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Football Betting: The AFC and NFC Championship Games

Publish Date: 26/01/2022
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Each game of last week’s divisional round ended in a walkoff victory. The Bengals, 49ers, and Rams all won their games with a last second field goal. Whilst the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills played out one of the best games in NFL history. 

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The Bills versus Chiefs game had three lead changes, 25 points scored, and three passing touchdowns in the final two minutes of regulation. After overtime, the Kansas City Chiefs managed to outlast the Buffalo Bills and book their place in the AFC Championship game. 

AFC Championship - Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs

Cincinnati Bengals  

If you wait long enough for one, two come at once. This statement rings true with the Cincinnati Bengals’ postseason run.

The Bengals hadn’t won a playoff game in 30 years before their game with the Raiders, they have now won back-to-back games against the Raiders and Tennessee Titans to secure their spot in the AFC championship game. 

The main reason for their success - sophomore quarterback Joe Burrow. The former LSU tiger was sacked nine times against the Titans (a postseason record) but still managed to lead his team to a victory on the road. 

Another reason for their success has been rookie Ja’Marr Chase. Another former LSU Tiger, Chase has strung together an impressive inaugural NFL season. In the postseason, he became the first rookie in NFL history with numerous 100+ receiving yard games. 

These two proved their dominance when they played the Chiefs in week 17. Burrow threw for 446 yards and four touchdowns, whilst Chase racked up the biggest receiving game of the entire NFL season - 266 receiving yards. 

Fanduel currently has Bengals are +275, but they have been causing upsets all-year long. We’d also suggest looking at the multiple touchdown scorer odds for Chase. He is +500, and after what he did to Kansas in week 17, he could recreate the same statline. 

Kansas City Chiefs 

 

The Chiefs will struggle to recreate the offensive masterclass they produced against the Bills. 

Patrick Mahomes led a game-tying drive with only 13 seconds on the game clock, before winning on the first drive of overtime against the Buffalo Bills.

Overall, Mahomes threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns in the divisional round. He is -114 to continue his passing dominance in the AFC Championship against the Bengals and throw for over 285.5 yards. 

Just like the Bengals, the Chiefs have a dominant receiving weapon of their own. The ‘Cheetah’ Tyreek Hill racked up 150 yards on the number one ranked Bills defence, and he is -114 to get over 76.5 against the Bengals defence. 

For all the Chiefs’ success, they need to improve defensively. They conceded four touchdowns to Gabriel Davis in the divisional round, and they allowed Josh Allen to dice up their defence with 329 air yards. 

 

 

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers  

49ers predcition

The 49ers are coming off the biggest upset of the divisional round. Kyle Shanahan’s team entered Lambeau Field as huge underdogs, but a Robbie Gould field goal ensured the road win. 

Despite their success, question remarks over the 49ers quarterback play. Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t impressed in either the Wildcard or Divisional round. The former Patriot is yet to throw a touchdown pass, and has two interceptions in the postseason.

The biggest weapon that the 49ers have is Deebo Samuel. Samuel can play as a wide receiver, running back, or quarterback in trick play circumstances, and he is the reason for the California team’s success. 

He has already racked up a combined 193 scrimmage yards, and we expect another big game from him. Samuel to have a touchdown is -105, but 50+ yards both rushing and receiving is an appetising +220. 

On the opposing side of the ball, the 49ers defence came up huge against the Green Bay Packers. They held MVP candidate, Aaron Rodgers, to ten points, and they managed to force turnovers. The 49ers defence is -112 to get an interception on Matthew Stafford - we like these odds. 

Los Angeles Rams 

los angeles rams

We don’t think any team has played as good as the Los Angeles Rams in the second half of the NFL season. They finally have a rhythm on offence, and despite a late scare against Tampa Bay, their defence has some big playmakers. 

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On offence, Matthew Stafford has turned a corner in the postseason. After ending the season with eight interceptions in the final four weeks, the former Detroit Lions has become extremely efficient in the passing game the past two weeks. He is yet to throw a postseason turnover, and he constructed a game-winning drive against the Bucs. 

The aforementioned game winning drive was mainly down to Cooper Kupp. 

The Rams receiver posted 183 yards on the Buccaneers defence, including a 44-yard deep ball to set-up the game winning field goal. Him and Stafford have become a lethal partnership, but throw in Odell Beckham Jr and nobody has been able to handle the Rams offence. 

Kupp is -150 to be a touchdown scorer (a safe bet), but as a moneymaker, we would go with the +155 of Odell Beckham. 

Whilst we’ve mentioned the playmakers on offence, the defence can’t be ignored. Aaron Donald is a menace on the defensive line, helping the California team to three sacks against the Bucs. In the secondary, Jalen Ramsey is the best lockdown corner in the league, so an interception from Jimmy G isn’t unlikely. 

We would say that the Rams get the home win as the -184 favourites.

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