With the NFL Playoffs on deck this weekend, there are plenty of bets to make, including one futures bet that often flies under the radar.
While many will focus on betting odds to win the Super Bowl, it might feel a little more manageable to bet on a team just to reach the big game. In most cases, to cash your Super Bowl bet, you’re counting on that team to win four games.
The betting odds to win the conference are always shorter, but it’s one less game you have to worry about. In the cases of No. 1 seeds Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans, you only need your team to win two games.
Although the odds are not as juicy, you can still get a nice payout. Last season, for instance, you the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers were +450 to win the NFC when the playoffs began.
Let’s take a closer look at the odds to win the AFC and NFC championships and which teams have the best value.
AFC Championship Odds
|Kansas City Chiefs||+180||+175||+175|
|New England Patriots||+900||+1000||+1000|
|Las Vegas Raiders||+2000||+2000||+2200|
AFC Analysis — Great Value On Titans, Bengals
How many times can you get the No. 1-seeded team at almost twice the price as the betting favorite? That’s exactly the opportunity sports bettors are presented with this week with the AFC Championship betting odds.
The Titans finished on top of the conference during the regular season and will receive a bye into the divisional round while the other six teams all have to play this weekend. What’s more, is Tennesee could get the game’s best RB Derrick Henry back from injury. Other key offensive players, including dynamic WR A.J. Brown, will be healthy again, too.
Despite all that, the Chiefs are the favorite at a price that has almost no value. Sure, Kansas City has won the last two AFC titles, but it has lacked a little luster this season. The Chiefs losing three of their first five games led to many questions, but a strong run after that seems to have returned public perception to what it was when the season began.
Let’s say the Chiefs win their first two games, which would be at home. They may have to go to Tennessee for the conference title game and don’t forget that the Titans smoked the Chiefs 27-3 in October.
Don’t buy the Chiefs, at least not at this number.
The Bills have been a popular team all season, but they’re 2-4 this season against playoff teams and have been bad enough at times to lose to the Jets and get hammered by the Indianapolis Colts. Again, it’s all about the price in these betting markets. You’re just not getting enough value on the Bills.
The most intriguing value is on the Bengals, who rallied from behind to beat the Chiefs in Week 17. Cincinnati has the upside to beat anybody in the AFC, but it also has the downside to lose to the Raiders in the Wild Card round.
If you think the Bengals can play at their best for three games, this is a surefire play at better than +700. Just be aware that Cincinnati, which hasn’t won in the postseason since 1991, has often fallen short in the biggest games. But if any QB is going to lead the Bengals to the Super Bowl, it has to be Joe Burrow, right?
NFC Championship Odds
|Green Bay Packers||+170||+160||+170|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||+360||+350||+330|
|Los Angeles Rams||+450||+450||+500|
|San Francisco 49ers||+1200||+1000||+1000|
NFC Analysis — All Signs Point To Packers
This betting market may come down to one question for you to ask yourself:
Do you think Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who may have the biggest chip on his shoulder that he’s ever had, is going to lose two home playoff games?
If for you, the answer to that question is a hard no, then your bet should be easy. Take the +170 at Caesars New York or FanDuel New York and take a week off before watching the best QB in the game today go to work.
If for you, the answer is not so obvious, you have other options. First, let’s get one thing out of the way: There is no value on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Don’t be fooled by what you saw in the final three games of the regular season. Two wins over the Carolina Panthers and one over New York Jets in which they had to rally from a double-digit deficit showed more chinks in the GOAT’s armor than it encouraged that everything is fine.
Without WR Chris Godwin (ACL tear), Tampa Bay is missing its most dynamic player, and that leaves too big a hole when it comes to winning the NFC for the second year in a row. Even at +360 (Caesars) that price is not good enough.
The Rams would be a good look if QB Matt Stafford had not turned into an interception machine during the last month of the regular season. To their credit, they have found ways to win despite him playing poorly lately. So, if you think Stafford can get right now that the postseason is here, the +500 price at FanDuel could be a steal.
Perhaps the best value, however, comes with the Cowboys. We know how great the offense can be, so it is a matter of consistency. The best thing Dallas has going for it, though, is its opportunistic defense. With LB Micah Parsons wrecking the backfield, and CB Trevon Diggs picking off everything in his sight, the Cowboys have the kind of upside that makes offensive coordinators shake in their shoes.
Don’t count out the Cowboys’ wildcard opponent San Francisco, though. Don’t count out the Cardinals, either. Arizona was 8-1 SU on the road this season, so winning three road games in the NFC playoffs seems realistic.