Finding Value On The NFL Conference Championship Games
Football fans are still trying to catch their breath after the divisional round of games. All four matchups ended in walk off fashion. It was a weekend of playoff football like we’ve never seen before. However, the markets don’t sleep. They don’t need to catch their breath. Before Travis Kelce’s game winning catch, lines were already set for the following weekend and money was beginning to flow in. NFL Conference Championship weekend is here and Unabated is here to show you how you can maximize your edge on both games.
We’re going to take a “day in the life” approach to betting the NFL conference championship games. These are not picks we claim will win, but an illustration on how you would use our tools to find your own answers. If you’re looking for a “Guaranteed Winner Lock of the Year”, you’re in the wrong place.
Disclaimer: The lines pictured and discussed below may not be available. We deal with fluid markets, please be sure to input your own data into our tools.
The Compare Lines Tool On The NFL Conference Championships
Your NFL Conference Championship weekend betting endeavor begins in the totals market. Let’s say you are trying to find value on the over in the AFC Championship game. The first thing you’ll do is check out the Unabated Odds Screen for a snapshot of what’s being offered at your sportsbooks. This is what you may see:
A lot of 54.5’s, but there is a lone 54 available at PointsBet, so you may be inclined to lock that in. Easy enough, right? Not so fast.
Although 54 is in fact the lowest point total, does it provide the best value while priced at -115? DraftKings is offering 54.5 at a cheaper -105. How can you decide which total offers more value? You need to figure out how much that extra half point is worth.
To do so, you head over to the Unabated Compare Lines Tool and enter the line information in question.
The results are in, and the over offering the most value is 54.5 (-105) at DraftKings. Betting the over 54.5 at -105 is the equivalent of betting over 54 at -111. Since over 54 -111 is a better price than the over 54 -115 at PointsBet, you’d want to take the over 54.5 -105 at DraftKings.
It may seem like a minor thing, but finding the best price for what you want to bet is a key to being the sharpest bettor you can be. Additionally as shown above, Unabated offers tools for a plethora of sports, not just the NFL.
Comparing The Spread To The Moneyline
Next up, let’s say you’re confident that the San Francisco 49ers will cover the spread against the Los Angeles Rams. You head back over to your snapshot of books, only to find that each one is offering the same +3.5. From there, it’s easy to point out the best price, the book with the lowest juice. That happens to be +3.5 (-110).
Then, you notice something. Despite having the best price on the spread, another sportsbook has San Francisco higher on the moneyline at +165. You can use the same comparison tool to determine whether +3.5 (-110) or +165 on the moneyline is the better bet. You enter “0” for the second line to indicate a moneyline. The result you’ll see is that +3.5 (-110) translates to an equal moneyline price of +157. Since you’re getting +165, the moneyline is the slightly better bet.
Finding Alternate Lines On The NFL Conference Championships
When it comes to an NFL side or total, it’s fairly difficult to find lines that are well “off-market.” The NFL Conference Championship market is fairly efficient. However, diving into derivative markets like alternate spreads and totals can often lead to finding inefficiencies. The reason can be boiled down to the surface area each book has to cover. For the AFC game, you can find a line anywhere from Bengals +32.5 to Chiefs +19.5, and nearly each half point in between. Different operators have different methods for assigning a price to each one of those lines. You’ll find a fair amount of variance between operators.
Sticking with your trend of over 54.5 in the AFC game having value, let’s assume you believe Mahomes hangs a large number on the Bengals. Rather than take the market consensus -7 (-110), you want to explore what prices exist for KC -12.5. Specifically, we’re trying to find positive expected value (+EV) in those alternate lines markets. To do this, we are going to enter the vig-free sharp market consensus into the Unabated Alternate Line Calculator. To find that sharp market consensus we check the current line at a market making book like Pinnacle Sports.
Pinnacle has the game squarely on the 7, so we can enter -7 +100 as the vig-free Primary Line and -12.5 as the Alternate Line we’re seeking.
The Alternate Line Calculator tells you that the true price equivalent is +179. We’re looking for anything above that number.
After some diligent shopping we have found the following alternate lines available on KC:
The first two have prices of +150 and +155. Since they are below the true price equivalent of +179, they don’t provide the value we’re looking for. However, the third book has -12.5 at +180, which is a hair better than the -7 vig-free line. Even better, the -12 is also +180. While -12 itself is somewhat of a dead number, it is certainly worth something. We’ll leave it as an exercise for you, the reader, to figure out the added value of getting -12 +180 using the Alternate Line Tool.
Using Alternate Lines On Conference Championship Totals
Shifting focus back to the NFC game, let’s assume you see value on the under 46 market consensus number. Based on your San Francisco ML play, you could see them controlling possession and bleeding out the clock. While under 46 may be enticing, you want to make sure it provides the best value.
