NFL Picks, Predictions and Lines
Looking for this weeks NFL betting lines, picks and predictions? Get this weeks NFL point spreads, money lines and over/unders and enjoy predictions and picks for selected games.
NFL Championship Game Picks
There’s just three games left in the 2020-21 NFL season. The Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs remain. Two of the game’s greatest quarterbacks matchup in the NFC, while a duo leading the next generation do battle in the AFC.
It’s the weekend slate the NFL marketing department would have dreamt of. There are narratives galore – it’s a minefield for bettors, too, with injury uncertainty across the board and four evenly matched teams remaining.
We’ve been a perfect 6-0 with our playoff picks so far – here are our NFL Championship Game previews.
NFL Picks and Predictions
Green Bay Packers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady is playing in his 14th Conference Championship game. Aaron Rodgers is pursuing his second ring. This is a game of two NFL legends, a game which will go down in history regardless of the outcome. It’s a chance to make history and to alter legacies as the two definitive quarterbacks of the last decade battle it out on the playoff stage for perhaps the final time.
On paper, and with the books, Green Bay is favorite. Rodgers’ team made light work of the Rams. They were the better team in the regular season. Yet, this is Brady, and he looked near his best in Sunday’s win over the New Orleans Saints. A lot of bettors will be lumping on Tampa Bay as underdogs.
The Buccaneers’ array of offensive options is a worry for the Packers. They gave up 38 points as Tampa Bay won comfortably when these teams met back in Week Six. While the Bucs have been an elite defense all season long, the Packers have been middle of the pack. Green Bay has had trouble defending the run – Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette will have a big role to play.
This game is incredibly hard to call with a four-point spread at the time of writing. Green Bay’s moneyline might be the best bet, even at a short price of -174.
Pick: Green Bay Packers Moneyline (-174)
Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs
The availability of Patrick Mahomes is obviously key here. Mahomes was forced to leave Sunday’s game after suffering a scary blow to the head – he was very groggy as he left the field and his status for the Conference Championship game with Buffalo is in doubt.
Kansas City open as three-point favorites. With Mahomes, they are the overwhelming Super Bowl favorites. Cleveland fought back late on to cover the 10-point spread on Sunday, but the Browns were blown away by Mahomes and this Chiefs offense early on. An easy first drive touchdown set the tone for Mahomes to dominate once again.
This Bills defense was average in the regular season, sitting 15th in opponent yards per play. They were eighth in blitz frequency, which could be a cause for concern against Mahomes. The former MVP has a passer rating in the 130s when facing a blitz. If he’s available, though, it will be interesting to see how well he moves after suffering turf toe on Sunday.
Buffalo put in an immense defensive effort to hold the Ravens on Saturday. Similar will be required if they are to upset the Chiefs. Josh Allen will also need to continue where he left off – Allen has been phenomenal this season, and he’s carried that on into the playoffs.
The duo of Allen and Stefon Diggs is as unstoppable as anything in the NFL right now (outside of the Chiefs’ offensive unit). It’s possible this game ends up in an offense feast if Mahomes plays.
Pick: Over 53.5 total points
Read More: Super Bowl Betting Strategy
How to read NFL odds
NFL betting odds can be daunting. There are plusses and minuses all over the place, different numbers and jargon that doesn’t make immediate sense.
The first thing bettors are likely to see is the spread. This is effectively a way of levelling the betting market out between the two teams. For example, if there’s a point spread of five, the favorites will be listed as -5 and the underdogs will be +5.
It’s pretty straight forward from there. The favorites need to win by at least five points for the bet to cash in, while the dogs ‘win’ if they are within five points at the end of the game.
The other main markets – moneyline, total points – are more obvious. Betting the moneyline is a straight up bet on who wins the game, and the points market is a bet on the combined points of the two teams.
Moneyline NFL odds will vary depending on the teams involved. It’s not uncommon to see teams heavily favored on the moneyline. For example, a -200 moneyline price means a $10 bet would return a $5 profit.
NFL odds movement
NFL game odds usually open several days before kick-off. The odds will alter during that period as information about the two teams comes out and money is wagered.
If a team starts as five-point favorites, and they get a lot of money behind them at that price, the point spread can increase to -6 or -7. Team news can, of course, produce major swings in the odds.
Possible odds changes are something for bettors to be wary of. It’s rare that the opening price will stay the same throughout the build up to a game – bettors should keep an eye on odds movement to find the best value.
Super Bowl betting
The NFL season is all about one thing: The Super Bowl. It’s one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar, a game watched around the world. Legends are made in the Super Bowl, and it naturally attracts a massive amount of betting attention.
NFL fans will place Super Bowl futures bets months before the big game. The majority of Super Bowl outright betting will be on the winner, but there are alternatives like backing a team to come out of their conference. As the game nears, many bettors will delve into the Super Bowl MVP market looking for betting value.
Super Bowl odds will move throughout the season. Finding the best Super Bowl betting value does not necessarily mean backing a team at the start of the year. If they’ve got a tough start, maybe wait for them to lose a couple and back them when their odds lengthen.
NFL betting strategy
The strategy of betting on the NFL is similar to many other sports. Before placing a wager, keeping an eye out for injury news is obviously a priority, particularly quarterbacks. If Patrick Mahomes is playing through pain, his availability is a factor to consider as you weigh up your bets for the following week’s game.
With the season taking place through the depths of winter, a glance at the weather forecast is useful, too. A high-scoring game is much less likely with rain pouring down or in freezing temperatures.
Previous matchups between two teams and specific stats are important. How teams defend the run and pass can show weaknesses that their opponent can exploit. Sometimes it will suggest they can nullify their opposition’s greatest threat.
Recent performances of each team should be considered, but a couple of losses to two of the best teams in the NFL is not necessarily an indicator of future performance. Bettors must look a wide range of information before placing their wagers.