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    Default NFL Trends and Indexes - Conference Championships ( Sunday, January 22)






    NFL Trends and Indexes

    Sunday, January 22

    Additional trends and information will be added as available.

    NOTE:
    As information becomes available, we will attempt to post the trends and indexes as soon as possible.
    Information is posted from what we believe are reliable sources.
    Any opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the posting member or BettorsChat.


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    Conference Championship odds hit the board with a flurry of action

    “It’s an odd opener, and some of the oddsmaking team wanted to be higher with the Pats because of the unparalleled perception of this squad currently."

    We’re heading into conference championship week in the NFL playoffs, with one No. 1 seed intact and the other No. 1 already undone. We talk about the opening lines for next weekend’s matchups with Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports at the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, and Scott Cooley, odds consultant for offshore sportsbook Bookmaker.eu.

    Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-4)

    Green Bay sent the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys home from the playoffs in a hurry, though in a thrilling game. The Packers (12-6 SU, 11-6-1 ATS) got out to a 21-3 lead, then squeaked out of Big D with a 34-31 victory as a 5.5-point underdog. Aaron Rodgers led two late field-goal drives, sandwiched around a Cowboys field goal that tied the game at 31 with 35 seconds left.

    That was just enough time for Rodgers to work his magic, and Mason Crosby hit a 51-yarder as time expired to send the Pack to the NFC Championship Game. Fourth-seeded Green Bay will ride an eight-game SU win streak – and 7-1 ATS – into Atlanta.

    The second-seeded Falcons (12-5 SU, 11-6 ATS) had no trouble dispatching No. 3 seed Seattle on Saturday night, coasting 36-20 as a 6.5-point home favorite. Matt Ryan and Co. have won five in a row (4-1 ATS) and six of their last seven.

    “A lot of people think the line on the Atlanta game is too high,” Kornegay said, though he noted there was an early burst and then a drawdown with the line. “We opened -4, and the market moved to -5.5, then back to -4.”

    Bookmaker.eu opened the Falcons -6, but that didn’t last long.

    “Initial sharp action has come on the Packers and the over, moving the line to Atlanta -4.5 and 60.5,” Cooley said. It later ticked down to Falcons -4.

    The total is perhaps as interesting as the spread. Bookmaker opened at 59.5 and, as Cooley noted, bumped up to 60.5 on sharp money.

    “The over/under is the highest ever for a conference championship or Super Bowl,” Cooley said. “The New England at Denver total during the 2013-14 playoffs closed at 57. In Week 13 of the 2014-15 regular season, Bookmaker.eu posted a 61-point total in a game between the Packers and Patriots.”

    The Superbook’s opener of 60 on the total prompted Kornegay to say, “I can’t remember a higher total.”

    These two teams met in the regular season, on Oct. 30, when Atlanta eked out a 33-32 home win laying 3 points. Sunday’s NFC title tilt kicks off at 3:05 p.m. Eastern.

    Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-4.5)

    Pittsburgh is as hot as any of the remaining playoff teams, having peeled off nine consecutive victories while going 7-1-1 ATS. In Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff at No. 2 seed Kansas City, the third-seeded Steelers couldn’t score a single touchdown, but six field goals proved just enough in an 18-16 victory as a 2.5-point underdog. Mike Tomlin’s troops improved to 13-5 SU, 11-6-1 ATS.

    New England (15-2 SU, 14-3 ATS) led just 17-13 at halftime of Saturday’s divisional contest against Houston, and Tom Brady threw an uncharacteristic two interceptions, one in each half. But the top-seeded Patriots ended up rolling to a 34-16 win as a 16-point home fave. Bill Belichick’s squad is on an 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS run as it prepares to host the AFC final, at 6:40 p.m. Eastern Sunday.

    “The New England line was easy to make, and we almost had a consensus at -4.5,” Kornegay said, while adding that number got bet through 5 and up to 5.5 shortly after the Superbook posted the line late Sunday night. “But those are dead numbers to go through. The market moved up, but we expect it to come back, just like the Falcons line.”

    Bookmaker.eu opened New England at -5.5, and Cooley said early action took the number to 6 in short order.

    “Two teams the public loves to bet on, so it will be interesting to see how this line is shaped,” Cooley said. “It’s an odd opener, and some of the oddsmaking team wanted to be higher with the Pats because of the unparalleled perception of this squad currently. They look invincible, and the bettors can’t get enough of them.”

    Had Kansas City advanced to face New England, Kornegay said it would have been tough to draw two-way action.

    “We can expect the public to lean on Green Bay and maybe split on the AFC Championship Game. That will help us,” Kornegay said. “If Kansas City would have won, it would have been all New England money.”




    NFC Championship Game features highest playoff betting total on record

    The Packers and Falcons met at the Georgia Dome in Week 8 and combined for 65 points in a 33-32 victory by Atlanta.

