We’re down to the last three meaningful games of the NFL season, and early betting reveals the sharps are liking the home favorites on Conference Championship Sunday with the Falcons and the Patriots popular in betting action.
Open: Falcons -4½
Monday Night: Falcons -5 (Pinnacle)
The SBR odds page reveals sharp Falcons money early on with slight movement upward for Matt Ryan and the home chalks with the Offshore Consensus Monday evening revealing 43% of the tickets written on Atlanta but 84% of the betting action with a big average bet size of $728 in this NFC Final from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, meaning these sharps backed the Falcons (+252 to win Super Bowl, 5Dimes).
And the same thing is happening here in Las Vegas according to CG Technology’s Matthew Holt. “The Atlanta game is shaping up to being very similar to some of the games this past weekend with the sharps already laying the spread with the Falcons, yet we’re seeing a lot of the $50, $100 and $200 bets come in on the Packers,” Holt revealed on Pregame.com’s FIRST PREVIEW on Monday. “Right now we’re taking six times as much Packers moneyline as we are on the Atlanta Falcons,” he said, adding that he had taken $12,900 Green Bay money over the counter but not a single dollar on the Falcons at that point in time.
The game’s lofty total opened at 60½ (BetOnline) and was in a tight 60 (Pinnacle) to 61 (BookMaker) range Monday evening. The number -- which could end up being the highest total in NFL history if it closes higher than the 61½ posted for a 49ers-Rams game in Week 9 of 2000-01 -- is so high because of the expected quick pace, gunslinging QBs Ryan and Aaron Rodgers, the Falcons' Offense (#1 Scoring Offense, 33.8 ppg Regular Season) and the reality all 10 games played on the FieldTurf Classic HD surface of the climate-controlled Georgia Dome have gone 'over' the total, averaging a robust 60.9 ppg after the Falcons' 36-20 win (and 'over') Saturday in the NFC Divisional Round (ATL -6½, 51) vs. Seattle.
Pittsburgh Steelers At New England Patriots, 6:40 p.m.
Open: Patriots -5½
Monday Night: Patriots -6 (Bovada)
The AFC Finals matchup also looks like it could evolve into a perceived sharps vs. general public reality although the early consensus showed Tom Brady and New England (+250 to win Super Bowl, BetOnline) getting 54% of the bets and 90% of the cash ($423K-$49K) for this classic at Gillette Stadium (FieldTurf) with CG Technology’s Holt reporting he had taken $4,000 Steelers money with $36,000 on New England.
The total opened at 51 and has been down to as low as 50 (JustBet) at some sportsbooks with both sharps and the public possibly waiting for closer weather forecasts from Foxborough on Sunday (Mostly Cloudy, 32°).
FREE AFC FINALS PICK: Steelers +6 (Bovada)
NFL PLAYOFFS ATS PICKS RECORD: 10-3-0