game, which may be decided by the fitness of Steve McNair.

IND Colts (+3.0) @ KC Chiefs (-3.0) Su Jan 11 1:00 pm EST (CBS) 11/01/2004 18:05 GMT Sunday`s first game throws together the two high scoring outfits of Indianapolis and Kansas. Here too, the Colts have to overcome the historical disadvantage of winning by 14 points or more then going on the road. Also they will have to do it away from their artificial turf and Dome that is their home, and in the predicted cold and wet of Kansas. However, Peyton Manning is on fire and the League joint MVP will look to air it out against the Chiefs suspect `D`. The Chiefs, on the other hand, will look to pound it out on the ground where Priest Holmes will be savoring the opportunity to take on the small front 7 of the Colts.

GB Packers (+5.5) @ PHL Eagles (-5.5) Su Jan 11 4:45 pm EST (FOX) 11/01/2004 21:45 GMT The final game of the weekend has the Packers hoping for some `brotherly love` at the home of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Packers, although scraping home last weekend, look to be a team on a mission with the season dedicated to the memory of Brett Favre`s father. The Eagles have struggled against the run in the past few weeks, and must now face one of the best running teams in the League. Throw in the fact that Philly will be without the services of their best offensive player and top scorer for the season, Brian Westbrook, this game could be the best chance of an away victory this weekend!

Bet the above games In-Running, as the action unfolds including: Game Handicap/Moneyline, Game Total, Next Scoring Play Will Be, and Team to Score Next.

What`s more, single Parlay Cards are available for each of the 4 NFL games this weekend, as well as a single Parlay Card on the Spreads and Totals.

Have a great weekend, and be lucky!

Nigel.

Please be aware that prices are subject to change.

Nigel Ridgway, an experienced punter and betting shop owner of many years, believes that "The key to successful gambling is getting value for money." Nigel was once forced by local bookmakers, to stop writing a tipping column in a UK newspaper, because he was costing them a fortune.

Find out what offers and lines are hot at www.bet365.com



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