    Sunday's NFC Championship Game will feature two of the hottest offensive units in all of football, the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons. It's been said that defense wins championships - but these two teams beg to differ.

    As soon as the possibility presented itself, sports bettors had no choice but to daydream about the possibility of hitting an easy Over with Aaron Rodgers going toe-to-toe with Matt Ryan with a trip to Super Bowl 51 on the line. Well, as it turns out, the oddsmakers had similar dreams.

    While Rodgers was slinging bullets down the sidelines to tiptoeing tight ends and Mason Crosby was knuckling 50+ yard field goals to beat the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, oddsmakers were scrambling to get odds on the board for the showdown at the Georgia Dome - and they certainly did not disappoint.

    As expected, the Falcons opened as 4 to 4.5-point favorites, but the real highlight came with the release of the total. A staggering 60 was the first Over/Under figure to hit the board in Las Vegas.

    “I can’t remember a higher total,” said Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports at the Westgate LV Superbook.

    As the dust settled on an exciting evening of playoff football, and most of us nestled into bed for the night, Over bettors decided this was their time to strike. And by Monday morning, the lofty total of 60 was bet up a full point to it's current number of 61.

    Mr. Kornegay, from the Superbook, may not remember a higher NFL total - but our stats database never forgets. While we still have many days before we get a closing number for the NFC Championship Game, the current number of 61 would be the second highest betting total ever recorded in our records (complete data back to 1985).

    The highest total was a Week 9 game between the St. Louis Rams and the San Francisco 49ers back in the 2000-2001 season that was pegged with a 61.5. On that afternoon at 3Com Park in San Francisco, "The Greatest Show on Turf" defeated the Niners, 34-24, failing to cash for Over bettors.

    When narrowing the search to include only NFL playoff games we discover the highest betting total on record was a 59.5 between the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints during Wild-Card Week back in the 2011-12 season. The two teams combined for 73 points in a 45-28 victory by the Saints and cashed Over tickets with a furious 28-point fourth quarter.

    It's difficult to predict where the number for the Packers and the Falcons will end up by Sunday afternoon. We can be pretty confident that it will end up as the highest total in NFL playoff history and, if Over bettors hit it hard enough, it could get a bump and end up as the highest Over/Under figure we've ever seen for an NFL game.
    Last edited by Udog; 01-16-2017 at 11:22 AM.

  3. #3
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    NFL
    Long Sheet

    Conference Championships


    Sunday, January 22

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    GREEN BAY (12 - 6) at ATLANTA (12 - 5) - 1/22/2017, 3:05 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    GREEN BAY is 23-13 ATS (+8.7 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
    GREEN BAY is 23-13 ATS (+8.7 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
    GREEN BAY is 19-9 ATS (+9.1 Units) against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
    GREEN BAY is 94-65 ATS (+22.5 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
    GREEN BAY is 71-41 ATS (+25.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.
    ATLANTA is 13-28 ATS (-17.8 Units) in home games after 2 or more consecutive wins since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    ATLANTA is 1-1 against the spread versus GREEN BAY over the last 3 seasons
    ATLANTA is 1-1 straight up against GREEN BAY over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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    PITTSBURGH (13 - 5) at NEW ENGLAND (15 - 2) - 1/22/2017, 6:40 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    NEW ENGLAND is 14-3 ATS (+10.7 Units) in all games this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 14-3 ATS (+10.7 Units) in all lined games this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 13-3 ATS (+9.7 Units) as a favorite this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 12-3 ATS (+8.7 Units) in home lined games over the last 2 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) in a home game where the total is greater than or equal to 49.5 since 1992.
    NEW ENGLAND is 11-2 ATS (+8.8 Units) against conference opponents this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 16-7 ATS (+8.3 Units) in games played on turf over the last 2 seasons.
    NEW ENGLAND is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) after 2 or more consecutive wins this season.
    NEW ENGLAND is 114-81 ATS (+24.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
    NEW ENGLAND is 80-53 ATS (+21.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    NEW ENGLAND is 1-0 against the spread versus PITTSBURGH over the last 3 seasons
    NEW ENGLAND is 2-0 straight up against PITTSBURGH over the last 3 seasons
    2 of 2 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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    NFL

    Conference Championships


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    Trend Report
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    3:05 PM
    GREEN BAY vs. ATLANTA
    The total has gone OVER in 8 of Green Bay's last 12 games when playing Atlanta
    Green Bay is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Atlanta
    Atlanta is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Green Bay
    Atlanta is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Green Bay

    6:40 PM
    PITTSBURGH vs. NEW ENGLAND
    Pittsburgh is 1-3-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against New England
    Pittsburgh is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against New England
    The total has gone OVER in 8 of New England's last 12 games when playing Pittsburgh
    New England is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Pittsburgh


