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Maingate Group 6-3 w/ 25*'s

Last 13 Football weekends: Animal 61-36 ATS

55-34 NFL since 10/13; 68-43 last 111; 79-49 since 9/1 or Regular Season start-Super Bowl.

Animal 4 1/2* 'OVER' in Super Bowl 49. 3* New England. 7-0 Super Bowls last 3 years!

Analysis of 4 1/2* New England/Seattle 'OVER' & 3* New England in Super Bowl 49:

The October 14, 2012 was the last time Seattle and New England met.  The Seahawks rallied from a 23-10 deficit in the fourth quarter with Russell Wilson throwing two touchdowns in the final 7:21 including a 46-yard bomb to Sidney Rice with 1:18 left for the win.  In that game Tom Brady was 36-of-58 for 395 yards and a 2-2 ratio.  New England only rushed for 87 yards at 3.3 a carry.  Meanwhile Russell Wilson only completed 16 passes but for 293 yards and a 3-0 ratio playing in just his sixth career NFL game.  Obviously neither QB had any trouble moving the football on the opposing defense. There were 843 total yards in that game and obviously should have been more than 47 points. We all know Seattle is #1 in the league in total defense.  But you have to factor in how mediocre the NFC West was this year plus the caliber of the quarterbacks and the offenses they faced this year. Plus they are banged up in the secondary entering today and across the board arenít as strong defensively as a season ago. I thought both Carolina and Green Bay moved the ball effectively against Seattle and blew several scoring opportunities in the red zone or settled for field goals.  Brady tends to finish the job in the red zone.  New England played eight games this year against Top-10 yards per play defenses.  If you throw out the meaningless game versus Buffalo in week #17 the Patriots averaged 35 points a game in the other seven.  They absolutely torched the defenses of Detroit and Denver (34 and 43 points).  The Pats scored 80 points in two playoff games with Brady throwing six touchdown passes.  We were told to be careful about Joe Flaccoís playoff record and Baltimoreís devastating defensive line of Suggs, Ngata, and Canty. Brady torched that group for 33 completions for 367 yards and three touchdowns.  Remember the praise the Indianapolis defense received after embarrassing Peyton in Colorado.  Brady didnít have the same appreciation putting up a 45-spot on the Colts. The Pats are almost impossible to defend. Consider their last two playoff games. They were all-passing against Baltimore rallying from 14-points down not once but twice. The ratio was 408-14 passing/running.  But the next week it was 220 passing and 177 running versus Indy. Needless to say they keep you off-balance defensively.  

Thereís no doubt in my mind that Aaron Rodgers (when healthy and can move in the pocket) and Russell Wilson are the leagueís two hardest quarterbacks to defend. Rodgers mostly does it with his golden-arm and without question, is the best in the game.  But Wilson played perhaps the worst half of playoff football by anybody in NFL history against Green Bay and still FOUND A WAY TO WIN.  How good is Wilson when the OTHER QB has GAME or CREDENTIALS?  Well Wilson enters Sunday with a 10-0 lifetime record against opposing quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl. THATíS 10-0 counting regular season and playoffs.  You donít compile that kind of record against the elite without putting points on the board.  By Super Bowl standards with inflated totals, this is on the low side.  Wilson will create real headaches for the New England defense, which is more suited to defend a pocket-style QB. Itís hard to really simulate and schemes against Wilson because heís so elusive and does most of his damage outside the pocket or on the run. Plus he can always utilize his legs for yardage and key first downs.  As good as Browner or Revis is, they can only stick so long to the Seattle receivers.  What I especially like about Wilson in this game is the fact he had such a poor game against Green Bay.  Wilsonís 13.6 rating against the Pack was the lowest QBR by a starting signal caller in a postseason win in the last 98 playoff games or since 2006. Joe Flacco had a 16.1 QBR in a win over New England in 2009.  But asking Wilson to play that poorly again is asking quite a bit.  But catch this: Wilson also had the highest total QBR rating in the Green Bay game in the fourth quarter and overtime among the nine quarterbacks that have played at least three postseason games since 2012.  Wilson on Sunday becomes the first quarterback in NFL history to start two Super Bowls in his first three seasons.  Since the start of the 2012, Seattle with Wilson has played seven post-season games. The Seahawks have scored 200 points in those seven games.  That is nearly 29-points per game.  Seattleís defense gets the publicity but their offense has certainly excelled when the stage is the biggest.  They scored 28-points against Green Bay, albeit six in overtime, but more importantly were three yards short of 400 total yards DESPITE FIVE TURNOVERS and being held SCORELESS in the first half.  

