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NFL Conference Championship Trends & Matchups

NFL Conference Championship Trends & Matchups 1 month 2 weeks ago #529510

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Monday 1/18/21 free thread for handicapping and expert predictions for NFL, NBA, & NCAAB games.
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NFL Conference Championship Trends & Matchups 1 month 2 weeks ago #529511

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NFL Conference Championship Odds: Sharp Money and Line Moves
Patrick Everson

Patrick Mahomes went down with a concussion in the third quarter against Cleveland, but the Chiefs hung on behind backup Chad Henne, and indications are that Mahomes will play in this weekend's AFC Championship game.

The NFL season is one step from the Super Bowl, NFL conference championship odds are on the board, and action is already flowing in on both games. The defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills in the AFC Championship Game, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.

The SuperBook's John Murray provided insights on NFL conference championship opening lines and early line movement, sharp money and public betting.

NFL Conference Championship Odds

These are the current NFL Conference Championship odds. Click on each matchup in the table below to get updated in-depth information on the opening lines, sharp money, public betting and odds movement as we get closer to kickoff.

Buccaneers at Packers 3:05 p.m. ET Sunday Packers -3.5 51
Bills at Chiefs 6:40 p.m. ET Sunday Chiefs -3 54.5

Buccaneers at Packers Odds

Opening line
Packers -4.5, Over/Under 51

Why the line moved
As the NFC's No. 1 seed, Green Bay is right where it expected to be and surely where it wants to be: at Lambeau Field in late January for the NFC Championship Game, against a team accustomed to playing in much warmer conditions. The Packers advanced with a 32-18 divisional playoff win over the Rams on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, fifth-seeded Tampa Bay traveled to No. 2 seed New Orleans and knocked out the Saints 30-20 Sunday night. So while the warm-weather Buccaneers face the challenge of chilly conditions in Green Bay, quarterback Tom Brady – with his two-decade dynasty in New England – is no stranger to foul weather.

"We opened Packers -4.5, and the money came pouring in immediately on Tampa Bay. Not unlike last week, when we opened the Saints -5.5 and were inundated with Bucs money," Murray said Sunday evening. "This will be a huge-handle game with great write on both sides. Both teams are extremely popular with bettors. Right now, we are down to Packers -4, and the money continues to come in on Tampa Bay."

And the line continued to move, too, dropping to Packers -3.5 less than an hour after going up. The SuperBook certainly wants to see the Bucs vanquished, with Super Bowl liability now looming larger.

"The Bucs are the one team left in the Super Bowl pool that we lose a big number to," Murray said. "We lose on them in the NFC pool, as well. It’s definitely something we will have to keep an eye on this week and potentially three weeks from now, if they are able to beat the Packers."

Bills at Chiefs Odds

Opening line
Chiefs -4, Over/Under 56

Why the line moved
AFC Championship odds were all over the map Sunday afternoon/evening, as oddsmakers tried to ascertain the status of superstar Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In Sunday's divisional clash with Cleveland, Mahomes suffered a concussion in the third quarter, but Kansas City hung on behind Chad Henne to claim a 22-17 victory. Buffalo reached the AFC title game with a 17-3 stifling of Baltimore on Saturday night.

With the Chiefs holding a 19-3 halftime lead against the Browns, SuperBook vice president of risk management Jeff Sherman posted AFC Championship Game odds of Chiefs -4/total 56. Then Mahomes got hurt and the AFC title game came off the board, going back up after Kansas City clinched the win over Cleveland. The new numbers: Chiefs -2.5, with a total of 51.

It didn't take long for the line to go up to -3, and the total jumped all the way to 55.5 within about 90 minutes, after postgame indications were that Mahomes was doing well.

"We certainly expect Mahomes to play next Sunday. We moved the line up to -3 after reading some quotes from Andy Reid that sounded positive," Murray said Sunday night. "We had a respected player take Bills +3 (-110) and we moved to Bills +3 (-120). Most of the tickets have been on the Bills so far, although the biggest bet yet was one for $20,000 on Chiefs -3 (even). The public likes both of these teams, even though the Chiefs continue to let the bettors down. They failed to cover yet again today."

