NFL Playoffs Predictions: 'Over' Top Trend for Championship Weekend
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 1/18/2011
Defense may win championships. But when it comes to NFL conference championship games, it has been all about the offense, at least in this decade.
This is a week when, historically, instincts lead many to anticipate a defensive battle. All week long the buildup to the game will revolve around defense. This year is no different. The four teams still playing also happen to rank 1-4 in total defense. Add on top of that the expected wintry conditions in frigid Soldier Field in Chicago and Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, and points would figure to be at a premium come Sunday.
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Taking a look at the last nine years, though, offense has generally been the path to the Super Bowl. Since 2002 the ‘over’ is an astonishing 14-3-1 in NFL conference championship games. That is an 82 percent success rate.
It has not always been this way, however. From 1985 to 2001 the ‘over’ was only 15-19 in conference championship games. But the tide began to turn in 2002 and the ‘over’ trend has continued since then.
Last season the Colts got past the Jets, 30-17, to go ‘over’ the total of 40, and New Orleans won an overtime shootout, 31-28, against Minnesota to go ‘over’ the total of 54. Whether the total has been in the 30s, 40s or 50s, both teams have found a way to consistently go ‘over’ since 2002.
The total in the Green Bay/Chicago game this Sunday is 43.5 and the total in the New York Jets/Pittsburgh game is 38.5.
This is the Steelers fifth AFC Championship Game since 1998. The ‘over’ is 5-0 in Pittsburgh’s five conference championship games since 1998, including the four played in Pittsburgh. Chicago has been involved in one conference championship game in the past decade, and that game was in Chicago and it easily went ‘over’ as well.
Too much is made of the defenses that helped the teams get here and the wintry outdoor conditions that all four teams are so accustomed to playing in by now that it will hardly matter. Nineteen weeks into the NFL season and there are no more surprises for either team and with only six or seven days to prepare for the conference championship games, the offense remains ahead of the curve regardless of the conditions and so does the “over” in both games.
Indian Cowboy has notched back-to-back winning weeks for his football picks and he will be back with another hot card of NFL handicapping for Championship Weekend. He is on a 34-19 overall football run and has helped his clients make more than $7,500 during that stretch. Click Here to get his picks for the weekend.
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