The final week of betting on the NFL before the Super Bowl takes place on Sunday with the Tennessee Titans at the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers at the San Francisco 49ers.
A changing of the guard in the AFC
The NFL playoffs this week start with Big Red.
The Chiefs find themselves in the driver’s seat and will host the AFC Championship Game for the second consecutive year.
Heading into the playoffs, conventional wisdom might have predicted either the New England Patriots or Chiefs traveling to the No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravens for this year’s title game. NJ sports betting customers are licking their chops for this one.
The Tennessee Titans disrupted that outlook with upsets wins at New England and Baltimore.
The Chiefs needed some magic of their own after being down 24-0 to storm back and thump the Houston Texans 51-31.
The Chiefs-Titans AFC Championship game matchup breaks some notable historical trends:
- It will be the first time since 2010 that the New England Patriots will not play in the AFC Championship game.
- Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes and Titans’ QB Ryan Tannehill also break a streak of the AFC Championship Game, including either Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger in the last 17 years.
Mahomes has been an NFL starter for two seasons and will host the AFC Championship Game for the second consecutive year, which is not a bad start to a career. On the flip side, there’s Tannehill, who is enjoying the best year of his career at age 31.
Tannehill was acquired in the off-season from the Miami Dolphins for draft picks and now is one game away from the chance to head back to South Beach for the Super Bowl in Miami on Feb. 2.
It looks like Tannehill’s long-awaited “breakout year” is finally here in the NFL Playoffs 2020:
— Freezing Cold Takes (@OldTakesExposed) December 23, 2018
NFL playoffs 2020 Championship Weekend facts & trends
Tennessee at Kansas City 3:05 p.m. on CBS
- The Titans beat the Chiefs 35-32 in Tennessee in Week 10.
- Dating back to 2014, the Titans have been the underdog in four games versus the Chiefs, and the Titans have won each of the four games outright.
- Chiefs coach Reid has a 1-5 record in conference championship games.
- Chiefs are 6-3 ATS at home in Arrowhead Stadium this season and are 5-2 ATS in the role of home favorites.
- With the total currently posted at 52.5 at DraftKings, note that the Titans are 1-11 ATS in all games where the total is greater than or equal to 49.5 since 1992.
Game and player props of note
- Derrick Henry over/under total rushing yards: 109.5.
- Tannehill over/under passing yards 235.5 (Note: In the Titans’ two playoff wins versus the Patriots and Ravens, Tannehill has thrown for 72 and 88 yards, respectively).
- Patrick Mahomes over/under passing yards 302.5
Green Bay at San Francisco (-7.5 Total of 45) 6:40 p.m. on FOX
- This is Green Bay’s third NFC Championship title game in the last six years, having lost in Seattle in 2014 and Atlanta in 2017.
- The 49ers beat the Packers 37-8 in San Francisco in Week 12
- Packers were 3-1 ATS as road underdogs in 2019
- The 49ers were 5-4 ATS at home in 2019
- 49ers are 1-6-1 against the spread when favored by six or more points
Game and Player Props of Note
- Jimmy Garoppolo over/under total passing yards: 249.5
- Aaron Rodgers over/under total passing yards: 239.5
- Total Receptions: Davante Adams, 6.5; George Kittle, 6.5; Deebo Samuel, 3.5; and Emmanuel Sanders, 3.5.
- Total Rushing Yards: Aaron Jones over/under 64.5
When it comes time to make your bets for Sunday’s NFL Championship games, be sure to check-in with DraftKings Sportsbook. The DraftKings app offers a full menu of game action.
DraftKings is offering a 10-1 boost for a “superstar” player to score the game’s first TD.
For example, the Titans’ Henry is listed at 5.5-1 to score the first TD, DraftKings is almost doubling his odds in this promo to 10-1.
In addition to all the game and parlay action, there is plenty of futures betting on the Super Bowl.
My picks from the Jersey side
A 2-1 record on the divisional weekend brought my 2019 season slate to 28-28-1.
The Chiefs game looked hopelessly lost in the second quarter until they stormed back to win and cover versus the Texans.
The Seahawks offense came to life in the second half to drive the total points to 51 over the total of 47. The Titans not only covered but thoroughly dominated the Ravens 28-12.
My Divisional round recap
Week 2-1, 2019 Season 28-28-1
- Chiefs -9.5 over Texans (Chiefs 51, Titans 31)
- Packers and Seahawks under 47 (Packers 28, Seahawks 23)
- Titans +9.5 over Ravens (Titans 28, Ravens 12)
My Championship weekend selections
To make my three-weekend picks, we had to think outside of the box to put together three picks for Sunday. Here are my picks for Championship:
Chiefs -7.5 over Titans
After spotting the Texans 24 points to start last week’s game, the Chiefs outscored Houston 51-7 to win going away.
The Chiefs realize they can’t afford another slow start against a Titans team that jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in Baltimore last week and never looked back.
I think the Chiefs start early and don’t look back, ending the Cinderella run of the Titans with a convincing 38-13 win.
Ryan Tannehill under 235.5 yards
The Titans haven’t asked Ryan Tannehill to do too much in their upset victories against the Patriots and the Ravens, throwing under 100 yards in both games. The Titans game plan has been to hand the ball to RB Derrick Henry 30+ times per game.
Unless the Titans fall way behind early, I don’t see them dramatically changing this strategy.
While Tannehill’s posted passing yardage total of 235.5 seems almost too good to be true, especially since its 75 yards higher than his combined total of the last two games (160), I still think that under the total is still a good play here.
Packers and 49ers over 45 points
When the Packers lost at San Francisco earlier in the season, it was one of Rodger’s worst games of his career in an ugly 34-8 loss.
Time is ticking on Rodgers’ career, and this may be the 36-year-old’s last shot to win a second Lombardi Trophy. Expect a vintage Rodgers on Sunday night, even against San Francisco’s top-rated defense.
On the opposite side of the ledger, the 49ers have a potent offense that has consistently scored points all season and face a Packers defense that can be susceptible to the big play.
I expect the 49ers to prevail in tight, high-scoring affair 34-30.