With the conference playoff dust settled, fans of NFL betting got the power matchups we all expected featuring powerhouse quarterbacks.
It took a twisted way to get here. The Wild Card round of the playoffs was underdog-dominated as three road dogs moved on to the Divisional Playoff round. There, the NFL postseason tournament became much more mundane and true to chalk. All four home teams, and favorites, won and moved onto the conference championship games.
It created two classic quarterback matchups in the conference championship, featuring two sure Pro Football Hall of Famers and two of the game’s better younger quarterbacks, battling to get to the Super Bowl.
Bring it on.
Best Bets for 2019 AFC and NFC Title Games
Saints -3.5 over Rams (-109)
The Saints shook the playoff cobwebs off after their scary start against the Eagles as they won the game with timely offense and defense after the Eagles shocked the Superdome crowd with a 14-0 lead. The result of that New Orleans survival is the Saints will not freak out if the Rams jump out to an early double-digit lead.
It seems like the Saints match up well to the Rams against the Rams and are going to be difficult to beat at home. I believe the emotion of the win over the Eagles to going to translate to another New Orleans win Sunday. Take the Saints.
Saints-Rams over 57 points (-108)
The last time these two teams met, just over two months ago, they combined for 80 points. Yes, both teams have slowed down some offensively down the stretch. The Saints-Eagles fell way under the 49.5 over/under, while the Rams-Cowboys squeezed by the 50.5 total at 52 points.
But this game has the feel of another track meet. Both teams are capable of big point explosions and can keep up with each other. I’m not sure if we’re going to see another 45-35 game, but the 57-point total is very attainable.
Saints-Rams over 6.5 TDs (-110)
There are too many weapons on both sides here to go with the under. I expect a Saints offensive show. Even if the Rams struggle against the Saints underrated defense – the injury loss of New Orleans stud defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins won’t help. I can see the Saints scoring enough touchdowns to take the over on this bet.
Michael Thomas first to score TD (+675)
If the Saints win the coin toss, I really like this bet. The Saints are going to work all week to start strong in front of the home crowd after the tough start last week. It is clear Thomas is Brees’ favorite weapon. The two hooked up for a score this week and surely it is going to happen again.
I wouldn’t be stunned for Brees to try to hit Thomas on a big play on one of the first plays of the game. The +675 price is a pretty nice prop bet value.
Alvin Kamara to score TD anytime (-225)
Kamara scored 18 touchdowns in 15 games in the regular season, with 14 coming on rush plays and four as a receiver. He did not score against the Eagles. The Rams allowed 4.7 yards per rush attempt this season. Kamara had three touchdowns against the Rams in Week 9; two on the ground and one in the air. The price isn’t great, but this is a strong bet.
Chiefs -3 over Patriots (106)
This is strange territory for New England. It is the first time since Week 13 of the 2014 season against Green Bay that the Patriots are an underdog. Green Bay won, 26-21. They have had 69 straight starts by Brady in which they have been the favorite.
This is the Patriots’ eighth straight AFC title appearance. They are 4-3 in that stretch. Kansas City has gotten the playoff monkey of its back. The Chiefs’ dominant win over the Colts in the Divisional Round was Kansas City’s first home playoff win since the 1993 season. The Chiefs lost at home in the playoffs the past two years.
But this Patrick Mahomes-led team is different. The Chiefs aren’t scared of anyone. Yes, Brady and Bill Belichick have playoff magic and the Patriots dominated the Chargers in the Divisional round. But this may just be the Chiefs’ year. Go with home team.
Chiefs-Patriots over 55.5 (-108)
I’m pretty exclusive on the over when it comes to Chiefs games. However, the under hit in the Colts game. The reason why the game went under was because the Chiefs’ defense has suddenly come alive. It has allowed just 16 points in the past two games, including a Week 17 win over Oakland.
In the previous five games, the Chiefs allowed 35.3 points. I have a feeling Brady is going to be able a way to figure out the Chiefs’ defense just as he did when the Chiefs and Patriots combined for 83. It is supposed to be very cold Sunday in Kansas City, but not wet or overly windy.
That will help with the point output. I expect this to get to the over 55.5-point total.
Chiefs-Patriots over 6.5 TDs (-115)
Both of these offenses are super-explosive. I can easily see seven touchdowns being scored. The two teams combined for 10 touchdowns in October. The Chiefs had the No.1 scoring offense in the NFL, while the Patriots had the No. 4 scoring offense. Seven touchdowns are attainable here.
Travis Kelce to score first TD (+700)
Kelce is a huge part of the Chiefs offense. He is a sparkplug and gets the crowd fired up. He didn’t score against the Colts. This is a good price if the Chiefs get the ball first. I can see Mahomes trying to get the ball to Kelce in the end zone early to set the tone against Brady and his tight end, Rob Gronkowski.
James White to score TD anytime (+100)
The Patriots like getting their weapons involved as part of different game plans. Against the Chargers, it was the Sony Michel game as the first-round pick had three touchdowns. White just had 15 receiving yards.
I can see the game plan being more White-heavy this time. He touched the ball 11 times against the Chiefs in Week 6. This is a good opportunity for White to hit the end zone in this game, against a Chiefs defense that has been weak against the run all season.