The line would look far different for the AFC Championship Game if early indications for Mahomes weren't favorable.

"Mahomes is going to play, but if he had been knocked out completely, the Bills would be a decent favorite next week. More than a field goal," Murray said. "Some of our guys in the room made it Bills -7. I think that’s a little extreme, but it gives you an idea of just how much of a drop-off there is from Mahomes to Henne."
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NFL Conference Championship Trends & Matchups 1 month 2 weeks ago #529512

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NFL Conference Championship Betting Tips: Bet Now, Bet Later
Jason Logan

Tom Brady has the Bucs facing the Packers in the NFC Championship Game, playing on what could be a frozen field at Lambeau Field this Sunday.

The wildest NFL season in history is down to its final four teams with betting lines for the AFC and NFC Championships hitting the board Sunday.

But just when you thought the 2020-21 campaign couldn’t get any nuttier, the best player in the league is a question mark for Championship Weekend. That could leave the odds for the AFC title game looking very different come Sunday.

Getting the best of the number is always the sharpest NFL betting strategy, especially when there are only two games on the board. These are our top NFL betting tips for the spreads and totals to bet now and which ones to bet later.

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5): Bet Now

Patrick Mahomes’ status for the AFC Championship Game has gamblers tuning into Kansas City sports talk radio, getting cozy with local beat reporters, and even following Mahomes’ fiance on Instagram. Anything to get that edge.

As of Sunday night, the chatter – at least from the medical expertise of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid – is that Mahomes is OK and “passed all the deals that he needed to pass.” Whatever the hell that means.

While that may not be an official medical thumbs up, it was enough to slide the opening spread of Kansas City -1 (which played ping pong between K.C. -1 and +1 for a few minutes) to -2.5 and -3, depending on the book.

The lookahead line for this potential matchup climbed as high as K.C. -5.5 at offshores shops after the Bills’ listless win over the Baltimore Ravens Saturday. And midway through the Browns-Chiefs game on Sunday, some Vegas shops were hanging an early spread of -4 before Mahomes left due to a concussion in the third quarter.

If you’re buying into the coach speak and early line moves and think Mahomes is back under center next Sunday, get this one now—especially under the key number of a field goal, although it will cost you as much as -125 juice. Or better yet, grab Kansas City moneyline as low as -150 and put your mind at ease when it comes to any spread movement between now and Sunday’s 6:40 p.m. ET kickoff.

If Mahomes gets the green light, expect this spread to go through a field goal and close somewhere close to -4, as Buffalo has looked far from dominant in its two playoff wins.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) vs. Green Bay Packers: Bet Later

The Buccaneers pulled a Randy Orton and sent Drew Brees out to pasture (possibly) in the Divisional Round, forcing four turnovers and sticking that mighty New Orleans offense in mud in the second half.

Tampa Bay allowed only 190 passing yards and checked Brees to 19-of-34 passing with one touchdown to three interceptions. In fact, 56 of those total passing yards came on a TD bomb from Jameis Winston. Now, the Bucs’ fifth-ranked pass defense in DVOA at Football Outsiders turns its attention to Aaron Rodgers.

Green Bay was a 3-point favorite on the lookahead line before Sunday’s Divisional Round game and hit the board as official 3.5-point chalk on the opening line at most books (although the Superbook in Las Vegas opened Packers -4.5 and were instantly hit with Tampa action). With the forecast for Lambeau calling for classic Cheesehead weather, early money moved the juice on the Packers to -3.5 (-115) and some shops are already dealing -4.

If you’re not afraid of a little snow and are backing the Buccos in the NFC Championship, wait it out and see if you can get Brady & Co. at +4 or more.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Green Bay Packers (Under 52): Bet Now

The Packers take on another hard-hitting defense in the Buccaneers this Sunday after laying waste to the L.A. Rams' vaunted stop unit in the Divisional Round. But it’s not just Tampa Bay that could be working against the points in the NFC Championship.

The extended forecast for Green Bay, Wisconsin is calling for snow and wind (gusts up to 24 mph) with temperatures in the low 20s (with a feels-like temp of 14 degrees) this Sunday. That could shorten the deep pass attacks of both of these explosive playbooks and force some miscues on offense.

