Even so, stick to your teaser basics for this week’s NFL conference championship two-game teaser bet. To get this final teaser right, we have to remember our teaser rules. Never tease across zero. Playoff games cannot end in a tie meaning you are crossing over numbers - -0.5, 0, and 0.5 – that are not possible final score margins.
It makes more sense to cross at least two key numbers. Most NFL games end with a scoring margin of 3 or 7. Other key margins are 4 and 6. If you can cross at least two of these, you’ve got yourself a worthy teaser.
The Packers are 3.5-point home favorites against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, who upset New Orleans last week to advance. The Bucs have won seven straight road games and have done so by an average of 16 points.
Recall Week 5 of this year when the Packers and Bucs met in Tampa. Green Bay built a 10-0 first quarter lead. Then, the wheels fell off the bus. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw a pick-six and Brady tossed two touchdowns as the Bucs rolled up 28 points in the second quarter.
It was Rodgers worst game of the season and Green Bay lost 38-10. That game was in Tampa. Sunday’s game is at Lambeau Field in Green Bay where Tampa Bay is 1-15 in its last 16 trips. None of those 16 trips to Lambeau had Tom Brady playing quarterback.
Brady has 31 playoff wins and plenty of experience in conference title games. He’s won nine of them. Teasing this spread to +9.5 crosses all the key numbers – 3, 4, 6, and 7. Remember, the Bucs defense harassed Rodgers all game long in the first meeting this season. There’s no reason why Tampa Bay cannot keep this game close.
Buffalo hasn’t been to a conference championship since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly was the quarterback. Now, the Bills have a potential MVP quarterback in Josh Allen who has led Buffalo to its best season in years.
Last week, it was all Allen as the Bills ran for just 32 yards in a 17-3 win over Baltimore. Allen went 23-of- 37 for 206 yards and a touchdown and the defense got a 101-yard pick-six from Taron Johnson.
This week, the big question is whether or not Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes will play. Mahomes was knocked out in the third quarter of last week’s win over Cleveland. He entered concussion protocol and it has not yet been determined whether he’ll play or not.
Even with Mahomes, the Chiefs have not blown out any opponents for some time. In fact, Kansas City hasn’t covered a spread in nine games. In their last eight wins, the Chiefs largest margin of victory was six points.
Like the NFC title game, teasing this spread to +8.5 covers all the key numbers. Buffalo is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games. The Bills average cover margin in those games is +12.6 points.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.