Welcome to NFL Conference Championship Sunday. We are down to the Final Four and after today we will have our Super Bowl matchup finalized. Historically, this round has been kind to favorites. Since 2010, favorites have gone 14-6 (70%) straight up in the AFC and NFC championship games. Home favorites have gone 12-4 (75%) straight up. When it comes to covering the number, favorites are 11-9 ATS (55%). Home favorites are 9-7 ATS (56.3%).
For extensive Sunday betting analysis and line move updates, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon ET on The Lombardi Line. We'll also be joined by Mike Palm, Amal Shah, Thomas Gable and William Hill.
Until then, let's discuss where respected money is going for today's two playoff games...
3:05 p.m. ET: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers
This NFC Championship game marks the 14th championship game for Tom Brady and 5th for Aaron Rodgers. Brady is 9-4 while Rodgers is 1-3. The Bucs (13-5 SU, 10-8 ATS) enter as the underdog 5-seed. Tampa Bay beat Washington 31-23 in the Wild Card round, although they failed to cover as 10-point road favorites. In last week's Divisional Round, the Bucs upset the Saints 30-20, winning outright as 2.5-point road dogs. The 1-seed Packers (14-3 SU, 11-6 ATS) received a first-round bye and are coming off a 23-18 win over the Rams in the Divisional Round, covering as 7-point home favorites.
This line opened with Green Bay listed as a 4-point home favorite. The public respects Brady but also can't pass up laying a short spread at home with the high-flying Packers. However, despite a slight majority of bets backing Green Bay, we've seen this line fall to 3.5. It even touched the key number of 3 before some Packers buyback pushed the line back up to 3.5. Essentially, respected pro money has gotten down on the Bucs at + 3.5 or better, while conflicting sharp Packers money came in at -3. Playoff dogs with a line move in their favor (like the Bucs going from + 4 to + 3.5) are 14-7 ATS (67%) since 2017. These teams met back in Week 6 and the Bucs won 38-10. Green Bay has a one-day rest advantage as it just played on Saturday while the Bucs played Sunday. The Bucs will also be playing their third straight road playoff game. Early in the week, we saw money hit this under, dropping the total from 51.5 to 51. But over the past 24-48 hours we've been late over money come in, driving the total up to 52. Weather could play a big factor in this one. The forecast calls for high 20s , 7-10 MPH winds and possible snow showers. Both teams have been profitable to the over this season, with Tampa Bay 10-8 and Green Bay 10-7
6:40 p.m. ET: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
This AFC Championship Game marks the third straight conference title game for Kansas City. Meanwhile, it's the first for Buffalo since 1994. The 2-seed Bills (15-3 SU, 12-6 ATS) just dismissed the Ravens 17-3 in the Divisional Round, easily covering as 2.5-point home favorites. A week earlier, Buffalo beat Indianapolis 27-24, although they failed to cover as 7-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the 1-seed Chiefs (15-2 SU, 6-10-1 ATS) just squeaked by the Browns 22-17, failing to cover as 8-point home favorites. Kansas City lost star quarterback Patrick Mahomes late in the game due to a concussion.
This line opened with Kansas City listed as a 3-point home favorite. Bets are virtually split down the middle and the public doesn't know who to back. But once Majomes was upgraded to probably, we saw the juice on the 3 move toward the Chiefs (-3 at -120). This signals some liability on the Kansas City side. If the line reaches 3.5 on gameday, expect some Bills money to grab the hook. Playoff dogs like Buffalo are 6-4 ATS this postseason and 27-17 ATS (61%) since 2017. These two teams met in Week 6, with Kansas City winning 26-17. Buffalo enjoys a one-day rest advantage as they played on Saturday while the Chiefs played Sunday. Bill Vinovich, the lead ref, has historically favored road teams (55% ATS). The Chiefs are 8-1 straight up over their last nine games but just 1-8 ATS. Pro money has also hit this over, pushing the total up from 50.5 to 54.5. Buffalo is 12-5-1 to the over this season. Kansas City is 9-8 to the under. The forecast calls for high 30s and 10 MPH winds.