The Packers and Bucs could lean on the run games more if the wind and visibility play a problem. And while Tom Brady is used to these bad weather games, his current offense isn’t. Tampa is a vertical route-running team that thrives on air yards (third in NFL in completed air yards) rather than short passes and yards after the catch - standard gears for slick, snowy surfaces.

The total hit the board as high as 52 points at some books while others led with 51.5. Given all the hype around the potential “Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field”, the Under could be the popular play out the gates. If you’re on board with a lower-scoring NFC title game, get ahead of that move now. But as always, keep an eye on the forecast as there’s an entire week for this mess to blow over.
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NFL Conference Championship Trends & Matchups 1 month 2 weeks ago #529513

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AFC Championship Betting Line History

AFC Championship Betting

The AFC Championship is one of two title games played on an annual basis in the National Football League (NFL), which is America’s top professional football league. The top two teams from American Football Conference (AFC) will meet in late January at the venue of the highest seed.

The NFL Playoffs begin with 12 teams, six from the AFC and six from the National Football Conference (NFC). The winner of those AFC and NFC Championship games will meet in the Super Bowl, which is played a neutral venue every season. The 2020 finale will take place at Hard Rock Stadium from Miami Gardens, Florida on Feb. 2, 2020.

Homefield edge in AFC Championship

Since the AFC Championship began in 1970, home teams have posted a 35-15 record in the title game.

In the last 10 years, hosts have gone 8-2 (80%) in the AFC Championship. During this span, bettors have seen their fair share of close calls and blowouts as five games were decided by double digits and the other five by six points or less.

Of the 16 AFC franchises, the New England Patriots have won the most titles with 11. They've gone 7-1 at home while also producing a 4-3 mark in title games played on the road. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos have both captured eight AFC Championships apiece. Since this format began in 1970, five current teams from the AFC have not been able to win the title and earn a trip to the Super Bowl.

New York Jets
Jacksonville Jaguars
Cleveland Browns
Kansas City Chiefs
Houston Texans

AFC Championship Betting Results

In the first 50 games of the AFC Championship, favorites have gone 36-14 straight up and 29-20-1 against the spread.

There have been seven games where the favorite has won but it did not win by enough points to cover the spread.

2018 - New England (-7.5) 24 Jacksonville 20
2012 - New England (-7) 23 Baltimore 20
2008 - New England (-14) 21 San Diego 12
1996 - Pittsburgh (-12) 20 Indianapolis 16
1992 - Buffalo (-11) 10 Denver 7
1978 - Denver (-3.5) 20 Oakland 17
1976 - Pittsburgh (-6) 16 Oakland 10

AFC Championship Over Under Results

Since the 1986-87 AFC Championship game, the 'over/under' results have gone 17-17 in the title game. Over the last nine seasons, the 'under' is on a 6-3 run in this conference title game but Kansas City has helped the 'over' go 2-0 the past two years.

There have been six totals in AFC Championship betting history that have closed at 50 points or higher and we've seen a stalemate (3-3) with the total results. That includes the 2019 installment as Kansas City defeated Tennessee 35-24 from Arrowhead Stadium.

AFC Championship Line History

The AFC Championship betting history covers the first 50 matchups of the conference finale, focusing on the two teams, the betting lines, the final score and the sports betting result which lists the favorite-underdog outcome and the ‘over-under’ result for the majority of the games.
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NFL Conference Championship Trends & Matchups 1 month 2 weeks ago #529514

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NFC Championship History

NFC Championship Betting

The NFC Championship is one of two title games played on an annual basis in the National Football League (NFL), which is America’s top professional football league. The top two teams from National Football Conference (NFC) will meet in late January at the venue of the highest seed.

The NFL Playoffs begin with 12 teams, six from the NFC and six from the American Football Conference (AFC). The winner of those NFC and AFC Championship games will meet in the Super Bowl, which is played a neutral venue every season. The 2020 finale will take place at Hard Rock Stadium from Miami Gardens, Florida on Feb. 2, 2020.

Homefield edge in NFC Championship

Since the NFC Championship began in 1970, home teams have posted a 33-17 record in the title game.