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    NFL
    Short Sheet

    Conference Championships


    Sun – Jan. 22

    Green Bay at Atlanta, 3:05 PM ET

    Green Bay: 12-2 ATS off an extremely close road win by 3 points or less
    Atlanta: 10-0 OVER as a favorite

    Pittsburgh at New England, 6:40 PM ET
    Pittsburgh: 6-0 UNDER in road games off a road win
    New England: 12-3 ATS in home lined games




    NFL
    Dunkel

    Conference Championships


    Sunday, January 22


    Pittsburgh @ New England

    Game 313-314
    January 22, 2017 @ 6:40 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Pittsburgh
    143.286
    New England
    143.672
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Pittsburgh
    Even
    44
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    New England
    by 5 1/2
    51
    Dunkel Pick:
    Pittsburgh
    (+5 1/2); Under

    Green Bay @ Atlanta


    Game 311-312
    January 22, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Green Bay
    143.587
    Atlanta
    141.353
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Green Bay
    by 2
    55
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Atlanta
    by 4 1/2
    61
    Dunkel Pick:
    Green Bay
    (+4 1/2); Under

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    NFL's biggest betting mismatches: Conference Championship edition

    The Falcons humbled just about every defense that came into the Georgia Dome during the regular season, and did the same against the Seattle Seahawks in their divisional round tilt.

    Here are the biggest betting mismatches for the NFL Conference Championship Games:

    Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-5, 61)

    Packers' red-zone dominance vs. Falcons' shoddy TD prevention

    Oddsmakers know an offensive maelstrom when they see it - and this weekend's NFC Championship Game between the Packers and the Falcons has all the makings of a touchdown-laden classic, with a total sitting in the low-60s as of Wednesday. Both teams have rolled through the last two months of the season largely on the strength of their impressive offensive attacks - and as you'll read below, both will look to exploit significant mismatches in hopes of reaching the Super Bowl in Houston on Feb. 5.

    The Packers have done a lot of things right in their incredible run to the conference championship, but their red-zone performance has been among the most impressive. The Aaron Rodgers-led offense has converted a whopping 90.9 percent of its red-zone visits into touchdowns over the past three games, moving the team above 63 percent for the season - a top-10 showing league-wide. The Packers' 63.9% road conversion rate ranks sixth in the NFL.

    The Falcons are deserving opponents, but they didn't get here because of their elite red-zone defense. Atlanta has allowed foes to convert red-zone trips into six points more than 70 percent of the time so far this season; only the playoff-averse Los Angeles Rams performed worse. And Atlanta's 71.0-percent rate at the Georgia Dome is the worst in the league - yes, even worse than the aforementioned Rams. If Green Bay gets into the red zone at will, it could be a long day for the Atlanta defense.

    Atlanta's elite home pass attack vs. Green Bay's porous road D

    On the flip side, the Falcons humbled just about every defense that came into the Georgia Dome during the regular season, and did the same against the Seattle Seahawks in their divisional round tilt. Matt Ryan has surged his way into MVP talks with a sensational 2016 campaign that has seen Atlanta average better than 35 points per game in its own stadium - and that could spell serious trouble for a Green Bay defense that couldn't do much of anything on the road.

    The Falcons led the NFL in home scoring by better than four points over the runner-up New Orleans Saints, and that's mostly thanks to Ryan. The veteran signal caller helped Atlanta post an absurd 120.0 team passer rating at home; no other team finished higher than 109.8. And Ryan has saved his best for late in the season, posting a 130.5 rating over his last three games. It's a stunning turnaround from last season, when the Falcons' passer rating was a dismal 87.8.

    Atlanta's conference championship matchup couldn't have been better from a pass defense perspective. Green Bay allowed a higher passer rating on the road (108.8) than any team in football, a major reason why the team finished 25th overall in passer rating against (94.8). Dak Prescott's 103.2 rating in last week's divisional round game will do little to quell concerns among Packers fans that this team isn't equipped to slow Ryan down - especially in familiar surroundings.

    Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-5.5, 50.5)

    Steelers' third-down D trouble vs. Pats' clutch offense

    The AFC Championship features two quarterbacks who are rather comfortable in the spotlight: New England Patriots legend Tom Brady will be seeking his seventh trip to the Super Bowl, while Pittsburgh veteran Ben Roethlisberger is looking to reach his fourth career title game. But for Big Ben and the Steelers to get to the big game, they'll need to overcome a pair of mismatches that has the Patriots in the driver's seat according to oddsmakers.

    It starts with third-down defense, where Pittsburgh has struggled for most of the season. The Steelers have allowed teams to extend drives on third down more than 40 percent of the time, ranking them 23rd in the league; that rate jumps to 42.1 percent over Pittsburgh's last three games - and while the Steelers did well to contain Kansas City's third-down efforts last week (2-for-9), the Chiefs aren't exactly an offensive power, having converted just 37.4 percent of third downs on the year.

