Presented by Oddschecker
It’s conference championship weekend. The last four teams remain for a shot at the biggest game of the year, while the loser will go home and have the advantage of watching the Puppy Bowl live.
There are some great storylines going into these games:
Can the Titans keep the Cinderella story going another week?
Can Rodgers and the Packers avenge the devasting loss from their regular-season matchup with San Francisco?
One thing we know, this has the potential for an exciting weekend. Here are the best NFL bets for both conference championship games.
Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday 3:05 P.M. EST)
The Titans are on a fantastic run, like a Derrick Henry type run. They first go to one of the toughest places to win a playoff game in Foxboro to defeat the defending champion Patriots, followed by smashing the number one seed Ravens along with the leading MVP-candidate Lamar Jackson by 16 points. Next up is another tough place to play, Arrowhead Stadium, to take on the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs’ win was fantastic in itself; the Texans took an early 24-0 lead and looked to have an easy route to the Conference Championship, but Kansas City proceeded to score 51 of the next 58 points to destroy Houston 58-31.
The Chiefs are clearly the better team, hence why they are a 7.5 favorite, but so have the other teams the Titans have faced, and they have tee times to attend to this week.
The key, as it has been the last two weeks, is to give the ball to Henry; he has two straight games with 35+ touches and 200 total yards, and had the same amount of passing touchdowns as Lamar Jackson did last week. The Kansas City rushing defense will be the easiest matchup he’s faced (NE 6th, BAL 5th, KC 26th); with this stat, there’s a reason the money line for Henry to lead this week in rushing is -110.
If you look at the numbers, offensively the Ravens outplayed the Titans; +40 in total plays, +230 in total yards and +0.1 in yards-per-play, but Tennessee made the stop when they needed to and scored at the opportune times. This is similar to these two team’s matchup earlier this year; the Chiefs were +29 in total plays, +159 in total offense, and +15:44 in time of possession in their Week 10 35-32 road loss thanks to a Tannehill passing touchdown to Adam Humphries with 23 seconds left.
Can the Titans’ luck strike thrice? I don’t know. I’ve been burned twice. I’m not sure if the Titans will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, but they won’t go down without a fight.
Best Bet: Tennessee Titans (+7)
Green Bay Packers vs. San Fransisco 49ers (Sunday 6:40 P.M. EST)
We saw San Fransisco completely take all momentum the Vikings had in their upset victory against the Saints the week prior en route to an easy 27-10 win last weekend.
Early on, the Packers seemed like they would have an easy win themselves, but the late charge by the Seahawks made it interesting as Green Bay narrowly won 28-23.
We now get an exact matchup from Week 12 when San Fransisco trounced Green Bay 37-8. Since that loss, the Packers have gone 6-0.
San Fransisco proved in that game why they the number one passing defense in the league; Aaron Rodgers threw for only 104 passing yards, the lowest in his career when he’s attempted 30+ passes. The Packers have not asked for Rodgers to be the superhero of this offense, Aaron Jones has been the catalyst for the moving the ball. The 49ers ranked 17th in rushing yards allowed per game during the regular season, but they held Dalvin Cook to just 21 yards last week.
Just like the Pack, the key for the 49ers is to attack with the run game. They ranked 2nd in rushing yards-per-game, and the Packers ranked 23rd in rushing yards allowed per game. They have the three-headed monster of Coleman/Mostert/Brieda, who combined for 180 yards on 46 rushing attempts last week.
With the 49ers’ dominant performance in their last matchup, it would be easy to take them as a clear favorite, but Rodgers isn’t going to go down without a fight when a trip to the Super Bowl is on the line. This will be a much closer game.
Best Bet: Green Bay Packers (+7.5)