NFL Betting Guide: Conference Championships
numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, game line, or moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.
For example, if you would usually bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.
Using our model as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets for tonight.
Over 51.5: 1-Star Rating out of 5
Packers -3.0: 1-Star Rating out of 5
Packers Moneyline (-188): 1-Star Rating out of 5
While it would be fun to see a snow game for the NFC Championship between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers, current indications are that the storm coming through the Green Bay area on Saturday night will peter out before kickoff. That won't stop the game from being must-see television in a clash pitting quarterback legends with the most (Tom Brady) and seventh-most (Aaron Rodgers) career passing touchdowns.
The Bucs thrashed the Packers 38-10 when these two teams met in Raymond James Stadium back in October. Rodgers shockingly completed just 45.7% of his passes and finished with a 35.4 passer rating, the third worst of his 197-game career. That he still finished the season with a 121.5 passer rating -- the second best ever (only 2011 Rodgers was better) -- shows that game was clearly an anomaly in an otherwise outstanding season.
The Packers have won five of their past six home playoff games, going 4-1-1 against the spread (ATS) in that span. Bettors on FanDuel are putting their money on the Packers making that six of seven. Per oddsFire, 56% of bets and 68% of the money is being placed on the Packers to win on Sunday, indicating that the big money is on Green Bay.
Tampa Bay and Green Bay finished the regular season ranked as the top two teams by our nERD metric. In what should be an exciting game, we project the Packers to win by 5.4 points. We give them a 67.9% chance of winning and a 54.5% chance of covering the 3.0-point spread. We also give the over a 53.7% chance of hitting and mark all three bets as one-star plays.
Over 53.5: 2-Star Rating out of 5
Chiefs -3.0: 1-Star Rating out of 5
Chiefs Moneyline (-166): 2-Star Rating out of 5
Betting lines for Sunday's AFC Championship between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs all hinge on the availability of one Patrick Mahomes. Given that the Chiefs are currently 3.0-point favorites, it seems that there is some confidence that the reigning Super Bowl MVP will be on the field.
Mahomes was a limited practice participant on Wednesday and Thursday, where he "took the majority of the starting snaps," according to the Kansas City Star. He's obviously on the right track, but nothing is a given as of Friday morning.
FanDuel bettors are currently leaning towards the Bills -- 53% of bettors are taking the Bills to cover the 3.0 points, and, interestingly, 64% of bettors are picking them to win outright. Over/under bettors are split right down the middle at 50%.
The Chiefs have gone 4-1 SU and ATS in their past five games against the Bills, including a 26-17 win in Buffalo earlier this season in which KC ran for 245 yards, which was by far their biggest rushing output of the season. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who ran for 161 yards in that game but missed the Chiefs' win over the Cleveland Browns last week, was a limited participant in Thursday's practice.
It's supposed to be 35 degrees at kickoff; the Chiefs have won five straight and six out of their past seven (also 6-1 ATS) in games below 40 degrees -- note that the one loss was the 2018-19 AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.
numberFire's model currently projects the Chiefs to both win and cover the 3.0-point spread. We give them 67.8% and 54.5% chances of winning and covering, respectively. We also give the over a 58.8% chance of hitting.