In the last 10 years, visitors have shown more fight in this title game as the home team was only able to produce a 6-4 record in the NFC Championship. Those last four wins by the road teams weren't easy as the victories came by seven points or less and three were decided by exactly three points.

Of the 16 NFC franchises, the Dallas Cowboys have won the most conference titles with 8. The franchise often known as "America's Team" in the United States has gone 4-1 at home and 4-5 on the road but the last NFC Championship for the popular club came in 1995.

The San Francisco 49ers have won six NFC titles and this team also holds the record for most losses in the conference title game with nine. Right behind the club from California is the Washington Redskins and New York Giants, who have each captured five NFC Championships in their franchise history.

Since this format began in 1970, 15 of the current 16 NFC teams have earned a trip to the Super Bowl. The lone franchise not to capture a NFC Championship is the Detroit Lions.

NFC Championship Betting Results

In the first 20 games of the NFC Championship, favorites have gone 33-17 straight up and 27-22-1 against the spread.

There have been six games in the NFC Championship where the favorite has won but failed to cover the closing point-spread.

2015 - Seattle (-8.5) 28 Green Bay 22 (OT)
2010 - New Orleans (-4) 31 Minnesota 28 (OT)
2000 - St. Louis (-14.5) 11 Tampa Bay 6
1984 - Washington (-10.5) 24 San Francisco 21
1982 - San Francisco (-3) 28 Dallas 27
1975 - Minnesota (-4) 14 L.A. Rams 10

Two of the above NFC Championship games where the point-spread mattered also went to overtime (OT) and the home team both won those matches. We have seen six NFC title games go to overtime and the road team has gone 4-2 overall.

The 2018-19 NFC Championship was one of the title games that was tied after regulation. In that outcome, the Los Angeles Rams defeated the New Orleans Saints 26-23 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in Louisiana.

NFC Championship Over Under Results

Since the 1987-88 NFC Championship game, the 'over' has gone 19-14 in the title game. Over the last six seasons, the 'over' is on a 5-1 run in this conference title game.

There have been five totals in NFC Championship betting history that have closed at 50 points or higher and the attacks lived up to the expectations as the 'over' has gone 4-1. The most recent NFC edition between the Rams and Saints was one of those contests and that game stayed 'under' the total. Even though that game saw an extra session (OT), total bettors have seen the 'over' go 4-2 in the six NFC Championships that went to overtime.

NFC Championship Line History

The NFC Championship betting history covers the first 50 matchups of the conference finale, focusing on the two teams, the betting lines, the final score and the sports betting result which lists the favorite-underdog outcome and the ‘over-under’ result for the majority of the games.
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NFL Conference Championship Trends & Matchups 1 month 2 weeks ago #529515

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311TAMPA BAY -312 GREEN BAY
GREEN BAY is 41-15 ATS (24.5 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.

313BUFFALO -314 KANSAS CITY
KANSAS CITY is 0-8 ATS (-8.8 Units) vs. poor passing defenses - allowing a comp. pct. of 61% or worse in the second half of the season in the current season.

Conference Championships
NFL
Long Sheet
Sunday, January 24

TAMPA BAY (13 - 5) at GREEN BAY (14 - 3) - 1/24/2021, 3:05 PM
Top Trends for this game.
GREEN BAY is 123-88 ATS (+26.2 Units) as a favorite of 3.5 to 9.5 points since 1992.
GREEN BAY is 208-150 ATS (+43.0 Units) in games played on a grass field since 1992.
GREEN BAY is 50-30 ATS (+17.0 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record since 1992.
GREEN BAY is 79-51 ATS (+22.9 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season since 1992.
TAMPA BAY is 7-1 ATS (+5.9 Units) in all games where the total is greater than or equal to 49.5 this season.

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


BUFFALO (15 - 3) at KANSAS CITY (15 - 2) - 1/24/2021, 6:40 PM
Top Trends for this game.
BUFFALO is 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) in games where the line is +3 to -3 this season.
BUFFALO is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) after 2 or more consecutive wins this season.

