Bet The Game: Early Conference Championship Betting Notes, Trends, Storylines

By Zack Schlegel

An entertaining Divisional Round weekend concluded with the favorites covering both games on Saturday (Packers -6.5, Bills -2.5), and the underdogs sweeping the day on Sunday (Browns +10, Bucs +3). As far as the Totals, the opening game of the weekend between the Packers and Rams went Over the Total of 45, while the remaining three games each fell Under the Total.

The NFC and AFC Championship games are now set, and there are plenty of betting nuggets to get to.

Championship Sunday betting notes:

  • With the lines set at -3 and -3.5, it means that oddsmakers would set both of these games as roughly a pick-em on neutral sites 
  • Favorites tend to win conference championship games — since 2003, favorites are 24-10 (70.6%) straight up (home favorites are 21-7 (75.0%) straight up)
  • Favorites don’t always cover however… favorites are 19-15 (55.9%) ATS in that span
    • How large of a favorite a team is, has a lot to do with it — Favorites of -6.5 or less are 15-9 (62.5%) ATS, while favorites of -7 or more are 4-6 (40.0%) ATS 
  • Line movement has been profitable in conference championship games — teams that see at least a half-point of movement in their favor have gone 17-10 (63.0%) ATS 
  • Championship Sunday has been the most profitable round of the playoffs to bet OVERS — 20-11 (64.5%) since 2003 (KC/TEN and SF/GB both went OVER last season)

AFC Championship

Chiefs vs. Bills

  • The last time these two teams met in the postseason was in the 1993 AFC Championship game — Bills won 30-13 in route to their 4th consecutive Super Bowl appearance 
  • Kansas City is the first team since the 2002-2004 Philadelphia Eagles to host three straight conference championship games (Andy Reid coached both of these teams!) 

Last meeting: 26-17 Chiefs

  • Chiefs 466 total yards to Bills 206
  • Chiefs 6.4 yards per play to Bills 4.1 (both offenses had 9 total drives)
  • Chiefs 245 rushing yards to Bills 84 – KC went ground and pound for the win* 
    • Clyde Edwards-Helaire: 26 carries for 161 yards — his status for Sunday may turn out to be a key in this match-up (high ankle sprain)
  • Chiefs 38 minutes to Bills 22 minutes in T.O.P. 

Current betting lines: Chiefs -3, O/U 54

  • Chiefs have now gone nine straight games without a win of more than 6 points… they are 1-8 ATS since Week 9 
  • Bills have now won eight straight games, 7-1 ATS (seven of them by double-digits) — they own a point differential of +136 during that span

NFC Championship

Packers vs. Buccaneers 

  • Green Bay hosting the NFC Championship for the first time since 2007 (Brett Favre’s last game as a Packer)
  • Tom Brady’s 9th conference championship game appearance in the last 10 years (his 14th overall appearance in his career, an NFL-best) — Brady has more conference championship wins than any other quarterback has appearances! 

Last meeting: 38-10 Buccaneers 

  • Packers jumped out to a 10-0 lead… Bucs scored 38 unanswered 
  • Aaron Rodgers: 16/35, 160 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT (sacked four times) 
  • Bucs 21 first downs to Packers 13
  • Bucs 324 total yards to Packers 201
  • Bucs 5.1 yards per play to Packers 3.3
  • Bucs 158 rushing yards to Packers 94
  • Bucs committed ZERO penalties… Packers committed 6 penalties for 76 yards
  • Packers turned the ball over twice… Bucs didn’t commit any turnovers

Current betting lines: Packers -3.5, O/U 51

  • Packers on a 7-game win streak (winning each by an average of 14.8 points per game) — they have covered three straight games, all three games have gone OVER the total
  • Bucs games are 10-3 to the OVER this season when the total closes at under 52 points



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