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Top Betting Trends for Championship Sunday

Determining who will play in the Super Bowl is only 48 hours away and bettors have already spent most of this week diving into these two games and looking at them from every possible angle. With the games just around the corner, I thought I’d outline a few last minute trends for these two games. 

San Francisco (-4.5) vs. Atlanta; Total set at 49

The 49ers have gotten most of the love this week and after dismantling the Packers last week, no one can be too surprised by that. Bettors have doubted Atlanta all year and with this being the biggest game in their franchise history for some time now, why would they think anything different.

However there are some strong signs pointing Atlanta’s direction in this one and here are a few of them:

1: Three of the last five NFC Championship Games have been won outright by the underdog

2: San Francisco was 1-2 SU in Dome games this season, only beating New Orleans and their porous defense

3: Atlanta did not have a stretch all season where they went 0-3 ATS and are coming off two non-covers vs. Tampa Bay and Seattle. They were also 2-0 ATS and SU as an underdog this year.

But there will always be doubters and San Francisco has been dominant (for the most part) since putting Kaepernick at QB. 49ers backers will be happy to know that road teams in NFC Championship games are 11-3 ATS since 1998 and have won outright the past two years.

Also, if you want to go back even further, since 1993 there have been 10 occurrences in both conferences where a team (SF) makes it back to the Championship game after losing in it the previous year. I am counting Philly’s run through 2001-04 as three separate times in this scenario, but of those 10 times, the losing team came back to win outright the next season. Out of their 12 wins this year, only twice did they manage to win and not cover the spread, so laying the 4 points might not matter here.

Baltimore vs. New England (-8); Total set at 51.5

This is a rematch of last year’s title game, so obviously that scenario I outlined with San Francisco in regards to returning to a title game after losing it the year before applies to Baltimore as well. Also, underdogs of 7 or more are 8-3 ATS since 1998 and have won four of those games outright. The Ravens are extremely familiar with what New England does and after beating the Broncos as big underdogs last week, the Ravens have got to be confident that they can go into Foxboro and do the same thing.

But it isn’t all good news for Baltimore fans. In the history of Conference Championship games rematches haven’t been kind to the previous loser. There have been four times when we have seen two teams square off again and the team that won the first meeting is 3-1 SU. The only win came when Dallas and San Francisco met in three straight seasons (92-94) and after losing the first two seasons, San Francisco finally got the job done in 1994. Well that doesn’t necessarily tell the story regarding Baltimore covering the 8 points, only twice in the past 14 AFC Championship games has the outright winner not covered the point spread.

However, both of those games were in New England with the Patriots being heavily favored. It happened first in 2007 when New England was -14 vs. San Diego and won 21-12 and last year when the Pats were -7 against this Baltimore team and won 23-20.

Obviously bettors can find trends that will support both sides on any given game, but given that these are specific to these two teams and/or the history of Conference Championship games, they are important to keep in mind when making your wagers this weekend.

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