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

NFL
Conference Championships
Trend Report

Sunday, January 24

Tampa Bay @ Green Bay
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Tampa Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Green Bay
Green Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Green Bay is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home

Buffalo @ Kansas City
Buffalo
Buffalo is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Buffalo is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games
Kansas City
Kansas City is 23-2 SU in its last 25 games
Kansas City is 14-2 SU in its last 16 games at home
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NFL Conference Championship Trends & Matchups 1 month 1 week ago #529693

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Hot & Not - Championship Game Angles
Matt Blunt

NFC & AFC Championship Betting Angles

All it took to put the kibosh on fading NFL playoff teams that won SU but didn't cover was an appearance in last week's Hot and Not, as Buffalo and Tampa Bay won and covered with ease in the Divisional round.

Both teams saw the games drastically shift in their favor thanks to being on the right end of a turnover, and wouldn't be something to see the Bills final roadblock to a Super Bowl title being Tom Brady yet again, this time on his new home field and a one-game, winner-take-all scenario.

Can't imagine that will be the most fun two weeks for any Bills Mafia member out there leading up to the Super Bowl.

A Buffalo-Tampa matchup is only one of four potential Super Bowl outcomes we can get, and in terms of when the NFL started using the seeding method for the 1975-76 season leading up to Super Bowl 10, we've got a decent enough sample size to where we've had both #1 seeds make it to the Conference Championship and what has resulted.

We will start there, but we can't forget the ideas that have been scattered in these pieces throughout the season, as now that we are at the stage of a Super Bowl berth being the stakes, I'm sure some teams have a few more checks in those boxes than others.

Why not start with the big one though, and depending who you're a fan/backer of, you may want to hold off any AFC Championship bets before the NFC Championship game is finished.

Who's Hot

Since seeding began in 1975-76, 25 of the 45 playoff seasons have seen both #1 seeds make it to the Conference Finals. Only once in those 25 seasons have both #1 seeds lost in the Conference Championship (2018 Kansas City and New Orleans)

Really quite interesting to see the history of this one, as prior to the losses by KC and New Orleans in 2018 – two games that had unique endings to say the least – the league had been on a run of five straight times a #1 vs #1 matchup was possible in the Super Bowl, they got it.

Depending on what number you use the Patriots at in their Super Bowl 49 win over Seattle (pick, +1), the underdog in those Super Bowls was also 5-0 SU and ATS. Bad news for the favorite in a Kansas City/Green Bay Super Bowl that would be a year too late for me.

But should quarterabck Tom Brady and the Buccaneers get by Green Bay in the early game on Sunday, history suggests the Chiefs will be Brady's opponent.

Earlier in the year I touched on why that may not be the case though either, and while these past 25 times haven't always gone in chronological order as the potential betting spot we'd have here with a Tampa win early, it does go to show that a Buffalo/Tampa Super Bowl hasn't been the matchup that's connected really at all in the history of the league.

Let's not forget about an offside call negating a Brady interception and no pass interference flag thrown negating what could have been a Saints win in that lone year no #1's made it to the Super Bowl after each making the Conference Finals.

It could have easily been perfect in that regard, but Brady was already on the winning end of half of that 2018 outcome. Him being the last obstacle for Buffalo in a rare “both #1's make Conference Finals, none make Super Bowl” would be the story of all stories, and having two weeks to tell it would bring out quite the takes.

A Green Bay win in the first game though leaves the history on Kansas City getting through floating around 50%.

Obviously the status of QB Patrick Mahomes is going to be a hot topic daily this week, and even for as odd of a week as it was for the first meeting between Buffalo and KC this season - a scheduled TNF game got pushed to Monday afternoon – there is head-to-head film that will get poured over as well.

How much that changes on a normal week and Mahomes status in doubt is a vast range of possibilities right now, but any Bills Mafia member may want to pull for the Packers in the first game just in case. Brady hates the cold weather now doesn't he?

Why would Buffalo want to be up against a 96% historical angle against them, right?

Who's Not

13 of those 25 times we've had a #1 vs # Super Bowl; the AFC is 4-9 SU in those Super Bowl games

Another way to say that if we do get that KC/GB Super Bowl, betting on a repeat may not be the way to go. I touched on the run for underdogs in those #1 vs #1 games, and a healthy Mahomes vs Rodgers matchup likely has the Packers in that underdog role as well as being the NFC representative.