You can find alternate totals spanning from 16.5 all the way to 76.5. While many bettors are familiar with the key numbers of 3, 6, and 7 in the spread, there are also key numbers in NFL totals. However, they don’t nearly have the large impact that the spread key numbers have. Due to the rarity of ties, the odd numbers are generally worth more. Since you are searching for under value, you’ll be targeting several odd numbers. You enter under 46 +100 into the Alternate Lines Calculator as the Primary Line and 41.5 as the Alternate Line you seek. It reports you are looking for a price of +170 or better.
After a bit of searching the best price you can find is +155, no value. You repeat this exercise for under 39.5 and you’re looking for better than +237. Same story though, the best you can find is +220. Again at under 37.5, you find yourself a bit short of value. That’s ok, this is an important lesson. There won’t always be value in these derivative markets. It’s also possible someone already beat you to a good number that might have been available. You need to be diligent to reap the benefits of finding market inefficiencies.
Partial Game Derivatives In The NFL Conference Championships
There are additional derivative markets you can look to for value. Derivative by definition means “something that is based on another source”. In this example, the source is the spread and total for each specific game. The markets that are derived from the game state include 1st quarter and 1st half lines.
By using the Partial Games Derivative Tool you can unearth value. We’ll use the above example of 46 to see if we can find value in the 1st quarter total market of the NFC Championship game.
Based on inputting the spread and total, we’re able to derive a fair 1st quarter total of over 9.5 +102 / under 9.5 -102. From there, we compare those to what we can find at our sportsbooks. To find value, we would be looking for a price better than +102 on over 9.5, or better than -102 for the under 9.5.
These two books are offering the same total of 9.5 with differing prices for each. BetMGM (on top) is offering -110 on the over and -115 on the under leaving us with no value. FanDuel (bottom) on the other hand has their over 9.5 priced at +110.
Compared to the fair price based on our game state of +102, we have found value. This may not fit your narrative of the under 46 holding value, but sharp sports bettors bet the numbers not their own narrative.
Betting Props On The NFL Conference Championships
We’ve covered major markets, alternate spread and total, as well as derivative markets. What’s left? PROPS! Speaking of props, Unabated has something special planned for the biggest prop party of all, the Super Bowl. Here’s a primer on what you can expect.
One of the most underrated resources available on Unabated is the Player Prop Simulator. It allows you to enter your own projections to find the median pricing for a specific yardage prop. Finding the median price is important, because that’s how sportsbooks price them. If a receiver goes over by 10 yards or 100 yards, you get paid out the same. Most projection sets you find online are based on mean. If you take those projections and try to bet them into sportsbook prop lines you’ll find yourself on a lot of overs. You’ll probably also find yourself losing at props while everyone claims they are so easy to beat.
If you don’t make your own projections, there are plenty of websites that do. For this, we’ll use numberFire to see what they have for Tyreek Hill. They’re projecting Hill for 71.54 yards on 6.25 receptions. From there, we take it to the Unabated Props Simulator:
Based on those projections, Hill’s median receiving yards total ends up being 66 yards. From there you can compare it to the best odds available to you. After line shopping, you find out the market is too high on his receiving yards prop.
Since we’re seeing lines in the mid 70’s, it’s becoming obvious that the value is on the under. For under 75.5 we’re getting a line of -105 when the fair price should be -148. That’s good for a 16.51% edge. It’s not at all uncommon to find edges that large in the player prop market.
Remember, the results that will return to you are only as good as the projections you put into it. If you don’t make your own, find a projection source that you trust. Another option is to aggregate a few different data sources to create your own blended projection.
As you can see by the various tabs, the Props Simulator returns much more to you than just the table you see. There are graphs, yardage bands, and other relevant information to the players projection. Jump in for yourself and see what you can find. You can run the same simulations for passing yards, receiving yards (WR/TE/RB), receptions (WR/TE/RB) and rushing yards for RB’s.
Odds Screen Integration Of Unabated’s Tools
You may have noticed the slick new Unabated Game Odds Screen making some appearances in this article. Our Discord Community has had access to it for about a week now and the reviews are stellar. We won’t go into a detailed overview of our odds screen here. However, you are now welcome to check out the Game Odds Preview mode for yourself. Be sure to check out the brief overview video linked to the top of that page.
A great feature of the Game Odds Screen is the integration of the tools we covered in this article:
You’ll have the ability to compare these lines and find alternate pricing in just a few clicks. A couple seconds can be the difference in getting the best number. The Unabated Game Odds Screen expedites the process of determining the most valuable line. We’re continuing to add functionality and enhancements each and every day.
- Pricing matters. The lowest total doesn’t always provide the best value. It pays to compare the lines.
- While major market lines may be identical across the board, you can often find market inefficiencies in derivative markets.
- Unabated’s trading tools don’t give you the winning plays. The results you receive are dependent on your inputs. We help you find the best value based on your data and opinion.
- Prop markets are a good place to find big edges.
- The Unabated Game Odds Screen tools integration will save you time and energy.