NFL Betting Market Report: More Chiefs Backing Expected With Patrick Mahomes Cleared

Posted By FairwayJay on January 22, 2021 - Last Updated on May 12, 2021

Each week during the 2020-21 NFL regular season The Lines provided a look at movement in betting markets, and that analysis continues now that we’re well into the postseason.

Both Kansas City and Green Bay won last week as top seeds, and those two teams are currently favorites to win this weekend as well.

“We’re seeing early action on both the Chiefs and Packers. Customers were banking on Mahomes being available and we expect that the floodgates could open when/if he’s officially announced as the starter,” BetMGM Sports Trader Darren Darby told TheLines earlier in the week.

That news officially came on Friday afternoon, as Mahomes cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol and will indeed play Sunday.

As for Buccaneers versus Packers:

“We’re seeing support for the Buccaneers as some gamblers may have PTSD betting against Tom Brady, but the Packers remain a solid favorite,” Darby said.

Here is a look at market movement ahead of the two Conference Championship games.

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NFL Conference Championship odds

NFL Conference Championship market movement

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers – Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET


The Bucs (13-5) and Packers (14-3) kick off Sunday’s slate at 3:05 p.m. ET on FOX. There is a chance of light snow showers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay with temperatures in the 20s and light winds near 10 MPH.

The Packers are No. 1 in the NFL in scoring at 31.8 points per game. They just piled up 484 yards against the Rams top-ranked defense in a 32-18 Divisional Round win. The Buccaneers have a top-5 defense, and the Packers had their worst game and offensive showing in a Week 6 loss at Tampa, 38-10. But it’ll surely be a tougher task for the Bucs to win in Green Bay in January while also playing their fifth road game in their last six contests.

The betting line is Packers -3 (-130) at FanDuel Sportsbook and -3.5 (-105) at BetMGM and DraftKings Sportsbook. The Packers moneyline is with the Buccaneers at . The over/under is .

“We took a couple big bets on the Packers, so we’re pretty high on them right now,” Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US, told TheLines.

Here is betting data from some of the top books as of Friday afternoon:

  • Nearly 77% of spread bets and 82% of money was on the Packers at FanDuel Sportsbook
  • DraftKings Sportsbook reported that 78% of bets and 74% of point spread handle was on the Packers with 78% of the money betting Over the total
  • William Hill Sports Betting‘s data had even slightly more support on Green Bay with 78% of the bets and 83% of the dollars bet on the Packers (-3.5)
  • The Packers were taking approximately 60% of the moneyline bets at DraftKings

Packers WR Davante Adams is by far the most popular player in the ‘First Player to Score a Touchdown‘ prop bet. Adams (+525) has taken approximately 30% of both the bets and money (handle) on that prop offering at DraftKings.

William Hill took its largest moneyline wager for this weekend’s games on Tampa Bay. A bettor in Indiana placed $20,000 on the Buccaneers (+150) for a total potential payout of $50,000.

NFL Championship game history and trends from Playbook show that home teams in this round are 55-25 SU and 45-34-1 ATS since the 1980 season. That includes 32-12 SU and 29-15 ATS as a favorite of fewer than 8 points.

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET


The Bills (15-3) and Chiefs (15-2) will decide the AFC representative in Super Bowl LV. Kickoff is at 6:40 p.m. ET on CBS. A 40% chance of rain is in the forecast with temperatures near 40 degrees and winds up to 10 MPH.

These are the two most productive offenses in the AFC. The Chiefs average 417 yards per game and 29 points per game while the Bills average 386 yards and 30 points. That includes the playoffs this season.

The Bills had their worst game of the season in a Week 6 home loss to the Chiefs, 26-17. Kansas City out-gained Buffalo 466-266 and Josh Allen passed for just 122 yards.

But the big question surrounding the AFC Championship and betting this past week was the status of Mahomes.

The answer came Friday afternoon with a report from ESPN.

With that news, the conventional thinking is that we’ll see more bets on the Chiefs as game time nears. That said, Bogdanovich doesn’t think the line will get to above Chiefs -4.

The lined opened as Chiefs -2.5 at DraftKings Sportsbook with Mahomes’ status unknown. It bounced between -2.5 and -3 throughout the week and was at Chiefs -3.5 at DK late Friday afternoon after Mahomes was given the green-light.

The betting line was -3 (-120) favoring the Chiefs at FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM Friday afternoon. The Chiefs moneyline is with the Bills takeback at . The over/under is .

Betting data as of Friday:

  • Nearly 50% of spread bets and 46% of money was on the Bills at FanDuel Sportsbook
  • Data from DraftKings Sportsbook shows 52% of bets and 63% of point spread handle was on the Chiefs and a near even 50/50% split on Over/Under bets and money. Buffalo is taking 60% of the moneyline handle to win the game
  • William Hill had more support on the Bills (+3) with 53% of the bets and 56% of the money on Buffalo

First Touchdown Scorer of the game has four players taking a bulk of the money at DraftKings. Bills WR Stefon Diggs (+850) is at 22% and Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (+700) is at 17%. Bills QB Josh Allen (+1100) and Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill (+700) are both taking 14% of the money.

Bills head coach Sean McDermott is 8-1 ATS as a non-division underdog against winning opponents according to Playbook, and same-season non-division revengers are 15-8 ATS in conference title games since 1998.

Despite winning 14 regular season games that included a 10-game winning streak into Week 17 when the Chiefs rested starters and lost, Kansas City has burned bettors money. The Chiefs are 0-8-1 ATS in their last nine game. The Bills were a bettors dream down the stretch, going 7-1 SU, 8-0 ATS and now 2-0 SU and 1-1 ATS in the playoffs.

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FairwayJay is a leading national sports and gaming analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful professionals. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, gaming and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. He's been a regular featured guest on sports and gaming radio shows, podcasts and produces sports betting and related industry articles and content for various sites and sources.

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