Top Seeds Rule In Playoffs
You can’t fight the trend in the divisional round in the NFL Playoffs.
The top seeds have the best records in the NFL Standings and home-field advantage. These four teams dominated play in the conference semifinals and now collide in their respective championships this weekend.
The two No. 1s — the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC and the New Orleans Saints in the NFC — are the favorites in the NFL Odds. The two teams are the top picks to advance to Super Bowl LIII, which is always played on the first Sunday in February on the NFL Schedule. This year, the big game is in Atlanta on Sunday, Feb. 3.
In the last five years, nine of the 10 No. 1 seeds have advanced to the Super Bowl. It’s an overwhelming statistic to ignore when making your NFL Picks.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:
NFL Playoff Odds Explained
The New England Patriots were favored in every game they played this season. The Los Angeles Rams were picked in all but one. Both will now take on the underdog role as the NFL season is down to the Final Four.
The money line is one of the most popular bets in football. A bettor just has to pick the winner of the game. It’s as simple as that. Here’s how the payoffs work on the money line (odds provided by Bovada).
In the AFC Championship, the Chiefs (-145) are the favorites, while the Patriots (+125) are the underdogs, which means a winning ticket on K.C. pays less than a winning ticket on New England.
A $145 on the Chiefs (favorites) will earn a $100 profit ($145 bet + $100 profit = $245 total return). A $100 bet on the Patriots (underdogs) will earn a $125 profit ($100 bet + $125 profit = $225 total return).
A future bet is a wager on an event which concludes at a later date. Future betting on Super Bowl LIII is still available on online gaming sites like Bovada: New Orleans (+175), Kansas City (+250), New England (+350) and Los Angeles (+350). The number in brackets is the profit earned on a $100 bet. For example, a bettor would get a total return of $275 on a future bet on the Saints ($100 bet + $175 profit = $275 total return) if they won the Super Bowl.
Conference Championship Picks
• NFC Championship
Sunday, 3:05 p.m.
No. 2 Los Angeles Rams (+155) at No. 1 New Orleans Saints (-175)
The defending Super Bowl champions had the Saints on the ropes early last weekend. But the top seed in the NFC regrouped and retained home-field advantage in the playoffs. They now meet a rival that has just as many offensive stars as they do in the Rams.
These two powerhouses met in Week 9 at the same place — the New Orleans Superdome. The Saints led 35-17 at halftime and won the game 45-35. Michael Thomas caught 12 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. He was unstoppable again last weekend against Philadelphia.
Speaking of unstoppable, the Rams’ ground game rushed to a franchise playoff-record 273 yards against one of the best defenses against the run last weekend. If they can come close to that mark against the Saints, it could earn the Rams their first trip to the Super Bowl in 18 years.
Pick — New Orleans (-175). Drew Brees and Co. have been on this big stage before. A deafening Superdome crowd won’t hurt either.
• AFC Championship
Sunday, 6:40 p.m.
No. 2 New England Patriots (+125) at No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (-145)
Many have already crowned Patrick Mahomes as the best player in the NFL today. Not so fast. He may make some spectacular throws and he certainly plays a lot better than most 23-year-old quarterbacks, but he is also surrounded with a ton of offensive weapons. He’s now about to square off against the greatest of all time in Tom Brady.
The Chiefs are the deserving favorites in their first AFC Championship in 25 years. The Patriots, who are playing in their eighth straight conference final, beat K.C. in Week 6. The Pats now head to Arrowhead Stadium to play on the road where they were 3-5 this season, including losses to Jacksonville, Detroit, Tennessee, Miami and Pittsburgh.
The Chiefs have just one loss this season at home, and that was by a point to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Pick — Kansas City (-145). It’s rare to beat Brady and coach Bill Belichick in the playoffs, but the Patriots just have not got the job done away from home this season.