Now some #ís.  Tom Brady is 18-10 ĎOVERí the total when facing elite defenses that allow between 13.3-19.3 points per game.  Seattle is 6-3 ĎOVERí in their last nine games when facing an opponent that wins between 73-83 percent of their games played.  On synthetic turf (non-grass) New England has averaged 33 points a game this year. Seattle on the same fields has produced 26.8. The conditions will obviously be perfect in Glendale, AZ with the possibility of the roof being closed. Since 2007 Super Bowls with an over/under total of 53 or less have gone a perfect 4-0 ĎOVERí.  Since 1985, Super Bowls with a spread of four-points or less has seen the total go 6-2 ĎOVERí.  Seattle qualifies in a perfect 7-0 ĎOVERí system since 1995.  All NFL playoff neutral site or road teams off a straight-up home playoff game in which they allowed 21 or more points are 7-0 ĎOVERí when the posted total is 57 or less.  New England is 12-3-1 ĎOVERí when facing great rushing teams that average 5.0 yards or more per carry.  Plus tightening the parameters on that they are 8-1 ĎOVERí since 2009 when the total is 55 or less.  4 Ĺ* BEST BET is the ĎOVERí 47 in Super Bowl 49.


Bottom line: Tom Brady and Russell Wilson are two of my favorite quarterbacks in organized football. Even in the latter part of his career itís very apparent Brady has actually matured. Unlike Favre, Brees, and Peyton Manning late in their careers, I donít see Brady forcing balls into tight windows and he doesnít appear to mind the pressure like the aforementioned trio.  Itís really almost impossible to get a clear shot on Brady plus he has pinpoint accuracy. He rarely gets flustered.  But what I like about him the most in the twilight of his career is his patience. Heís now okay with the 7-9 yard pass completion to one of his diminutive receivers.  When Brady had guys like Moss and Welker, he was always looking to attack downfield.  But now he gets rid of the ball quicker and is consequently even more dangerous.
 
What can you say about Russell Wilson.  Heís the first QB in NFL history to start two Super Bowls in his first three years. The guy has already played seven playoff-games since 2012.  Wilson is an UNBELIEVABLE 10-0 in his career facing quarterbacks that have won Super Bowls.  If he wins Sunday, he will have been Rodgers twice, Brady, Peyton, and Eli in the same calendar year.  Anybody who doesnít consider Russell Wilson as an ELITE QB is simply clueless. Nobody in the game improvises better or escapes pressure better than Wilson.
 
So the bottom line is Iím not going to be comfortable in opposing either of these guys and you should not either. But when itís all said and done, Iím not as impressed with the 2014 Seahawks as I was in 2013 when we used Seattle and ĎOVERí in Super Bowl 48 against Denver.  Carolina was a fraud this year and to be fair, Seattle had a pass in their first playoff game facing the Panthers with Scam. But even Scam Newton had his moments and if you take away that PICK-SIX it was a one-possession game in the fourth quarter.  Iím still not convinced Seattle Ďwoní that game against Green Bay choosing instead to believe the Packers Ďlostí the game by playing too conservatively with the lead and settling for field goals when they could have blown the game wide open. Iíve never seen Wilson play worse in his career than in the first half against Green Bay.  Obviously he and Coach Carroll will make the necessary adjustments here.  Nobody in the game has excelled in the playoffs in the last five years more than Joe Flacco. But Brady came back from 14-points twice to eliminate Baltimore. Who beats Andrew Luck 38-points?  Brady and the Patriots did and while Luck just kills the rest of the league, Belichick and Brady know the answer to beat Indianapolis with regularity and by lopsided margins. That doesnít come by accident. That comes with intense preparation and knowledge that only Coach Belichick has been able to devise.  Why do I get the feeling if Belichick can repeatedly just trounce Andrew Luck, he will be able to figure out a way to beat Wilson, coming off a game in which he threw four interceptions and his confidence level might be shaking.  Nobody has been able to figure how to stop the Brady/Gronkowski combination and I doubt Coach Carroll finds a way.  Tom Brady this year attempted 311 passes in New England two-tight end alignment.  They often will line up three receivers on one side and then throw to Gronkowski down the middle or on the other side against one-on-one coverage. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are tough to cover and certainly capable of gaining yards after the catch.  I think the Patsí have more weapons than the Seahawks and slightly better receivers.  Edelman and LaFell are underrated combining for 164 receptions and 11 touchdowns.  But the key is obviously Brady, who right now is playing at an elite level and New England is peaking as a team. The addition of Browner and Revis at the corners is gigantic and if the zebras allow them to play physical it will hamper the Seattle offense.  Linebacker Jamie Collins is a beast and I look for him to make a dramatic impact on Sunday.  He had 11 tackles in the Baltimore win.  Iím not convinced Sherman and Chancellor are healthy either in the Seattle secondary.  One thing I canít get away from is the lousy caliber of quarterbacks the Seahawks played this year and obviously they deserved to lose against Rodgers.  Brady is just too polished for me to play-against and while Iím not wild about this Ďsideí or ever opposing Carroll and the Seahawks, Iíll make a small investment on New England, but again my top choice is certainly the ĎOVERí in Super Bowl 49. 3* New England +1, which I played offshore Saturday night at Heritage and Bookmaker.com. Thanks for a fun season guys. 

Animal 5-0 Super Bowl/Championship Sunday/79-49 ATS for NFL week #1 thru Super Bowl!

Last 13 Football weekends: Animal 61-36 ATS in Foots

55-34 NFL (45-28 last 73) since 10/13; 68-43 last 111; 79-49 last 121 since 9/1.

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