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The playoff field is set and after a strange last weekend that made the Steelers enter the playoffs, we are ready to go for the Wildcard weekend with the new expanded structure. Before we get to the actual games, though, we are going to take a look at some future tickets that might be of value.
AFC Conference Winner
The AFC is incredibly difficult to predict right now. Each team has major flaws, but they also have major upsides. Take, for example, the Chiefs are very inconsistent on defense, but offensively, they have the best quarterback in football. Even their offense this year hasn’t looked great, but they went streaking towards the end of the year and looked dominant until they faced the Bengals. If we are talking pure value, I’m taking the Patriots at +1000. They have a good defense, their offense is somewhat lacking, but they have a QB that doesn’t turn the ball over much, and obviously the best coach of all time. I just don’t know that they can beat the Bills again. So, I’ll ultimately pass on that. I do think that the Bengals could win the conference. Here’s what I’m thinking. They will beat the Raiders, then they play the Titans (who even with Derek Henry back) still have Ryan Tannehill at QB and a tendency to choke in the playoffs. That leaves the Bengals with the chance to play likely either the Chiefs or Bills in the AFC Championship. While I don’t expect them to win, that gives us a nice hedge opportunity for us to make some money. Bengals at +800 for me. FanDuel is offering +220 to get to the AFC Championship on the Bengals.
NFC Conference Winner
This side is a bit more clear to me. It will be either the Buccaneers or the Packers. At +170, the Packers are the clear favorite, and say it plays out where they face the Buccaneers, you can potentially play the Buccaneers at plus money and make a profit. The Buccaneers could also be an option for you at +330, they should easily beat the Eagles. Then the Cowboys would likely be waiting for them. The Buccaneers should handle the ‘boys, but you never know. It wouldn’t hurt to have that +330 ticket in your hand as you’d like be able to hedge a bit on this game with the Cowboys. So here is my recommendation, grab the Packers at +170 and Buccaneers at +330. Hedge the Buccaneers against the Cowboys (I’d imagine +175). This should give some money along the way. I don’t think the Packers would lose to anyone else other than the Buccaneers, but you could always hedge a bit with teams playing them.
You likely won’t get a better price on the Buccaneers than +750 to win the Super Bowl . I likely will play that and then two different matchups that I like. I will take the Packers and Chiefs at +650 and Packers and Bills at +1100. The Packers and Chiefs are +380 and +450, respectively, for the Super Bowl, you could talk me into taking any, and all, of the three (Packers, Chiefs, and Bucs) and looking to just play their opponents at plus money the rest of the playoffs. The Bills have a shot, but are so inconsistent it is hard for me to play them. The Rams haven’t seemed as good as they looked in the early season.
One last note, obviously there can only be one Super Bowl winner. Many futures can be used to make money along the way. If I put one unit on the Packers at +170 and they play the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship, the Bucs could be +125. If I play a unit on that, I’m making at least a quarter unit on the game. Profit is the purpose, even if it takes some extra work or time to get there.