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NFL Conference Championship Betting News, Match-Ups and Trends

NFL Conference ChampionshipBetting News, Match-Ups and Trends 2 months 4 days ago #498829

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions from various handicappers and websites.
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NFL Conference ChampionshipBetting News, Match-Ups and Trends 2 months 4 days ago #498830

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L.A. Rams at New Orleans (FOX, 3:05 p.m. ET)

Los Angeles Road Record: 6-2 SU, 4-4 ATS, 2-6 O/U
New Orleans Home Record: 7-2 SU, 4-5 ATS, 5-4 O/U

Line Movements: The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened New Orleans -3 (-120) with a total of 55 ½. They pushed quickly to -3 ½ (Even) while early ‘over’ money nudged the total to 57. BookMaker.eu sent out New Orleans -3 ½ with a total of 56 ½. The line has held steady but the total was pushed to 57.

Head-to-Head: The two teams met at the Superdome on Nov. 4 and New Orleans captured a 45-35 win over Los Angeles as a two-point underdog. The Saints led 35-17 at halftime but the Rams tied the game early in the fourth quarter with 18 unanswered points. New Orleans countered with a 10-0 run to win the game. Both the Saints (487) and Rams (483) racked up plenty of yards and they each committed one turnover. The difference in the game was converting on third and fourth down as New Orleans was 9-of-14 (64%) while the Rams only managed to connect on 30 percent (3-of-10) in the Week 9 matchup.

The pair also met in each of the last two regular seasons as well and the home team captured both of those contests as well. The Saints captured a 49-21 blowout win in 2016 while Los Angeles earned a 26-20 win at the Coliseum in 2017.

Including those results, the Rams have dropped their last three trips to the Superdome. The last win for the franchise came in 2007 when Marc Bulger was the quarterback for the St. Louis Rams.

Playoff Notes: Saturday’s 30-22 win over Dallas in the Divisional Round was the first playoff win for Los Angeles since 2005. Head coach Sean McVay and QB Jared Goff both own career 1-1 records in the postseason but both contests occurred at home.

New Orleans improved to 8-5 in the playoffs with QB Drew Brees under center and that includes a perfect 6-0 record at home. Make a note that the Saints are just 2-4 against the spread in those wins and that includes last Sunday’s non-cover (-8) in their 20-14 win over Philadelphia in the Divisional Round.

Total Notes: The Rams have watched the ‘over’ go 9-8 this season, which includes the high side ticket from last Saturday against Dallas. On the road, Los Angeles has been a great ‘under’ wager (6-2) and one of the two ‘over’ tickets came in the aforementioned game at New Orleans.

The 34 combined points in Sunday’s playoff game against Philadelphia was the lowest this season and the game easily went ‘under’ the total. New Orleans was 10-7 overall to the low side but New Orleans watched the ‘over’ go 5-4 at the Superdome. Prior to the ‘under’ result versus Philadelphia last Sunday, the Saints had seen the ‘over’ cash in 10 straight home playoff games and that included a 5-0 run with Brees.

AFC Championship - History

New England at Kansas City (CBS, 6:40 p.m. ET)

New England Road Record: 3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS, 3-5 O/U
Kansas City Home Record: 8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS, 3-5-1 O/U

Line Movements: The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook sent out Kansas City as a three-point home favorite over New England. BetOnline.ag, a major offshore betting outfit, opened the Chiefs at -3 as well.

The SuperBook sent out a total of 58. BetOnline.ag opened at 57 ½.

Head-to-Head: Since 2000, the Patriots have won seven of 10 meetings with the Chiefs, while the last four meetings have finished 'over' the total. New England is making its first trip to Kansas City since 2014 when the Chiefs blitzed the Patriots on a Monday night at Arrowhead Stadium in a 41-14 beatdown as 2 ½-point underdogs.

The most recent matchup took place this season at Gillette Stadium as the Patriots held off the Chiefs, 43-40 in Week 6. Kansas City managed a slight cover as 3 ½-point underdogs, while both Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady each topped the 340-yard mark. Mahomes threw four touchdown passes, but the Patriots overcame blowing a 15-point lead thanks to a last-second field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.

