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Bet The Game: Important Betting Notes for Championship Sunday

AP Photo/Tony Avelar

By Zack Schlegel

 

What to know heading into Championship Sunday:

  • The last time the AFC Championship didn’t include Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Ben Roethlisberger was in 2002 when the Raiders beat the Titans
  • There have been NINE conference championship games since 2002 that have had a spread larger than 6 points — favorites have not done well ATS against that larger number
    • Favorites are 7-2 straight up, but just 3-6 ATS
  • Since 2002, teams generating more sacks for the year compared to their opponent going into the Championship round, are 22-12 (64.7%) ATS — both home favorites hold the sack advantage this Sunday
  • Teams are 19-8 (70.4%) ATS when forcing more turnovers than their opponent did in their respective Divisional round game
    • Titans forced THREE turnovers compared to the Chiefs ONE, while the 49ers forced TWO turnovers compared to the Packers ZERO
  • SIX of the EIGHT teams that reached the Divisional round ranked top-10 in the league for yards gained on the ground per game — only the Titans (146.7) and 49ers (146.5) remain, ranking 2nd and 3rd respectively
    • Since 2002, the OVER is 10-3-1 in Conference Championship games when the favorite has the rushing edge
    • The 49ers fit the trend, averaging nearly 35 more yards on the ground than the Packers
    • The OVER has also hit in seven of the last nine games where the 49ers have been the betting favorite

 

[6] Tennessee Titans @ [2] Kansas City Chiefs | 12:05 p.m. on CBS

Opening Line: Chiefs -7.5, o/u 52

Current Line: Chiefs -7.5, o/u 53

Trends & Important Nuggets:

  • Home teams are 5-1 straight up in the last 6 AFC Championship games
  • This is the fifth time that the Titans have been underdogs of 4 or more points this season — Titans won all of the previous four games outright, including at the Chiefs early in the regular season
  • Tennessee has won the last four meetings against Kansas City head-to-head — the last three meetings have been decided by 3 points or less
    • Notable: The 2018 AFC Wild Card game where Marcus Mariota caught his own TD pass and the Titans rallied back from being down 21-6, to win 22-21
  • Derrick Henry is the first players in NFL history to record 180+ rushing yards in three consecutive games
    • His 406 scrimmage yards in those games accounted for 69% of the team’s total 585 yards — on pace to pass Eric Dickerson who accounted for 64% of the Rams offense
  • Kansas City’s defense under Steve Spagnuolo stepped up down the stretch of the regular season
    • During their final five regular season games, the defense allowed an average of 10.2 ppg and 292.2 ypg
    • Chief’s are 9-0 this season when their defense holds an opponent to 110 rushing yards or fewer, and just 4-4 when allowing 110 yards or greater — Henry ran for 188 yards in their last meeting
  • Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is still on a quest for his FIRST Super Bowl victory — he’s the winningest coach to never win a Super Bowl
  • Chiefs DT Chris Jones was held out of last game against Houston due to a calf strain he sustained during that week of practice — Jones returned to practice today (Friday the 17th), but Andy Reid mentioned he is still not yet ready
    • Jones is a HUGE piece of the Chiefs interior defense, and would be an enormous key to helping stop Derrick Henry on Sunday is he is able to suit up

 

[2] Green Bay Packers @ [1] San Francisco 49ers | 3:40 p.m. on FOX

Opening Line: 49ers -7, o/u 45

Current Line: 49ers -7.5, o/u 46.5

Trends & Important Nuggets:

  • Home teams are 5-1 straight up in the last 6 NFC Championship games
  • San Francisco has been to more NFC Championships than any other team (15) — they hold a 6-9 record all time
  • 49ers defeated the Packers in their regular season meeting by a score of 37-8 — 49ers defense records FIVE sacks and TWELVE tackles for loss (and they weren’t at full strength)
    • Green Bay had 198 yards of offense, and Rodgers was held to just 104 yards passing — this was the fewest passing yards by a QB with 20+ completions in NFL history
  • In the Divisional round, the 49ers held the Vikings to under 100 yards of offense up until the fourth quarter — the return of Dee Ford, Jaquiski Tartt, and Kwon Alexander was just as big emotionally as it was personnel-wise
  • This season, San Francisco’s defense recorded a sack in 17.3% of opponent drop-backs with Nick Bosa and Dee Ford on the field! —  just 5.7% with either or both of them off the field (league average is 6.5%)
  • Green Bay has been back to the NFC Championship twice since their Super Bowl XLV win, but lost both
    • The loss to Seattle after holding a 19-7 lead in the final minutes is particularly heartbreaking
  • Aaron Rodgers was effective against the Seahawks in the Divisional round, but it was a banged up Seahawks secondary and DeVante Adams did nearly all of the damage
    • Adams saw 11 targets for 8 receptions, 160 yards and 2 TD’s
  • This is the fourth time that Aaron Rodgers has been a underdog of 7 or more points — he’s 0-3 straight up, but 3-0 ATS
  • Jimmy Garroppolo has gotten the job done, but has also been turnover prone all season
    • Last four games: 3 TD’s, 3 INT’s, 216 ypg, 65.5% completion, sacked 11 times
    • He’s thrown 13 INT’s this season — INT rate of 2.7 which is 7th highest in the league
    • He’s also fumbled 10 times, which is 8th most among ALL players

Listen to the latest episode of the Bet The Game podcast to hear Judah and Zack breakdown both games and make their picks for Championship Sunday!

 

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