Thursday Trend: The Dogs Don’t Bite, Jan. 21
Super Bowl Sunday is basically a religious holiday that is observed by pretty much every American. Honestly, the people that don’t celebrate Super Bowl Sunday are kind of what’s wrong with this place. But there is some discrimination going on here and I have a bone to pick. It’s always Super Bowl Sunday this and Super Bowl Sunday that, and it really seems like Championship Sunday has gotten the short end of the stick.
Championship Sunday is such a glorious day. For it is the last Sunday in which there is more than one football game being played for over six months. It is the last time that we get to see teams playing for the next game and for some fans, winning a Conference Championship is the closest their team will get to ever winning something of meaning. (Just ask Bills fans who won four in the 90’s with no Super Bowl rings to show for it.)
With that, pay heed and respect the greatness of Championship Sunday because legends are made on this day and with the two matchups we have this week, it’s hard to believe that we won’t see somewhat of an instant classic. Before we jump into the trend, let’s examine what we have going in these two games.
In the early game, we get another great quarterback matchup with Aaron Rodgers hosting Tom Brady on what can only be described as an iditarod track for dogs. It’s going to be snowing and freezing in Lambeau but that should suit two of the greatest cold-weather quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. The Bucs had a great upset over the Saints last week and the defense looked fantastic. Meanwhile, Green Bay was electric against Los Angeles, and our favorite bet of GB -6.5 sailed to a victory. That sets up this game which should be nothing short of classic. The Packers are 3.5-point favorites entering this contest (-175 ML) with the total set at 51.5.
On the AFC side at night, the Chiefs will host the Bills in what is a rematch of a game played in 1994 at Rich Stadium, now known as Bills Stadium. Buffalo cruised to a 30-13 win to advance to the Super Bowl, which they lost. This time around, the Bills are not the same Bills of the 90’s and the Chiefs have a lot of unanswered questions. What we do know is that the Chiefs are the first team to host a conference championship in three consecutive years since the Philadelphia Eagles did it from 2002-2004, oh, when Andy Reid was their coach. The Chiefs could be without Patrick Mahomes who left the Divisional Game with a concussion and is still in protocol. If he is good to go, it’ll be Allen vs Mahomes in what is a battle of the young guns. Kansas City is a 3-point favorite (-157) with the total set at 54.
Here is the trend you came here for: In the AFC Championship Game, the favorite is 37-13 straight up and 27-22-1 against the spread since 1970. In the NFC Championship game, the favorite is 33-17 straight up and 27-22-1 against the spread.
History puts a huge advantage on the Chiefs and the Packers to win this game, which may we say, would make a tremendous Super Bowl. As always, these are statistics that should be taken with a grain of salt as the Chiefs themselves both lost and failed to cover in the AFC Championship Game in 2018 against the New England Patriots. They did however both win and cover against the Tennessee Titans just a year ago in this game.
In the Chiefs game, the Bills have been excellent against the spread. They are 12-6-1 this season and covering in eight of their last nine. The Chiefs have covered just six times all season and not once in their last nine attempts. In this game, I like the Chiefs to win but the Bills to cover. If I had a crystal ball, I’d see Josh Allen taking the lead by a point with 1:20 to go, leaving Mahomes too much time on the clock to march down the field and grab a game-winning field goal.
In the Bucs game, the Packers are readying for another Tom Brady matchup. Green Bay is just 1-3 when they are playing the goat and in their last game, it was a bloodbath, 38-10 win by the Buccaneers. This game I have a much harder time predicting and think it won’t be as close as the AFC game, regardless of who wins.
You know the trend in this game based on the history, pound the favorite straight up and you should be alright. It gives you a 74 percent and 66 percent chance of winning some money in the AFC and NFC, respectively.