Playoff Notes: The Patriots are playing in their eighth consecutive AFC championship, as New England has posted a 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS mark in this stretch. In the last two road AFC title games, the Patriots have lost at Denver in 2013 and 2015. The last away victory in the conference championship came in 2004 at Pittsburgh.

Kansas City has never hosted an AFC championship game before as the Chiefs improved to 2-10 in the last 12 postseason contests since 1994, while picking up their first playoff win at Arrowhead Stadium since 1993.

Amazingly, this is only the second all-time meeting in the playoffs between New England and Kansas City, as the Patriots knocked out the Chiefs in the 2015 divisional playoffs, 27-20.

Total Notes: Since posting an 'over' against the 49ers in Week 3, the Chiefs are 5-2-1 to the 'under' in the last eight games at Arrowhead Stadium. In five of those contests, the Chiefs have held their opponents to 14 points or less. In the last three playoff games in Kansas City, the 'under' has cashed, while four of the past five postseason contests for the Chiefs have gone 'under.'

The Patriots are 5-3 to the 'under' this season away from Gillette Stadium, while closing the season on an 8-1 'under' run. However, that streak came to a halt in New England's blowout of Los Angeles in the divisional round.
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NFL Conference ChampionshipBetting News, Match-Ups and Trends 2 months 4 days ago #498831

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NFL Opening Line Report Conference Championship Weekend

Date 13th Jan 2019
Adam Burke


nfl opening line report conference championships four teams were given bye weeks by virtue of having the best records in their respective conferences. All four of those teams will play in the Conference Championship Round of the NFL playoffs. It was a weekend for home cooking and chalk in the Divisional Round, as all four favorites held serve and three of the four favorites covered. The New Orleans Saints were the biggest favorites on the board and the ones that failed to cover the spread.

The outcome for the Chargers vs. Patriots game was such a foregone conclusion that betting odds for next week’s AFC Championship Game were posted before the first half was even over. That will feature the Patriots against the Chiefs.

The Saints game, not surprisingly, had a lot more drama on Sunday. Nick Foles’s pass slid through the hands of Alshon Jeffery and into the hands of Marshon Lattimore, so the New Orleans Buckeyes advanced to host the Los Angeles Rams.

This is the first time in NFL history that the top four scoring offenses in the league have made the Conference Championship games, so we should get a lot of fireworks this week and we should get treated to an excellent Super Bowl LIII on the fast track at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Here is your Opening Line Report for the Conference Championship games:

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-3.5, 57) – Slap the home field advantage on there and let the market set the number. That seems like a pretty good strategy when it comes to these two games. The Rams and Saints did play earlier this season and New Orleans won that thriller 45-35 as a 1.5-point home underdog. The total on that game was also 57 and clearly flew over that number.

Home field in the NFL is generally worth a little less than 2.5 points. The Saints at home in the Superdome in the postseason are worth at least three and the hook does imply that New Orleans is the better team. It’s hard to disagree with that.

The Rams have a long trip out to the Big Easy for this one. Things were close in the first meeting halfway through the second quarter. The Saints rattled off 21 straight points in just over six minutes to build a 35-14 lead. The Rams played better in the second half and even tied the game, but New Orleans scored the final 10 points of the matchup to escape with the 10-point win.

The Saints improved to 6-0 in home playoff games under Drew Brees with the win over the Eagles, but fell to just 3-3 ATS. Sunday’s win over the Eagles was the first home playoff game with Brees to go under the total.


The betting action for this game will be extremely interesting. This will be Jared Goff’s first career playoff road start and it comes in a very hostile environment. He also wasn’t great in the home playoff game last week or the one last year against Atlanta. The Rams rushed for 273 yards and only passed for 186 against the Cowboys. Goff was only 15-of-28 passing.

It felt like the Saints played a lot better against the Eagles than the final score would indicate. Drew Brees threw for over 300 yards and the Saints had over 400 total yards, but only won 20-14. The defense played extremely well after a slow start in the first quarter.

