Conference Championship Round Betting Breakdown
There’s no better time to get some sports betting action in than the NFL playoffs. Conference Championship round bets abound on this weekend’s card. Whether it’s sides and totals or player props, we have you covered here at FTN with our NFL betting models and NFL player props tool. But before we put some wagers in play, it’s important to know a thing or two about each of the four Conference Championship games.
Kansas City @ Baltimore
We have the Chiefs in the Conference Championship game for the sixth straight season. That’s the second-longest streak in NFL history, behind only the 2011-18 Patriots. Perhaps more impressive, Patrick Mahomes has never not made it to the Conference Championship game. This is also Andy Reid’s 11th Conference Championship appearance as a head coach, which is the second most all time.
If the Chiefs manage to pull off the minor upset, they’ll be the third team to reach four Super Bowls in five-year span. The other two are the 1990-93 Bills and the 2014-18 Patriots. This contest will pit Reid against a former assistant in John Harbaugh, who coached with Reid from 1999-2007 in Philadelphia. Reid is 5-0 against former assistants in the postseason.
Of course, there’s always a chance when you have Patrick Mahomes under center. In his six years as a starter, he’s amassed 13 career postseason wins, which is tied for sixth-most all time. He’s also 3-1 in his career versus Lamar Jackson in those games, Mahomes averages 369.8 passing yards per game with 13 total touchdowns and just two turnovers.
For the Ravens, this is the fifth Conference Championship appearance in franchise history. The other four game in 2000, 2008, 2011 and 2012. The team advanced to the Super Bowl twice, winning both of those opportunities in 2000 and 2012. Despite the four previous appearances in the Conference Championship, this is the first time the Ravens will host the game. It’s also 10 years since Harbaugh’s last appearance in this round. That’s the longest drought since Dick Vermeil, who spent 15 years out of coaching before returning and having success with the Rams in the late-90s.
With Jackson as the presumptive NFL MVP, this is the third time in league history where the current and former MVP faced each other in the playoffs. The most recent occurrence came in the epic 2018 AFC Conference Championship game between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes. The other was in 1995 when Steve Young faced Brett Favre. Jackson had previous struggled in the post season, but he was excellent in the Divisional Round, notching four total touchdowns and no turnovers.
History is in the Ravens’ favor here, as No. 1 seeds are 4-1 straight up in Conference Championship games since 2019. Harbaugh has also had a lot of postseason success, going 14-7 against the spread. Of course, there are also favorable trends for the Chiefs here. Kansas City has won five straight playoff games, coving in four-straight. They’re 9-4 against the spread over their last 13 playoff games, and Mahomes is 11-5 against the spread in his postseason career. He’s also 8-0-1 against the spread as a road underdog in his career, with seven outright wins, including last week against the Bills.
Betting Records This Season
KC: 11-7-1 ATS, Under is 13-6
BAL: 12-6 ATS, Under is 9-8-1
BAL 23.7 – KC 22.0
Jeff’s Game Pick
Isiah Pacheco Over 14.5 Rushing Attempts
(-114, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Isiah Pacheco is dealing with a toe injury and did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. But the Chiefs back insists he’ll be good to go. Kansas City has feed Pacheco down the stretch. He’s topped this line in seven of his last eight games, including last week when he saw 15 carries.
Travis Kelce Anytime TD
(+115, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Travis Kelce enters this contest tied with John Stallworth for the most receiving touchdowns in Conference Championship history with five. He has a good shot of breaking that record this week after scoring twice in the Divisional Round. If the Chiefs are going to have a chance, Kelce has to be heavily involved. If you think lightning strikes in back-to-back weeks, Kelce is +850 to score two-plus on FanDuel.
Zay Flowers Under 44.5 Receiving Yards
(-110, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Baltimore only used three wide receivers 47% of the time in the regular season, which was the fifth-lowest rate in the league. That low usage of 11-personnel means Zay Flowers will see a lot of L'Jarius Sneed in coverage. The Chiefs coverman allows just 9.7 yards per catch and a 50% catch rate. It’s shaping up to be a long day for Flowers.
Detroit @ San Francisco
Lions fans rejoice — Detroit is playing in their first Conference Championship game since 1991. Of course, the Lions have won two games this postseason. That’s more than they had in the previous 65 years of the franchise. They’re one of just four franchises in the league to never reach a Super Bowl. The Texans, Jaguars and Browns are the other three.
Jared Goff has found his home in Detroit. The former first overall pick will face a former last overall pick in Brock Purdy. This is the first time that has ever happened in the post season. With a win, Goff could become the fifth quarterback to start a Super Bowl for two teams. But it won’t be easy. He’s lost five straight games against the 49ers with seven passing scores and seven turnovers in those games.
On the other side, we have the 49ers entering their 19th Conference Championship game since the 1970 merger. They’ve gone 7-11 in their previous 18, including losses in each of the last two Conference Championship games. However, unlike those two games, the 49ers will be at home for this one. Kyle Shanahan is 5-0 in the playoffs at home as a head coach.
It helps when you have plenty of thoroughbreds in the stable. That starts with Christian McCaffrey, who can become the first player to win the rushing title and reach the Super Bowl since Shaun Alexander in 2005. It won’t be easy for him, as the Lions were one of the top run defenses this season, ranking top-3 in rushing yards per game and yards per carry this season. Of course, the biggest question looming over this contest is Deebo Samuel’s status. He injured his shoulder early in last week’s win and looks very iffy for this contest. The 49ers are 18-1 when Purdy, McCaffrey and Samuel play the entire game. They’re just 2-4 and one of them does not.
The Lions have not won a playoff game as an underdog since 1957, when they defeated the Browns for the NFL championship. Since then, Detroit has lost nine straight playoff games as the underdog. Meanwhile, San Francisco is 5-0 outright as postseason favorites under Shanahan. They’re 4-1 against the spread in those contests, with the only non-cover coming last week against the Packers as 10.5-point favorites. However, the 49ers are 0-6 against the spread in their past six home games.
Betting Records This Season
DET: 13-6 ATS, Over is 12-7
SF: 9-8-1 ATS, Over is 9-7-2
SF 27.4 – DET 21.7
Jeff’s Game Pick
Brock Purdy Over 274.5 Passing Yards
(-110, FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Lions have gotten absolutely torched through the air over their last five games. Here are the passing yards performances over that span working backward from last week: Baker Mayfield 349 yards, Matthew Stafford 367, Nick Mullens 396, Dak Prescott 345, Nick Mullens 411. This line is reasonably high, but recent history favors the over. It’s also five yards higher on DraftKings.
Sam LaPorta Anytime TD
(+180, FanDuel Sportsbook)
The rookie tight end scored in the Wild Card Round and figures to continue to be a big part of what the Lions do when they get into the red area of the field. Sam LaPorta scored 10 touchdowns in the regular season, with five over his last six games.
Brandon Aiyuk 100+ Receiving Yards
(+162, FanDuel Sportsbook)
His prop line is currently 80.5, but we’re going to bump this one up with an alternate line to get more bang for our buck. The Lions have allowed a 100-yard receiving game in each of their last five contests. Brandon Aiyuk will see plenty of coverage from Cameron Sutton, who got absolutely torched by Mike Evans last week. Sutton allows 15.9 yards per catch.