Conference Championship Odds
And then there were four. The NFL odds are posted for the NFC and AFC Conference Championship games, both of which will draw plenty of action this week at sportsbooks.
The Green Bay Packers were so dominant against the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday night that they find themselves road favorites for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game at the Chicago Bears. And more than 60% of the wagering community seemed to be siding with the Packers early in the week.
Bovada and most major books favor the Green Bay Packers by 3.5 points, with the over/under set at 44 points. As underdogs against the Eagles and Falcons the last two weeks, both times on the road, the Pack triumphed.
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They were particularly unstoppable on Saturday at the Georgia Dome. Facing a Falcons team that was 20-2 at home in the Matt Ryan era, the Packers relentlessly put points on the board. [ Predicted Score: Green Bay 29 Chicago 22 ]
Aaron Rodgers was a sparkling 31 of 36 for 366 yards and three touchdown passes in Green Bay’s 48-21 victory. The Pack did that damage against the league’s 22nd-ranked pass defense. Though the Chicago Bears rank ninth in total defense, they’re 20th against the pass.
Since it seems like no one can slow down the Green Bay offense right now, the Bears will have to put points on the board themselves. Jay Cutler could be up to the task if his performance against the Seattle Seahawks last week is any indication. Cutler threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns; he ran for two more scores.
Don’t be surprised if the line finishes at Green Bay -3 or maybe even shrinks to -2.5. Oddsmakers could be a bit overexcited. Remember, the Packers are still on the road; they lost at Chicago earlier this year.
In the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers have the edge over the visiting New York Jets according to NFL odds at major books everywhere. Bet365 and Sportsbook.ag favor Pittsburgh by 3.5 points and set the over/under at 38.5 for this battle between two of the three highest-rated defenses in the NFL. [ Steelers vs Jets Matchup Report and Trends ]
The New York Jets are no stranger to road underdog status; they overcame a spread that approached 10 points to triumph 28-21 over the New England Patriots last week. Mark Sanchez shook his supposed cold-weather woes to throw three touchdown passes. [ The best Jets line was at 5Dimes early in the week at +3.5, -106 - see if it has moved ]
The Pittsburgh Steelers overcame adversity of their own last week, rallying from a 21-7 halftime deficit to win 34-21. When the chips were down, Ben Roethlisberger solved the Ravens’ pass defense; he hooked up with Heath Miller and Hines Ward for touchdowns in the third quarter. [ Predicted Score: Steelers 29 Jets 24 ]
But will Big Ben and the Steelers’ NFL odds fare as well against Gang Green? The Jets’ elite cornerback tandem of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie smothered the New England Patriots last week, giving Tom Brady no options.
Then again, the Steelers have the big play receiver the Patriots lacked. Mike Wallace may be the key piece to justify picking Pittsburgh at -3.5.