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NFC and AFC Championship football betting breakdown


The Falcons are 5-point home favorites against the Packers in the NFC title game

NFC and AFC Championship football betting breakdown | News Article by

A ticket to Houston and a date in Super Bowl LI is on the line when the NFC and AFC crown their champions Sunday. The Green Bay Packers visit the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game before the New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship. 


Here’s a quick betting breakdown of these monster NFL betting playoff matchups the week before you make your super bowl bets


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

The Falcons are 5-point home favorites against the Packers in the NFC title game but the number grabbing all the attention in this meeting is the sky-high total. This Over/Under opened as low as 59.5 and immediately jumped to its current spot at 60.5 points. This is a huge number for a playoff game and is perhaps the largest playoff total in football betting history.


And it’s not like Atlanta (+250 to win Super Bowl) and Green Bay (+400) can’t easily blow this total out of the water. The Falcons finished the regular season 14-2 Over/Under while the Packers finished 10-6 O/U and have topped the number in each of their last four games. These two teams effortlessly played Over a 51-point total in Week 8, when Atlanta edged Green Bay 33-32 in the Georgia Dome. 


With that big Over/Under on the board, oddsmakers are expecting plenty of fireworks. The Falcons snuffed out any doubts that they may not be ready for postseason football with a decisive 36-20 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, the gatekeepers of the conference, in the Divisional Round. That effort, and the fact the Packers looked rattled in the second half versus Dallas last Sunday, has books and bettors convinced that Atlanta can cool off a red-hot Aaron Rodgers.


Rodgers, who saved the Cheeseheads from a collapse against the Cowboys with some last-second dramatics, will likely be without top target Jordy Nelson (ribs) and could also miss WR Devante Adams (ankle) Sunday. On the other side of the field, Falcons star receiver Julio Jones is nursing a lingering toe injury and will be limited in practice this week but is expected to play.


Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-6, 60.5) 

As if there wasn’t enough bad blood between these perennial AFC powerhouses, Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown had to livestream head coach Mike Tomlin blasting the Patriots after the Steelers’ hard-fought 18-16 victory at Kansas City in the Divisional Round.


It’s never a good idea to give Bill Belichick any bulletin board material, especially when you toss the pointspread into the mix. New England, a 6-point home favorite in the AFC title game, finished the regular season 13-3 ATS and has covered in six straight games going back to early December. One of those many ATS paydays came in a 27-16 win as a 7-point favorite at Pittsburgh in Week 7, however, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was inactive for that game and replaced by backup Landry Jones. 


The Patriots (+125 to win Super Bowl) have dominated recent meetings with the Steelers (+450), winning three straight and seven of their last 10 encounters going back to 2004. New England is 6-4 ATS in that span. It should be noted though, the underdog is also 6-4 ATS in those games which could give life to Pittsburgh backers. The Steelers have been against-the-spread gold recently, posting a 7-1-1 ATS record in their last nine contests. 


The total for the AFC Championship is at 50 points, which looks to be a very solid number. There’s no shortage of playmakers on either side, with Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell headlining Pittsburgh’s offensive attack and Tom Brady able to make any player a threat – just look at Dion Lewis and Chris Hogan last week.


It could very much become a game of keep-away, with each side looking to control tempo and clock with the rushing attack. Both teams avoided any all-out shootout games this season, so don’t expect that in the postseason with a Super Bowl appearance on the line.


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