NFC and AFC Conference Championship Predictions
The final four remain as the NFL Playoffs enters Conference Championship Weekend. The AFC Championship follows with the Chiefs hosting the Patriots. NFL scores from last weekend are not showing much of an advantage for either team, making NFL betting lines this weekend right around a field goal in both games.
AFC and NFC Championship Betting Facts
- AFC and NFC Championship won by home team last five years
- NFC Championship winners scored at least 38 points the previous three years
- Seven of last 11 AFC Championships decided by nine points or more
- Favourites/home teams 3-1 ATS last weekend
NFC Championship Betting and Game Facts
- New Orleans 1-0 when hosting the NFC Championship (winning in 2010)
- Rams tenth appearance in NFC Championship, third-most all-time
- Rams 1-4 all-time on the road in the NFC Championship
- Two teams combined for 80 points in their Week 9
- Rams underdogs for the first time since Week 17 in 2017
NFC Championship Prediction
After holding on late in the Divisional round, the New Orleans Saints get the opportunity to host their first NFC Championship game since 2010 (when Brees and the Saints won the franchises only Super Bowl). They face, some may argue, the best team in the National Football League when they play the Los Angeles Rams.
Looking at the NFL odds, the Rams are worth the points on Sunday afternoon. The Rams ranked third in road offence and sixth in road defence this season, the best it has been in both categories since their Super Bowl-winning team in 1999.
The Saints allow 24.33 points and 288.00 passing at home this season (24th and 31st in the NFL this season). The Saints defence looked exposable at times against the Eagles and, if not for a terrible drop, the unit could have cost the Saints the game.
The Rams secondary is also healthier than it was when they played back in Week 9. If their secondary were healthy in that game, it would have helped the Rams keep the game within three (or maybe even win). Expect a close game and take the Rams to cover.
Pick: Los Angeles Rams +3.5 (-110)
AFC Championship Betting and Game Facts
- Chiefs have never hosted an AFC Championship game (hosted and won AFL Championship game prior to the merger)
- Patriots with Brady and Belichick are 0-3 on the road in the AFC Championship
- Two teams combined for 83 points in Week 6
- Patriots underdogs for the first team since Week 1 in 2016 (when Brady was suspended)
- Chiefs fourth-ranked home defence, Patriots 18th ranked road offence
AFC Championship Prediction
The second game of the day features the New England Patriots for the eighth straight season, which is eight more AFC Championship games than their opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs, have played in franchise history. Despite Kansas City’s playoff failures, they are 3.0-point favourites over Brady, Belichick and the New England Patriots.
Both played excellent (and complete) games in the Divisional Round, but need to play even better to make it to the Super Bowl. The edge in this game goes to the Chiefs (and not because of Patrick Mahomes and his abilities).
The biggest consideration for betting on this game the Patriots struggles on the road. The Patriots are just 3-5 on the road this season (S/U and ATS) and 1-3 against teams with a winning record. Historically the Pats are not nearly as good on the road in the postseason as they are at home.
The Patriots have not won a road playoff game since the Divisional Round in 2007 (a 24-21 win over Philip Rivers and the Chargers), going 0-3 since them (all losses in the AFC Championship coming against Peyton Manning).
The Chiefs are a juggernaut at home. They rank fourth in overall offence and defence at Arrowhead, outscoring opponents by nearly 18 points per game. While we do not expect the Patriots to get blown out by the Chiefs, take the Chiefs to win the game by more than a field goal.
Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -3.0 (-110)
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