Our featured NFL Playoff picks for Championship Sunday focus on the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs!
Will Sunday’s Patriots and Chiefs game symbolize a changing of the guard in the AFC?
Tom Brady is the NFL’s all-time leader in 300-yard playoff passing games. The GOAT has 15 to his credit and the rest of the pack, made up of superstars such as Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Joe Montana are lagging behind in single-digit land. Patrick Mahomes has only started one playoff game in his career but like nearly every game this season, Mahomes was the undisputed leader of his offense. The stage is never too big for Showtime, not yet anyway. And this weekend we get to see if NFL’s great one is ready to pass the gauntlet to the NFL’s next one.
Patriots and Chiefs Preview
Line: KC -3
To say the Patriots have become accustomed to the mantle of home field advantage and laying points is an understatement of epic proportions. The fact is Tom Brady has started 76 games since the last time he was an underdog. 76! Brady’s record in those 76 games is 60-16 SU and 46-27-3 ATS. He and Belichick’s career record as road dogs is 23-15-1 ATS (61%) and many a bettor has learned the hard way that fading TB 12 and the Hood will inevitably cost you.
The Pats slapped a 40-Burger on Los Angeles last Sunday and playoff teams in the SDQL database are 8-14 SU and 5-17 ATS in this role. New England’s record: 1-4 ATS.
When the total was 50 or more, the 40-burger team is 0-9 ATS, being outscored 30-20 and that 50 point average is obviously well below this week’s bomber. So has the league changed enough to keep this game south or are we headed for a classic shootout?
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The Patriots and Chiefs have all the makings of a shootout but we have to remember, this is January not October. New England has a 6-12 O/U record in the playoffs without the luxury of a bye week. Four of the six overs were on totals of 43 or less, too. Anything higher and they are 2-11 O/U, outscoring opponents 24-21. The two overs were a shootout at Indy (dome) and a home game vs. Pittsburgh that ended 36-17. The 72 total points in the game against the Colts is the only game out of 13 that finished with more than 53.
We also have to consider how much better the Chiefs play at Arrowhead. KC has only allowed 17.4 PPG at home this year vs. 34.6 on the road. That is a huge variance and in Sports Database history, playoff home teams with that kind of margin are 1-7 O/U.
New England was 8-0 SU at home in the regular season, activating another angle. Playoff road teams with six or more regular season home wins are 6-9 O/U away against teams that allowed at least 8 fewer points at home than away. The average score was 44 points and only 2 of 15 games had enough to get over this huge total.
Patriots and Chiefs Best Bet
James White had 15 receptions last week and RB Sony Michel rushed for 129 yards. Each one of those standout performances suggests we are due for a letdown performance but yeah. We are dealing with the Patriots; fair enough.
The Patriots are 7-14-2 ATS on the road after any player recorded double-digit receptions since 2002. In 14 games where the Pats were favored by less than four points or a dog of any number, they went 2-12 SU and 3-11 ATS. Also consider this record for dogs getting three or more after that kind of performance from their top running back. They are 5-15 ATS and only 2 of 20 games in this profile finished with more than 56 total points.
The last two Super Bowl losers playing in the Conference Championships were the Niners (2013) at Seahawks and Pats (2012) against Baltimore. Both lost SU/ATS with final scores totaling 41 and 40 points. Any recent Super Bowl loser is 0-7 O/U in this round when the total is 42 or more. I’ll also point out that not one game in this angle surpassed 27 first half points. The line on this game is 28.
I’m expecting the Patriots to bring some D to the table but I still have the Chiefs scoring around 25 points. The Pats will score between 21-24 points. I am leaning to the Chiefs in this game but my money is on the total.
Conference Championship Best Bet: Take the Patriots and Chiefs Under