This is a tough handicap. A lot of public bettors are likely to take the Saints and that may end up the sharp side in this one as well.

New England at Kansas City (-3, 57) – Interestingly enough, the look-ahead line for both Patriots vs. Chiefs and Chargers vs. Chiefs was -3. That is a sign of respect for the Chargers, who were out-schemed by the Patriots in a 41-28 loss. Fatigue certainly could have been a factor, as the Patriots rolled up a 35-7 halftime lead, but it is still rather interesting that the line for the AFC Championship Game did not move after New England’s sweat-free win.

The sportsbooks that offered Saturday night and Sunday morning look-ahead lines put the Patriots at -3 and that’s where the line opened. There is extra juice on the New England side after that dominant performance. There were a few brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in Las Vegas that popped a 2.5 on the Patriots, but most of the market is -3 with the extra juice.

It is worth noting that this is the first time in 68 games that Tom Brady has been an underdog. The last time the Brady-led Patriots were an underdog was September 20, 2015. Not surprisingly, they won outright.

The total on this game matches the total for the Colts vs. Chiefs game, which came nowhere near the number. The Patriots game flew over the total, as it looked like New England had a chance to take the game over by themselves. We’ll see what the weather forecast looks like as we get closer to the weekend. That could dictate what happens to the total.
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NFL Conference ChampionshipBetting News, Match-Ups and Trends 2 months 1 day ago #498982

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Los Angeles at New Orleans
by Tom Wilkinson

NFL Betting Preview – NFC Championship Game – Rams at Saints

The two best teams in the NFC meet on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, as the Los Angeles Rams visit the New Orleans Saints. These teams met in Week 9 in New Orleans and it was the Saints winning a high scoring contest by a score of 45-35.

That win was the difference in the Saints getting home field advantage for this game, as both teams finished 13-3. The Saints are listed as 3.5-point home favorites in this contest. Let’s look at the NFC Championship Game and NFL picks.

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints
Date and Time: Sunday, January 20, 3:05 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
NFL Odds at BetDSI: Saints -3.5, O/U 57
Rams vs. Saints TV Coverage: FOX

The Rams are coming off a home win last week against Dallas to get them into the NFC title game, while the Saints defeated the Eagles. Many people will look at the previous matchup between the Rams and Saints to get an idea of what will happen on Sunday, but rarely do games go the same way in the second meeting. That being said, the home team has covered the spread in the last seven meetings in this series.

Key Differences

The key for me in this game is the differences in the two teams since that last meeting. The Rams now have C.J. Anderson to complement Todd Gurley in the running game. Anderson had 123 yards last week in the win over Dallas. Anderson actually had more carries, yards and touchdowns than Gurley last week. The Rams did not run it that much in the first meeting, as they fell behind 35-14.

Los Angeles could have more success running the ball this time around because the Saints are without one of their top defensive players. Sheldon Rankins tore his Achilles in last week’s game and he is out. He is the best interior player for the Saints and a key run stuffer. His absence could be a key factor.

The Rams will also have Aqib Talib for this contest. He did not play in the first meeting and the Saints exploited Marcus Peters. Michael Thomas caught 12 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown against the Rams in Week 9 and it was Peters on Thomas most of the time. That will not happen this time around, as Talib should get most of the coverage on Thomas.

Not all the news is good for the Rams, as they will not have Cooper Kupp for this matchup. He played the first time and caught five passes for 89 yards and at TD. He has been replaced by Josh Reynolds.

Key Stats

The Rams are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in January. The Saints are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in January. The Under is 5-1 in the Rams last 6 road games. The Over is 6-1 in the Saints last 7 playoff home games. The Over is 21-10-1 in the Saints last 32 home games. The Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in this series in New Orleans.

Rams vs. Saints Picks

When these teams met the first time, it was the Rams who were listed as a small road favorite. The Rams entered that game unbeaten, but they simply couldn’t stop Thomas and despite rallying from 21 points down, couldn’t get the win. Because of that loss they will have to win this game on the road to win the Super Bowl. There is no question the value is on the Rams in this contest.

