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WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS
It’s Championship Week in the NFL and with it two teams are one win away from playing in Super Bowl XLV in Indianapolis on Feb. 5. Like most football fans nationwide, everyone has an opinion on the teams that figure to advance. Our database does, too. There are generally three schools of thought when it comes to handicapping the final four teams on this week’s card. You can look at them fundamentally, statistically, or you can analyze them technically.
While having varying opinions on which of the four teams will advance, and why, handicappers alike often times speak in foreign tongues. With reasons ranging from players and coaches to fundamentals to situations, the views are many.
But since our database speaks a language of its own, we are limited to asking questions and reading answers germane to our query. Here are answers to five Q&A queries we posed to the database and the answers we found surrounding NFL Championship games.
All results are ATS (Against the Spread) and since 1980, unless noted otherwise.
Q – How have home teams fared in this game?
A – NFC hosts are 22-9 straight up and 18-13 ATS, while AFC home teams are 20-11 SU and 17-14 ATS.
Q –Who is the better money winner, favorites or dogs?
A – Favorites have owned the edge, going 42-19 SU and 35-26 ATS, including 33-17 SU and 32-18 ATS when laying less than 10 points.
Q – How do teams that own the better record perform?
A – As the majority of time these are almost always the home team, the record for teams with a better win percentage are solid, going 40-17 SU and 33-24 ATS. When installed as dogs or favorites of less than 10 points these better record teams are 30-16 ATS.
Q –How has the Over/Under fared in these games?
A – Surprisingly, these games have had a tendency to fly over the total in this round, going 27-16-1 ‘Over’ in games since 1990. More specific, games in which the posted totals have been at the opposite end of the ladder (more than 46 points or less than 41) have gone ‘Over’ in title games to a greater degree. That’s confirmed by the fact that those games with a total of more than 46 points have played ‘Over’ the number in eight of 10 occurrences, while totals of less than 41 have gone 12-4-1 to the ‘Over’ as well.
Q –What wins in conference title games, offense or defense?
A – When it comes to advancing to the Super Bowl one fact is critical: size matters when it comes to putting points on the scoreboard in divisional round playoff games. Teams who score 14 or fewer points in championship games are soon to be extinct as they are 4-36 SU and 5-35 ATS since 1980. On the flip side, those teams who score 28 or more points in conference title games are 32-5 SU and 31-6 ATS over the same span. FYI: home teams that manage put up 28 or more points in this round are an eye-opening 23-0 SU and 21-2 ATS.
There you have it. The database has spoken. Somewhere between its language and yours is a winner or two on this week’s card. Enjoy the games…