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It’s a Wager Wonderland.

Gamblers receive two enticing contests for the NFC and AFC Championship Games.

At DraftKings, the Philadelphia Eagles opened at -2 against the visiting San Francisco 49ers, and the point spread quickly shot to -2.5. The betting line was posted within two minutes of San Francisco’s gritty 19-12 triumph over the Dallas Cowboys at -3.5.

One night earlier, the Eagles (-7.5) trounced the New York Giants 38-7, storming into the conference final.

The total for next Sunday’s early game sits at 45.5 on most oddsboards, and the moneyline ranges from Eagles -140 to -145, and the Niners from +120 to +125.

The spread for next week’s AFC title bout, moved from Kansas City Chiefs -1.5 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals to -1 early Monday morning. There was even a KC -3 spotted at the Westgate SuperBook on Sunday, but the line moved quickly to pick ’em at that shop.

The Bengals have beaten the Chiefs three straight times, and this line will be closely watched because of a high-ankle sprain Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is fighting through. Mahomes insists he will play.

Sportsbooks posted the line right after the Bengals manhandled the host Buffalo Bills 27-10 at odds of +5.5 to +6 across the books. It was also a moneyline dog-bettor’s dance at a price of more +200 at most books.

And now, bettors of both sides can dig into this conference-championship feast.

AFC, NFC Championship Games: Spreads, Totals, Moneylines

Here are early betting lines from top sportsbooks for Championship Sunday;

Bet TypeSpreads
Sun (1/28) @ 3:02pm ET KC Chiefs +140 -1111 -10000 -5000 -1667 -1250
BAL Ravens -164 +650 +3000 +1400 +800 +600
Sun (1/28) @ 6:42pm ET DET Lions +240 +1500 +1400 +1100 +275 +1300 +1700
SF 49ers -303 -5000 -10000 -3333 -357 -5000 -10000
Sun (1/28) @ 3:02pm ET KC Chiefs +3.5 -120 -6.5 -526 -9.5 -149 -7.5 +260 -6.5 -556 -7.0 -149
BAL Ravens -3.5 +100 +6.5 +350 +9.5 +115 +7.5 -345 +6.5 +360 +7.0 +120
Sun (1/28) @ 6:42pm ET DET Lions +7.0 -115 +9.5 -105 +9.5 -115 +7.5 -120 +7.5 -110 +9.5 -122 +9.5 +105
SF 49ers -7.0 -105 -9.5 -125 -9.5 -115 -7.5 -110 -7.5 -110 -9.5 -106 -9.5 -130
Sun (1/28) @ 3:02pm ET KC Chiefs u45 -110 u27.5 -313 u30.5 -278 u30.5 +205 u31.5 -145
BAL Ravens o45 -110 o27.5 +230 o30.5 +200 o30.5 -278 o31.5 +115
Sun (1/28) @ 6:42pm ET DET Lions o50.5 -115 o58.5 +110 o58.5 +110 o53.0 -112 o60.5 -135 o60.5 -112
SF 49ers u50.5 -105 u58.5 -141 u58.5 -145 u53.0 -109 u60.5 +104 u60.5 -112

NFL’s Hottest Teams are Moneyline Underdogs

Do you like the chalk? There’s nothing wrong with laying less than a field goal with two home favorites.

Do you like the dogs? Moneyline bettors can back live teams at plus-money odds.

It’s been several weeks since the Niners, now winners of a league-high 12 straight games, have been spotted points by the betting market. The last time they were an underdog was at +1 in a 44-23 loss at home vs. Kansas City in Week 7.

The Bengals have captured 10 in a row.

Flat Futures Pricing

Here are the revised futures odds at DraftKings. With four teams left, all are now less than +300.

  • Kansas City leads the way at +225.
  • Cincinnati is at +250, the first time all year it has been the second favorite,
  • The Eagles are +260
  • The Niners are +275.

Under Bettors Roll in Divisional Round

Four Overs hit in the six-game opening round of the playoffs.

Four Unders in four games marked the second round.

Translation: sound defenses enter this playoff round.

No winning team allowed more than 20 points last week.

The Eagles yielded the fewest at seven points, while the Bengals allowed 10, the 49ers just 12, and the Chiefs an even 20.

That will figure into betting point totals this week.

NFC, AFC Championship Game Over/Unders

The Chiefs-Bengals over-under is 47.5 in early wagering. Cincinnati defeated Kansas City 27-24 in overtime in the conference finals last year in a game that stayed Under the 54.5 to reach the Super Bowl.

To reach the rematch, Cincinnati notched 172 rushing yards against Buffalo, recorded several long drives, and kept Josh Allen off the field.

In the NFC, the Eagles and Niners both have superb defenses. Both flushed opposing quarterbacks out of the comfort zone in the division round games.

The Niners allowed an NFL-best 277 points, just over 16 points per game.

And the Eagles led the league with 70 sacks before notching five against the Giants.

The total sits 45.5 for the NFC game early in the week.

Here’s an overview of each game.

Bengals vs. Chiefs: Mahomes’ Injury Key To Betting Line

Gamblers have two major focal points with Kansas City and Cincinnati.

One is the obvious condition of likely MVP Mahomes, the Kansas City quarterback injured during the first quarter of the 27-20 triumph over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

afc conference championship spread, patrick mahomes
The injury status of Patrick Mahomes has a major impact on the point spread for the Bengals vs. Chiefs AFC Championship Game (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Gamblers will watch it closely.