Two of the four wins from the AFC side came a long time ago in Super Bowls 10 and 18, but New England and Denver did do it back-to-back in 2014-15, but even New England's win over the Seahawks there could have gone a much different way.

The most recent meeting of #1's came when Philadelphia upset New England in Super Bowl 52, a much happier time around the Eagles football team then it appears to be now.

Oddly enough, three of the four AFC teams to win it do currently reside in Kansas City's AFC West division (Raiders in SB 10 and 18, Broncos in SB 50), but that's a small string to hold onto, considering the Chiefs are in that still rough 10-25 SU role for NFL playoff teams that won SU but lost ATS just to even get to the game.

Throw on Mahomes health being a question now, and Chiefs bettors that are already creeping towards the exit door on futures tickets might just want to step on through and move on.

That's not all that's working against the Chiefs this week.

Let's put together all the pieces from the year (and beyond) to see what comes out now that the Final Four are known.

Hot & Not - Recap and React

From Week 2: Since realignment in 2002, 28 of the 36 Super Bowl participants started the year 1-0 SU

Bad news for: Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers are the only one of the four teams to have started this year out 0-1 SU, as a Week 1 loss to the Saints was the first piece of the double revenge puzzle Tampa Bay completed last week.

Brady was responsible for two of the four Super Bowl titles those eight teams that did start out 0-1 SU eventually wo

From Week 13: Over the past 10 years, 19 of the 20 teams to make the Super Bowl had 4 losses or less after Thanksgiving

Bad news for: Tampa Bay

Another knock for the Bucs as they were 7-5 SU on the Wednesday after the holiday weekend (Dec 2, 2020), with the Packers, Bills and Chiefs all sitting on three or fewer losses.

Interestingly enough, only KC when they sat guys in Week 17 has lost since then, as Buffalo enters Conference Championship weekend on an eight-game winning streak, Kansas City (1 win), Green Bay on a seven-game winning streak, and Tampa riding a six-gamer.

From Week 14: Only 2 of 18 Super Bowl matchups since realignment have been a rematch from the regular season

Bad news for: Kansas City-Tampa Bay Super Bowl

A Mahomes/Brady Super Bowl would have football fans everywhere gushing over the matchup of the GOAT vs a guy that's well on his way down a similar path and looking to defend his title at the same time.

But as I said at the time, these regular season rematches just don't particularly happen in the Super Bowl, that is unless Tom Brady is involved of course.

7 of the 18 Super Bowls since realignment have been between two teams who played the same “direction” of the non-conference division.

This was a wild one to come across in my research, and I know it's still likely not explained the best in the header as my editors here at VI can attest to rereading it multiple times on the first submission. But I am actually thrilled to see it's alive and well to be a possibility this year, and not just one way either.

A Buffalo-Tampa Bay matchup in the Super Bowl, may have the #1 theory when both are in the semi's and at least one making the Super Bowl working against them, but both teams dealt with the “West” division in the opposite conference, the same thing hurting a KC/Tampa Bay potential rematch scenario.

That leaves a Green Bay-KC matchup in the Super Bowl, which would be both #1's as well, with the Packers playing the AFC South in non-conference play, and KC going through the NFC South. For the lifespan of this data, seeing one of those matchups would be great, detrimental to my own betting bankroll or not.

From Week 17: 17 of the past 20 Super Bowl participants won SU in Week 17

Bad news for Kansas City

Here is the other tough news to hear for Chiefs backers, but it's not like you can hate on them for resting their starters with nothing to play for in Week 17.

It's just been one of those historical oddities where teams that aren't good enough with reserves to win on Week 17 seem to foreshadow a tough end to the season, and teams that aren't good enough to tank and back into the playoffs off a loss don't seem to be long for the postseason either (see Chicago and Pittsburgh this year alone).

Mahomes status could end up being that asterisk should the Chiefs stumble without him on the field, but this is going to be a tough week for Chiefs fans to sleep regardless.

