In his 13th season as the Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers has never played in an NFC Championship at Lambeau Field and, prior to Saturday’s Divisional game vs. the Los Angeles Rams, he’s played in only six home playoff games. Those shockingly modest numbers are bad for the Packers during a largely underachieving run with one of the best players in NFL history, and they’re bad for bettors who enjoy cashing tickets for Aaron Rodgers’ home games.
Enter Saturday’s game, the Packers, who’ve skyrocketed in Super Bowl odds in online sports betting since the preseason, are 65-31-4 against the spread in home games started by Aaron Rodgers. They’re also 10-5-1 against the spread when Rodgers has two weeks between games (i.e. playoff or regular-season bye). Those numbers are others in the books and on the field are making the Packers the most popular bet of NFL Divisional weekend.
On BetMGM, as of Thursday, the Packers were 6.5-point favorites over the Rams after opening as 7-point favorites. Despite history favoring underdogs when the line moves in their favor (as noted in NFC Divisional predictions) and the Rams’ recent run of road covers, 81 percent of tickets are on the Packers, by far the highest share of the weekend. Seventy-five percent of the handle is also on the Packers. If they cover, it would be their third straight home playoff win against the spread; they covered last year vs. the Seattle Seahawks and four years ago against the New York Giants.
Elsewhere, 67 percent of tickets (and 50 percent of handle) are on the Buffalo Bills (-3) at home vs. the Baltimore Ravens, 66 percent of tickets (and 59 percent of handle) are the on Cleveland Browns (+10) on the road vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, and 52 percent of tickets (but only 45 percent of the handle) are the Tampa Buccaneers (+3) on the road vs. the New Orleans Saints.
The Packers are also the most popular total bet; seventy-nine percent of all Packers-Rams total tickets are on the over (currently 45.5 after opening at 46.5), while 69 percent of the handle is on the over. Similar numbers in the other three games: 75 percent of tickets (and 82 percent of the handle) on the Ravens-Bills over, 78 percent of tickets (and 89 percent of the handle) on the Browns-Chiefs over, and 73 percent of the tickets (and 78 percent of the handle) on the Buccaneers-Saints over.
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Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM and host of High Motor by BetMGM, an NFL and college football podcast available on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else. He has written for Sports Illustrated, HERO Sports, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @adoughty88.