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NFL Conf. Championships Odds Analysis

Funny what one-half of a football game can do to a betting line.

The NFL betting markets likely would have been looking at an opening number of Carolina minus 4 or 4.5 against Arizona following the first half of the Panthers-Seattle game when the score was 31-0 in favor of Carolina.

But when the Seahawks fought back to score 24 unanswered points in their 31-24 Divisional Round Playoff loss this past Sunday, oddsmakers opened Carolina as just a field goal favorite at home against the Cardinals in the NFC Championship Game. The total is 47.

The Panthers have won 12 consecutive games at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina is 16-1 and 12-5 against the spread (ATS) this season. The over is 11-5-1 in Panthers games.

Early NFC Action has been on the Panthers

Carolina talks about not being respected. Maybe the Panthers have linemakers in mind. Early action is on the Panthers pushing the juice higher and the line closer to reaching 3.5.

Arizona hasn't looked impressive in its last two games getting blown out at home by Seattle, 36-6, and slipping past Green Bay, 26-20 in overtime, at home on Saturday night failing to cover as seven-point home favorites. Even though the Packers forced overtime with a Hail Mary touchdown pass, the Cardinals were more lucky than good.

Patriots as Favorites on AFC Title Game Odds

The opening number in the AFC title game matchup between New England and Denver also is trending up. The Patriots opened as three-point road favorites. They currently remain at three but with heavy juice attached, which could turn into 3.5 soon. The over/under is 44.5.

The Patriots answered a lot of questions by getting their offense back in gear with their strong home showing against Kansas City, winning 27-20 and covering a minus 5.5-point spread this past Saturday.

New England is road chalk because Tom Brady remains great at 38, while Peyton Manning is washed up at 39. Denver was 5-4 straight-up and ATS in Manning's nine starts this season. Denver defeated New England, 30-24 in overtime, on November 29 as 2.5 home 'dogs. Brock Osweiler was the Broncos quarterback in that game.

This is the 17th time Brady and Manning are facing each other. Brady holds an 11-5 edge, 9-6-1 ATS.

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