    Things are about to get a whole lot tougher for Pittsburgh in that regard. Brady and the Patriots rank fourth in the NFL in third-down conversion rate (45.2 percent), a significant improvement over 2015 (39.7). And to no one's surprise, New England has been even more proficient down the stretch, converting third downs at a 52.3-percent clip over its last three games. If the Steelers don't find a way to force punts, they'll be watching the Super Bowl from the couch.

    Pittsburgh's penalty problems vs. New England's elite discipline

    There's little doubt that the Steelers have the offensive components to keep up with the Patriots on the scoreboard, even at hostile Gillette Stadium. But Pittsburgh will need to find a way to remain composed even if things aren't going its way; not only do the Steelers rank as one of the most penalized teams in the league this season, they're matched up against a New England team that showed impressive discipline en route to another sensational campaign.

    The Steelers come into this one having racked up the sixth-most accepted penalties in the league (122), resulting in the fourth-most accepted penalty yards (1,181). They reached double-digit infractions three times during the regular season, including their previous meeting with the Patriots, when they were flagged 10 times for 85 yards. Even more discouraging: a season-high seven of those penalties came on the offensive end, resulting in 55 total yards lost.

    By comparison, the Patriots have had just 98 accepted flags against in 2016; only four teams had fewer, and three of those teams have played one fewer game than New England. The Patriots' 869 accepted penalty yards is also bottom-10 in the league, and more than 300 fewer than their conference championship opponent. New England had just four penalties for 40 yards in the regular-season win over Pittsburgh - and if the gap is just as big this weekend, the Steelers will have an even bigger hill to climb.

  6. #6
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    NFL
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Conference Championships


    Packers (12-6) @ Falcons (12-5)— Green Bay won its last eight games; they were underdogs in three of the eight games. Packers are 2-2 on artificial turf this season- all four of those games were in domes. Only way #2 seeds play conference final at home is if #1 seed loses its first playoff game; since 1997, #2 seeds playing conference final at home are 2-7, 0-3 in NFC (Steelers got both wins). Green Bay lost 33-32 at Atlanta back in Week 8, during midst of Packers’ defensive funk; TY was 367-331 Falcons in game Green Bay led 24-19 at half- it was Falcons’ first win in last five games vs Packers, who won playoff game 48-21 here in 2010. Atlanta won its last five games, scoring 38.4 pts/game. Last six Packer games went over total- over is 14-2-1 in Atlanta games this season.

    Steelers (13-5) @ Patriots (15-2)— Since 2004, #1 seeds are 5-0 in conference title games (4-1 vs spread) when facing a #3 or worse seed, who didn’t get first round bye. Home team won AFC title game nine of last ten years; Patriots are 2-3 in this game last five years- they’re 4-1 in AFC title games at home under Belichick. Steelers won their last nine games; they’re 1-1 as an underdog this year. Patriots are 7-2 at home, 7-2 as a home favorite; they’re 12-1 with Brady at QB, with only loss to the Seahawks. New England won last three series games, by 24-7-11 points; they beat Steelers 27-16 in Week 7, in game Roethlisberger sat out, making it mostly irrelevant. Pitt lost four of last five visits here, with last win in ’08. Under is 10-4 in last 14 Steeler games, 5-3 in Patriots’ last eight games.
    Last edited by Udog; 01-20-2017 at 09:34 AM.

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    Five essential betting stats for NFL Conference Championship Sunday

    This Sunday versus the Pittsburgh Steelers will be the New England Patriots' 33rd playoff game over the last 16 seasons.

    When looking for essential and historical betting stats, the first order of business is usually to identify something unique or eye-opening about each matchup. Well, there are plenty of interesting angles heading into Conference Championship Sunday, so we plugged some requests into the Betting Data and Results Supercomputer (not a real thing...it's just a database) and it returned some very juicy results.

    Over in NFL games with high betting totals

    Everyone in the betting community (public, sharps and oddsmakers) are talking about the total for the NFC Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons. Depending on your book, the current total is either 60, 60.5, or 61. Whichever current number you are dealing with it remains within the parameters as the highest playoff total on record and the second highest for any NFL game (regular season or playoffs).

    With all of that attention on the Over/Under, of course, we had to dig out some stats. The most compelling data that was spit out by the Covers Betting Data and Results Supercomputer was the fact that there have been 12 NFL games (regular season or playoffs) that closed with betting totals of 57.5 or higher and 10 of those 12 games cashed tickets on the Over.

    Over in Conference Championship games played in domes

    This stat was a little bit surprising - during the last 15 years of NFL football (since 2001-02 season) there have been only six Conference Championship games played in domed stadiums. We've had a couple of games in Indianapolis, one in Atlanta, one in Phoenix, one in New Orleans, and one in St. Louis.

    Of those six Conference Championship games played indoors over the past 15 years, there have been none that have gone Under the closing total. That's right! Over is a perfect 6-0 in those climate-controlled contests.

