After a divisional round last weekend that saw four walk off wins, it is time to decide which two teams will battle it out in the Super Bowl. Plus, Tennessee hosts Florida in a pivotal SEC matchup.
The NFL Divisional round of the playoffs featured what will be known for a long time, as the best weekend of playoff football in history. The first three games all ended in game-winning field goals as time expired, and the last one was an overtime game with a game-winning touchdown to end the game.
It sets up Conference Championship weekend with two intriguing matchups; The Cincinnati Bengals against the Kansas City Chiefs, and the San Francisco 49ers against the Los Angeles Rams. Both games feature a rematch from the regular season.
The Niners and Rams are both in the NFC West, so they played each other twice in the regular season, with San Francisco winning both games. The Bengals defeated the Chiefs 34-31 back in Week 17. What does that mean for this weekend? Let’s dig into things and find out.
Here is the first look at the NFL Conference Championship games (All times Eastern)
Cincinnati (54.5) at Kansas City (-7) 3:00 p.m.: Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes are elite quarterbacks. Burrow is only in his second season and coming off a season ending knee injury from his rookie season. But he has been dominant throughout the season and especially the playoffs. We don’t need to convince you that Mahomes is elite. Four straight conference title game appearances, two Super Bowl appearances, with one win. After a slow start to the season, Mahomes and the Chiefs finished as strong as any team in the league.
In their matchup in Week 17, Burrow threw for 446 yards in the 34-21 Bengals win. Jamaar Chase is a deadly weapon that Burrow throws to any time he needs a big play, and Chase somehow is always there to make the play. It has been 34 years (1988) since the Bengals made it to the Conference Championship, and with a line like +7 they should be an easy choice.
I get why the Chiefs are -7, I really do. They are an elite team, with talent all over the field on both sides of the ball. What they did on offense last week against the Bills was other worldly, but the Bengals are not a fluke team. They have had two very tough games against the Raiders and the top seeded Titans to get here. The Chiefs could easily cover this game, but I don’t see how they can with a Bengals offense that has Burrow and Chase.
Oh, and in case you needed someone to confirm this, the over/under is at 54.5, and you can safely take the over. Unless the defenses decide they want to show up and make this game about them, Burrow and Mahomes will be slinging the ball all over the field at a rapid pace.
San Francisco (46) at LA Rams (-3.5) 6:30 p.m.: The Niners have had the Rams number for quite a while now. Since 2018 to be exact. They are 0-6 against the Niners since then. They are 28-10 since all other teams in that same time frame. Crazy right? I am not sure that anyone has realized how dominant San Francisco has been over the Rams, especially after Sean McVay took over.
The line is only at 3.5 for the Rams, and that is more than likely because of their recent struggles against the Niners (captain obvious, I know). The over/under is at 46.5, San Francisco has scored only 36 points combined in their two playoff games. The Rams have scored 64 in their two games. With the way the Rams defensive line made Tom Brady’s day a living hell last weekend, and the Niners inability to put up a ton of points, it could come down to what the Niners defense does when it comes to taking the over or under.
Odell Beckham Jr. has made his presence known in his first two playoff games with the Rams, adding another weapon for Matthew Stafford in addition to Cooper Kupp, who has now established himself as the best wide receiver in the league. Cam Akers return from injury has provided a spark on offense as well, but Aaron Donald and Von Miller have been destroying offensive lines and quarterbacks of the opposing team with ease. Jimmy G better be ready, because they are coming after him hard and fast. Those classic Jimmy G picks can’t happen in a game of this magnitude.
What’s on the agenda?
NCAAB-Florida and Tennessee meet on Wednesday night in an SEC matchup. The Vols are a perfect 10-0 at home this season, and 13-5 overall. The Gators are 1-3 in true road games this season. Both teams have average records ATS this season with Tennessee 11-7, and Florida 10-9. Florida comes into the game winners of three out of their last four. With the way the Vols have been playing at home, taking the Vols and the points is a safe bet.
NBA-The Bucks and Cavaliers face off on Wednesday, two teams that have been towards the top of the Eastern Conference standings most of the season. Cleveland has won eight of their last ten games, and the Bucks are 5-5 in their last 10. Cleveland is an impressive 30-16-2 ATS this season, but only 4-10-1 in their last 15, while Milwaukee is just 21-28, and 1-4 in their last five ATS.
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