The Saints have a great history of winning at home in the playoffs under Sean Payton, but it is worth noting that the Saints easily could have lost last week against the Eagles. The New Orleans offense simply hasn’t looked that great in the past month. I think the Rams will be ready to contain Thomas this time around and I expect the Rams to run the ball very effectively with Rankins out. I will take the points with the Rams.

Rams vs. Saints Pick: Rams +3.5 at BetDSI
Rams vs. Saints Score Prediction: Rams 31, Saints 24
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NFL Conference ChampionshipBetting News, Match-Ups and Trends 2 months 1 day ago #498983

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New England at Kansas City
by Tom Wilkinson

NFL Betting Preview – AFC Championship Game – Patriots at Chiefs

How much will the cold temperature affect Sunday’s AFC Championship Game between the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs? These teams played a high scoring game earlier this season at New England and it was the Patriots winning 43-40.

It might be a different result this time around, especially since temperatures are expected to be between zero and ten degrees at kickoff. Let’s look at the AFC Championship Game and NFL picks.

New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs
Date and Time: Sunday, January 20, 6:40 p.m. ET
Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
NFL Odds at BetDSI: Chiefs -3, O/U 54.5
Patriots vs. Chiefs TV Coverage: CBS

We can talk about the Patriots on the road and the Chiefs at home or we can talk about Brady vs. Mahomes, but there are some other angles that interest me a little bit more. First, the Chiefs have been a great team in the first quarter this season, outscoring teams 147-56 in the opening quarter.

That number definitely has the attention of New England head coach Bill Belichick. “There is I think historically no better fast starting team than the Chiefs.” Belichick said to the media, “Coach Reid’s always done a great job of that and they’ve outscored their opponents by I think it’s about 100 points or so this year. That’s a big advantage to play the last three quarters with. Certainly we don’t want to be in that position, nor do they I’m sure.”

Total Movement

The other thing I want to look at is the total for this game. The total on this game opened at 57 and the number has been dropping all week. The current number is 54.5 and there is a good chance it goes lower. The Patriots and Chiefs have played four times since 2013 and all four games went over the total.

There have been 12 previous conference championship games with a total of at least 50. Five of those seven games featured the Patriots and five of the 12 took place in a dome. The over hit six times, the under hit five times, with one push. Only three games had a total of 55 or more and the over hit in two of those three games.

The weather is the interesting factor in this game on Sunday. There have been just 12 games played since 2010 where the temperature was less than 30 degrees and the total was at least 50. The over/under was split at 6-6 in those games.

It is also interesting to note that the over/under in the 12 previous championship games with Belichick at the helm saw the under hit in seven of the 12 games.

Key Stats

Andy Reid and Bill Belichick have matched up a few times, but this will be only the second time that Reid’s team will come in as the favorite. The first instance was in 2005 and it was the Patriots winning 31-10 against the Eagles. Reid is 2-2 in the four games against Belichick as head coach of the Chiefs. This will be just the third playoff meeting between the two head coaches and it was Belichick winning the first two.

Despite the Patriots being thought of as a poor road team, they are actually 17-8 ATS in their last 25 road games. The Chiefs are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 playoff home games. The Under is 50-22-1 in the Chiefs last 73 home games.

Patriots vs. Chiefs Picks

This is a difficult game to call because the Chiefs look to be the better team, but Belichick is a great coach. Will the weather slow down the Kansas City offense on Sunday and can the Kansas City defense stop Brady and the Patriots?

I simply can’t go against Belichick in a big game, especially when it is against Reid. I will take the points with the Patriots. I also agree with the line movement on the total, so I will go under the total.

