The NFL Conference Championships are upon us, and the king of this particular court is Tom Brady. “California Cool” has played in 13 Conference Championship games, winning nine trips to the Super Bowl along the way. Brady has won more of these coveted contests, than any other quarterback has even had the privilege to start in.
Hall of Famer Joe Montana is second in all-time conference championship starts with seven, but only won four. Straight up, Tom Brady has more playoff wins (32) than Montana (16) and Peyton Manning (14) combined. However, online sports betting aficionados often play with point spreads and shifting handicaps.
We’ll explore Brady’s record ATS in conference championship games, in order to predict the Buccaneers ATS viability vs the Packers. The most recent NFL odds on our sportsbook tab Tampa Bay as three-point underdogs in Green Bay this Sunday. There are only three games remaining on the NFL betting calendar, so let’s get gambling!
Brady Under .500 ATS in Conference Championships
As great as Brady is, he can’t seem to stay ahead of the Vegas bookies in conference championship situations. The GOAT is a pedestrian 6-7 ATS in the games which propel the winner on to the Super Bowl. No doubt Brady only really cares about winning any game SU, but he makes his money on the field. We make our money on betting slips, so ATS record is an all-important piece of the equation.
Part of the reason that Brady’s ATS record in these spots is below average, is because he plays mediocre football. Brady has completed just 62.3% of his passes in conference title games, only connecting on 304-of-488 passes. Of those 488 passes, 18 have gone for a touchdown and 14 were intercepted, creating a less than stellar ratio.
By sheer volume alone, Brady is ranked 1st in almost every major all-time category for NFL championship games. The only stat that Brady isn’t the frontrunner for, is passer rating, since he has posted a lowly 83.3 (33rd). Aside from that statistical aberration, Brady is the best of the best and the worst of the worst.
Edge to Rodgers ATS in Title Games?
Not so fast, people. Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers hasn’t exactly been dominant in his four title games either. Rodgers has lost three straight conference championships, and failed to cover ATS in his last two. A-Rod is 2-2 ATS overall in these situations.
Rodgers’ career passer rating in the conference championship is lower than Brady’s, coming in at 78.0. That’s shockingly below Rodgers’ career quarterback rating of 103.9. Rodgers has also thrown more interceptions (7) than TDs (6) in his four title game appearances, which is unlike him.
We must remember that Rodgers also played poorly in a Week 6 blowout loss to the Buccaneers, tossing zero touchdowns and two picks. A-Rod had his way with the rest of the league, but struggled mightily against Tampa Bay. Perhaps finally having home-field advantage for a conference title game will put some wind in Rodgers’ sails.
Aaron Rodgers this season
vs Bucs 0 Pass TD, 2 INT
vs everyone else 48 Pass TD, 3 INT pic.twitter.com/kxnSGRmuBe
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 19, 2021
Tom Brady vs Aaron Rodgers
For all of their storied postseason glory, Brady and Rodgers have never played each other in the playoffs. Had the Packers defeated the Falcons in 2017, A-Rod would have dueled Brady and his Patriots in Super Bowl LI. However, Green Bay was blown out by Atlanta 44-21, so that dance never took place.
Brady is 2-1 against Rodgers in his career, but the loss occurred on Lambeau Field in 2014. This was the first-ever head-to-head matchup between the two gunslingers, and Rodgers got the better of Brady. Rodgers completed 24-of-38 passes for 368 yards and two TDs, while Brady connected on 22-of-35 throws for 245 yards and two scores.
Green Bay pulled out the 26-21 home victory vs New England, in the first dust-up between these two legendary figures. Perhaps Sunday afternoon’s conference championship game will be the final clash for these two titans. Only time will tell.
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