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Conference Title Game Notes

   by Tom Stryker - 01/20/2008

Make no bones about it. There are going to be two very good football games on Sunday. San Diego makes the trek to the east coast to take on New England while New York and Eli Manning takes its road show to the Frozen Tundra to tackle Green bay. The Chargers and Giants are both road warriors and they'll need to bring their "A-Game" because the Patriots and Packers can flat out play at home. In case you haven't noticed, New England and Green Bay are nearly undefeated in their own backyards in 2007 posting a combined 17-1 SU record (12-5-1 ATS).

As impressive as that last record looks, the Bolts and G-Men won't be intimidated. That's because the Chargers and Giants are two of the best road teams in the league. Technically speaking, San Diego is a tremendous 22-11-2 ATS in its last 35 games on foreign turf while New York owns a jaw-dropping 8-0 SU and ATS in its last 10 as a guest!

According to my powerful NFL Database, Conference Championship hosts have produced a respectable 36-18 SU and 31-23 ATS record over the past 27 seasons. Within that set of 54 games, there are a variety of tighteners you can look at that make things look better (or worse) for the host. Here are just a couple.

If our NFL Conference Championship host checks in with momentum off back-to-back SU and ATS wins, this situation improves to a solid 14-5 SU and 13-6 ATS. Of course, it should be noted that hosts in this set are just 3-5 SU and 2-6 ATS since 1999! There is only one team that fits this special tightener on Sunday – Green Bay.

If our Championship home team is matched up against an opponent that enters off back-to-back road games, this system tightens up to a solid 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS. The Packers apply.

Proceed with caution if you plan on laying the lumber with New England this weekend. Favorites of -9.5 or more in this round of the playoffs are a dismal 4-8 ATS.

Finally, if we flip this situation around and look at it from the road team's perspective, there is one situation that stands out. If our Conference Championship guest is entering off a strong offensive performance in which it scored 28 points or more, the visitor is a wallet-breaking 5-19 SU and 6-18 ATS. San Diego applies this week off its 28-point outburst at Indianapolis. For future reference, please note that the road team is a shocking 0-10 ATS in this situation if they enter off a 35-point (or more) performance.

Good luck this weekend in the NFL Conference Championships and be sure to check back next week for an inside look at one of my best college basketball situations! Thanks! TS

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