Welcome to the Conference Championship edition of The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview, by Rich Hribar.
For those that are new to this article, just because the fantasy regular season has ended doesn’t mean that fantasy football stops. The fantasy playoffs offer a host of new opportunities for playoff leagues, props betting, and daily fantasy games.
Some Conference Championship Round recent history:
Home teams have dominated the closing round of the conference playoffs.
Since the NFL expanded to 32 teams in 2002, home teams are 27-13 straight up this round. Twice (2012 and 2018) over that 19-year span did both road teams win outright, so that does not mean we can rule out any upsets despite the success of home teams over this run. Against the spread, home teams have posted a 22-18 record.
That of course ties into favorites here since 34 of those home teams were also favored. Favorites have an equally strong 27-13 record straight up over that span, but a tighter 20-20 record against the spread, including a 6-8 record against the spread over the same period highlighted above.
Conference Championship games have also skewed towards going over the expected total since 2002, posting a 24-14-2 record towards the Over during that span.
No. 1 seeds have fared well knocking on the door to the Super Bowl. Top seeds have a 20-7 record outright in the Championship round, going 16-7 against the spread.
No. 1 seeds facing the No. 2 seeds (like the Eagles hosting the 49ers) have also performed well. Top seeds in that spot have a 12-5 record over that span, going 10-7 against the spread.
One interesting component here is that all of those No. 1 seeds that were favorites over that span were all giving away at least a field goal in those games. This weekend, both point spreads are under three points for the favorites.
Click the matchups below for the individual game previews.