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Watch out for Patriots despite trends favoring Chiefs

VSiN’s Point Spread Weekly sends us in two obvious directions for Sunday’s NFL conference championship games.

Editor Steve Makinen writes that home favorites in the -3 to -6½ range have a record of 12-1 straight up and 11-2 against the spread since 2005. And home teams are 10-0 straight up and 8-2 ATS in conference championship play in the past five years.

Hello, New Orleans (-3) and Kansas City (-3). What could possibly go wrong?

In the case of the Chiefs, plenty.

First of all, the Tom Brady-led Patriots will have a much more creative plan than Indianapolis showed up with last week. In studying the tape of New England’s dismantling of the Los Angeles Chargers, there are far more schemes and wrinkles to deal with than the Chiefs had a week ago in their victory over the Colts. The Patriots marched up and down the field using Julian Edelman on the edges and James White out of the backfield. No one is better at reading defensive calls than Brady.

The other item missing from the Chiefs on Sunday could be far more significant. Kareem Hunt no longer plays in Kansas City. In the two games he played against Patriots coach Bill Belichick, Hunt rushed for 228 yards, caught passes for 203 yards and scored four touchdowns.

If you told me that the Chiefs have someone who could replace Hunt, I would be all-in. But they don’t, and so I’m advising caution despite the trends that point us toward the Chiefs.

Instead of that game, I am concentrating my money on the NFC game between the Saints and Los Angeles Rams. My two-team, 7-point teaser takes the spread to 10 and the total to 63½, and I will go with the Rams and the under.

More betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Brent Musburger’s betting column appears Saturday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His show on the Vegas Stats & Information Network can be heard on SiriusXM 204 and livestreamed at reviewjournal.com/vegas-stats-information-network.

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