Going into the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs, we asked whether or not underdogs would be as successful as they were during Wild Card Weekend, where they took three of four.
The answer was no.
For the most part, the teams performed the way the sportsbooks – and the betting public – expected them to.
There was, of course, one notable exception: Titans 28, Ravens 12.
Naturally, we were only kidding when we said that the Ravens would beat lowly Tennessee by 30.
Unlike the rest of the world, we totally foresaw the 9-7 Titans bouncing the 14-2 Ravens on the back of Derrick Henry’s 195 rushing yards and TD pass. We knew without any doubt that Ryan Tannehill was the real deal, a guy who would propel his new club to victory on the back of 88 passing yards after walking all over the Patriots for 72 passing yards in Round 1.
We had zero doubt in this outcome, and we’re baffled that anyone could pick the NFL’s best offense helmed by the NFL’s best player to win an early-round playoff game against the worst team in the postseason.
The game was practically a foregone conclusion.
Other foregone conclusions of the week included the Vikings at San Francisco, where the 49ers were favored by seven and won by 17, and the Seahawks at Green Bay, where Rodgers and Company were favored by four and covered by one.
Kansas City also beat Houston, crushing Deshaun Watson’s club by 20 points after falling into an early 24-0 hole. The dumbest fake punt of all time may have had something to do with it, as might’ve Patrick Mahomes’ five touchdown passes. In the end, the Chiefs became the first team in NFL postseason history to win by at least 20 after being down by at least 20.
After that comeback, the Chiefs are the betting favorite to win Super Bowl 54.
With just four teams and three games left, the playoff betting odds are shaping up as you might expect. The underdog Titans are again underdogs (and will be once more should they make it to the Super Bowl), San Francisco is rolling, and the Packers – now 14-3 on the season – remain an oversight. Never has a three-loss team helmed by a bona fide superstar at quarterback seemed so inconsequential. Everyone is sleeping on the Cheeseheads.
2019-2020 AFC Championship Odds
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
- Straight: Titans +265, Chiefs -330
- Total: O52.0 (-110), U52.0 (-110)
Tannehill throws for 90, Henry rushes for 200, Titans by 16.
2019-2020 NFC Championship Odds
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-7.0)
- Straight: Packers +250, 49ers -300
- Total: O45.0 (-110), U45.0 (-110)
49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo put up just 131 yards, one TD, and an interception against the Vikings in the divisional round, but the Packers’ defense isn’t quite as staunch as Minnesota’s. Still, it’s less than a point off the pace, so San Francisco won’t get much of a reprieve. But not playing at Lambeau is a blessing this time of year, and as with every other contest in these playoffs, the home team is favored. 49ers straight up.
Super Bowl 54 Odds
- Kansas City Chiefs +135
- San Francisco 49ers +165
- Green Bay Packers +650
- Tennessee Titans +650
This seems about right.
Super Bowl 54 Exact Result
- Kansas City Chiefs def. San Francisco 49ers +210
- San Francisco 49ers def. Kansas City Chiefs +240
- Kansas City Chiefs def. Green Bay Packers +650
- San Francisco 49ers def. Tennessee Titans +750
- Green Bay Packers def. Kansas City Chiefs +900
- Tennessee Titans def. San Francisco 49ers +1000
- Green Bay Packers def. Tennessee Titans +2500
- Tennessee Titans def. Green Bay Packers +2500
Exact result betting is interesting, and it gives bettors an opportunity to hedge a bit.
Here, if you’re convinced that the Chiefs and Niners are destined to face off in Super Bowl LIV, you can take both of that matchup’s possible outcomes and still make money on the wager:
If you put $100 on KC to beat San Francisco, you’d get $210 with a Chiefs win. If you put $100 on San Fran to beat KC, you’d get $240 with 49ers win. So combined, a $200 risk would net either $210 (five percent return) or $240 (20 percent return).
Just don’t parlay these bets. Even the most reputable sports betting sites in the world won’t turn down free money.