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Patriots’ AFC Champ Game Odds Have A History Of Being Inflated

If I told you Tom Brady has only thrown for more than 239 yards in four of his 11 AFC championship games, would you be surprised? 

I think most folks outside New England would be.

What’s freshest in our minds when we think about the New England Patriots in an AFC championship game is a 36-17 beatdown of Pittsburgh last season as 5.5-point favorites. Brady threw for career conference championship highs of 384 yards and three touchdowns in that one. But it was the first time TB12 threw for more than two TDs in an AFC title matchup and just the fourth time in 11 tries he actually had more TDs than interceptions.

That’s 16 touchdowns against 12 picks.  

Here’s a look at the last 10 AFC title game performances for Brady and the Pats previous to last year: 

It all highlights the fact the Patriots just haven’t been the best bet in the AFC championship game. They’re only 5-6 against the spread even though they are 7-4 straight up. They’ve also only covered the number in two of their last eight attempts in these games despite the fact they won four of them. 

And yet, after the Pats dominated the Titans last week, the tendency of our minds is to start wondering just how many points the Pats would be favored by in the conference title game – rather than wondering how many points their opponent would be getting. 

It’s just a part of recency bias and the fact most recreational bettors think of the favorite first, underdog second. It’s important to be cognizant of it because oddsmakers most certainly are and these Pats lines have a tendency to be inflated. 

That’s no guarantee the Jags are going to cover. The Pats have covered their fair share of inflated lines over the past two seasons, at a combined 28-8 against the spread.   

That said, New England is just 4-4 against the spread this season when favored by 9 points or more – like they are this week against Jacksonville – and they lost two of those games outright. 

The shine of New England’s five Super Bowl rings can often blind bettors from seeing the Pats are only 18-16-1 against the spread in Brady’s playoff career (26-9 straight up). That’s a profit of around $38 if you’d bet $100 on all of those. 

I often tell you not to be afraid of the big numbers in my content. But this is one where you have to know that if you’re taking the Pats, you’re taking them at a steep price. Sportsbooks know action will flow in on them anyway.  

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