Seahawks betting favorites on the road; Packers-Redskins a pick’em

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The Seattle Seahawks will be gunning for their sixth straight road victory when they travel to Minnesota for their NFC Wild Card matchup with the Vikings as 6-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Despite reaching the postseason as the NFC’s No. 6 seed, the Seahawks established themselves as legitimate contenders with last weekend’s 36-6 demolition of Arizona, romping to victory as 6-point underdogs and lifting their Super Bowl betting line to 19/4.

Seattle is now a solid 8-2 straight up in their past 10 games heading into Sunday afternoon’s Seahawks vs. Vikings betting matchup at TCF Bank Stadium, including wins in each of their past five road contests in which they have held opponents to under seven points per game.

The Vikings return to the playoffs for the first time in three years after claiming the NFC North title with a 20-13 victory in their regular-season finale in Green Bay. It was a sweet victory for Minnesota, who avenged a 30-13 loss to the Packers earlier in the season and denied their rivals a fifth straight division title.

The Vikings also have a score to settle with Seattle, who are undefeated in their past three meetings, including a lopsided 38-7 win in Minnesota in early December, holding the Vikings to just 125 total yards.

Minnesota has averaged 337.25 total yards per game in four games since that defeat, recording 31.75 points per game, but must contend with the Seahawks’ top-ranked defense, which has allowed just 81.5 rushing yards and 17.3 points per game this season.

In Sunday afternoon’s other NFC Wild Card matchup, the Washington Redskins look for their fifth straight SU win, and first playoff victory in 10 years, when they host the Packers as a pick’em on the betting lines. The Redskins’ current tear separated them from the pack in the NFC East, and earned them the division crown and No. 4 seed.

While Washington’s defense ranks near the bottom of the league after giving up an average of 454 total yards in their past three outings, the offense has caught fire in recent weeks, averaging 32.75 points during their current win streak.

Washington has also consistently defied the sportsbooks this season, claiming outright victories in six of their past seven games as betting underdogs.

The Packers start the postseason on the road for the first time in five years, after dropping their final two regular season contests, and are a middling 2-2 SU and ATS in their past four games as road favorites – which they are moving toward at some books.

Bennett doesn’t fear backlash for skipping White House trip

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HOUSTON (AP) Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett says he is not worried about upsetting team owner Robert Kraft by not attending New England’s trip to the White House as Super Bowl champions.

Bennett said after the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons on Sunday night that he’s “not going to go” to the traditional meet-and-greet with the president. It will be the first visit of a Super Bowl champion to Washington since Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Trump’s positions have alienated some athletes, which has raised questions about whether some might choose to skip the trip while the new president is in office.

But Bennett said he isn’t concerned about it and thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”

Kraft is a supporter of Trump and attended a celebration dinner in Washington for him the night before his inauguration.

Patriots’ Tom Brady earns 4th Super Bowl MVP trophy with epic comeback

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HOUSTON (AP) The greatest quarterback in NFL history led the biggest Super Bowl comeback to be the MVP on Sunday night.

Tom Brady rallied New England from a 25-point third-quarter deficit for a 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history to earn his fifth Super Bowl title and fourth MVP trophy.

“They’re all sweet,” he said. “They’re all different and this was just an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he said.

Brady threw touchdown passes of 5 and 6 yards in the second half and tied things at 28-28 when he connected withDanny Amendola on a 2-point conversion with 57 seconds left.

He then directed the drive in overtime which ended with a 2-yard run by James White to make the Patriots the first team to win a Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

“We all brought each other back,” he said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle.”

His performance certainly wasn’t without its struggles. His incredible second half and overtime came after a first half where the Patriots managed just three points and he threw an interception which Robert Alford returned 82 yards for a touchdown. He was hurried and harassed for much of the games. The Falcons sacked him five times and hit him on another eight occasions.

He noted the beating he took when he was trying to recount the details of the comeback and couldn’t remember what the score was at one point in the rally.

“There was a lot of (stuff) that happened tonight,” he said. “I got hit pretty hard.”

His 466 yards passing are a Super Bowl record, surpassing the 414 yards Kurt Warner had 17 years ago. He also set a record for most passes completed in a Super Bowl with 43 and most attempts with 62.

He is the first to play in seven Super Bowls and the victory ties him with Charles Haley for most Super Bowl rings.

After all Brady has done in his career, was this his finest moment?

“Tom’s had a lot of great ones,” coach Bill Belichick said. “But, yeah tonight was one of them.”

It’s a triumphant end to a difficult season for Brady, who missed the first four games because of his “Deflategate” suspension and dealt with his mother Galynn Brady suffering through an undisclosed illness. The Super Bowl was the first game she’s attended all season.

“They’re all happy,” he said fighting back tears. “It’s nice to have everybody here and it’s going to be a great celebration tonight.”

He shared a quick moment with her right after the game, but was looking forward to more time with her in the upcoming days.

“It’s kind of madness after the game so I didn’t get much quality time with her but we’ll get it this week,” he said.

But he certainly wasn’t asking for sympathy for his rough road to this title though, chuckling when someone asked about the adversity the Patriots have gone through in the past couple of years.

“We’ve done pretty good over the last few years … so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots,” he said. “I don’t think anyone feels bad for the Patriots.”

Brady also collected the MVP trophy in 2001, 2003 and 2014.

“It was just a lot of mental toughness by our team and we’re going to remember this one for the rest of our lives,” Brady said.

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