Freedman: Betting Trends for the NFL Conference Championship Games
Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers.
The postseason has been great so far, and I’m expecting two more great games in the conference title games.
Although I am not a “trends bettor,” I find that trends help me identify spots I should consider further when analyzing games.
Using our Bet Labs database, I have uncovered some intriguing NFL trends for all four games this weekend.
Odds as of Sunday night and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Chiefs-Titans Under 51.5
Outdoor postseason games have trended to the under with a record of 77-58-4, good for a 10.5% return on investment, and whenever the Chiefs are home, I almost always bet the under anyway.
That didn’t work out well for me last week, but I expect the market will be too bullish on the over now because of the 82 points scored in Kansas City in the Divisional Round.
Arrowhead Stadium is a tough place to play, and I expect the Titans to lean on the ground game, given that running back Derrick Henry is currently in god mode and the Chiefs are No. 29 in run defense DVOA (per Football Outsiders).
With a run-heavy attack, the Titans are likely to slow the game down, which could drive the total to the under. The Titans have leaned on the run in both of their playoff games, and the under is 2-0.
It might seem counterintuitive to bet the under when one of the league’s best offenses is at home, but under head coach Andy Reid, the Chiefs at home have an under record of 36-23-1 (including playoffs, 18.9% ROI).
Since 2013, no home coach has been more profitable for under bettors than Reid.
Packers +7 at 49ers
As mediocre as the Packers have looked at times under first-year head coach Matt LaFleur, they are 11-6 ATS (24.9% ROI), and as underdogs, they are 3-1 ATS (43.8% ROI).
And as good as the 49ers have been this year, underdogs against head coach Kyle Shanahan’s team are 11-5-1 ATS (32.3% ROI).
And LaFleur might have an under-appreciated edge against Shanahan: When the Niners head coach was the offensive coordinator for the Texans (2008-09), Redskins (2010-13) and Falcons (2015-16), LaFleur worked under him as first an offensive quality control coach and then the quarterbacks coach.
It’s likely that no coach in the league knows Shanahan better than LaFleur.
In full disclosure, I think this line is pretty close and wouldn’t bet it at +6.5, but at +7, there’s enough value to get this fish to bite.
Matthew Freedman is 571-446-22 (56.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
He’s the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.