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The NFC Championship features two guys that have been there, done that, and are looking to add to their already Hall of Fame resumés. Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers, two of the greatest quarterbacks of their generation, will compete for a chance to go to the Super Bowl. On AFC side of things, you have two young quarterbacks, one already with a championship, and neither may have even hit their prime yet. These two games have the potential to be memorable and the small spreads reflect that. So, let’s take a look and see how you should wager for the AFC and NFC Conference Championship games.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Green Bay Packers
Sunday 3:05 P.M. EST
Tom Brady is in a familiar position looking to get to his 10 Super Bowl, but doing it for the first time in the NFC, while Aaron Rodgers will look to get to his second Super Bowl with the Packers.
Rodgers, amidst rumors that his job was on the line when Green Bay drafted Jordan Love, went out and had one the best years of his career. In 2020, he set new-career highs throwing for 48 touchdowns and finishing with a QBR of 84.3.
Brady also put to bed any rumors that the end was near; he threw for over 4,600 yards for the first time since 2015 and it was the first time he’s had 40 or more touchdowns since 2007.
This game will be a rematch of earlier this season. In Week 6, the Buccaneers smashed the Packers in Lambeau 38-10. That will not have much meaning due to the atmosphere, meaning the weather, in October is much different than in late January. The forecast for this game is calling for freezing temperatures and a 60% chance of snow.
Betting on Rodgers at home in the playoffs is a confident one; he’s 4-2-1 against the spread in home playoff games and 12-6-1 overall. Although we know Brady has made miracles in the playoffs before as he’s 5-3 against the spread as a playoff underdog.
Right now Rodgers is looking great and pretty much unbeatable. Tampa Bay has played tough defensively as of late, but so did Los Angeles before being ripped up by Rodgers. Secondly, we know Brady can play in the elements, but we can’t say that about the rest of the team. I like Rodgers to stamp his ticket to Tampa and ruin the Buccaneers’ chance to be the first team to play in a Super Bowl at their home stadium.
Best Bet: Green Bay Packers (-3.5)
Best Special Bet: Green Bay Packers ML & Over 48.5 (+175)
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday 6:40 P.M. EST
The line for this game has changed throughout the week as we learn the status of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The line started as the Chiefs being a three-point favorite and moved down to two points before being set at 3.5 as of Friday. Mahomes has continued to increase his practice workload throughout the week while in concussion protocol and he seems to be trending in the right direction to play on Sunday.
Even if Mahomes plays, this isn’t going to be an easy win. The Bills have been amazing to watch, especially the connection between Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs, a tandem that is looking like it could be a memorable one. While Buffalo has some receiving threats, you can’t ignore what Kansas City has at all. Travis Kelce is not only the best receiving tight end period, but one of the best receivers overall as his 1,416 receiving yards this year was second to Diggs, and his 11 touchdowns were fifth.
Although the Chiefs have won eight of their last nine games straight up, they’ve failed to cover in all but one of those games. On the other hand, the Bills have won nine of their last 10 straight up and have covered in all but one, including each game they were an underdog in.
Just like the NFC Championship is a rematch from this year, so is this game, These two teams also faced off in Week 6 at Arrowhead with the Chiefs winning 27-16, but that Bills team is not the same one coming into this game. The Bills were dealing with injuries on the defensive side of the ball and Allen had come into that game with a shoulder injury. Since then, Buffalo has been one of the best teams in the league thanks to a balance of stellar offense and a shutdown defense.
I still like the Chiefs to find a way to come through in this game, and if they stayed as a two-point favorite, I would have gone there, but I think at 3.5, you have to give it to the Bills.
Best Bet: Bills (+3.5)
Best Special Bet: Chiefs ML & Under 53.5 (+210)
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