NFL Conference Championships: Hot bets and moving odds

Sports Interaction betting analyst Frank Doyle previews this weekend’s NFL playoff action.
 
All odds current as of 11 a.m. ET, Jan. 16.
 
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (-5.5, 56)
 
Sure, it’s Peyton Manning squaring off against Tom Brady again. That’s the angle everybody is all over and it’s understandable considering Brady is 10-4 straight up and 7-5-2 against the spread in head-to-head matchups with Manning. But this game goes well beyond Manning vs. Brady. This is the type of game that can hammer books if they don’t have the right number.
 
At Sunday evening’s open, Sports Interaction had Denver set as a 6-point favorite, just like a pile of other online shops. That number didn’t even hold for 30 minutes before dropping to 5.5 and was all the way down to 4.5 by Monday morning. It bounced between 4.5 and 5 for a couple of days before jumping back up to 6 Wednesday evening. Currently, it’s holding at Denver -5.5, but where it ends up by kickoff is anyone’s guess. As for the total, it opened at 54.5 and has climbing ever since. With each of the last four matchups between these two teams topping the total, that was to be expected. The over/under is at 56 as of  Thursday.
 
Where the action is: We’re seeing about 73 percent of our action coming in on the Patriots at +5.5.
 
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-3, 39.5)
 
From a bookie’s standpoint, there isn’t much you can do with this game. The Seahawks and 49ers were easily the top teams in the NFC this season and are basically mirror images of each other. With home-field advantage, the Seahawks opened as 3-point favorites and that line hasn’t budged at Sports Interaction. The two clubs have split their last four meetings outright, but the Seahawks have covered the number in each of those contests.
 
The total came out at 40 points and dipped to 39.5 within minutes. Since then it’s bounced around from 39.5 and 40, currently sitting at 39.5. With four of the last five meetings playing below the total, we could see this number drop further, especially if weather becomes a factor on Sunday.
 
Where the action is: San Francisco bettors are accounting for 59 percent of our action at +3. This one should end up with a relatively even split between the two teams.

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