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Most Experts Are Betting On A Seattle Vs. New England Super Bowl

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, right, shakes hands with Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams after an NFL football game, on Sept. 4 that saw Seattle win, 36-16. The two teams face off today for the NFC championship.
Stephen Brashear AP
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, right, shakes hands with Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams after an NFL football game, on Sept. 4 that saw Seattle win, 36-16. The two teams face off today for the NFC championship.

Two games today will determine who goes to Super Bowl XLIX and who goes home. Two Midwest teams face off against two from the coasts.

Defending Super Bowl champs the Seattle Seahawks play the Green Bay Packers starting at 3:05 p.m. ET at Seattle's CenturyLink Field for the NFC title. The Indianapolis Colts hope to defeat the New England Patriots beginning at 6:40 p.m. ET for the AFC championship.

In ESPN's latest poll of NFL Nation reporters, the Seahawks are heavily favored over the Packers and the Patriots have the odds-makers against the Colts. Bleacherreport.com's take is similar.

As Greg Easterbrook writes for ESPN: "The Patriots and Seahawks are peaking at exactly the right time. Seattle can beat the Packers in a playoff game at Green Bay."

In September, Seattle beat Green Bay, 36-16. USA Today's Steven Ruiz says: "Of the two teams, the Packers clearly have more room for improvement since these two last met. [Green Bay Offensive Tackle Bryan] Bulaga is playing, [Seattle Wide Receiver Percy] Harvin is not and Green Bay's offense should have the entire width of the field at its disposal. It's hard to pick against this Seattle team, but it's even harder to bet against the best quarterback on the planet. Rodgers will make the difference in what should be a fantastic game."

In the Colts vs. Patriots game, The Chicago Tribune writes that despite having lost by 22 points to New England earlier in the season, the Colts, "coming off three consecutive 11-5 seasons — have steadily gained postseason ground during that span. They lost to the Ravens in the first round in [Colts Quarterback Andrew] Luck's rookie season, pulled off a stunning come-from-behind victory over the Chiefs in the first round last season and now are one victory away from the NFL's marquee event."

Gregg Doyel, writing in The Indianapolis Star, lashes out at the bravado among New England fans who he says, if they weren't so sincere, "you'd swear it was a lampoon of the area's haughty, arrogant stereotype."

"They think it will be a blowout. A rout. They think, here in cold and crowded New England, that the Patriots will beat the Indianapolis Colts so badly in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday that this matchup, this very game, is a joke," he writes.

Even so, Jen McCaffrey at Masslive.com sounds only a cautiously optimistic note for New England:

"The Patriots are favored to win this game [by] most national experts, but Luck and crew enter having just knocked off Peyton Manning and the Broncos. If New England can come out hard and mount [an] early lead, something they haven't been able to do of late, there's a good chance they'll be headed to their sixth Super Bowl in 14 years."

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