Top Betting Trends for the NFL Conference Championships

This season’s NFL Super Bowl XLVIII derby started off with 12 teams looking for a spot in next month’s title game. However, after two rounds of the playoffs, the cream has risen to the top with the two best teams in each conference facing off against one another this upcoming Sunday.

The battle for the AFC title sends New England on the road to Denver, while a couple of NFC West foes will square off against one another a third time this season when San Francisco takes on Seattle for the NFC crown. The following is a look at BetOnline’s NFL betting odds for each of these two games as well as some of the top betting trends as provided by Covers.

Top Betting Trends: New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos

New England was the second favorite to win the AFC this season when BetOnline first released its NFL futures odds this past summer. Despite a number of issues with some of their player personnel, the Patriots stayed true to form with a 12-4 straight up mark that was good enough to secure the No. 2 seed in the conference for the postseason. They went just 8-8 against the spread overall with a 2-6 record ATS on the road. This past Saturday in the divisional playoffs they crunched Indianapolis 43-22 as 7.5-point home favorites to improve to 3-0 both SU and ATS in their last three games.

The Broncos were the preseason favorites to win the conference after going 13-3 SU in 2012. They duplicated that mark this season to once again notch the top spot in the AFC. Denver is 10-7 ATS overall after failing to cover as an eight-point home favorite in this past Sunday’s 24-17 victory over San Diego. It has gone 5-4 ATS at home, and the total has gone “over” in six of those nine home games. Recent form has them 2-2 ATS in their last four outings, with the total staying “under” in all four games.

New England has covered the spread in just three of its last nine playoff games, and it is 1-5 ATS in its last six games on the road. The total has gone over in eight of its last 10 games played in the month of January.

Denver is 1-4 ATS in its last five games in the postseason and just 3-7 ATS in its last 10 home games against a team with a SU winning record on the road. The total has gone over in nine of their last 12 January games.

Dating back to the 2008 season, the Patriots hold a 5-1 edge both SU and ATS in the last six meetings, including a 34-31 overtime victory in late November as one-point home favorites. The home team has won seven of the last 10 games SU and the total has gone over in the last four.

BetOnline has opened the Broncos as 4.5-point home favorites over New England, and the total has been set at 54.5.

Top Betting Trends: San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks

This will be San Francisco’s third straight trip to the NFC title game. It lost to the New York Giants 20-17 in overtime two years ago as a two-point home favorite, and last season it beat Atlanta 28-24 as a 3.5-point favorite on the road. So far in this season’s playoffs, the 49ers failed to cover as 3.5-point road favorites in a 23-20 last-second victory over Green Bay followed by a dominant 23-10 win over Carolina this past Sunday in a game that closed as a “pick”. They are 11-5-2 ATS this season with a profitable 7-1-2 record ATS on the road. The total has stayed under in seven of their last 10 games.

Seattle started the season as the odds-on favorite to win the NFC, and it took an early step towards reaching that goal with a 29-3 pasting of San Francisco in Week 2 as a three-point home favorite. These two division foes met again in Week 14 with the 49ers grinding out a 19-17 victory as 2.5-point favorites at home. The Seahawks earned the top seed in the conference with a SU record of 13-3, and after covering in six of their last seven games, they finished the regular season with an 11-5 mark ATS. They went 5-3 ATS at home, and the total stayed under in five of the eight games. Seattle punched its ticket to the NFC title game with a 23-15 win over New Orleans as a 10-point home favorite in the divisional round.

The 49ers have covered in eight of their last nine road games, and they are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games on the road against a team with a SU winning record at home. The total has stayed under in five of their last six playoff games played on the road.

The Seahawks are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games against a team with a SU winning record and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against a divisional opponent. The total has gone over in six of their last eight postseason games.

Head-to-head in this NFC West rivalry, the favorite is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings, and the total has stayed under in four of the last five games, including both meetings this season. The home team is 9-1 SU in the last 10 games between these two.

Seattle has been opened as a 3.5-point favorite at home for Sunday’s game, with the total set at 39.5.

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