Patriots vs. Chiefs Pick: Patriots +3 and Under 54.5
Patriots vs. Chiefs Score Prediction: Patriots 27, Chiefs 20
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NFL Conference ChampionshipBetting News, Match-Ups and Trends 2 months 15 hours ago #499039

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Home teams in Conference Championship games are 10-0 SU (8-2 ATS) last five seasons

A run like this shouldn't be too surprising as teams that have earned home field in a Conference title game tend to be the ones that have been among the better teams in the league the entire season. We've got both #1 seeds hosting the games coming up this week, and Chiefs and Saints fans are hoping their respective squads can extend this run for home sides during this weekend.

Overall in this decade (starting with the 2009-10 season), home teams are 14-4 SU during Conference Championship weekend, but just 10-8 ATS. However, while that ATS record might suggest that going against the Chiefs and Saints this weekend may be worth considering – after all, a 10-8 ATS record is just 55% ATS for home sides, of those eight ATS defeats by home teams in this round, only one of them came when the home team was laying less than four points. That game would be the NFC Championship in January 2012 when the New York Giants knocked off San Francisco in OT thanks to a muffed punt that will go down in infamy for 49ers (and Giants) fans. San Francisco closed as a -2 home favorite that day.

Two of the other ATS defeats for home sides during this weekend came when we actually had a home underdog (Atlanta in January 2013, and Chicago in January 2011), with the remaining five ATS losses coming with the home side priced at -4 or greater, four of which were favored by a TD or more. With both point spreads currently in the -3/3.5 range for this year's games, you've basically got no margin for error in terms of backing the underdog and having them not win the game outright, and that's where the 10-0 SU run and 14-4 SU run this decade for home teams this weekend still has you fighting uphill.

Obviously, streaks/runs like this are made to be broken, and chronologically, it will be the LA Rams up first with a chance to end these streaks. LA does have the revenge angle on their side after losing in New Orleans earlier this year, and the fact that QB Jared Goff and company have already dealt with that hostile environment in a highly helped game should be a plus.

For Patriots backers, it's tough to ignore how dominant they were against the Chargers on Sunday, but sadly, the news doesn't get a whole lot better for them in terms of going out on the road in Kansas City and making their third consecutive Super Bowl this week. That's because....

Who's Not

NFL teams that score 40+ points in the playoffs are on a 2-7 SU run (3-6 ATS) the following playoff week

New England was the only one of the four high-powered offenses this past weekend to put up 40 or more points on the scoreboard and that may have not been the best omen for them. I've listed the most recent numbers for teams in that scenario in the header, but overall this decade (again, since the 2009-10 season) these teams are 5-9 SU and 4-10 ATS.

The good news for New England is the fact that the last two times it's happened for teams advancing from the Divisional round – Jacksonville last year and New England in January 2015 – they've gone 2-0 ATS, but only the Patriots were able to advance to the Super Bowl, and they did it with a home victory the following week, not a road date. Furthermore, teams that did score 40+ during the Divisional round since January 2010 are 4-3 SU the following week, but that's where the good news begins and ends for the Patriots this week.

None of those four SU victories in the Conference finals for teams off scoring 40+ have come by squads that were lined as road underdogs of any number, as road teams account for just two of those four wins off a 40+ point performance, and both were laying chalk as visitors (Green Bay in January 2011 and San Francisco in January 2013).

Finally, two of those three SU losses during the Conference finals have come from this New England Patriots franchise specifically (January 2013 and January 2014), and while New England will be making their eighth straight appearance in the AFC Championship, they are 0-3 ATS (1-2 SU) when entering the game after scoring 40+ the week prior. Add in the Patriots 0-2 SU and ATS record in road AFC Championships during this eight-year run, and Bill Belichick and company will be rewriting the history books in a big way should they win this weekend and move on to yet another Super Bowl appearance.
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NFL Conference ChampionshipBetting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 3 weeks ago #499147

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NFL
Long Sheet
Conference Championships
Sunday, January 20

