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Super Bowl 56 Position Battle: Cooper Kupp vs.Mike Hilton

Examining the matchup of Cooper Kupp vs. Mike Hilton

All year long, it has been the Cooper Kupp show in Los Angeles. He has had one of the best seasons by a receiver in NFL history, and he has not missed a beat in the playoffs. In the team’s last two games, Kupp has 20 receptions, 325 receiving yards and three touchdowns. It’s up to Mike Hilton to try and stop him.

The Bengals secondary has been there to make plays for them throughout the year. And in SBLVI, it is going to be all about Hilton. The nickel corner came over as a free agent after four years with the Steelers and has provided an instant impact for Cincy. He had a key interception in the team’s win over the Titans in the Divisional Round.

The thing is though, nobody has been able to keep Kupp in check for an entire game. The Eastern Washington product caught 145 passes for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns during the 17-game regular season. And he has remained dominant in the postseason, his two late catches negating the Bucs comeback in the Divisional game.

Hilton has not shied away in the postseason, having to cover some of the game's best receivers over the past few weeks. He did an equally impressive job against Hunter Renfrow in the Wild Card round. And with Kupp being the next man up, he’s got to be ready for the challenge.

The last time L.A. was in a Super Bowl, they had to play the game without Kupp. A lot of credit should go to New England for holding the Rams to just three points in that one, but things could have been different if the Rams had their incredible young slot receiver.

Zac Taylor’s team went from worst to first to make it to the big game. Joe Burrow has been incredible this postseason. Ja’Marr Chase has been dominant, not looking anything like a rookie. Jessie Bates III has made endless big plays from the safety spot. And now, they will need Hilton to key in on Cooper Kupp. If it is OBJ that winds up being the X-factor, so be it. He has been electric for the team, but they won’t win or lose because of him.

At the end of the day, the winner of the battle between Hilton and Kupp will go a long way toward deciding the winner of SBLVI.



by Danny Scaramella - Tipico

BETFTW! On Site Divisional Round

Lorenzo's Locks: Divisional Round Games

The Green Bay Packers are coming off their first round bye and are the healthiest they have been all season long. Aaron Rodgers is surgical at home, especially when coming off a bye. Now although the 49ers have been red-hot in recent play, their two best defenders, Bosa and Warner, were injured vs the Cowboys and may be slowed down against Green Bay. The Packers also went 7-1 against the spread this season at home. Lorenzo is locking in the Packers and the spread. Onto the AFC, Lorenzo likes the Buffalo Bills in an upset. Buffalo played their most complete game of the entire season last week against New England. The Bills have been clicking on all cylinders and are 4-1 against the spread over their last five. Their offense is comparable with Kansas City's and Buffalo has the edge on defense. The Chiefs have been unreliable at home, while the Bills excel on the road as underdogs. Lorenzo is locking int the Bills to win and to cover the spread. The Los Angeles Rams vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers has everything in the making for an offensive showdown. Tom Brady knows how to pick apart defenses and with the Rams electric offense, Lorenzo sees this game as a shootout. In week 3, the Rams beat the Bucs and 58 points were scored. Although Lorenzo likes the Bucs in this matchup, he is locking in the OVER in total points scored.

BETFTW! On Site Wild Card Weekend

The AFC Wild Card game on Saturday, January 8th features the New England Patriots traveling to Buffalo to take on the Bills. We all remember what happened the last time these two faced off in Buffalo. New England has cooled down after their mid-season hot streak, winning only one of their last four, including a Week 18 loss to the Miami Dolphins. This season, New Englands holds a better record against the spread than the Buffalo Bills. Bills beat reporter Sal Maiorana highlights the rubber match and game three between these two teams this weekend. Weather will continue to be a factor in their matchups. This has the chance to be one of the coldest games in Bills and Patriots history, and even close to league history. Wind chills are expected to be 10 to 15 degrees below zero. So who will this favor? The Patriots took advantage of the wind in their first matchup against Buffalo and pulled off the win. Then Buffalo's offense took control and came out with a win in Foxboro. If the wind is manageable, Maiorana expects a great game for Josh Allen. Josh Allen is the X-factor. The last time these two teams faced, Allen lit up the Patriots for three touchdowns and over 300 yards. If the Bills can contain the running game and make Mac Jones be a true quarterback, Maiorana thinks Buffalo can handle their business and move on to the divisional round.

By Danny Scaramella - Tipico

Lorenzo's Locks: Wild Card Weekend

The Playoffs are here and Lorenzo isn't taking any chances against Tom Brady. The Bucs continue to have one of the top scoring offenses in the NFL, with Tom Brady locked in. The Eagles have also been hot as of late, closing out the season winning six of their final eight games, but the competition they played was incredibly weak. Some of their wins came against the Jets, Giants, and two against Washington. The Eagles secondary is also weak and Tom Brady will look to expose their defense. Since Brady joined Tampa Bay, the Bucs are 9-5 against the spread at home. Lorenzo likes the Bucs winning and covering the spread. The hottest team in the NFC down the stretch, may have been the 49ers. In their final 11 games, San Francisco went post an 8-3 record in wins and against the spread. Although Dallas likes to establish the run early, the 49ers are built to stop the run. Their pass-rush generated 24 sacks in the last six games of the season and will look to pressure Dak Prescott early. If the 49ers can avoid turnovers, Lorenzo sees them covering the spread and upsetting the Cowboys in Dallas. Finally, a divisional matchup to play each other for the third time this season. The Rams face the Cardinals with two electric offenses taking the field. The Rams have showed inconsistencies with their superstar lineup and haven't lived up to their expectations. The Cardinals are great on the road as underdogs and Lorenzo sees this game coming down to the wire and decided by less than a field goal. He predicts the Rams to win, but the Cardinals to cover.

By Danny Scaramella - Tipico


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