Updated January 17, 2019 - 7:25 pm
Reports of an arctic blast hitting Kansas City on Sunday resulted in a burst of under bets on the Patriots-Chiefs AFC title game.
The total opened at 57½ and dipped as low as 54 at Las Vegas sports books Tuesday before rising to 55½ on Thursday, when forecasts called for warmer game time temperatures, albeit still in the teens.
Arctic blast or not, professional sports bettors Rufus Peabody and Ron Boyles lean to the over in the rematch of New England’s 43-40 regular-season win over Kansas City.
“The narrative that cold weather is going to depress scoring is a bit of an overreaction,” said Peabody (@RufusPeabody), a part-time Las Vegas resident. “The real weather factor that impacts scoring is wind, but it’s not going to be a windy game.
“Honestly, temperature does not have a big effect on scoring. If you look at every game since 2000 with the game time temperature less than 30 degrees, overs have covered 55.7 percent of the time. They’re 108-86 against the closing total.”
Boyles also said that wind is the biggest weather factor impacting scoring.
“It could be zero degrees, but if there’s no wind that doesn’t necessarily mean the game will stay under,” he said. “I’ve kind of got a feeling the game might go over.”
Rams-Saints under 57
Peabody went 3-0 ATS in the NFL divisional playoffs and led DraftKings’ inaugural $2.5 million sports betting national championship entering the final game before setting for third place in a controversial ending.
His best bet Sunday is under 57 in the Rams-Saints NFC title game.
“The Rams-Saints total is an inflated number,” Peabody said. “The Saints are really more of a running team than a passing team, and the Rams have not been nearly as prolific on offense coming down the stretch.
“I made the total for that one 51.4. I think there’s a lot of value on the under.”
Peabody doesn’t have an opinion on a side. But, based on his algorithm, he made the Chiefs 1.3-point favorites and the Saints 4½-point favorites.
Chiefs (-3) over Patriots
Boyles played Kansas City minus 3 at even money.
“New England played a perfect game against (the Chargers). Everything went right. But I’m still not sold on New England completely,” Boyles said. “Kansas City is the better team, at home, with one of the strongest home-field advantages in football. And you can lay 3? It’s time for Andy Reid to get off the schneid.
“To me, Kansas City seems like the play. But you’re not going to get rich betting against (Bill) Belichick and (Tom) Brady.”
Westgate sports book director John Murray also likes the Chiefs and said a sharp bettor played Kansas City on the money line at minus 150.
“Every time we go too low on the money line, we’ve got wiseguys betting the Chiefs money line on us,” he said.
The Patriots are underdogs for the first time in 68 games.
“The public is definitely going to be on New England as a ’dog,” Murray said. “We’re going to need Kansas City really big on Sunday. We’ve already taken a lot of money on the Patriots.”
Despite the early action on the Pats-Chiefs under, the books expect to need both unders.
In the past five years, home teams are 10-0 straight up and 8-2 ATS in conference title games.
A William Hill bettor placed a $100,000 money-line parlay to win $158,000 on the Chiefs (-155) and Saints (-170).
Rams (+3½) over Saints
Boyles leans to the Rams, who are either plus 3½ (-120) or plus 3.
“The Rams ran the ball against Dallas at will, and I can see them doing that against the Saints,” he said. “Late in the season, the Saints didn’t overwhelm anybody.”
New Orleans is on an 0-4 ATS skid and has gone under in six of its past eight. Los Angeles has covered its past three games.
Sony Michel, over 78½ rushing yards
Professional sports bettor Frank Carulli wagered that Patriots running back Sony Michel will go over 75½ rushing yards. The total on the prop has since climbed to 78½ yards.
The rookie rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns Sunday in New England’s 41-28 win over the Chargers.
“Michel is an emerging star, and the Patriots’ run blocking was A-plus against the Chargers,” Carulli said. “I suspect the combination of freezing temperature and keeping the ball away from Patrick Mahomes will mandate a similar approach.”