LA RAMS (14 - 3) at NEW ORLEANS (14 - 3) - 1/20/2019, 3:05 PM
Top Trends for this game.
LA RAMS is 54-77 ATS (-30.7 Units) as an underdog of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 1992.
LA RAMS is 192-239 ATS (-70.9 Units) in all games since 1992.
LA RAMS is 192-239 ATS (-70.9 Units) in all lined games since 1992.
LA RAMS is 16-30 ATS (-17.0 Units) as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points since 1992.
LA RAMS is 138-189 ATS (-69.9 Units) against conference opponents since 1992.
LA RAMS is 69-102 ATS (-43.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
LA RAMS is 42-63 ATS (-27.3 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 ORLEANS is 2-1 against the spread versus LA RAMS over the last 3 seasons
NEW ORLEANS is 2-1 straight up against LA RAMS over the last 3 seasons
2 of 3 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


NEW ENGLAND (12 - 5) at KANSAS CITY (13 - 4) - 1/20/2019, 6:40 PM
Top Trends for this game.
KANSAS CITY is 18-9 ATS (+8.1 Units) in games played on a grass field over the last 2 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 38-17 ATS (+19.3 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 38-17 ATS (+19.3 Units) in all lined games over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 87-49 ATS (+33.1 Units) as an underdog since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 124-94 ATS (+20.6 Units) in road games since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 124-94 ATS (+20.6 Units) in road lined games since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 44-23 ATS (+18.7 Units) in all games where the total is greater than or equal to 49.5 since 1992.
NEW ENGLAND is 28-13 ATS (+13.7 Units) against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 25-9 ATS (+15.1 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 23-9 ATS (+13.1 Units) after 2 or more consecutive wins over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.
NEW ENGLAND is 88-56 ATS (+26.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.
KANSAS CITY is 3-13 ATS (-11.3 Units) in playoff games since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
KANSAS CITY is 2-0 against the spread versus NEW ENGLAND over the last 3 seasons
KANSAS CITY is 1-1 straight up against NEW ENGLAND 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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NFL Conference ChampionshipBetting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 3 weeks ago #499148

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NFL
Conference Championships
Trend Report
Sunday, January 20

Los Angeles Rams
LA Rams is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
LA Rams is 14-3 SU in its last 17 games
LA Rams is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of LA Rams's last 6 games on the road
LA Rams is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games when playing New Orleans
LA Rams is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
LA Rams is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
The total has gone OVER in 5 of LA Rams's last 6 games when playing on the road against New Orleans
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games
New Orleans is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
New Orleans is 14-2 SU in its last 16 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of New Orleans's last 8 games
New Orleans is 15-2 SU in its last 17 games at home
New Orleans is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games when playing LA Rams
New Orleans is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against LA Rams
New Orleans is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against LA Rams
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New Orleans's last 6 games when playing at home against LA Rams

New England Patriots
New England is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of New England's last 10 games
New England is 17-8 ATS in its last 25 games on the road
New England is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New England's last 5 games on the road
New England is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Kansas City
New England is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games when playing Kansas City
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New England's last 5 games when playing Kansas City
New England is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Kansas City
New England is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Kansas City
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City is 2-5-1 ATS in its last 8 games
Kansas City is 17-5 SU in its last 22 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kansas City's last 7 games
Kansas City is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Kansas City is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Kansas City's last 14 games at home
Kansas City is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games when playing New England
Kansas City is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games when playing New England
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Kansas City's last 5 games when playing New England
Kansas City is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against New England
Kansas City is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against New England
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NFL Conference ChampionshipBetting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 3 weeks ago #499167

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By: Brandon DuBreuil



CHIEFS D STEPS UP

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Divisional Round was the play of Kansas City’s defense. It was a unit that struggled throughout the regular season with a rank of 26th in overall DVOA while giving up the second-most total yards per game in the league (405.5). Then they went out and shut down the hottest quarterback in the league, holding Andrew Luck without a pass completion in the first quarter and without an offensive touchdown until the game was well out of reach with 5:31 remaining in the fourth. Luck wound up throwing for just 203 yards on 19-of-36 passing while Marlon Mack was stuffed to the tune of 46 yards on nine carries, which was actually an inflated total as one of his carries went for 20 yards.

