The New England Patriots opened the week as -9.5 point spread home favorites for their AFC Championship encounter with the Baltimore Ravens. The latest NFL Point Spread shows a 1.5 point drop in the line with most sportsbooks offering New England -8 Baltimore +8. Likewise the moneyline odds have come in a little from the opener with the Patriots currently trading between -380 ($1.26) up to -350 ($1.29) while odds for a Ravens upset are priced between +300 ($4.00) up to +318 ($4.18). Over Under 51 points is where the total opened the week, it has seen only a slight increase to currently sit at O/U51.5.
New England or Baltimore, where is the money going? Wager counts from a respected offshore sportsbook reveals that roughly 66% of the point spread wagers are on Baltimore at +8, they are also enjoying strong support in the moneyline odds market attracting around 68% of wagers. In the over under totals market it is the Over bet which is more popular, seeing 61% of the wagers.
The Patriots advanced to the Championship game with a (41-28) win over the Texans. Tom Brady and Co. continue doing what they do best, that is scoring plenty of points. They finished the regular season averaging 34.81 points per game (1st in the league) while their defense conceded an average 20.69 for an impressive differential of (+14.12). At home the Patriots finished the regular season with a 6-2 record and a points per game differential of (+12.63). In NFL Point Spread Results New England went 9-6-1 (+$255), against the opening moneyline odds they showed a small loss of -$33 (for $100 bets each week) and in over under results they went 11-5.
The odds weren't giving the Ravens much chance last week in Denver, they went in as +338 ($4.38) +9.5 underdogs and got the job done in overtime (38-35). While Ray Lewis and the Baltimore defense receive plenty of attention in the media Joe Flacco and the offense have been putting it together, including their spectacular game tying 70 yard touchdown with 30 seconds remaining. Defense is very important but you do have to score more points than the opponent to win!
The Verdict - Our handicapping numbers here at TheFootballLines.com came up with no vig odds of -385 ($1.26) for the Patriots and +338 ($4.38) for the Ravens with a point spread of -/+ 10. Therefore we don't see enough value either way to make a play on this game so our only action will be on the Atlanta v San Francisco game.