Early Betting Trends, Prop Bets, Huge Futures Tickets Ahead of NFL Championship Sunday

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If mid-week betting trends prove prophetic, gamblers expect the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles to capture Sunday’s conference championship games.

DraftKings wagers back the Eagles with 77% of the spread handle at -2.5 against the San Francisco 49ers as of Wednesday morning. They also support the Bengals with 79% of the spread handle at -1.5.

Bengals bettors who jumped on the game right after it went up have a high-quality team on sale.

Cincy went from slight dogs to small favorites in the AFC title game upon injury news. The likelihood of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes being less than 100% because of a high-ankle sprain impacts the markets.

In the NFC Championship Game, the line sits in a comfortable pocket for Eagles backers, who drove the initial spread from -2 to -2.5. Eagles bettors can be happy the line hasn’t moved to an unattractive -3.

As wagering continues, the Mahomes saga has books calling audibles. The line has slowly gone in Cincinnati’s direction by anywhere from three to five points. Books try to find the spot that fits in with bettors.

Bet TypeSpreads
Open
Sun (1/29) @ 3:05pm ET SF 49ers +125 +2000 +1250 +4500 +1700 +15000
PHI Eagles -149 -10000 -5000 0 -10000 0
Sun (1/29) @ 6:40pm ET CIN Bengals +100 +1000 +800 +4500 +900 +600
KC Chiefs -120 -2000 -1667 0 -2500 -1000
Sun (1/29) @ 3:05pm ET SF 49ers +2.5 +100 +24.5 -5000 +24.5 -250 +24.0 +700 +23.5 +600 +24.0 0
PHI Eagles -2.5 -120 -24.5 +1400 -24.5 +185 -24.0 -1250 -23.5 -1250 -24.0 0
Sun (1/29) @ 6:40pm ET CIN Bengals +1.5 -110 -2.5 -115 +2.5 +105 +2.5 -110 +1.5 -114 +2.5 -105
KC Chiefs -1.5 -110 +2.5 -115 -2.5 -141 -2.5 -120 -1.5 -114 -2.5 -120
Sun (1/29) @ 3:05pm ET SF 49ers u45 -110 u42.5 -141 u38.5 -227 u42.5 -156 u38.5 0
PHI Eagles o45 -110 o42.5 +110 o38.5 +165 o42.5 +120 o38.5 0
Sun (1/29) @ 6:40pm ET CIN Bengals o48.5 -110 o43.5 +130 o45.5 -115 o47.5 -110 o43.5 +100
KC Chiefs u48.5 -110 u43.5 -161 u45.5 -110 u47.5 -118 u43.5 -125

DraftKings Boss Discusses Mahomes’ Impact on Bengals vs. Chiefs Line

Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today the Bengals vs. Chiefs betting line reflects an expectation of Mahomes to play at about 80%.

Avello believes a healthy Mahomes would have produced a betting line of Kansas City -3. Thus, his injury status has slowly been baked into the line.

Based on that projection, Mahomes’ status has already moved the line by as much as 5.5 points, Avello noted. The line has been as high as Cincinnati -2.5.

In the unexpected event that Mahomes sits, it could move another couple points into the area of Cincinnati -4, he believes.

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
Early trends show bettors are fading an injured Patrick Mahomes as the Chiefs host the Bengals for the AFC title (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The total has been nudged down from 47 points, as bettors seek to assess the impact of a compromised Mahomes. He won’t be able to keep plays alive nearly as long, and he won’t be able to rescue busted plays with his legs. This dynamic takes some points off of Kansas City’s normal projected total.
Avello said the book adjusted Mahomes’ prop total, adding a huge plus number (+175) if he can get Over 2.5 passing touchdowns, a much larger payout than normal.

While individual numbers are tweaked, betting numbers on teams has played havoc with the moneyline while keeping spread-wagering attractions intact.

More on Mahomes: Where does he sit in Super Bowl 57 MVP odds?

Conference Championship Moneylines

The Cincinnati moneyline was -105 Sunday night and has since shot to -135, nearly unplayable to many.

Kansas City has improved to +115, which is reasonable, but not stellar.

“My only concern about these short spreads is that the moneyline isn’t as attractive,” Avello noted. “You are getting +125 on the Niners and +115 on the Chiefs, but the people like numbers in the neighborhood of +175, +200, +240.”

Indeed, many Cincinnati bettors jumped on the moneyline of more than +200 across the books as they manhandled the Buffalo Bills 27-10.

On the flip side, the spread betting this week remains attractive to chalk players.

“At 2.5, a lot of people are laying the points,” he said. “If you like the favorites, this is a pretty good time to bet. Customers who bet the dogs will hold off a little and see if they can get 3. If the Eagles-49ers go to 3, which I doubt, you would see a lot more money from the dog bettors.

“I don’t expect too many people to play the Eagles moneyline (-145).”

Early lines moves: NFL Playoff Odds for Conference Championships

Notable Early Conference Championship Bets

Here are some intriguing wagers that have come in early at DraftKings.

  • $34,003 on CIN Bengals Moneyline (-120) to payout $62,338.83
  • $500 on Skyy Moore to Score 2 or More Touchdowns (+11000) to payout $55,500
  • $300 on George Kittle to win Super Bowl MVP (+10000) to payout $30,300

NFL Playoff Props

Here are some early team DraftKings props for this week.