    Home teams cover in games with massive betting totals

    Sticking with this fascinating Over/Under number in Atlanta, big betting totals can also impact the final ATS results. When scanning the games with the loftiest Over/Under figures, another number that jumped off the page is the fact that the home team is 7-1 both straight up and against the spread in the last eight playoff games with closing totals of 55 or higher.

    The reasoning could be that higher scoring games create a more frenzied playing environment in the stadium which definitely favors the home team. Whatever the reason - visiting teams definitely hate having to deal with those hostile environments on the road in the playoffs.

    Over in Patriots playoff home games

    Switching gears to the AFC Championship Game, we are all well aware that the New England Patriots have been in this position quite often. In fact, this Sunday versus the Pittsburgh Steelers will be the Patriots' 33rd playoff game over the last 16 seasons. That's insane!

    When you narrow those 33 games down to playoff games played at Gillette Stadium you see a definite trend when it relates to the total. Since the Tom Brady knee injury in 2008-09 the Pats have played 11 playoff home games - Over has cashed in nine. Within that 9-2 Over run it's also worth noting that Over has cashed in the last five.

    Brady versus Big Ben = Patriots win (especially at home)

    "Tom Terrific" Brady versus "Big Ben" Roethlisberger. It's the quarterback matchup most people wanted to see in the AFC title game (unless you're a Raiders, Texans, Dolphins, or Chiefs fan). The Steelers and Patriots have met quite a few times since Brady stole Drew Bledsoe's job back in 2001 (11 times to be exact, including AFC Championship games in 2001-02 and 2004-05) so we asked the Supercomputer to grab us those 11 games. But what about the Matt Cassel, Kordell Stewart, and Landry Jones games? Yeah, get those out of there!

    What we are left with are eight legitimate "Brady vs. Ben" bouts. The Patriots are 6-2 in those games and covered the spread five times to post a 5-3 ATS mark. What is worth mentioning is the fact that Roethlisberger has never beaten a Brady-led Patriots squad in Foxboro. The "TB12"-led Pats are 3-0 all-time at home versus "Big Ben" and the Steelers, posting a 2-1 ATS record in the process.

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    NFL

    Conference Championships


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    NFC Conference Championship betting preview: Packers at Falcons
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Falcons and the Packers meet with highest total on record at 60.5. The Falcons have gone Over in all nine home games this season.

    Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-5, 60.5)

    Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan are enjoying the rides of their lives, although one quarterback's impressive run will come to an unceremonious end at the other's expense. Rodgers has made good on his confident promise to run the table - and then some - as he powers the Green Bay Packers into Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the host Atlanta Falcons.

    "I think he's played incredible," Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters of Rodgers, who has posted a 117.9 passer rating with 21 touchdowns and one interception during his eight-game winning streak. "Is he playing the best he ever has? He's played at this level so often, but I think this is probably one of his best runs." The 31-year-old Ryan (franchise-record 4,944 yards) hasn't been too shabby in his own right, throwing 14 scoring passes without an interception during Atlanta's five-game winning streak while his 117.1 passer rating this season was tops in the league and his 38 TDs trailed only Rodgers (40). Ryan's Falcons got the better of Rodgers' Packers in the first meeting of the season on Oct. 30, with Mohamed Sanu reeling in the quarterback's third touchdown pass with 31 seconds remaining in a 33-32 victory.

    TV:
    3:05 p.m. ET, FOX.

    POWER RANKINGS:
    Packers (-4) - Falcons (-4.5) + home field (-3) = Falcons -3.5

    LINE HISTORY:
    The Falcons opened as 4.5-home favorites and quickly dropped to 4 before returning to the original number and by mid-week was bet up to 5, where that number has held. The total hit the board at 61 and faded a full point to 60 Monday. View the complete line history here.

    WHAT SHARPS SAY:
    "This is currently the second highest total in NFL history and the highest total ever for a NFL playoff game. When these teams played earlier this season, the line was nearly ten points lower (O/U 51) and it easily soared Over that total with 65 combined points, including 43 points in the first half. Both teams played a very clean game with no turnovers."

    WHAT BOOKS SAY:
    “Somewhat of a roller coaster ride of action for this matchup. We opened Atlanta -6 and within the first half hour had taken so many sharp bets on Green Bay that we dropped it to -4. It sat there for a day or so and then began creeping back up. We're back to the opener because during the last 48 hours we've seen an abundance of smart money on the Falcons, much like we did last week when they played Seattle. Spread handle is pretty even, but regarding the total, we have a ton of liability on the over.”

