AFC, NFC Championship Moneyline Betting Strategy: Titans & Packers Worth Bets to Win Outright?
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Tannehill
- The Titans and Packers are similarly large underdogs in their respective conference championships this weekend.
- Check out how such teams have performed in the past, and whether history suggests moneyline value.
The spreads for this weekend’s conference championships definitely catch the eye.
For one thing, they’re nearly identical. The 49ers are 7.5-point favorites over the Packers and the Chiefs are bouncing between -7 and -7.5 against the Titans.
But probably more striking is their magnitude. Sure, there are some surprise teams in the mix, but conference championship games are supposed to be competitive — at least more so than this.
Historically speaking, it’s unusual for conference championships to feature spreads north of a touchdown, but it does happen. Dating back to 2003-04 (the beginning of our Bet Labs database), eight of the 32 conference championships have closed at -7 or higher.
And because of the expectation for competitive games, many bettors are probably asking themselves whether there’s value in a moneyline wager this weekend.
NFL Conference Championship Moneyline Betting Strategy
If history is any indication, the answer is yes.
Both the Titans and Packers are roughly in the +280 range across the market, which would suggest that they’d need to win about 27% of the time in order to break a profit. And in the playoffs, the winning percentage for such teams has been higher.
Teams that closed +7 or higher in a playoff game have gone 28-44 (31.3%) straight up since the 2003-04 season, and since many of them were greater than 7-point dogs, that winning percentage has returned a profit of 24.2 units and a 37.9% return on investment (ROI).
And with the jump from +7 to +7.5 being such a significant one in football betting, it’s worth filtering out the teams that closed right on the key number (in other words, testing only teams that closed +7.5 or higher).
Doing so returns an even better 16-33 (32.7%) record, good for 24.5 units and a 50.1% ROI.
This is not to suggest blindly betting both dogs to win outright, and if you don’t see them as having at least a 27% chance to win, you’d be contradicting yourself if you did.
However, if you’re looking for reason to believe that either the Packers or Titans can get the job done on Sunday, history is on your side.