Over-Under NFL Championship Round Sunday Total Predictions, Odds
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Handicapping Sunday's NFL Playoff Conference Championship Round Totals
It's the NFL's version of the Final Four, and we have a couple of good ones on tap. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers kick off the day at 3:05 p.m. ET with the first-ever playoff battle between likely future Hall of Fame QBs Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. In the second game, we get two top young guns in QBs Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes II squaring off at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for the other Super Bowl ticket. The Chiefs, of course, are trying to get back to the big game and defend their crown.
All eyes were on Mahomes this week, as he was knocked out of the AFC Divisional Round win over the Cleveland Browns with a concussion. Mahomes confirmed Friday that he is out of the protocol and ready for Sunday's game. That groan you heard was from western New York and under bettors, but over bettors who got in early are doing a little happy dance.
The Packers have a slew of players listed on their injury report, but not many players who could move the needle in terms of the total line. LB Za'Darius Smith (thumb) might be the biggest concern, as he was limited in mid-week practices. WR Allen Lazard (wrist, back), RB Jamaal Williams (ankle) and WR Equanimeous St. Brown (knee, ankle) were in the same boat, but they're more complementary pieces that primary pieces. Sure, it's nice if they're in there, but they won't really change anything in or out as far as the number.
For the Buccaneers, WR Antonio Brown (knee) hasn't practiced all week, and WR Mike Evans (knee) and WR Chris Godwin (quadriceps) have been limited participants. RB Ronald Jones II (quadriceps, finger) is also limited in the first two mid-week practice sessions. Those are all big news on offense, while Pro Bowl DL Jason Pierre-Paul (knee, rest) didn't practice at all mid-week, with secondary players Sean Murphy-Bunting (quadriceps, ankle), Jordan Whitehead (knee) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (ankle) each appearing on the injury report, as well. Brown could sit, but the others are all expected to be ready.
In the AFC game, only DT Vernon Butler (quadriceps) and WR Gabriel Davis (ankle) are questionable for Sunday. Everyone else who missed practice or was limited during the week, including WRs Cole Beasley (knee) and WR Stefon Diggs (oblique), are good to go.
In K.C., we touched on Mahomes, which is the only real needle mover in terms of the total. And that's a REALLY big needle mover if he were sidelined, obviously. He won't be. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle, hip) and WR Sammy Watkins (calf) missed last week, and are in danger of sitting again, as is RB Le'Veon Bell (knee). If CEH and Bell are out, Mahomes might take to the air even more than usual. Hello, over?
Conference Championship Round Betting Angles
Last season we saw the 'over' cash in each of the two conference title games, the third time in the past six season that has happened. One of the games obviously involved the Chiefs. The other involved the Packers, as they were hammered in Santa Clara by the San Francisco 49ers, 37-20. So each of these teams has a really recent appearance in the round.
The 'over' has outpaced the 'under' 11-9 (55.0%) across the past 10 seasons, including 9-3 (75.0%) over the past six years.
The last time we saw more 'under' results that 'over' results in the Conference Championship round was the 2013-14 season, when the under hit in each game.
Over-Under (O/U) Conf. Championship Round Results
- 2019: 2-0
- 2018: 1-1
- 2017: 1-1
- 2016: 2-0
- 2015: 1-1
- 2014: 2-0
- 2013: 0-2
- 2012: 1-1
- 2011: 0-2
- 2010: 1-1
Over-Under Line Moves
- Tampa Bay at Green Bay: 52 to 51.5
- Buffalo at Kansas City: 56 to 54
Odds Subject to Change - As of Friday 1.22.21
Over-Under Betting Trends
Listed below are the leans for the Conference Championship round as of Friday.
- Tampa Bay at Green Bay: Over 82%
- Buffalo at Kansas City: Under 63%
Trends Subject to Change - As of Friday 1.22.21
NFL Championships Over-Under Preview
Tampa Bay at Green Bay (3:05 p.m. ET)
The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the upper 20's at kickoff, with light winds around 8-10 mph. That's actually pretty mild for late January in the refrigerator known as Green Bay. Brady is no stranger to cold weather and important games, but most of his teammates might have a little shock to the system. There will be snow in the morning in Green Bay, but it is expected to be out of the area by 11 a.m. and not a factor during game play.
Speaking of Brady, he appeared in an NFL record eight consecutive AFC Championship games from the 2006-07 season through the 2018-19 season. In those games the 'under' went 6-2, with his final appearance in Jan. 2019 against Mahomes and the Chiefs ending in a 37-31 overtime win and 'over' result. Two of his past three conference title appearances have been 'over' hits.
