When it comes to conference championship games, the New England Patriots haven’t exactly been hot lately.
The Pats have staggered to a cash-burning 1-6 against the spread record in their last seven AFC championship games in which they are 3-4 straight up. The lone covered spread came in 2015 when the Patriots destroyed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 as 7-point favorites.
New England is looking at a similar spread this time around, rising to as high as a 6.5-point favorite on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The early money suggested that bettors feel the Pats are well on their way to a similar performance to what we saw in 2015, rising from a 4.5-point favorite on the Sportsbook line.
It’s not a huge surprise to see the early Pats money. The feeling lately seems to be that you’d have to be freakin’ crazy to bet against the Patriots. After all, they are coming off covering the biggest spread in NFL playoff history last week (-16.5) and they are now 14-3 against the spread this season.
If New England covers two more games, the team will tie the 1989 San Francisco 49ers as the best bet ever in an NFL season, including playoffs. The Niners went 16-3 against the spread that year and much like the Pats this year, I’m sure they drove sportsbooks crazy.
But if you are taking the Pats this week, you may want to take a closer look at how Tom Brady performs in conference championships. He doesn’t seem to be his usual dominant self in these games:
In addition to going 1-6 against the spread in their last seven AFC championship games, you can see the UNDER has cashed the last six times the Patriots made it this far. In all, the UNDER is 7-3 in Brady’s 10 trips to the conference finals.
Brady has 13 touchdowns against 12 interceptions in these games and he has only thrown for more than 280 yards twice. So we usually don’t see his biggest statistical performances when this weekend rolls around. It’s something you may want to consider before you make those prop bets this weekend.
Side bets too.
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