Rams vs. Saints
Many are going to point to the blown non-call late in the game as to why the Saints ended up losing to the Rams in overtime. While it was an egregious miss no doubt that already had the league apologize to Sean Payton and the Saints, it wasn’t the reason why New Orleans failed to hold serve and punch its ticket to Super Bowl LIII. Drew Brees and company had the Rams on the ropes early on in the first quarter, but were forced to settle for field goals on way too many occasions. A 13-0 lead through one quarter could’ve just as easily been 21-0 had they run a more efficient attack. New Orleans’ red zone execution was also laughable with it putting points onthe board on just two of five occasions. The play-calling at the tail end of the fourth quarter also did the team no favors; nor did the interception thrown in overtime.
If your buddies around the water cooler can’t stop ranting and raving about the Saints getting hosed on Monday morning, remind them of the other things that occurred throughout the game that ultimately prevented them from cashing a ticket.
Bookmaker.eu had absolutely no issues with the refs keeping the whistles out of their mouths at the tail end of regulation. Had the Saints gone on to win that game by a field goal, it would’ve been a catastrophic start to Championship Sunday for one of the most highly esteemed online sportsbooks in the industry. Public bettors were all in on New Orleans minus the points as well as on the moneyline. While there were also some takers on the Rams moneyline and more public and sharp money on the under, it wasn’t nearly enough to offset the profits taken in on the Saints failing to get the job done at home. With the Saints covering the first half spread, many that cashed those tickets double-dipped the second half. They weren’t nearly as happy with the end game result.
If you bought the Rams at +1800 to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in the preseason or snagged a piece of them at +374 last week, congrats – you still have some major skin in the game!
Patriots vs. Chiefs
Where to begin with one of the craziest AFC Championship Games this author has ever witnessed? With this being the Pats eighth straight trip to the conference title game, it came as little surprise to see them the more poised of the two teams through 30 minutes of play. However, I would’ve never believed it had you told me New England would go into halftime with a 14-0 lead. I mean the Chiefs had outscored their last eight opponents a billion to nothing in the first half and the Patriots defense is well, not good - I kid…
Though BookMaker.eu lost a couple shekels on the first half under, it had no issues with the limited scoring due to a bulk of the full game total money in support of the over. With only 24 points on the board through three quarters of play, online sportsbooks were feeling confident that the money taken in on the total would help lessen the blow of the numerous Patriots tickets paid out at the game’s conclusion. Then the fourth quarter arrived and the nightmare began.
A whopping 38 points dented the scoreboard in the game’s final 15 minutes. The only saving grace was overtime which would possibly allow Andy Reid to win and possibly cover the game. That said, it would’ve never happened had Dee Ford not lined up offside on a play the KC defense forced a turnover on in regulation. That fantasy was put to bed quickly after New England won the coin toss and didn’t allow Mahomes and company a single snap in the extra session. The Brady Bunch took the pigskin right down the field and scored the game winning touchdown to escape Arrowhead Stadium with the 37-31 outright win and cover. When the dust cleared, just about every major liability was paid out with the Pats +3, +148 moneyline and over all cashing in. While the loss wasn’t as enormous as some of the defeats absorbed in the division round, it was a loss nonetheless.
For the third straight season and fourth in the last five, Bill Belichick will be roaming the sideline in yet another Super Bowl. With that, anyone that bought themselves the Patriots at +500 in the preseason and at +360 last week has a shot at fattening up the bankroll in two weeks with New England currently the 1.5 point favorite to come out on top of SB LIII at the best sportsbooks.
Odds & Ends
For the first time in Championship Game history, each ended up going into overtime. If you wagered $100 on both to do so individually, you would’ve taken home a cool $791. Had you parlayed the two outcomes together for $100, you would’ve walked away with over $7800 – Holy Schneikes! All kinds of line movement is expected over the next two weeks, so buckle up and get ready for a bumpy ride.