Commentator Tony Romo indicated Sunday he thinks Mahomes got by on adrenaline against the Jaguars but will have trouble putting weight on his right ankle against Cincinnati.

Mahomes has several days to rest, but these injuries don’t heal quickly.

How does an 80% Mahomes affect the game?

It looks apparent that Mahomes’ acrobatics will be reduced.

He won’t be able to scramble in the same prolific manner that has marked his career. Mahomes can still shuffle and slide for a short time on a play. But his seemingly-endless ability to ramble in the backfield and find a receiver is now limited.
That took deep balls out of the equation against Jacksonville. It could take several second-chance opportunities away in this game.

Chiefs Player Props

Gamblers burned on Mahomes props (at least the ones who weren’t refunded) and the Over in the Kansas City-Jacksonville game realize injuries are part of the betting game.

So is the abundant reliance on Travis Kelce. He returned in the range of +500 to +550 across the books as a first-time scorer. Kelce caught 14 balls, and his excellence was absolutely necessary.

Gamblers found they also may be able to trust Isiah Pacheco in the Kansas City backfield. He ran hard, with attitude, and produced 95 yards on 12 carries. The running game became important after Mahomes was hurt. It will be important again this week to keep pressure off him.

Bengals Defense Stepping Up

We wrote last week that the Bengals often come in right around 25 points. The put up 27 against the Bills, well more than enough.

That shines a light on the Cincinnati D, which continues to parlay the game-changing 98-yard fumble that decided its game against the Baltimore Ravens.

In the last six games, Cincinnati has yielded only 94 points, fewer than 16 per game. It already was the last team in the NFL to allow a second-half touchdown this season.

This run reminds gamblers of Cincinnati’s bend-but-don’t-break defense that propelled its berth into the 2022 Super Bowl.

That included keeping Mahomes out of the end zone late in the conference championship game, when the Chiefs looked ready to win.

Savvy bettors who picked up on that were in the minority, at least for one book.

Bengals vs. Bills Action: How Did the Bettors Do?

PointsBet reports the majority of gamblers did not expect the Cincinnati defense to silence Bills quarterback Josh Allen. A definitive 78% of the spread handle was on the Over 48.5.

PointsBet also enticed more Bills bettors on the moneyline and more Bengals backers on the spread. The book’s gamblers put 57% of the moneyline handle on Buffalo at -250, while Cincinnati bettors taking +6 comprised 64% of the spread handle.

Caesars was Cincy all the way, with 80% of the moneyline tickets and 70% of handle on the Bengals at +215. The Bengals also notched 65% of the spread handle at +5.5.

A unique side bet was cashed across the sportsbook landscape: would there be points in every quarter of every game.

That came through and paid +165 at DraftKings.

49ers vs. Eagles: Bettors Cash on Philly Player Props

Jalen Hurts looks ready to play close to 100% in the championship game. He threw without limitations against the Giants, being conservative only during running plays to avoid landing on his injured shoulder.

DraftKings played into bettors’ expectations on Hurts. It established an odds boost from -150 to +100 for Hurts to throw at least two touchdowns, with a $50 limit. Hurts satisfied the requirement in the first quarter.

For good measure, he added a rushing touchdown.

We mentioned last week the possibility of a big game from Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert. The Giants had just yielded 129 yards to Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson one week earlier.

Goedert delivered the valuable first touchdown at +1200. (It turned out to be a huge weekend for tight ends in this category. Dalton Schultz of the Cowboys paid +1500, and Kelce returned +550 for Kansas City. Tight ends had the first TD in three of the four games. This is an interesting angle going forward).

Eagles D a Tough Task for Purdy

Tackle Lane Johnson’s return is a major plus for Philadelphia. He helped the Eagles protect Hurts and chew up the Giants for 268 rushing yards.

The Eagles defense remains a tower of strength. Along with the sacks, the Eagles pressured Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who was forced to throw the ball before he was comfortable. His passes sailed high and wide.

For the Niners, Brock Purdy avoided big mistakes against Dallas. The major question is whether he can make big plays against the Eagles. The Niners rarely play from behind, an important consideration here. San Francisco is built for ball control, not the quick-strike capability it would need if trailing.

A Miss for Mattress Mack

Most bettors are anonymous. But the big loser this week is not.

Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale placed $2 million on the Cowboys moneyline at Caesars in two separate $1 million bets, at +165 and +170, but came up short.

It was his second big loss in January, as he placed a bundle on TCU to win the college national championship game. But the Horned Frogs were routed by Georgia, 65-7.

Of course, what’s a couple mil to someone who reportedly pocketed $75 million when the Houston Astros won the World Series.? That is believed to be the largest sports-wagering payout in history.

Big Winners at DraftKings

One bettor was able to turn $500 into $45,500 with this +9000 2-leg first TD Scorer Parlay:

  • Travis Kelce First TD
  • Dallas Goedert First TD

Another bettor was able to turn $25 into $25,025 with this 4-leg +100000 SGP from the Giants vs. Eagles game.

  • Dallas Goedert First TD Scorer
  • Jalen Hurts Anytime TD Scorer
  • Kenneth Gainwell Anytime TD Scorer
  • Boston Scott Anytime TD Scorer
About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. 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. Bontempo 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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