By Adam Thompson | | 6 mins
NFL Conference Championship Weekend Picks: Your Best Bets
In all but one season between 2003 and 2018, either Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger was a starting quarterback in the AFC Championship game. It appears Patrick Mahomes is taking the place of both of them. Perhaps Joe Burrow can join.
Mahomes plays in his fourth-consecutive AFC Championship on Sunday when his Kansas City Chiefs host the Cincinnati Bengals. Kansas City has hosted the game in all four instances. Hosting matters in the AFC, where seven of the last eight hosts have advanced to the Super Bowl. Only three of those games were decided by a TD or fewer.
The NFL betting favorites have done well in the NFC Championships as well, winning six of the last eight. But it’s been a rotating venue; the past eight NFC Championships have been played at eight different home fields.
Following the launch of mobile sports betting in Louisiana on Friday, new sign-ups in the Pelican State can grab great promos and offers at DraftKings LA, as well as other betting apps now live in the state. Before placing your wagers this weekend, check out our best bets and picks for the two matchups.
Bookies.com NFL handicapper Adam Thompson has hit on a whopping 62.1% of his best bets in the 2021 NFL season, finishing over 60% in each of the last three seasons. Here are his four best bets to make on your sports betting app for Championship Weekend:
NFC & AFC Championship Best Bets
49ers ATS over Rams
If you look at QBs, then you are siding with the Rams. But if you look at everything else, it’s far closer. The 49ers have the better overall defense, especially now that it’s healthy, and the best remaining run game. Let’s not forget, the Niners swept the Rams this season, including a 31-10 beatdown. Jimmy Garoppolo passed for two TDs and no INTs in that one; he threw two picks in the other game but 316 yards. The Niners have the Rams figured out, and are arguably the better team minus QB. (Locked in at +3.5 at DraftKings)
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These teams combined for 51 points when they faced off in Week 18, though only 48 before overtime. San Fran's other previous five games have all finished at 44 or under and averaged just 34.8 ppg, and that includes wins over the high-powered Packers and Cowboys O’s. A one-dimensional Rams offense that’s gained under 75 rush yards in three of the last four weeks won’t intimidate the Niners. (Locked in at 46.5 at DraftKings)
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Chiefs ATS over Bengals
Cincy beat KC in Week 17, but it came down to the final play and Joe Burrow went off for 446 yards and four TDs, half of which went to Ja’Marr Chase. Also, KC was up 21-7 and 28-14 before letting Cincy back in the game. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have been extremely tough at home and if this turns into a shootout, KC has more weapons. As stats-popping as Burrow has been, the Bengals have only managed 16, 26 and 19 points the last three weeks. KC? It’s scored 42, 42, 28, 31, 36, 34 and 48 the last seven. (Locked in at -7 at bet365)
See above. Kansas City’s offense hasn’t been slowed by anyone lately, including 42-point outbursts in both playoff games, against defenses that have been far better suited to slow the pass. Cincy ranks 27th vs. the pass. Conversely, the Chiefs aren’t much better and Joe Burrow is going to throw as often as his arm allows here. Any NFL line under 58 points, take the Over. (Locked in at 54.5 at BetMGM)
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