  • Will the first kickoff in each game result in a touchback? Yes is +195.
  • Will each team record at least one field goal? That’s even money, +100.
  • Will each team notch a passing touchdown? Yes is +120.
  • Home teams -0.5 vs away teams. That’s -110 either way.

Players with the most passing yards, through the Super Bowl

  • Joe Burrow +110
  • Brock Purdy +120
  • Patrick Mahomes +900
  • Jalen Hurts +1200

Players with the most receiving yards, through the Super Bowl

  • Ja’Marr Chase +150
  • Deebo Samuel +225
  • Travis Kelce +650
  • George Kittle +1000

This is an intriguing cross-reference to the conference championship round.

Samuel actually has more receiving yardage than Chase, at 178-145, but he’s the second pick. That could reveal the books’ expectation that the Niners may be playing one fewer game than the Bengals and, hence, they will lose this week.

It can also mean that Chase, who enjoyed a 266-yard receiving day against Kansas City last year, may dial up another monster game.

Kelce’s odds also are significant. He trails Chase, 145 yards to 98. But should he hold his ground against Chase, and both the Chiefs and Eagles win,

Kelce could pass Chase on Super Bowl Sunday and return a hefty price.

Scoring Props for Conference Championship Round

Eagles-Niners Touchdown Scorers, First and Anytime

  • Christian McCaffrey +700 first, -120 anytime
  • Jalen Hurts +750, +110
  • Miles Sanders +800 +120
  • A.J. Brown +900 +140
  • Dallas Goedert +1200, +195
  • Deebo Samuel +1200, +165
  • George Kittle +1300, +180
  • Eagles Defense +2800, +400
  • Niners Defense +2800 +425
  • Boston Scott, Interesting Longshot, +2800 +550
  • Kansas City-Cincinnati Touchdown Scorers, First and Anytime
  • Travis Kelce +750 first, +100 anytime
  • Joe Mixon +750, +100
  • Ja’Marr Chase +800, +100
  • Jerick McKinnon +1000, +150
  • Isiah Pacheco +1100, +165
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster +1900, +310
  • Joe Burrow +2000, +320
  • Kansas City Defense +2800, +425
  • Cincinnati Defense +2800, +400
  • Patrick Mahomes +3500, +600

NFL Playoff Props from FanDuel

Highest scoring game

  • Bengals-Chiefs -125
  • Eagles-Niners -115

More props

  • Kelce to notch 75 receiving yards and George Kittle to get 50 is +280.
  • Any punt or kickoff return to go for a touchdown is +600
  • Chase and Brandon Aiyuk to reach 200 combined receiving yards is +600

Caesars Report: Timing is Everything

Two weeks ago, you could have obtained at least +500 on nearly all the playoff teams to win the Super Bowl.

As that dwindles into scant, deep playoff odds, Caesars reported its season-long evolution of the remaining teams.

Who had Crystal Ball Cha-Ching this season?

Anyone who could read between the lines and forecast a resurgence by the Bengals and Chiefs.

The Bengals started 0-2 by falling as favorites to the Steelers and Cowboys, and their Super Bowl odds ballooned to +3500 from Sept. 18 to Sept. 25. Imagine having that number now.

The Niners reached +2500 twice this year, per Caesars. One was after a 19-10 season-opening loss to the Chicago Bears, and then after that 11-10 snooze-fest loss to the Denver Broncos, making them 1-2

Two monumental events changed this team. One was the trade that brought Christian McCaffrey, dropping their odds into the +1100 range.
They came down further when Brock Purdy stepped in to show the Niners had not missed a beat, and had even improved, without Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Niners have won an astounding 12 straight games, tops in the league.

Updated prices: Odds to win Super Bowl 57

Big Futures Bets

Regarding the biggest futures payouts, there are two different bettors who could win over $1 million total on NFC teams winning it all.

One Arizona bettor hit the Eagles to win the Super Bowl four different times: $50,000 at +550, $50,000 at +380, $50,000 at +300, and $30,000 at +850, which would be a combined win of $870,000, the book said.

The bettor also put $100,000 on the Eagles to win the NFC at +180, another $100,000 at +165, and a final $100,000 at +160, for a total potential win of $505,000.

All of that rides on one game this week. How do you spell pressure?

A Nevada bettor made two massive wagers on the 49ers on Nov. 13. The player put down $75,000 on 49ers Super Bowl +1200 for a potential win of $900,000, along with $100,000 on 49ers NFC +500 for a potential win of $500,000.

There are also some noteworthy bets on the Eagles at longer odds. They include a West Virginia bettor having $10,000 on Eagles +25000 Super Bowl right before the season kicked off and an Iowa bettor staking $4,000 on the Eagles at +2000 to win the NFC all the way back in April.
After nearly a six-month wait, that gambler is staring at $80,000 if the Eagles triumph Sunday.

Talk about fortunes riding on one game. Some will be elated and some deflated after the Eagles-Niners.

Over in the AFC, the same Arizona bettor has $50,000 on Chiefs +450 Super Bowl for a potential win of $275,000. The player also put $100,000 on Chiefs +190 AFC and $50,000 on Chiefs +240 AFC for a total potential win of $310,000 if Kansas City beats Cincinnati on Sunday.

Back in early September, a Nevada bettor placed $8,000 on the Chiefs at +1100 to win the Super Bowl for a potential win of $88,000.

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About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo is a multiple award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970’s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. He has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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