There’s always a ton of excitement leading up to what is known as Championship Sunday in the NFL. Only four teams are left standing and the goal of reaching the Super Bowl is just one win away. It doesn’t matter if your team is in the mix or not. This is one afternoon of football that you don’t want to miss.
Tips For Handicapping NFL Championship Sunday: Uncovering Best Bets
By this point the book is out on every team, but it doesn’t make handicapping these postseason matchups any easier. That’s why I took some time to take a look at the performance of teams in this critical juncture of the season. Hopefully you can use this information to lock down a winner and build your bankroll leading up to the Super Bowl.
Is there an Advantage Playing Saturday and Getting an Extra Day’s Rest?
|20-12 (62.5%)||15-17 (46.9%)||18-13-1 (58.1)|
The first thing I wanted to look at is whether or not the teams who played on Saturday in the Divisional Round had any sort of advantage with having an extra day of rest to prepare for their opponent.
It does appear that there’s a slight edge here in winning the game. Teams playing with the extra day of rest have won 62.5% of the time. However, that doesn’t translate into success against the spread. In fact, these teams are only covering the spread at a 46.9% (15-17) clip.
Home Field Advantage
|26-10 (72.2%)||20-15-1 (57.1%)||21-14-1 (60%)|
It’s no secret that playing at home is an advantage, especially this late in the season. It turns out to be a pretty strong factor in not only which team wins, but also what side covers the spread. The home team has won at a 72.2% rate (26-10) and are a profitable 57.1% against the spread (20-15-1).
It shouldn’t be a shocker that the home team has done so well winning these games outright. The team who hosts the conference championship is the higher rated seed and more times than not finished with a better record in the regular season than their opponent.
It is a bit surprising that they have been so good against the spread. The public has a tendency to side with whatever team is perceived to be better. You would think that would result in these home teams having to deal with some inflated lines.
The other thing that jumps out here is that the total. The OVER is cashing at a profitable 60% clip. It’s well known that the public loves to back the OVER, and as a result oddsmakers typically inflate the total to create value on the under.
Betting AFC & NFC Championship Games: Profitable Situations & Systems
Home Field if Line is Less Than Home Field Advantage
|6-5 (54.5%)||5-5-1 (50%)||7-4 (63.5%)|
The standard home field advantage in the NFL is right around 3.5 points. I decided to go back over the numbers and look at how home teams have fared when listed as 3-point home favorite or less.
It turns out oddsmakers may be tipping their hand in this scenario, as the home team is just 6-5 SU (54.5%) and 5-5-1 ATS (50%) in this spot.
Revenge if Not in Same Division
|10-13 (43.5%)||12-11 (52.2%)||12-10-1 (54.5%)|
The last thing I checked for handicapping conference championship games was whether or not revenge played a role if the two teams met during the regular season. Most would think the team playing with revenge might have an edge.
While not terrible, these teams are just 10-13 (43.5%) when it comes to winning the game outright. However, they are slightly better at covering the number, going 12-11 (52.2), but that’s nothing to get excited about.
One scenario to look for that has performed well is teams playing with revenge who are playing at home. Teams in these spot have gone 5-2 (71.4%) SU & ATS.