The NFC and AFC Championship Games in the NFL playoffs on Sunday will attract bets from average Joes to professional bettors. The Patriots are 7.5-point favorites over the Jaguars after the line opened at 8.5, and the Vikings are three-point favorites over the Eagles. The Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas think will be scored, is 39 for Vikings-Eagles and 45.5 for Jaguars-Patriots.
With two eye-popping games and NFL odds already on the move, you need to know what SportsLine’s advanced computer model is picking.
With a 181-83 record, SportsLine is beating nearly every expert tracked on NFLPickWatch for the second straight season.
And after finishing the regular season on a blistering 74-22 run, it’s fresh off a week in which it nailed the Eagles’ upset over the Falcons and went 3-1 overall. It was the second straight week in which the model correctly predicted an outright upset. Anyone who has followed its advice is up big.
With the conference title games here, the computer simulated both games 10,000 times and came up with some surprising results.
We can tell you that the model is loving the Under (45.5) in Jaguars-Patriots. It’s hitting in 61 percent of simulations, and that’s in stark contrast to the general public, who is only backing it 44 percent of the time, even with the hand injury to QB Tom Brady.
The drama started on Wednesday, when Brady’s hand collided with teammate Rex Burkhead during practice and required stitches. Nevertheless, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora Tweeted that day, “Based on everything I am hearing right now, Tom Brady’s hand should be okay by Sunday. Not a big concern at this point.”
Then Brady missed practice on Thursday, sending the line plummeting from as high as New England -9.5 all the way to -7. He didn’t speak to the media, sending Patriots fans and Vegas alike into a tizzy, but returned to practice on Friday.
On Saturday, La Canfora Tweeted, “Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. Believe that. He’s good to go. We’ll all see as much tomorrow.” Brady will reportedly wear a glove on his throwing hand during the AFC Championship, which he’s not accustomed to doing. How much the glove will affect him, if at all, remains to be seen.
SportsLine’s advanced computer model says that if Brady plays, he’ll throw for almost 250 yards and two touchdowns, with TE Rob Gronkowski having the best chance of finding the end zone through the air.
SportsLine’s advanced model says you can expect 42 points to be scored in Jags-Patriots, easily clearing the Under.
The model also has strong against-the-spread picks for Vikings-Eagles and Patriots-Jaguars that you absolutely need to see and is calling for a team with strong Super Bowl aspirations to get the shock of a lifetime. If you go with the model on that one, you’ll be up big. You can only get those picks at SportsLine.