Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 12:00 AM
THE NFL PLAYOFFS –
NOW HERE’S TO THE WINNERS
AS CHIEFS, PATS, SAINTS & RAMS MOVE ON
TO CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SUNDAY
Talk about puttin’ the bite on the dog!
After an NFL Wild Card round produced four-of-four underdog winners back on the weekend of Jan. 6-7, the league’s heavy hitters – a/k/a, the well-rested #1 and #2 seeds – put the hammer down during the just-completed NFL Divisional Playoff round. Three of the four chalk-eaters snagged the cash (that’s Kansas City, the Los Angeles Rams and New England) and thus put to rest this notion that NFL Underdogs were gonna rule yet another year of post-season football.
Remember last year pups went 9-1-1 ATS (against the spread) including then-champion Philadelphia winning outright as dogs in all three of its post-season games – beating Atlanta, Minnesota and then New England in Super Bowl 52.
So, we’ll enter the NFL’s Championship Games this Sunday with NFL Playoff Betting Favorites at 3-5 versus the vig overall and everyone save for the New Orleans Saints will enter these tilts – that’s the Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans at 3:05 p.m. ET; the New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs at 6:40 p.m. ET – coming off a neat pointspread win this past weekend.
For you totals players, the “Overs” in these on-going NFL Playoffs are a subpar 3-5 ATS this post-season but remember we recently told y’all that NFL Regular-Season “Overs” went 120-133-3, so “Unders” continue to turn a profit.
Okay, so all that being said, what jumps out spreadwise right outta the gate when you look at this Sunday’s matchups?
In the NFC …
#2 LOS ANGELES RAMS at #1 NEW ORLEANS – Go back to the Saints’ Super Bowl-winning season in 2008 and you’ll see that Sean Payton’s crew is merely 5-5-1 ATS in all post-season games and that includes the 31-28 non-cover overtime win against 4-point pup Minnesota back in that’s year NFC Championship Game. Get a little more contemporary and you’ll see the Saints actually are 0-2-1 vig-wise in playoff games these past two winters … ugh! Meanwhile, the visiting Rams have not been part of the NFC Championship Game scene since the 2001 season when the then-St. Louis Rams failed to cover the 7.5-point price in a 29-24 win against Philadelphia. P.S., for what it’s worth, NFC Championship Game Betting Favorites are 4-5-1 against the odds the past 10 years.
In the AFC …
#2 NEW ENGLAND at #1 KANSAS CITY – Obviously, nobody in the NFL has a richer history in championship games the past 10 years than these Patriots … except that nobody’s gotten rich betting them in this game-before-the-Super-Bowl round! The truth of the matter is Bill Belichick’s crew saunters in KayCee this weekend having posted a rotten 2-5 ATS mark in AFC Championship Games dating back to 2011. Sure, it’s simply amazing that the Pats are back in an eighth consecutive conference championship game and all but they sure have busted their backers when they got there (we’ll put it in chart form in the next Jim Sez, we promise). Remember last year the Patriots roared back to beat Jacksonville 24-20 but N’England didn’t cover the bloated 7.5-point price in that AFC Championship Game. Conversely, gotta admit we were stunned to realize this is the first time in team history that the KC Chiefs will be hosting the AFC Championship Game – the last time this proud franchise played in the AFC title tilt they were rocked 30-13 in Buffalo way back in the 1993 season. Past 10 AFC Championship Games: Favorites are 6-4 ATS (but just 3-4 spreadwise in last seven).
Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to pile up the profits this Sunday with the NFC and AFC Championship games from Kansas City and New Orleans – get the Sides & Totals winners when you call us on game day at the toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here. And remember to cash in big with NBA and NCAA basketball plays each and every day of the week!
And now here’s to the winners of the NFL Divisional Playoff Games this past weekend in chronological order …
KANSAS CITY 31, INDIANAPOLIS 13 – The 4.5-point favored Chiefs scored on their first three possessions (see 17-0 start) and this one was decided long before you finished your small order of Kansas City barbecue ribs! Okay, so the indoor Colts didn’t tackle in the outdoors very well but who knew Andy Reid’s club would dominate a game in which MVP-to-be QB Patrick Mahomes didn’t even throw a single touchdown pass? At least we know Kansas City RB Damien Williams (129 yards rushing and one TD) is a “mudder”.
LOS ANGELES RAMS 30, DALLAS 22 – We’ll grant you that nobody (including us) thought the Rams were gonna rush for a franchise playoff-record 273 yards here even though the Jim Hurley Network did cash with the Rams at -7 or 7.5 points. But the backfield of RBs Todd Gurley (115 yards and a TD) and the oft-traveled C.J. Anderson (123 yards and 2 TDs) chewed up the Cowboys’ linebackers (when they weren’t getting chewed out on the sidelines!) but part of us wonders if second-year head coach Sean McVay wasn’t a little shy about having third-year QB Jared Goff (186 yards passing) put it up more often.
NEW ENGLAND 41, LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 28 – There are a whole lotta folks eating their words right about now after babbling on and on about the LA Chargers … geez, did that ever serve to fire up Tom Brady and the 3.5-point favored Patriots! The 35-point first half was indeed surgical stuff by a Pats offense that elected to take the kickoff (not defer) and not-so-gently rammed it down the Bolts’ collective throats time after time. Let’s just say the Chargers will be having nightmares about Pats’ WR Julian Edelman (9 catches for 151 yards and a whole lot of toughness). Adios, Chargers!
NEW ORLEANS 20, PHILADELPHIA 14 – Main thing we took from this game is that no NFL coach should rest his starters in a Week 17 game, then have a bye week in the playoffs and then expect everyone to be sharp from the start. These Saints – 8.5 or 9-point favorites at game time, depending your locale -- are the case-in-point as it easily took a quarter-plus for New Orleans to warm up their engines – the Saints desperately needed that first Marcus Lattimore INT when down 14-0 or else they would have been fried chicken in this clash. Plus, the aforementioned Mr. Payton almost played too cute late – why not be more aggressive before that eventual FG miss by Will Lutz because if Philly WR Alshon Jeffery doesn’t botch that QB Nick Foles pass then we could be looking at a whole different ending.
NOTE: NFL Championship Game News & Notes all this week here at Jim Sez plus catch NCAA Basketball updates too!