From SB 54: 22 (now 23) of the 29 (now 30) Super Bowl winners since 1990 made the playoffs the previous year

Bad news for: Tampa Bay

Massive roster change over or a big jump up in talent/improvement as “too much, too fast” tends to be behind this historical perspective being so strong, but Tampa is in the interesting case of being in the massive roster change category, and blatantly going out and trying to “buy” their way to a title.

The Bucs embraced their win it now mentality and if they get through all the other stuff and make it to the Super Bowl, being one of the few organizations to win it all after a year of no playoffs wouldn't be the most surprising thing for this 2020 Tampa team to do.

Since the start of the 2000 season, SB teams that had the QB with more regular season passing TD's are (now) 6-14 SU and 0-5 SU the past five years.

Bad news for: Both NFC Teams

File this one away for when we actually get the two teams left standing, but in order, the list goes Aaron Rodgers (48 TD), Tom Brady (40), Patrick Mahomes (38) and Josh Allen (37). Good news for either of the AFC teams then, as both will be on the lower end of the spectrum there no matter who they play.

Hot & Not 2020 Summary

Without being too committed this early in the week, it's not hard to figure out from this piece on the historical perspectives on how these Super Bowl matchups come to be, the Super Bowl matchup I'm already leaning towards.

The majority of those trends focus on who NOT to be backing, and when the most common answers to the team(s) that fit those roles are either Tampa Bay and/or Kansas City, the only answer that's left is us seeing a Green Bay vs Buffalo Super Bowl this year.

90%+ of the time we at least one #1 seed in the Super Bowl when both make the Championship Game, and it's only both #1's a little better than 50% of the time.

There are enough knocks on KC and/or a KC/Tampa Super Bowl that going with Buffalo makes plenty of sense even before getting to the Mahomes health question, and that's how it likely stays for me this week.

Going to be hard for that thought to change much this week from where I'm sitting, even with the most positive Mahomes health news there could be.

I am interested to see how the market reacts the rest of this week, though, as I'm sure positive Mahomes news only gives out a better number on the Bills.

Tampa could end up in the public underdog role as well, which makes Green Bay all the more attractive to my eyes.
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NFL Conference Championship Trends & Matchups 1 month 1 week ago #529694

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NFL
Armadillo's Write-Up

Conference Championships

Tampa Bay (13-5) @ Green Bay (14-3)
— Buccaneers are on road for 3rd week in row, 5th time in six weeks.
— Tom Brady has a 32-11 career record in playoff games.
— Buccaneers won last six games overall, scoring 34.8 ppg.
— Last six games, Bucs converted 53-1125 third down plays (47.3%).
— Tampa Bay is 13-0 when it scores 25+ points, 0-5 when it does not.
— Over is 5-2 in their last seven road games.

— Last seven years, #1 seeds are 10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS in this round.
— Green Bay won seven in row, nine of last ten games overall.
— Packers scored 33.1 ppg in their last eight games,
— Rodgers is 1-3 in NFC title games, but all those games were on road.
— Last three Green Bay games went over the total.
— In their three losses this year, Packers gave up 38-28-34 points.

— Packers lost 38-10 in Tampa in Week 6; GB averaged 2.7 yards/pass attempt.
— Green Bay won three of last four series games.
— Tampa Bay lost last two visits here, 35-26/26-20
— Brady split two visits here, winning 35-0 in ’06, losing 26-21 in ’14.

Buffalo (15-3) @ Kansas City (15-2)
— Bills won 10 of its last 11 games, covered nine of last ten.
— Buffalo outscored last eight opponents 169-80 in first half.
— Bills won last three road games, scored 37.5 ppg in last four.
— Buffalo is 4-1 ATS as an underdog this season.
— Over is 6-3-2 in their last 11 games.
— Buffalo is trying to go to Super Bowl for first time since 1993.

— Mahomes hasn’t officially been cleared, but is expected to play here.
— Chiefs won 11 of last 12 games, but are 0-8-1 ATS in last nine games.
— Chiefs are 9-8 ATS in last 17 games as a home favorite, 3-6 TY.
— Last nine games, Kansas City allowed 25.2 ppg
— Last time Chiefs covered was November 1st against the Jets.
— Before winning Super Bowl LY, Chiefs had lost 12 of previous 14 playoff games; now they’ve won four in a row.