Shutting down the Colts was impressive but this week is a totally different challenge with Tom Brady and co. coming to town. The Patriots looked unstoppable on Sunday against what was a very good Chargers defense, scoring touchdowns on each of their first three possessions en route to the 41-point performance.

New England torched the Chiefs for 43 points back in Week 6, though it should be noted that K.C. was a much better unit at home during the regular season, allowing 17.4 points per game as compared to 34.6 on the road. Still, it’s Brady and Belichick in the playoffs and we’re expecting them to craft a game plan in which they score early and often against the Chiefs on Sunday. Our early-week lean is towards the Over 26.5 for New England’s team total.


GINN GETS LOVE

One of the more surprising storylines from Sunday’s Saints-Eagles win was New Orleans receiver Ted Ginn. He caught just three passes for 44 yards but the line that really jumps out is that Drew Brees targeted him seven times, which was second on the team to Michael Thomas’ 16 looks. Ginn actually could have had a monster game if Brees had not underthrown him on the game’s opening play that should have been a long touchdown but instead was an interception. Regardless, it was obvious that Brees wanted to get him the ball and that should again be the case on Sunday as the Saints host the Rams.

The Rams have an above-average pass defense, with a rank of ninth in passing DVOA during the regular season, but were burned by Dallas’s WR2, Michael Gallup, on Saturday to the tune of 6-119 on nine targets. Michael Thomas went bananas with a 12-171-1 line against the Eagles and he’ll surely be the focus of the Rams’ defensive game plan for the NFC Championship Game. We’re thinking Ginn could fly under the radar and we’ll be looking to play the Over for his receiving yards total.


RAMS RUN WILD

What a performance it was from the Rams’ running game on Saturday, racking up 273 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 48 carries. Dallas was a tough matchup on paper, with the fifth-ranked defense in rushing DVOA during the regular season, but the Cowboys had been vulnerable to the run on the road late in the season and that held true on Saturday (and got us a winner in backing the Over for Gurley’s rushing total).

Sunday will be an even tougher matchup, in theory, as the Saints ranked third in rushing DVOA during the regular season and then held the Eagles to 49 rushing yards on 16 carries last weekend.

It will also be tough to predict who will be doing the bulk of the work in the Rams’ backfield this weekend. C.J. Anderson actually led L.A. in carries last weekend and posted a line of 23-123-2, while Todd Gurley went for 16-115-1 in what was his first game since Dec. 16. Gurley’s long layoff was likely the reason why Anderson out-touched him, but all Anderson has done is run for rushing totals of 167, 132, and 123 while scoring four times in his three games with the Rams. He has to be involved against the Saints.

Our early-week lean is to stay off the rushing totals for both running backs as it’s tough to say how Sean McVay will use them, but we do like the idea of both of them getting goal-line touches at some point during the game and at +125, we’re backing Anderson to score a touchdown at any time.


MICHEL’S THE MAN

Sony Michel made his playoffs debut a memorable one on Sunday, rushing 24 times for 129 yards and hitting the end zone three times. He was the feature back in the running game, getting 24 of the 34 handoffs from Tom Brady (while James White took the passing downs and turned them into 15 receptions for 97 yards). It was a tough matchup on paper against the Chargers as they ranked 10th in rushing DVOA during the regular season and had only given up 90 rushing yards to Baltimore’s vaunted rushing attack the week prior.

This week looks to be an easier matchup for Michel. The Chiefs ranked dead last in rushing DVOA during the regular season and gave up 132.1 rushing yards per game (sixth-most in the NFL), five yards per carry (second-most in the NFL), and 19 rushing touchdowns (third-most in the NFL). The weather shouldn’t be a factor either as the surface at Arrowhead Field is heated, meaning the players shouldn’t have an issue with their footing. Michel is going to be a huge part of New England’s offensive plan and we’re backing him to hit the end zone once again this week by going Over 0.5 for his rushing touchdowns total at -120.


