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Before you make your NFL bets on championship weekend, it's worth knowing which side other bettors are backing - especially on games drawing sharp action.
We talked to Jay Rood, Bet.Works' chief risk officer and theScore Bet's head trader, to see how sharps and public bettors are playing this weekend's slate.
The last time Tom Brady lost as a playoff underdog was in 2014, and he's covered seven of his last nine overall when catching points. Bettors like his chances to keep both streaks alive in his 14th conference championship.
The Buccaneers opened as 4-point underdogs for Sunday's NFC title game and have been bet down to +3.5 behind a 2-to-1 advantage in money wagered. Still, the public is all over the Packers, who have three times as many straight-bet tickets and hold a 3-to-1 edge in parlay activity.
As for the total? Bettors have yet to take a strong position as of Saturday night. The total opened at 52 before a run of under money nudged it to 51, though some buyback on the over has this number settling at 51.5 ahead of kickoff.
This game opened at Chiefs -3 early in the week, when Patrick Mahomes' status for Sunday was still uncertain. He's slated to play in the AFC championship, yet the number hasn't moved in the hours before the game.
That doesn't mean bettors aren't taking Kansas City in this one. The Chiefs have drawn 60% of tickets and money wagered on straight bets, and parlay bettors are laying twice as much money on the home side despite an even ticket count for both clubs.
Some bettors are taking a shot on the Bills (+160), who have won eight straight games and covered nine of their last 10. Yet the Chiefs (-180) have pulled four times as much money to win outright despite the much smaller return. They've won 11 straight with Mahomes active and are 5-1 straight up in his six playoff starts.
(Odds source: theScore Bet)
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.