— Chiefs won three of last four series games; last meeting was 2017.
— Bills won four of their last six visits to Arrowhead.
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NFL Conference Championship Trends & Matchups 1 month 1 week ago #529695

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Vegas Money Moves - Championship Games
Micah Roberts

Bettors backing off the Chiefs -- again

If you told me back in September that the Chiefs would go 14-2 in the regular season, quarterback Patrick Mahomes was healthy, and they would be only -3 at home in the AFC Championship Game, I wouldn't hesitate to bet the defending Super Bowl champions.

But that’s the scenario we’re looking at this week even with news coming Friday that Mahomes had passed concussion protocol and will start on Sunday.

A couple of Nevada books are -3.5 but the majority are all still -3.

Mahomes was lost midway through the third quarter last week in the Chiefs' 22-17 home win over the Divisional Rond with a concussion and oddsmakers and bookmakers made his value to the number as low as 5 points and as high as -points, but started the game at -2.5 with the possibility he might not play.

But nobody believed he wouldn’t play and posted the number that way. And so far with a full week of action, the game is being bet very even everywhere.

“Right now, straight bets on the point-spread is pretty even,” William Hill’s Nick Bogdanovich said.

“We’re a little high on Bills money-line (+155), but that’s to be expected. I think this one will be a two-way action game as well. I do think Mahomes will play and that this game will go back up when they announce it. It’ll get to 3.5, 4 tops. But I still think there will be Bills money because the Chiefs haven’t covered a game in so long.”

The Chiefs have won 24 of the last 25 starts Mahomes has made, but they’ve covered just once in their last nine games. Bettors want so badly to bet the Chiefs, but they’re tired of losing every week with them on the spread.

“We posted the Chiefs -4 before Mahomes got injured and then reposted -2.5 afterward and were bumped up to -3, but not really any sharp plays either way on the game,” said Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay.

The Bills have won their last eight games and have gone 9-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10. The public has noticed and has been happy taking the points this week.

William Hill books have had 53% of the tickets written on Buffalo as well as 56% of the cash.

The total has dropped from 54.5 down to 54.

The Bills average score this season was 31-23, or 54, and they’ve gone over in their last four games as the underdog. They also went over in 12 of their 18 games this season.

It’s the No. 1 and No. 2 offenses in the NFL hooking up for a trip to the Super Bowl.


Pressing the Packers

The first game on Sunday will have Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers hooking up in the playoffs for the first time ever. It’s the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Green Bay Packers.

“Sharps took Tampa Bay at +4.5, +4, and +3.5 and when we went to 3 we started seeing Packers money,” Kornegay said. “We’re up to Packers -3.5 now.”

Jason Scott of BetMGM said they’ve taken a couple of six-figure bets on the Packers (-3) and they’re currently at -3.5 -120, the highest number out there. William Hill is heavy on the Packers as well and sits at -3.5 flat.

“We took a couple of big bets on the Packers, so we’re pretty high on them right now,” said Bogdanovich.

“But it’s still so early, you never know what’s going to happen in this game. Tampa’s drawn a lot of love all year long, and people will like taking 3.5 as opposed to 3. I still don’t think it’ll be a big decision one way or the other.”

Bogdanovich may be exaggerating a bit on the risk because they’re loaded with Packers risk with 78% of the tickets on the Packers and 83% of the cash. By the time this game kicks off, every book will be rooting for the Bucs.

The SuperBook dropped the Packers money-line down to -180/+160.

There’s a possibility of snow with game time temperatures forecasted to be 25 degrees, but the SuperBook total has gone up from 51 to 51.5.

The Bucs have won their last six (4-2 ATS) and scored 30+ points in their last five games but the competition could be questioned with five games against losing teams and the other versus a beat-up Drew Brees-led New Orleans team.

Meanwhile, the Packers have won their last seven (5-2 ATS) and the strength of their opponents isn't great either.

The pair met in Week 6 on Oct. 18 at Tampa Bay and the Bucs gave the Packers a 10-0 lead before reeling off 38 unanswered points.

They rattled quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as he appeared to check out mentally the rest of the game.

Green Bay closed as a short favorite (-2.5) in that loss after starting the season with a 4-0 record.
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