WATKINS UNSCATHED

Chiefs coach Andy Reid told the media on Tuesday that Sammy Watkins got through the Wild Card game without setbacks to his foot. He was playing in his first game since Week 11 last weekend and hauled in 6-of-8 targets for 62 yards. Watkins was on the field for 76-of-82 offensive snaps and will be at full speed against New England on Sunday night.

Watkins has a below-average matchup on Sunday against a Pats squad that ranked 14th in passing DVOA during the regular season and 12th in DVOA against WR2s, allowing seven passes for 53 yards per game. New England shut down Watkins back in Week 6, holding him to two catches for 18 yards in what was one of his worst offensive lines of the season. The Pats did get burned by the Chargers’ secondary receivers, Mike Williams and Tyrell Williams, for 10 total catches and 162 yards last week, though a lot of that can be attributed to game script as Philip Rivers threw 51 times because the Chargers fell behind big early. We expect the Pats to hold Watkins relatively in check and we’re backing the Under 4.5 for his receptions total.


CAN THOMAS BE STOPPED?

At times, Michael Thomas looks like the best receiver in the NFL. That was certainly the case last week as he hauled in a ridiculous 12 catches on 16 targets for 171 yards and a touchdown. It was also the case when the Rams and Saints met at the Superdome in Week 9 as he had 12 catches on 15 targets for 211 yards and a touchdown. Rams cornerback Marcus Peters was routinely burned by Thomas back in Week 9, but he’ll have some help on Sunday as Aqib Talib will be available after missing the Week 9 matchup.

Peters and Talib took turns covering Dallas’ top receiver Amari Cooper last weekend and held him relatively in check as Cooper turned in a line of 6-65-1. But Thomas is a lot better than Cooper, Drew Brees is a lot better than Dak Prescott, and New Orleans offensive scheme is a lot better than Dallas’. The Rams struggled with the opponent’s top receiver throughout the regular season, finishing with a DVOA rank of 28th to the position while allowing 7.4 passes for 82.7 yards per game (and those stats include eight Talib starts). Even with reinforcements, we don’t see how the Rams slow down Thomas in what should be an epic shootout at the Superdome. We’re taking the Over 92.5 on his receiving yards total.


SHOOTOUT IN THE BIG EASY?

With the Rams set to visit the Saints on Sunday with a game total of 56.5, it’s difficult to envision that we’re going to see anything except an epic shootout. Let’s dig into the numbers a bit.

The Saints averaged 32.6 points per game at home, third-best in the NFL.
The Rams averaged 28.8 points per game on the road, also third-best in the NFL.
Since 2003, games with totals of 56 or higher in the playoffs have hit the Over five out of seven times.
The Over is 5-1 in New Orleans’ home games during the playoffs since 2007, with the only Under coming in last week’s game against Philadelphia.

The Rams will want to run the ball with Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson but will likely struggle against New Orleans third-ranked unit in rushing DVOA. The Saints’ offense will also be a lot sharper as compared to last week where they were shutout in the first quarter as they were clearly rusty, having not played meaningful snaps as a unit since Week 16. The total opened at 57 and has since ticked down to 56.5, but we’re expecting points early and often, much like Week 9’s 80-point affair between these two teams. We’re backing the Over 56.5.
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NFL Conference ChampionshipBetting News, Match-Ups and Trends 1 month 3 weeks ago #499168

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BRADY IN THE COLD

While the weather could affect different players in different ways, one thing we know for certain is that it won’t New England’s quarterback. Tom Brady seems to love the cold with a ridiculous 24-4 record in games played in sub-30-degree weather and when the cold gets below 20 degrees, his record is 5-1. Brady has led the Pats to wins in the cold but let’s take a look at how he fared in those games:

Jan. 10, 2004 (4 degrees) - 21 of 41, 201 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Jan. 23, 2005 (11 degrees) - 14 of 21, 207 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Jan. 10, 2010 (20 degrees) - 23 of 42, 154 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
Jan. 10, 2015 (20 degrees) - 33 of 50, 367 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
Dec. 18, 2016 (18 degrees) - 16 of 32, 188 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
Dec. 31, 2017 (13 degrees) - 18 of 37, 190 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
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