Packers Sit as Touchdown Favorites Against the Giants on Sunday Night

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Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are up against the New York Giants, who are a tough out when they’re a big underdog, in the Sunday Night Football betting matchup. The Packers, despite their offensive inconsistency, are listed as seven-point favorites against the Giants at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

New York and QB Eli Manning are 15-5 against the spread in their last 20 games as an underdog of at least seven points, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. Green Bay is 13-1 straight up in its last 14 games in October, and is 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS in its last nine home games against NFC East foes.

Green Bay, which was idle in Week 4, is 8-2 SU and 8-1-1 ATS in its last 10 post-bye-week games. The break surely gifted the Packers with time to get SS Morgan Burnett (groin), OLB Clay Matthews and NT Letroy Guion (knee) healthy.

The Packers are healthier on offense but it is stunning to see future Hall of Famer Rodgers completing fewer than 60% of his passes. The Packers’ blocking against DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DE Olivier Vernon will have to be better.

In the passing game, Packers WR Jordan Nelson and WR Randall Cobb could be facing a secondary that is still depleted due to injuries. Two of the Giants’ best one-on-one defenders, CB Eli Apple (hamstring) and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (groin), are iffy to play.

Eli Manning and the Giants are 0-3 SU and ATS in their last three road games against NFC North teams. Manning is up against a Packers defense that is devastating against the run, but dismal – 29th in the 32-team NFL – against the pass. Green Bay has yet to find a replacement for elite CB Sam Shields (concussion). The trio of WRs Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shephard should be able to have some success.

The Giants’ middling running game, with RB Orleans Darkwa as the de facto starter, could be hard-pressed to keep Manning and Co. out of obvious passing downs. The onus will be on the aerial game, where Beckham will be out to avoid a third consecutive subpar performance. The acrobatic receiver had only 23 yards during the Giants’ Week 4 road defeat in Minnesota.

The visiting team has prevailed in seven of the past 10 games of this matchup. The total has gone over in four of the Giants’ last five games in Week 5. The total has gone under in six of the Packers’ last seven games. Sunday night’s total is at 48 points on the NFL betting lines.

Packers underdogs against the Falcons in NFC Championship game

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The best defense is an unstoppable offense, and Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons simply haven’t been stopped when they are a healthy favorite.

The Falcons are listed as five-point favorites against red-hot Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers with an eye-popping 60-point total on the NFL lines for the NFC Championship Game at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

It is the sixth time this season the Falcons have given between 3.5 and 6.0 points, and while they are 3-2 straight-up and against the spread in that scenario they scored at least 28 points every time.

While the Falcons have to turn around some negative trends – such as 1-6 SU in their last seven games against the NFC North, according to the OddsShark NFL Database – it’s doubtful any collapse would be attributable to their offense.

The Packers, who are 12-6 SU and 10-7-1 ATS, have relied on Rodgers and his stellar pass protection to shred opposing defenses during their eight-win streak. It seems the only way to contain Rodgers is to blitz him. Although OLB Vic Beasley had 15.5 sacks in the regular season, the Falcons play straight defense more frequently than the NFL average.

It’s possible the Packers could repeat the scenario of recent weeks, with Rodgers getting scads of time to wait for a receiver to get open. That is contingent on the health of those receivers. Leading receiver Jordy Nelson (ribs) is a remote shot to play while Davante Adams (ankle), Geronimo Allison (leg), Jeff Janis (quadriceps) are each banged up.

Both RB Ty Montgomery and TE Jared Cook have become reliable cogs for the Packers since their loss to the Falcons last week. Atlanta does not have an overly strong run defense.

The Falcons, who are 12-5 SU and 11-6 ATS, do have to be concerned with how many snaps WR Julio Jones (toe) will be able to play on Sunday. The true linchpins in Atlanta’s attack, though, are RB Tevin Coleman and RB Devonta Freeman, whose versatility as ball carriers and receivers has to be accounted for at all times.

The Falcons are very physical in the rushing phase and it will be interesting to see whether the Packers are up to it after so many do-or-done games, including last week’s instant classic against Dallas where they gave up 125 yards to the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott.

Jones, WR Taylor Gabriel and WR Mohamed Sanu are facing a Packers pass defense that has struggled all season. Green Bay was among the NFL leaders in sacks, but the Falcons’ continuity along the offensive line (all five starters have been intact all season) should help them with making adjustments.

The favored team is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in the last three years in conference championship games.  The total has gone over in seven of the last 10 conference championship games.

Brady, Patriots betting favorites hosting Steelers in AFC Championship game

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The feeling that Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have one creaky effort out of their system spurs the idea they can continue to be nearly automatic at home. The Patriots are listed as 5.5-point betting favorites against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 50.5-point total for the AFC Championship Game, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Not only has New England long enjoyed the upper hand against the Steelers – 10-3-1 against the spread in their last 14 matchups – but they are also 9-2 ATS on the NFL betting lines in their last 11 home games at Gillette Stadium and 8-1 SU in their last nine home games against teams with winning records.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers, who are 13-5 SU and 11-6-1 ATS, are on a nine-win streak thanks to building their offense around shifty and tireless RB Le’Veon Bell. New England’s run defense is far stronger than what Pittsburgh has seen so far in the playoffs, but it’s doubtful Bell’s production will completely dry up since the Patriots are too smart to over-commit to stopping him.

While WR Antonio Brown can be nightmarish to cover, the Steelers’ lack of receiving threats beyond him might make it tough for Roethlisberger to pick apart the Patriots’ pass defense, although his offensive line should be able to give him time to throw.

Having success as an underdog in January is not a role in which the Steelers historically thrive; they are 3-10 SU in their last 13 playoff games as an underdog according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Patriots, who are 15-2 SU and 11-6 ATS, have only been stopped this season when Brady and the offense encounter a dominant pass rush. After a slow start in that phase, Pittsburgh has improved immensely due to the trio of OLB Bud Dupree, ageless OLB James Harrison and DE Stephon Tuitt, who will have to get by the strong pass protection of Patriots RT Marcus Cannon and LT Nate Solder.

The Steelers pass defenders have occasionally been beaten deep. Among the Patriots’ speed receivers, Chris Hogan (thigh) seems more likely to be 100 percent than Malcolm Mitchell (knee). Martellus Bennett and Julian Edelman also offer the potential to spread the Steelers thin.

New England, the Super Bowl 51 betting favorites, used leading rusher LeGarrette Blount sparingly in the Divisional Round, which could have been a factor in the Patriots’ offense being sporadic. Blount has had a full week of practice this time.

The visiting team is 0-6 SU and 1-5 ATS in the last three years in conference championship games. The total has gone under in the Patriots’ last six AFC Championship Game matchups. The total has gone under in nine of the Steelers’ last 11 games as an underdog.