NFC Championship Game Odds – The Numbers Don’t Add Up

This is a follow up to my article published on 1/19/17 : NFC Championship Game

Earlier this week I noted that the bookmakers may be making a mistake with the player prop bets for the NFC Championship Game. The total for the game is hovering between 60-61.5. According to statisticians, this is the highest total we’ve ever seen in an NFL playoff game. The irony is that while on one hand the bookmakers are projecting significantly more scoring, the odds for individual players to score touchdowns do not appear to be adjusted.

It’s also interesting to note that the bookmakers seem to have made adjustments for both quarterbacks, but not their receivers. The over/under for total passing yards is over 300 yards for both quarterbacks, with Aaron Rodgers a -163 favorite to go over 310.5 yards. Matt Ryan is asked to go over 322.5 yards, at a price of -138. These are the current odds at BET365 as of 1/21/2017.

You would think that with such a high projected total for passing yards, this would be reflected in receiving yards as well. None of the top receivers are being projected to reach 100 yards, with the highest number belonging to Julio Jones (over/under 93.5). There are two receivers that really stand out to me, one from each team.

For Atlanta, Mohamed Sanu appears to be grossly undervalued. He’s +$130 to score a TD, his total yards are 47.5, and his total receptions is just 3.5 (over -150). He caught four passes for 44 yards and a TD against the Seahawks last week, but he had nine receptions for 84 yards and a TD in a home win over Green Bay during the regular season.

For the Packers, Randall Cobb is an absolute bargain. The Packers are so concerned about the health of Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson that they’ve promoted a receiver from the practice squad. That leaves Cobb as Green Bay’s top receiver. He’s caught 12 passes for 178 yards and three TDs in two games in these playoffs so far. He’s asked to go over 60.5 yards, 5.5 receptions and he’s +$115 to score a TD.

I just don’t think these numbers add up, and this looks like an excellent opportunity to punish bookmakers for making a rare mistake.


Jesse Schule

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Jesse Schule

Jesse Schule

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WHO IS THE ICEMAN? He’s no soothsayer and he doesn’t have a crystal ball, but Jesse Schule can indeed predict the future. As a professional handicapper, it’s actually part of his job description. His clients have accused him of secretly possessing Marty McFly’s Sports Almanac, but he tells us the secret to his success is thanks in part to his fascination with history. The idea that you can predict the future by studying the past is nothing new. Historians have been doing it for years.

Career Highlights:

- Perfect 10-0 start to NFL Season (2022)

- Perfect 5-0 Super Bowl Card (2018)

- Perfect 6-0 NBA Finals Futures (2017)

- Perfect 3-0 NBA Finals Futures (2019)

- Perfect 3-0 NBA Finals Futures (2020)

- Perfect 8-0 card X-Mas Day (2016)

- Perfect 8-0 NCAA Tourney picks Sweet 16 - Final (2015)

- Picked Germany +$700 to win World Cup (2014)

- Picked Marcus Mariota +$700 to win Heisman (2014)

Handicapping Methodology: Jesse is not a believer in systems, programs or number crunching formulas to handicap games. He is firm in his belief that you aren't playing against the sportsbook, you are playing against the average Joe (other bettors). Jesse is notorious for attacking inflated point spreads, soft lines and totals that are a little out of whack. He also relies on a nearly photographic memory with an uncanny ability to tell you a player's history and stats dating back for decades. Anyone can look up how many touchdowns a guy has scored, Jesse can also tell you about the ones that he almost scored.

Money Management: His plays are rated based on a 1-10 star system, and he recommends wagering 0.5 percent of your bankroll per star rating. So a top rated 10* play would represent a bet equal to five percent of a player's bankroll.

Signature Plays:

AFTERNOON EXECUTIONER: This title is reserved for games with a start time between 12:00 – 4:30 ET. These are popular with action junkies who are dying for the games to get underway.

The TERMINATOR: Jesse's signature totals play, the Terminator has established a reputation as one of the most consistent winners in Schule's repertoire.

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: These plays represent a game where the stats show a significant trend which isn't reflected in the price.

GRIM REAPER BLOWOUT: His signature play reserved for medium to large favorites. High percentage plays for those who don't mind laying chalk.

HOT DIGGITY DOG: This is the Iceman's signature underdog play. About as rare as strawberries in December, you'll want to grab these whenever they are available