Market Insights: How early money is flowing for AFC title game

January 14, 2020 12:06 AM

LSU capped off one of the most dominant seasons in college football history last night, beating Clemson 42-25 to win the national championship. LSU easily covered as a 4.5-point favorite, rewarding the two-thirds of public bettors who laid the points with the Bayou Bengals. Clemson received heavy smart money late, especially on game day, falling from +6 to +4.5. Some books even closed at +4 but it was all for naught as LSU proved too much to handle for the defending champs.

Joe Burrow (31-49, 463 yards, 5 TDs) outdueled Trevor Lawrence (18-37, 234 yards) as LSU finished the season undefeated (15-0). Clemson suffered their first loss in 29 games with Lawrence suffering his first-ever college loss (25-0 previously). 

The total opened at 69, reached 70 and closed at 66.5 right before kickoff. The game landed on 67, which would technically be graded as an over win. However, most sharps who had under 67.5 or more won their under bets (except for any late under 67 bettors who pushed or under 66.5 bettors who lost). The sportsbooks won big on the total as more than two-thirds of bets were on the over. 

Tuesday's action includes 6 NBA games, 11 NHL games and 24 College Basketball games. For an updated breakdown of sharp action across the marketplace be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Football bettors will now have a few days to catch their breath as they begin handicapping the NFL conference title games.

Let's start by discussing early sharp money hitting the AFC Championship game. We'll dissect the NFC Championship game in Wednesday's newsletter. 

Sunday 3:05 p.m. ET: Tennessee Titans (11-7) at Kansas City Chiefs (13-4)

The Titans have quickly become the top storyline of the playoffs. Tennessee snuck in as the 6th seed and then proceeded to upset the Patriots 20-13 as a 4.5-point road dog on wild-card weekend then take down the top-seeded Ravens 28-12 as a 10-point road dog in the divisional round. Tennessee cashed %plussign0 on the moneyline in Round 1 and then %plussign@0 in Round 2. The Titans have gone 11-7 ATS this season including 7-3 ATS on the road. Derrick Henry has been unstoppable this postseason, rushing 64 times for 377 yards and a touchdown. Kansas City enters as the 2nd seed. The Chiefs fell behind big to the Texans 24-0 early in the divisional round, but stormed back to win 51-31 as 10-point favorites. Kansas City has gone 12-5 ATS this season, including 6-3 ATS at home. At Circa Sports, the Chiefs are the favorite to win the Super Bowl at %plussign5 while the Titans have the longest odds of the four remaining teams at %plussignr5.

The AFC championship game, which kicks off at 3:05 p.m. ET, opened with Kansas City listed as a 7.5-point home favorite. The public is rushing to the window to lay the points with the Chiefs at Arrowhead. However, despite two-thirds of bets backing Kansas City the line has remained frozen at 7.5 and the juice is trending toward Tennessee (+7.5 at -115), signaling liability on the road dog and a possible move down to 7. Playoff dogs +7 or more are 37-26 ATS (59%) since 2003, including 6-2 ATS (75%) in conference title games. When the line stays the same or moves toward a dog they've gone 59-42 ATS (58%), including 3-1 ATS this postseason. Home favorites like the Chiefs are 14-12 ATS (53.8%) in conference title games.

The total opened at 51.5 and has risen to 52 behind two-thirds of bets taking the over. Conference championship overs are 18-11 (62%) since 2003. The forecast calls for frigid temperatures (20 degrees) but no precipitation and only 3-4 MPH winds. When the temperature is less than 30 degrees the over is 116-81 (58.9%), including 24-14 (63.2%) in the postseason. Outdoor playoff unders are 4-2 this postseason and 77-58 (57%) since 2003. Tony Corrente, the lead ref, has historically favored unders (56.7%). Both teams have been profitable to the over this season, with the Titans 10-8 and Chiefs 9-8. The Titans beat the Chiefs 35-32 in Week 10, winning straight up as 5-point home dogs. 

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