Steelers, Packers are both betting favorites on NFL Week 2 odds

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On top of likely not having Le’Veon Bell in the backfield, the Pittsburgh Steelers are also taking a glaring home trend into the fray against the Kansas City Chiefs this week.

The Steelers, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger behind center, are 4-point favorites against the Chiefs on the NFL Week 2 odds with a 52.5-point total according to sportsbooks monitored by

Pittsburgh is 6-1 straight-up in its last seven games against Kansas City, but the OddsShark NFL Database says it is also 0-5 against the spread in its last five home games as it continues life without Bell, the workhorse running back who is a contract holdout. After winning last week with young quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs are now 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games in September.

The Cincinnati Bengals are 1-point favorites against the Baltimore Ravens with a 45-point total in the Thursday night game. The Ravens are 2-7 SU in their last nine games against the Bengals. The total has gone UNDER in six of the Bengals’ last seven games at night.

The Green Bay Packers are early 1.5-point favorites against the Minnesota Vikings, with the total off the board presently due to an injury issue with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games. The Packers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games in September.

The Atlanta Falcons are 6-point favorites against the Carolina Panthers with a 44.5-point total. The Panthers are 2-8 SU and ATS in their last 10 road games against the Falcons. The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Panthers’ last 10 games against the Falcons.

The Los Angeles Chargers are 7-point road favorites against the Buffalo Bills with a 42.5-point total. The Chargers are 6-1 SU in their last seven games as a favorite. The Bills are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games as an underdog.

The New England Patriots are 1-point road favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 45-point total. The Patriots are 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in their last seven games in the late afternoon. The Jaguars are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games in Week 2.

The Denver Broncos are 6-point favorites against the Oakland Raiders with a 46-point total. The Raiders are 1-6 SU and 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven road games. The total has gone OVER in the Broncos’ last seven games in September.

The Dallas Cowboys are 3-point favorites against the New York Giants with a 42-point total for Sunday’s primetime matchup. The total has gone UNDER in the Cowboys’ last five games. The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Giants’ last eight games.

And the Chicago Bears are 3-point favorites against the Seattle Seahawks with a 43.5-point total for Monday night. The total has gone OVER in eight of the Seahawks’ last nine games against the Bears. The Bears are 12-5 SU in their last 17 games on a Monday.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at

Tom Brady on why he’s better than ever in his 40s

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I sat with Tom Brady at his locker for seven minutes after the Patriots’ 37-31 AFC Championship Game victory, and I can tell you he was dazed. Slightly dazed. Three really crazy things happened in this game that he was trying to process, still, about 50 minutes after his ninth championship game victory.

“We’ll remember this one forever,” Brady said, equal parts incredulous and grateful as he sat on a wooden stool stamped with the Chiefs logo. “It’s one of the great wins in franchise history.”

• Brady converted three third-and-10 passes on the only drive of overtime: to Julian Edelman, Edelman again and Rob Gronkowski.

• The pass play to Gronkowski, which gave the Patriots a first down at the Chiefs’ 15, was not in the game plan. New England has run the Gronk slant before, but hadn’t planned to run it here, and the only play they called that wasn’t planned turned out quite possibly to be the biggest play of their day. As the 40-second play clock wound down, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels called the play they hadn’t practiced during the week because the coaches saw a coverage deficiency by Kansas City safety Eric Berry on Gronkowski.

• “We just put in eight new plays in the game plan this morning,” Brady told me. At the team hotel, the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, the offensive players were greeted at the 11 a.m. meeting with the news that eight new plays were being installed for the game. That happens, but not every week, and not eight plays’ worth. They walked through the plays in a hotel ballroom, then ran four or five of them during the game—all for positive yards.

“Aren’t you a little shocked?” I asked. “All of it—converting three third-and-10s in overtime, making another Super Bowl in a league that pushes everyone to the middle, surviving Mahomes …”

“Yeah,” he said. “It’s hard for me to imagine. Nine Super Bowls. I know. It’s ridiculous.”

One more thing I wanted to do with Brady. I had a chart … well, I’ll show you what I showed him in the jammed Patriots’ locker room, about his staying power in this game. Comparing Brady in the 14 postseason games he played in his twenties versus Brady in the five postseason games he’s played in his forties:

Brady smiled. “When you first started your job, compared to you now, are you better?” he said. “You have a lot more experience. That’s what this is. Experience. So I don’t think it is all that surprising. We have been fighting uphill all year. This game is hard to win. The next game is harder to win. This game, you just celebrate it for what it is. Then we go to work on the Rams.

“I never imagined any of this, believe me. This is beyond. I mean, who could ever imagine this? Nine Super Bowls? I just take it for what it is and enjoy it. I love my teammates. I love my coaches. I love my family. It takes a lot of people to support you for all of us. I’m just happy for all of us.”

And, apparently, it’s never going to end.

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Brady, Patriots underdogs at Chiefs on AFC Championship Game odds

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The Arctic blast expected at Arrowhead Stadium might seem like Tom Brady weather, but there are also some cold, hard facts with home and away trends at this stage of the game.

The Kansas City Chiefs, with NFL MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes behind center, are 3-point favorites on the NFL betting lines against the Patriots with a 56-point total in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by

While the Chiefs are trying to advance to their first Super Bowl in 49 seasons, they are 8-1 straight-up in their last nine games as home favorites. The Patriots, who are underdogs with Brady as a starter for the first time since September 2015, are 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games in the championship round, and 3-5 SU and ATS on the road this season.

While the Patriots should never be counted out as long as Bill Belichick is scheming and Brady is slinging passes, away teams are 1-11 SU in the last 12 AFC Championship Game matchups and 1-4 ATS in the last five at betting sites.

The Patriots, 12-5 SU and 10-7 ATS, have a history that needs no ballyhooing at this point. In the present, New England had a negative net yards per play and point differential during the regular season, and were markedly worse at finishing off offensive drives with touchdowns and making third-down stops on defense.

Of course, a good team can overcome that for one afternoon, and Belichick and Brady will try to confuse the Chiefs by spreading the ball around multi-talented running backs Sony Michel and James White, slippery wide receiver Julian Edelman, and tight end Rob Gronkowski. At peak form, the Patriots seldom let pass rushers get near Brady, but the Chiefs had three sacks in their divisional-round game against the Indianapolis Colts, who allowed the fewest sacks in the regular season.

The reality that the best defense for the Patriots is a clock-consuming controlled offense, combined with the conditions, could limit scoring.

The Chiefs, 13-4 SU and 10-6-1 ATS, do offer some historically based hunches. Mahomes, whose regular-season passing rating was the best in NFL history by a 23-year-old quarterback, also had just the second 5,000-yard/50-touchdown season in league annals, joining Peyton Manning in 2013 when he beat the Patriots at home in the AFC Championship Game.

The Chiefs are also 3-1 ATS in their last four games against New England, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

Matchups-wise, New England loves to take away an opponent’s fanciest toy – otherwise known as wide receiver Tyreek Hill in this game – but Mahomes’ other preferred targets, Sammy Watkins and tight end Travis Kelce, could take advantage of the added focus on their teammate. The X-factor will be running back Damien Williams, who will try to take advantage of the vulnerability New England has shown, at least to this point, at containing runs up the middle and passes to the backs.

The temperature is expected to be in the 20s, but neither passer needed a glove on his throwing hand while playing in frigid weather during the divisional round. The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Patriots’ last 10 games, with an average combined score of 43.7 points. The total has gone UNDER in 11 of the Chiefs’ last 14 home games, with an average combined score of 45.86 points.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at