And then there was four. After navigating NFL Wild Card weekend and Divisional Playoff betting, NFL betting fans are treated to one of the best football days of the year: The Championship round, as the four best teams in the NFL will meet in back-to-back games on Sunday afternoon.
With a Super Bowl appearance on the line, these two matchups often produce some of the most entertaining games of the season. For bettors, this is always an exciting slate of games as the lines are usually close and the matchups are typically very intriguing.
But before you decide to bet on these two games, here are a few tips and tricks to consider during the Conference Championship games.
In the Divisional Round, home-field advantage makes a significant difference as the home team gets a week off and will always play a lesser opponent/seed. In the championship round, home-field advantage is less beneficial as both sides had to play in the previous week.
Having home field advantage is also less likely to matter when you have the two best teams in the conference playing one another. Still, if you need to tie-breaker when betting on these two games, go with the home team as they win about six out of 10 games in the championship round.
By the time we get to this point in the season and into the playoffs, all four teams are outstanding, as previously mentioned. It's very rare that we see a "mediocre" team reach this stage in the playoffs. Because these teams are typically evenly matched, you will see some fairly close lines.
However, if a line exceeds the standard three-points for the home team, consider betting the "underdog" in this round. These games tend to be coin-flips and getting anything more than three-points, consider that a bet worth taking.
Due to the Conference Championship round falling in the middle of January, weather can often be a factor in these games, especially on the East Coast. Some of the most memorable championship games have been in the cold, rain and snow.
If a team is not prepared or isn't used to playing in such conditions, it can flip a game. The line will usually reflect any unusual weather, but make sure to check the weather conditions of both games before betting on each side or the total points scored.
Like any other week, the play of the quarterbacks on each side of the ball will likely decide the outcome of the game. But on one of the biggest stages in all of professional sports, choosing the "right" quarterback in this game will be very important.
When deciding which team to bet on during this week, make sure to select the quarterback that gives you the utmost confidence. If you can't envision a quarterback rising up and playing his best football under the brightest of lights, it may be in your best interest to change your pick.
One of the only negatives about this weekend is that there are only two games to bet on/watch all weekend. Unfortunately, that makes betting on these games a little more difficult as you will see a lot of movement based off who the public likes.
However, this is one of my favorite weeks in the year to bet on player and team props. With fewer games, it's easier to dive into the player props and pick your favorites.
Do you think your team's kicker will make a long kick? There is a prop for that. Will your running back exceed 75 yards rushing? There is a prop for that, too. Find a few of your favorite prop bets and enjoy watching them hit during this fantastic weekend of football.
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