    WEATHER REPORT:
    Dome

    INJURY REPORT:


    Green Bay - WR Geronimo Allison (probable, hamstring), K Mason Crosby (probable, illness), WR Jeff Janis (probable, quadricep), LB Clay Matthews (probable, shoulder), WR Davante Adams (questionable, ankle), G T.J. Lang (questionable, foot), C JC Tretter (questionable, knee), RB James Starks (questionable, concussion), LB Jayrone Elliott (questionable, hand), CB Quinten Rollins (questionable, concussion), S Morgan Burnett (questionable, quadricep), WR Jordy Nelson (doubtful, ribs)

    Atlanta - WR Taylor Gabriel (probable, foot), WR Julio Jones (probable, toe), DT Jonathan Babineaux (questionable, shoulder), S Keanu Neal (questionable, foot), De Adrian Clayborn (IR, bicep)

    ABOUT THE PACKERS (12-6 SU, 11-6-1 ATS, 12-6 O/U):
    While Rodgers has been blistering hot, the two-time NFL MVP will need some wide receivers to reel in his passes as Jordy Nelson (ribs), Davante Adams (ankle) and undrafted rookie Geronimo Allison (hamstring) all are nursing injures. Nelson (NFL-best 14 receiving touchdowns) sat out Sunday's 34-31 victory over Dallas and is dealing with a combination of pain tolerance and medical clearance in his decision to play versus Atlanta. While Adams (career-best 76 catches, 997 yards and 12 TDs) won't practice before Sunday's pregame workout, Randall Cobb has gotten healthy with five touchdowns in his last five playoff games. "In the regular-season ... mindset, none of them would play," McCarthy said Thursday. "But obviously, this is a different time. This is a different point where we are in the season. Everybody understands where we are here."


    ABOUT THE FALCONS (12-5 SU, 11-6-1 ATS, 14-2-1 O/U):
    All-Pro wideout Julio Jones insists he expects to play in the NFC title game despite sitting out his second straight practice on Thursday. "I got a little snag," said Jones (NFL second-best 1,409 receiving yards), referring to aggravating a toe injury in Saturday's 36-20 victory over Seattle that has plagued him since Week 13. "And I was like, 'Well, let's go check it out.' It's fine. I'll be ready to go." Sanu had nine receptions for 84 yards to go along with his touchdown in the earlier contest versus the Packers while fellow wideout Taylor Gabriel also found the end zone in that tilt and has five TDs in his last seven games overall.

    TRENDS:


    * Packers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 playoff games.
    * Packers are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
    * Falcons are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 playoff games.
    * Over is 6-0 in Packers last 6 games overall.
    * Over is 9-0 in Falcons last 9 home games.
    * Over is 11-0 in Falcons last 11 games on fieldturf.
    * Underdog is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.

    CONSENSUS:
    The road underdog Green Bay Packers are picking up 65 percent of the point spread action and Over is grabbing 61 percent of the totals wagers.


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  9. #9
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    NFL

    Conference Championships


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    AFC Conference Championship betting preview: Steelers at Patriots
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    The Steelers have won nine in a row (7-1-1 ATS) heading into the AFC Championship. Will the Patriots defense bring Le'Veon Bell and the Steelers offense to a halt?

    Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-6, 50.5)

    The Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots are in familiar territory as they prepare to clash in Sunday night's AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Both franchises are used to playing with the stakes so high -- the winner of the matchup will establish an NFL record by becoming the first team to advance to the Super Bowl for the ninth time.

    Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has a pair of Super Bowl rings but knows the challenge presented by the Patriots, who beat Pittsburgh in the AFC title game after both the 2001 and 2004 regular seasons on their way to championships. "You are going up to the lion's den, the dragon's lair," Roethlisberger told reporters. "They are the dragon. We are trying to slay them. It doesn't matter who it is, but they are the gold standard." New England, the first team since the 1970 merger to advance to six consecutive conference championship games, won at Pittsburgh 27-16 in Week 7 - a game Roethlisberger missed due to injury. "I think the game earlier in the season is not really that relevant," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick, instead pointing to the Steelers' nine-game winning streak. "What the Steelers have done in the last 2 1/2 months is really what we're probably going to see Sunday night, and that's what we've got to be ready for."

    TV:
    6:40 p.m. ET, CBS.

    POWER RANKINGS:
    Steelers (-5) - Patriots (-7) + home field (-3) = Patriots -5

    LINE HISTORY:
    The Patriots opened as 5.5-point home favorites and that line was bet up to 6 within the first hour and briefly faded back to the opening number before returning to 6. The total hit the board at 51 and was bet up to 51.5 before fading to 50.5 by the end of the week. View the complete line history here.

    WHAT SHARPS SAY:
    "The AFC title game features the Killer B’s at their best - Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Big Ben, Antonio Brown, LeVeon Bell… and Chris Boswell. Pats will rely on the fact that home teams in the playoffs that lost in a conference championship game the previous year are 38-4 SU and 30-11-1 ATS. The Steeler will bank on a 7-1-1 ATS mark as playoff road dogs, and a perfect 2-0 SUATS record in title game under Mike Tomlin. All killer stats, to say the least."

