- Erica Renee Davis
NFL ODDS: 5 HOT BETTING TRENDS FOR THE AFC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
This weekend's AFC Conference Championship game features two teams sitting on completely opposite ends of the playoff spectrum. The Kansas City Chiefs are vying for their fourth-consecutive conference championship while the Cincinnati Bengals are making their first deep playoff run since 1988.
From a fan's perspective, the Chiefs are an easy sell. But from a gambling perspective, might the Bengals be worth their stripes?
Let's look at the betting trends for the battle between K.C. and Cincy.
The Chiefs are coming off a thrilling overtime 42-36 victory over the Buffalo Bills. And just like they were in the divisional round against the Bills, the 2020 Super Bowl champs are favored in the AFC Conference Championship game over Cincinnati. Seven points might seem like a big number for coach Andy Reid and his squad to lay on a scrappy Cincinnati team that traveled to Nash-Vegas and upset the Tennessee Titans. However, history tells us that gamblers rolling with lucky number seven on the home team in conference championship games come out with fatter pockets.
According to FOX Sports Research, in the last 19 conference title games with a 7-point spread (-7 to +7) or less, home teams went 11-8 against the spread (ATS) and 13-6 straight up (SU). Based on that trend, bettors should roll the dice on the home-team Chiefs.
Speaking of rolling, the Titans trampled all over Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow in the divisional round, sacking him a whopping nine times.
But Burrow and the Bengals bounced back and eked out a 19-16 win despite the non-stop pressure on the second-year QB.
While that W looks nice in the win column now, those sacks might come back to haunt the Bengals later. Our second trend shows that since 2015, teams that advance after giving up three or more sacks in the divisional round are 1-3 ATS and SU in the conference title game.
Along those lines, there's a third trend that bettors might consider when wagering this AFC matchup. Of the 26 teams to win as dogs in the divisional round since 2000, those teams are 11-15 SU in the conference championship game.
Cincy was able to slay the giant last week as underdogs, but according to these numbers, the Bengals will be in the thick of a different kind of jungle against Kansas City.
Now that we've touched on Burrow's woes, let's focus on Patrick "Showtime" Mahomes' highs because we'd be remiss to not give him his flowers as he captains one of the League's most explosive offenses.
In three out of five of K.C.'s final regular-season matchups, the point total hit or exceeded 57, eclipsing the over/under (O/U) in each of those games. One of those games was the Chiefs' 34-31 loss to (suspenseful drum roll) these very Bengals.
How will this come into play for conference championship weekend? Well, the O/U for the AFC Conference contest is 54. Our fourth trend shows that since 2003, the over has hit in 16 of 27 conference championship games when the average temperature was 50 degrees or colder. What is the expected game-time weather at Arrowhead this Sunday? A crisp 46 degrees.
So Mahomeboy has both his own high-scoring track record and the weather working in his favor. To turn a profit based on this trend, bet on balmy and the over.
The fifth and perhaps hottest trend for this chilly AFC Conference Championship game features Chiefs' coach Andy Reid.
Reid is 23-13-1 ATS and 28-9 SU when facing a team for the second time in the same season, including playoffs. That translates to a profitable 62% ATS and 76% SU in this category. He's also 8-5-1 ATS and 8-6 SU in the second game when losing the first matchup.
When wagering with this trend in mind, bet on blouses — Hawaiian style! So are you ready to make some fun wagers on the AFC Conference Championship game? If so, head over to FOX Bet to get in on the action right now!