The NFL Conference Championships are finally here, and so are our picks, as we’re down to the last four in the NFL! Both games feature great matchups, so we did the homework to help you breakdown the games from a wagering aspect After a 4-0 sweep last weekend, let’s see if we can keep this going for Sunday’s games.
Here is our NFL Picks and parlays breakdown:
NFL Conference Championship Picks
Tennessee Titans +7 at Kansas City Chiefs
This game is a rematch of these two teams facing off earlier this season, and if this game is anything like that one, it shouldn’t disappoint. So, after picking the Titans last weekend, I’m back on them in this one. I know this is a crazy pick to some after the show the Chiefs put on last weekend, but I like Tennessee in this game.
Tennessee will need to do the same thing they did last weekend against KC and what they’ve been doing during this late season run of theirs. Play a ball control style offense and keep the ball away from the insane Chiefs offense. Overall, Tennessee has worn teams out physically with Derrick Henry and their OL during this fun run of theirs and that should continue against a Chiefs team that has not been able to stop the run so well this season. When these two teams faced off earlier this season, King Henry totaled 191 yards on 25 touches with two touchdowns. Look for him to have another monster game facing the Chiefs who are 29th-ranked in DVOA against the run.
While the Chiefs offense is humming right now, they showed some flaws last weekend as a team. If they start slow again like they did last weekend, Tennessee isn’t the type of team to let you come back. The Titans have been able to contain Brady and Jackson, but Mahomes is a different beast. They’ll need to continue doing what they’ve done the last few weeks if they want to win this one.
From a Pros vs. Joes perspective, the public is all over the Chiefs, and who can blame them? Over 65% of the public bets are coming in on the Chiefs, but the line has dropped in some places. This indicates reverse line movement, as some of the sharps took the Titans early. From a spread perspective, make sure you shop around. The line is down to 7 in some books. Try to get 7.5 if you can, because every point counts against the machine known as the Chiefs. For the sake of this writeup, we will go with 7, because that is what it is set at in the majority of books currently.
I know this wager seems like a long shot, but there is definitely value on the Titans in this one. Just like last weekend, if the Titans can stay in this game early, they’ll be around at the end.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers -7
This is our second rematch of the weekend. The game itself should be a good one, but in terms of NFL Conference Championships picks I like the Niners betting wise for a couple of reasons.
Last week we talked about how he beauty of the San Francisco defense was their ability to bring that pressure with just their front four, without blitzing. Here are the numbers again for this week: San Francisco blitzed at the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL (20.9%) during the regular season, while still generating pressure at the second-highest clip (28.7%).
We also mentioned how SF’s defensive splits with and without Ford were significant. How they posted a 16% sack rate with Ford, as opposed to just 5% without. We predicted a big game from him and it happened, as his impact was felt.
The Niners finished the season second in the league in pressure rate (28.7%), which will be the key to this game. With the Niners D healthy again, they brought the heat last weekend, pressuring Kirk Cousins on 48.6% of his dropbacks and six sacks. I see more of the same happening against the Pack, as they were an offense that struggled this season against teams that can bring pressure. In their first matchup earlier this season, GB averaged just 2.82 yards per offensive play and were handled easily by the Niners. Per PFF, Rodgers ranks 14th in Passer Rating Under Pressure. AR’s numbers also go down more when on the road. All in all, just isn’t a good matchup for the Pack like it was last week for them when we were on them.
When on offense, I like the Niners rushing attack to have a big game. When these teams played in Week 12, 49ers backs totaled 143 yards on 22 touches. San Fran has the advantage on the OL and DL in this matchup and the team that usually wins the trenches usually wins and covers in football. Also, Kittle should have his way like usual, as the Pack rank just 26th in catch rate allowed and 26th in yards per target. In their first matchup, Kittle went crazy, so look for more of the same this weekend from him.
The public seems pretty split on this matchup, with about 51% on the Niners. This line has increased to 7.5 in some spots, so some sharp money has come in on the Niners. I would shop around if you are taking SF to get the 7.
Ultimately, I see SF wearing out the Packers in the second half.
We hope our NFL Conference Championships picks help your gambling card. Good luck this weekend!