Patriots 4.5-point favorites over Steelers; Falcons favored by 4 over Packers

— -- The New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons are the favorites in the NFL conference championship games.

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook?opened the Patriots as 4.5-point home favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. There was early line movement toward the Patriots, who were up to 5.5-point favorites at several sportsbooks late Sunday night.

In the NFC Championship Game, the Falcons are 4-point home favorites over the visiting Green Bay Packers. The line got as high as Atlanta -6, before settling back at four.

The Packers advanced to face the Falcons with a last-second 34-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. It was Green Bay's eighth straight win.

The Packers suffered through a four-game losing streak in the middle of the season, and dropped back to 80-1 to win the Super Bowl. That slide began with a 33-32 road loss to the Falcons on Oct. 31. Oddsmakers are expecting another high-scoring affair Sunday in the Georgia Dome.

The over/under on the NFC Championship Game was sitting as high as 61 Sunday at several sportsbooks, making it the highest total in a playoff game since 1986 and the second-highest in any game, behind only a 2000 meeting between the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers?(62).

The Patriots are in their sixth straight AFC Championship Game. They closed as consensus 17-point favorites over the Houston Texans in Saturday's AFC divisional-round game. New England won by 18, 34-16.

The Steelers upended the favored Kansas City Chiefs 18-16 on Sunday to earn the right to face the Patriots. New England won 27-16?at Pittsburgh on Oct. 24.

The AFC is a three-point favorite over the NFC in an early Super Bowl line at the Westgate.