The New England Patriots (12-5) will be playing in their eighth consecutive AFC Championship Game on Sunday when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs (13-4). But this time, the NFL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com have the Patriots listed as consensus three-point road underdogs, a role they have played just once over the past decade en route to making four of their record 10 Super Bowl appearances all-time.
New England closed as a 4.5-point road underdog five years ago and fell 26-16 to the Denver Broncos. More recently, the team has hosted the AFC Championship Game three of the past four seasons before advancing to the Super Bowl each time - winning the big game twice. The question is, can future Hall of Famer Tom Brady do it again away from home opposite a second-year player and first-year starter in league MVP favorite Patrick Mahomes?
The Patriots are 7-1 straight up and against the spread in their last eight games as underdogs on the NFL point spread. However, you have to go back to 2007 to find the last time they won a postseason road game, knocking off the San Diego Chargers 24-21 as 4.5-point underdogs in the Divisional Round before losing 38-34 to the Indianapolis Colts as 3.5-point road dogs in the AFC Championship Game.
Following the 2001 regular season, New England also upset the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-17 as an eight-point road underdog in the AFC Championship Game on the way to winning the franchise's first Vince Lombardi Trophy. That is when the legend of Brady was born, as he and the Patriots later topped the St. Louis Rams 20-17 as 14-point underdogs for the first of their five Super Bowl titles. But they went only 3-5 SU and ATS on the road this season, which is a major concern heading into Kansas City.
The Chiefs nearly won the first meeting earlier this year in Week 6 but came up short in a 43-40 loss at Gillette Stadium. Kansas City did cover the spread though as a 3.5-point road underdog and has done so in three of the past four meetings overall as well. While the Chiefs are 8-1 SU in their last nine games at Arrowhead, their recent playoff failures simply cannot be ignored. They are just 2-7 ATS in their last nine games as favorites in the postseason and only 2-11 SU and ATS in their previous 13 playoff games overall.
Kansas City enters the weekend as a +275 wager (bet $100 to win $275) on the Super Bowl odds. New England trails at +333 on those betting futures.
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