Early Money on Patriots Over Jags in AFC Championship Game

Brady Patriots

Kevin Stott

Monday, January 15, 2018 2:01 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 15, 2018 2:01 PM UTC

The NFL is down to its final four -- Vikings-Eagles in the NFC and Jaguars-Patriots in the AFC -- and bettors are eager to get a piece of defending Super Bowl champion New England.

Sunday NFL: Jaguars vs. Patriots

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Free NFL Pick: 1Q Under 7½ +107Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

Free NFL Pick: Patriots 1H Moneyline -245Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

AFC Championship Game Odds Update

Open: NE -8 -119 (Bookmaker); Current: NE -9½ -110 (BetOnline); Movement: NE 1½ points

Total Open: 47u -115 (Bookmaker); Current: 46u -111 (Bookmaker); Movement: 1 point

Moneyline Open: NE -400 (Pinnacle); High: NE -460 (SIA); Move: 60 cents

1st Half Spread Open: NE -5½ (Pinnacle); High: NE -5½ -112 (Pinnacle); Move: None

1st Half Total Open: 23½u -119 (Pinnacle); Low: 23 (5Dimes); Difference: ½

1st Half Moneyline: NE -265 (Pinnacle); High: NE -272 (Pinnacle); Move: 7 cents

1Q Open: NE -½ -130 (Pinnacle); Total: 7½o -125 (Pinnacle); Moneyline: NE -245 (Pinnacle)

Analysis

Early money on the NFL odds board immediately opened on Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots, first testing 8½ at Bookmaker, and settling there for a bit, while BetOnline opened at (Patriots minus) 9½ less than a hour later. After a couple of hours, more early and perceived Sharp money poured in on the Patriots, driving the line up to 9 at most sportsbooks with several at 9½, meaning sooner or later — probably sooner — someone likely will be hanging a 10 on this game with more general public money probably entering the marketplace from Monday to Saturday, either backing New England because of this early movement or just because they want to and feel this is as low (9-9½) as this number will be. And that makes perfect sense, with the number so high to begin with and only two games on the NFL schedule this week, meaning more money should be wagered overall on each game than in the Divisional Round games.

As far as the total, a tick down 1 point with more expected movement up on the Patriots on the Moneyline with SIA already hanging a (NE minus) 270 -- 65 cents higher than the opener from 5Dimes. Some things to watch here: The first quarter itself, as the tone will be set in that first 15 minutes of the game. Jacksonville has been fabulous in the first quarter this season, so expect Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick to game-plan around that in an effort to not get behind early like the Steelers did Sunday.

Historically, New England (1/1 to win Super Bowl LII, Intertops) is 10-1 SU in 11 all-time meetings against the Jaguars (15/2), and Jacksonville has never won in New England; the Patriots won those seven meetings by an average of 21 points. Jacksonville is 11-0 SU when QB Blake Bortles has no turnovers.

Sunday NFL: Vikings vs. Eagles

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Free NFL Pick: Under 38 -105Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

NFC Championship Game Odds Update

Open: MIN -3½ -103 (Bookmaker); Current: MIN -3½ +107 (5Dimes); Movement: None

Total Open: 37½ (BetOnline); Current: 38 -110 (Bookmaker); Difference: ½ point

Moneyline Open: MIN -172 (BetOnline); High: MIN -172 (BetOnline); Low: MIN -165 (5Dimes)

1st Half Spread Open: MIN -2½ (5Dimes); 1st Half Total Open: 18½ (5Dimes)

1st Half Moneyline Open: MIN -265 (5Dimes); High: MIN -272 (5Dimes); Move: 7 cents

Analysis

So, it will be Case Keenum vs. Nick Foles dueling for the NFC title in a conference with QBs such as Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, Dak Prescott and Cam Newton in it. Ruminate on that a bit. These two dudes aren’t even the perceived starting QBs on their own teams, for the love of Bart Starr. Nothing makes sense. With many lines at 3½ after open, and the vigorish on taking the Eagles +3½ currently as high as -117 (5Dimes), seeing some early Philadelphia money to drive this line down to a 3 everywhere early in the week wouldn’t surprise. Sharps generally like underdogs. This could be a lower-scoring game outdoors, as the total (38) hints at. So, this might be the last we see of 3½ and 38. Bettors wanting to back the Vikings (37/20 to win Super Bowl LII, Intertops) likely will wait to see a 3 and then lay it, while some backers of the Eagles (13/2) will take the 3½ now and/or wait to see if there is an early influx of Minnesota money, driving the number up to 4. This spread might dance between 3½ and 3 and settle closer to 3 with decent money wagered on both of these sides.

As far as the total when pondering your NFL picks, 38 might be the high point with both teams having such strong defenses, and with two backup QBs trying to lead their starving franchises to a Super Bowl appearance. So far the forecast is for temperate conditions in Philadelphia (partly cloudy, low 41°). All series trends point to taking the Eagles and the under, with the underdog 4-1 ATS the L5 meetings, the Eagles 4-1 ATS the L5 vs. Minnesota in Philadelphia and 6-2 ATS the L8 meetings overall, while the under is 5-2 the L7 times these two have met, 4-0 the L4 in Philadelphia and 9-1-1 the L11 Eagles home playoff games. Minnesota is 42-18 in its L60 overall and 5-1 ATS its L6 road games, while Philadelphia is 11-4 ATS its L15 against the NFC.

Both teams are 11-6 ATS after the Divisional Round, with Philadelphia covering against Atlanta — as the first No. 1 seed to be an underdog — and Minnesota not, but caring less, after its miraculous last-second Stefon Diggs-escape vs. New Orleans.

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