    WHAT BOOKS SAY:
    "We opened the Patriots as 6 point favourites at home to the Steelers and took enough action on the Steelers to adjust the juice on the Patriots -6 (from -115 to even). we did eventually dip down to Patriots -5.5 with some sharp action coming in on the Steelers. We have since moved bak up to our opening number of Patriots -6(-110) with just over 55% of the action coming in on the Patriots."

    WEATHER REPORT:
    It should be a typical January night for football at Gillete Stadium on Sunday night. Conditions are expected to be overcast with temperatures in the high-30’s at kick off and north northeast winds at 5-10 mph.

    INJURY REPORT:


    Pittsburgh - LB Vince Williams (probable, shoulder), LB James Harrison (probable, shoulder), K Chris Boswell (questionable, illness), S Sean Davis (questionable, shoulder), C B.J. Finney (questionable, illness), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (questionable, illness), QB Zach Mettenberger (questionable, illness), DE Ricardo Mathews (questionable, ankle), LB Anthony Chickillo (questionable, ankle), RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (questionable, concussion), TE Ladarius Green (doubtful, concussion)

    New England - DL Jabaal Sheard (probable, knee), WR Danny Amendola (probable, ankle), TE Martellus Bennett (probable, knee), WR Chris Hogan (probable, thigh), RB Brandon Bolden (questionable, knee), LB Dont’a Hightower (questionable, knee), QB Jacoby Brissett (questionable, thumb), CB Cyrus Jones (questionable, knee), WR Malcolm Mitchell (questionable, knee)

    ABOUT THE STEELERS (13-5 SU, 11-6-1 ATS, 6-12 O/U):
    Roethlisberger has one of the league's top receivers at his disposal, but Pittsburgh is centering its offense around running back Le'Veon Bell, who has set franchise playoff records in back-to-back games by rushing for 167 yards against Miami and 170 at Kansas City. Bell has rushed for at least 118 yards in seven of his last eight contests but was limited to 81 on 21 carries by New England while making 10 catches for 68 yards. Antonio Brown has racked up 481 receptions over the last four seasons, including seven for 106 yards in Week7, while going over 100 yards in both postseason wins. The defense has shown the most improvement for the Steelers, who have permitted an average of 16.6 points and registered 31 sacks during their winning streak.

    ABOUT THE PATRIOTS (15-2 SU, 14-3 ATS, 7-10 O/U):
    After throwing for 28 touchdowns against only two interceptions, Tom Brady matched the latter total by getting picked off twice during a pedestrian performance in last week's 34-16 victory over Houston. Brady, though, routinely has carved up Pittsburgh's defense, throwing for 19 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the last six matchups, and for his career has 26 scoring passes versus three picks while posting a 9-2 record against the Steelers. Running back LeGarrette Blount rushed for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Week 7 meeting, but Dion Lewis did the bulk of the damage against Houston with three TDs - including one on a 98-yard kickoff return. The Patriots' defense led the league by surrendering 15.6 points during the regular season.

    TRENDS:


    * Steelers are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
    * Patriots are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. AFC.
    * Patriots are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Conference Championships games.
    * Over is 6-0 in Steelers last 6 Conference Championships games.
    * Under is 5-1 in Patriots last 6 Conference Championships games.

    CONSENSUS:
    The road underdog Pittsburgh Steelers are getting 55 percent of the action from users and the over is picking up 52 percent of the totals wagers.


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  10. #10
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    Insights from oddsmakers on the opening betting numbers for Super Bowl 51

    “Before the New England game started, I would have said I think the public would be all over Atlanta no matter what the number is, but New England looked so good."

    Super Bowl 51 will feature a franchise with boatloads of Super Bowl experience against one making just its second appearance in the big game – and first in nearly two decades. But the bettors are here, every year.

    But the Super Bowl draws in far more than just the serious, professional bettors, and more than the regular folks who just like to have a little action each week. Indeed, the football fiesta attracts many first-time bettors, a pattern sure to repeat itself in this contest.

    So we will keep all three of those types of bettors in mind as it delves into the opening pointspread and point total, and where bettors are already putting their money on the Feb. 5 showdown in Houston.

    Following is a look at the matchup, along with expert insights from Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports for the renowned Westgate Las Vegas Superbook; Scott Kaminsky, director of sports for offshore sportsbook TheGreek.com; and Scott Cooley, odds consultant for Bookmaker.eu, also an offshore site.

    Super Bowl 51

    New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons (+3)


    New England is no stranger to these parts, heading to its seventh Super Bowl since the 2001 season and ninth appearance overall, with four victories to its credit. Tom Brady and Co. plowed past Pittsburgh 36-17 on Sunday night, easily covering the pointspread as a 5.5-point home favorite in the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots are now 16-2 straight up this year and 15-3 against the pointspread, leading the NFL in both categories.

