NFL 2016: What Should Bettors Know for the Conference Championship Round?
There are just three games remaining in the NFL this year (not including the Pro Bowl because nobody cares about that, right?) and all three look like they could be classics. Four teams, four great quarterbacks. It’s how it’s supposed to be.
Sunday begins at 3 PM eastern when the NFC Championship kicks off in Atlanta. In this game, we see some classic public vs. sharp betting taking place.
The Falcons opened at -4, but with Aaron Rodgers as hot as he is, the public has sided with Green Bay all week.
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) January 20, 2017
However, despite only receiving 38% of spread bets, the Falcons are receiving 46% of spread dollars, which is pretty substantial considering the large number of bets. They’ve moved from -4 to -6 at CRIS. Although the books expect the Falcons to cover, they are a bit weary of a Packers victory — which can be seen when looking at the moneyline.
All #NFL 6 point favs aren’t created equally, books protecting against Packers ML $
Falcons -6: ML -220
Pats -6: ML -265
— Todd Fuhrman (@ToddFuhrman) January 21, 2017
With these two high powered offenses playing in a dome, bookmakers are expecting a ton of points. The 60 total at Pinnacle is tied for the highest ever in our database with the Chiefs/ Raiders game on Christmas day 2004. Some books even have the total as high as 61.5, so shop around depending on which side you are looking for.
For a more in-depth look at this game’s total, check out this article.
After that game ends, the AFC Championship will follow it up at 6:40. The Patriots opened at -6 and have remained there for most of the week. They are getting about 55% of spread bets, but dollars are essentially split 50/50. As of now, it doesn’t appear that sharp bettors have taken a stance on this game. No bet signals have been triggered on either side, which is a rare occurrence.
Obviously, Tom Brady and the Pats have had great success, but he hasn’t lived up to bookmakers’ expectations in this particular game in the past decade.
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) January 18, 2017
The total in this one opened at 50.5, but has dropped to 50 despite 58% of bets on the over. One likely reason is that the wind is expected to be over 10 mph, a trend that generally favors the under.
For a more detailed look at the AFC Championship, check out the full game preview.
Julio Jones- Foot- Probable. The Falcons’ star wide receiver left last week’s game a little early with a foot injury, but it’s not going to be enough to keep him out of the NFC Championship.
Jordy Nelson- Ribs- Doubtful. Meanwhile, the Packers’ star wide receiver will likely have to miss the game with broken ribs that he suffered in the wild card weekend.
Martellus Bennett- Knee- Probable. With Rob Gronkowski out for the year, Pats’ fans all held their breath when they saw Bennett’s knee take an ugly bend during last week’s game. However, he was only sidelined for a few plays before returning and will most likely suit up for the AFC Championship.
Other Notable Injuries:
Probable: Davante Adams, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan.
Questionable: Quinten Rollins, Morgan Burnett, Christine Michael.
Doubtful/Out: James Starks, Ladarius Green.
ODDS AND ENDS
If you’re interested in a little side action, take a look at our prop bet report for this weekend.
Several books are now offering Super Bowl MVP odds.
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