For the Packers, they were in the NFC Championship Game last season, and Rodgers and company fell 37-20 as the 'over' connected. The Packers also had a shot at the Super Bowl in the 2016-17 season, losing 44-21 in Atlanta as the 'over' cashed, and they fell 28-22 in overtime at Seattle during the 2014-15 playoffs, another 'over' result. The last time Rodgers and the Packers saw the 'under' hit in the conference title game was a 21-14 win in Jan. 2011 at Chicago, their last season with a Super Bowl win. The NFC as a whole has seen the 'over' hit in five of the past six conference title games.
As far as these teams are concerned, Brady's Bucs hit the 'under' in a 30-20 win at New Orleans last week, following a 31-23 win at Washington with the 'over'. Overall on the season the 'over' has edged the 'under' 10-8 in the 18 total games to date. The 'over' is 5-2 across Tampa's past seven road outings.
The Packers and Buccaneers did play back on Oct. 18 this season, and the Buccaneers curb-stomped the Packers 38-10 at Raymond James Stadium, which is where both teams hope to be playing in two weeks time. The 'under' (55) connected on that day, as the Pack had a power outage.
The Pack hit the 'over' last week in a 32-18 win over the Rams, and the over has hit in three straight games. It's been a season of runs for Green Bay, as the 'under' was 3-0 in the three previous games from Weeks 12 through 13, wit the 'over' 4-1 in the five prior games. That followed a 3-0 'under' run, and a 3-0 'over' run to start the season.
Green Bay has cashed the 'over' in each of its past six playoff games, and each of the previous eight appearances in the month of January, including last week's 32-18 win over the Rams. The over is 8-3 in Green Bay's past 11 as a playoff game favorite, and 7-3 in the past 10 home playoff tilts.
As far as Tampa is concerned, the over is 6-1 in the past seven as a road 'dog, and 5-2 in their past seven appearances on a grass surface. Most other longer term trends aren't terribly meaningful, as Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Brown and company weren't a part of those games.
Buffalo at Kansas City (6:40 p.m. ET)
The weather in Kansas City looks to be a little more of a problem, as showers are expected to move into the area around 6 p.m., and get increasingly stronger through the evening. It will be a cold rain, with temperatures in the upper 30's and winds around 8-10 mph, but nothing these two cold-weather teams cannot handle.
Mahomes and the Chiefs do not have the same resume as Brady or the Packers, in terms of recent conference title game appearances, but he is obviously young. And Mahomes and the Chiefs are the only one of the four teams playing Sunday to have appeared in the conference title game in each of the past two seasons, hitting the 'over' both times. Last season was a 35-24 win over Tennessee, and the prior year was the 37-31 OT loss to Brady and the Patriots at Arrowhead.
In the AFC title game, the 'over' has hit in back-to-back seasons (last two involving the Chiefs) only once in the past 10 years. The 'under' is 5-4 over the previous nine seasons in the big AFC game.
Buffalo's defense struggled a bit during the early going this season, although the offense played at such a high level, it masked the issue. The 'over' went 10-4-2 during the regular season, but the 'under' is 1-0-1 during the playoffs, with the team coming off a 17-3 win over the Ravens last week, it's best defensive production of the campaign. Still, the 'under' hasn't hit in consecutive games for the Bills since Weeks 6-7. The important note there is that Week 6 was against the Chiefs, a 26-17 loss with a number of 55.
The Chiefs hit the 'under' last week in its narrow 22-17 win over the Browns (56), and the 'under is 2-0 in the past two starts by Mahomes. While Kansas City is a high-octane offense, it might be rather surprising to casual fans that the actually outpaced the 'under' 9-8 in their previous games, 9-7 if you are counting just starts by Mahomes, as he sat in an 'over' result in Week 17 against the Chargers with the top seed in the AFC all sewn up.
The Bills have hit the 'over' in each of their past four as an underdog, and the over is 5-2-1 in their past eight road games. The over is also 11-3-1 in their past 15 games following a straight-up win, while going 5-0-1 in their past six on a grass surface.
For the Chiefs, they have hit the over in four of their past five appearances in the month of January, with the lone exception last week's under result. The under is 4-1 in their past five as a home favorite, and the under is 7-3 in their past 10 against teams with an overall winning record.
NFL Conf. Championship Round Playoff Over-Under Predictions
- Best Over: Over 52 Tampa Bay at Green Bay
- Best Under: Under 54 Buffalo at Kansas City
- Best First-Half Total: Over 25.5 Tampa Bay at Green Bay
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