    Atlanta is in the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1998-99 season, when it lost to Denver 34-19 as a 7.5-point underdog in the title game. The Falcons advanced by hammering Green Bay 44-21 in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game as a 6.5-point home favorite.

    Matt Ryan and Co. are now 13-5 straight up this year and 12-6 against the spread, winning their last six games in a row on the scoreboard, while going 5-1 against those Vegas oddsmakers. But counterpart Brady and the Pats have won nine in a row and gone 8-1 against the pointspread in that stretch.

    “No surprises here,” Kornegay said. “After Atlanta’s impressive wood-shedding of the Packers, we were thinking of New England -2.5. But New England looks just as impressive, so -3 it is.”

    For those new to the betting game, that means New England is a 3-point favorite, meaning that to win a pointspread bet on the Patriots, they must win by more than 3 points. Conversely, Atlanta is +3, or a 3-point underdog, meaning to win a pointspread bet on the Falcons, they must lose by less than 3 points, or of course win outright. On a standard bet for either team, for each $1.10 wagered, the bettor would win $1 – or, to extrapolate that out, an $11 winning bet would be worth $10, for a total payout of $21 (the original $11 bet, plus $10 in winnings).

    And if the pointspread just isn’t your thing, you can also simply bet that a team will win the game outright, which is termed a moneyline bet and has its own “price” – how much you need to bet to collect $1 or $10 or $100, etc. For New England, as the favorite, the price is -160 at the Superbook, meaning it takes a $16 bet to win $10. Since Atlanta is the underdog, the price is a more enticing +140, meaning a $10 winning wager nets an additional $14.

    Bettors can also wager on the total, which is the number of combined points of the Super Bowl participants. Kornegay opened the Superbook’s total at 58, a record high for the Super Bowl. Less than an hour after Kornegay posted his pointspread, total and moneyline numbers, bettors were already making their opinions known.

    “In the real early going, the first 40 minutes, 70 percent of (pointspread) bets were on New England,” Kornegay said, while noting bettors were also picking the total to go over 58 – so much so that the Superbook quickly moved that number to 59. “It’s a little nerve-wracking, knowing there’s been a lot of scoring in these playoff games.”

    The past two weekends – in four divisional-round games and Sunday’s two conference championships – the over has gone 5-1.

    Jumping to the offshore betting market, TheGreek.com also opened the Patriots as a 3-point favorite.

    “We figure let’s just open 3 and let the smart guys tell us if it’s too low or too high,” Kaminsky said. “Before the New England game started, I would have said I think the public would be all over Atlanta, no matter what the number is. But New England looked so good, I am not sure who the public will bet. But I know they will play the over for sure.”

    Kaminsky was prepared for that after posting an opening total of 57.

    “The total might be a little light, so I will move the total up quickly if someone so much as sneezes,” said Kaminsky, who indeed adjusted upward to 58 later Sunday night.

    Bookmaker.eu also opened the Patriots at -3 and noted this is the fifth time in the Pats’ last six Super Bowl appearances that they’ve been the favorite. The lone exception was two years ago, when New England closed as a 1-point underdog in its 28-24 victory over Seattle.

    “There was much debate among our oddsmakers when setting this line,” Cooley said. “Some were as low as Patriots -1 and some as high as -6. We settled on a key number, and we’ll see where the action takes it.”

    Atlanta features the NFL’s No. 1 offense, averaging nearly 34 points per game. However, the oddsmakers leaned toward Tom Brady and New England’s postseason experience, while also recognizing that public bettors – the average Joe and Jane who just enjoy making a wager on the game, but don’t bet for a living – have long been big backers of the Patriots.

    Kornegay certainly understands that element, but also believes the Falcons will draw plenty of action, both from the sharps – the term for professional bettors – and that broad swath of people who just don’t like New England.

    “The Patriots have the historical respect, but the Falcons have the present-day respect. And I’m talking from the sharps and the power rankings,” Kornegay said. “I also think fans have a love-hate relationship with the Patriots. A lot of people will play the Falcons because of their dislike toward the Patriots.”

    One of the most popular things about betting the Super Bowl is all the proposition bets that sportsbooks offer. You’ll see everything from who will score the first touchdown to whether there will be a safety or a 2-point conversion, and even some props that mix what happens in the Super Bowl with what’s going on in other sports that day, such as the NBA, English Premier League or the PGA Tour. Those who have no team rooting interest can find numerous other interesting wagers to place.

    The Superbook is arguably the most well-known for prop bets, and Kornegay said that the spate of high scoring in the NFL playoffs thus far will affect how his shop handles those this year.

    “We’ll definitely take that into consideration when setting the prop numbers,” he said. “People love betting for scoring and betting the ‘yes’ on props. We’re hoping the fireworks can be kept to a minimum in this game.”

    Judging from the total having already gone up a point, it’s clear that fans are hoping for more fireworks on Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium.

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