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The Pick Six: Conference Championship Edition

The Pick Six: Conference Championship NFL Betting January 17

Welcome to The Pick Six: Conference Championship edition. We’re down to the final four teams in the NFL playoffs after a very chalky divisional round that saw all the favorites win straight up and three of them cover the spread. As a football fan, you can’t ask for better matchups, with storylines and betting trends to support almost any pick.

With there only being two games, I’m going to dive into some prop betting for this article along with picking sides in both of the conference games.

All odds listed below are courtesy of Bovada.

The Pick: Chiefs Moneyline (-140) vs Patriots

Smokin’ Joe Osborne wrote the betting preview for the AFC title game and he only reinforced what I had already thought: The Chiefs will win this game. KC’s defense has been underrated in home games this season by limiting teams to 17.4 points per game and if it wasn’t for the Chargers stealing a win back in Week 15, the Chiefs would be undefeated at Arrowhead Stadium this year. The Patriots have been a significantly different team on the road this season at 3-5 SU. As Joe detailed in his preview, New England’s offensive output drops dramatically when playing on the road compared with playing in Foxborough.

The Pick: Saints Moneyline (-165) vs Rams

Stephen Campbell capped this game and while he thinks the best bet is the OVER, I’d prefer to stick with the home favorite. The Saints are undefeated in home playoff games under Sean Payton and, over the last five seasons, so are home favorites in the conference championships at 10-0 SU and 9-1 ATS. When these two teams met in Week 9, the Saints went off for 45 points and won by 10. I’m not saying they will destroy the Rams by any stretch as last week’s game vs the Eagles put the fear of God in me. I think you should stick to the moneyline just to be safe and I may end up parlaying Saints/Chiefs on another ticket before Sunday.

The Pick: UNDER 55.5 Chiefs-Patriots (-110)

Based on initial projections by meteorologists, we’re expecting either a full Arctic blast or just a cold night. Either way, for the average football player, it’s going to be chilly and I fully expect that to affect the offenses. Both the Chiefs and Pats may lean toward the ground game to keep the opposing quarterback off the field and I think the Chiefs will try to be more methodical with their passing game instead of just bombing it downfield and getting into a shootout. In nine Chiefs home games this season (including playoffs), the average combined score was 49.6 points. On the flip side, Patriots road games are at 45.6. Yes, I know these teams combined for over 80 points in Foxborough in Week 6 but a lot has changed since then and both defenses have vastly improved.

The Pick: Yes for a Successful Two-Point Conversion (+125)

So far in the playoffs, this prop has hit in four of the eight playoff games and was typically hovering around +250 depending on the sportsbook. Well, after making some profit on betting this blindly so far in the postseason, I’m back on the horse and taking it again. With the stakes so high in each game, the probability of a two-point conversion increases significantly. There’s obviously risk in taking this prop because this isn’t just an attempt, it needs to be successful. However, at the value it’s being offered, it’s a decent prop to take.

The Pick: Longest Successful Field Goal OVER 50.5 Yards (-110)

With all due respect to kickers Harrison Butker and Stephen Gostkowski, this prop will likely come down to the Rams-Saints game and, diving into the numbers, I like the OVER 50.5 yards to hit. When those teams met in Week 9, Saints kicker Will Lutz hit a 54-yarder while Rams kicker Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein went 1-for-2 for field goals from 50 yards or more by hitting a bomb from 56 yards. Zuerlein is who I trust more to cash this prop because of opportunity. He attempted six field goals from 50 yards or more this season and went 4-for-6 and would have had more attempts had he not missed five games. All four kickers in this round have made over 60 percent of their field-goal attempts from 50 yards or more in their careers so I’m banking on one of them to make me some money.

The Pick: Drew Brees For Most Passing Yards in Conference Championships (+250)

At +250, this one is a little bit of a gamble with Patrick Mahomes available for this prop but I tend to think Brees at the Superdome will dice up the Rams secondary. Brees threw for 300 yards against the Eagles in the divisional game and when the Saints faced the Rams in Week 9, he roasted them for 346 passing yards. The Rams corners are suspect and I expect Michael Thomas to have another huge day, which is why Thomas is also the favorite at +200 to record the most receiving yards in the conference championships.

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