NFL Betting: 4-Pack of Conference Championship Value Picks

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, January 17, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Here is a 4-Pack of NFL plays for the Conference Championship Round of the NFL Playoffs, with the Sides & Totals for both championship games on Sunday.

We have arrived at the Conference Championship Round of the NFL Playoffs, and frankly, very few people are surprised at the matchups, as the top two seeds in the AFC are squaring off with their future Hall of Fame quarterbacks and perhaps the two best teams in the entire NFL meet up for the NFC Championship in what many feel is the pseudo Super Bowl. And we are here with our NFL picks on the Sides and Totals for both games.

Granted the San Francisco 49ers took the wild card route to get to the NFC Championship Game after winning their first two playoff games on the round, but most of the reputable power ratings you look at had the 49ers either first or second in the NFL at the end of the regular season, with the other team being their opponents this week, the top seeded Seattle Seahawks.

So without any further ado, here are our selections for both championship games. As has become our norm, all NFL odds come from Pinnacle Sports.

Sunday, January 19th (AFC Championship – 3:00 ET)
New England Patriots +5½ (-104) over Denver Broncos: Well, both the NFL as a whole and CBS as a network have to be happy to get Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady Part II for this year after Brady led the Patriots back from a 24-0 halftime deficit to a dramatic 34-41 overtime win during the regular season. Some may look at this as a revenge match for Peyton and the Broncos because of that meltdown where the game winning field goal was set up by a muffed punt, but we are not among those people. Once you get to this late stage of the season with a Super Bowl berth at stake, regular season revenge becomes meaningless as both teams have equal and ample incentive given what is on the line. And given those equal motives, we simply cannot resist backing Brady and Coach Bill Belichick getting this many points in this spot. The Broncos are simply not the same powerhouse right now that they were earlier in the season, as evidenced by how they turned last week’s 24-17 win over the San Diego Chargers into a game when there were seemingly cruising their way to victory. If the Broncos could not cover the lone real San Diego receiving threat in Keenan Allen while allowing him to catch six passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns, how are they supposed to cover a team like the Patriots that has several bona fide receiving threats coming from all angles? And the Patriots also have nice balance this season as New England rushed for 234 years vs. the Indianapolis Colts after finishing ninth in the NFL in rushing during the regular year.

New England Patriots, Denver Broncos ‘over’ 55½ (-110): This contest features the only two quarterbacks in the history of the league to throw for 50 touchdown passes in a season, with Manning breaking Brady’s NFL record this season finishing with 55 touchdown tosses. And both quarterbacks have a chance to succeed vs. a couple of vulnerable defenses this week. We mentioned previously how the Broncos could not stop the biggest threat on a one-dimensional passing offense last week (or at least it became one after running back Ryan Mathews left the game), and the Denver defense has frankly been weak all year in games that Von Miller has missed. Well, Miller is gone for the season with a torn ACL, and even with him playing the equivalent of about half a season, the Broncos finished 27th in the NFL in passing defense. Add in the fact that the Broncos cannot totally commit to stopping Brady either because of the resurgent New England running game and we do not think the Patriots will have trouble scoring points. The Broncos are not as balanced offensively although they were not awful running the ball with Knowshon Moreno, averaging 117.1 rushing yards per game to rank 15th in the league. Still, this game will be placed on Manning’s shoulders and the Patriots are beat up in the defensive front seven right now. The New England secondary is relatively healthy, but that may not matter if the front seven does not apply pressure, as Manning may have even more targets than Brady has if given the time to find them.


Sunday, January 19th (NFC Championship – 6:30 ET)
Seattle Seahawks -3½ (-109) over San Francisco 49ers: We will come right out and say it, picking the side in this game with this hook on the field goal is the toughest call of this week. Instinctively, we felt that the 49ers were the right side at first glance as that hook could be huge in what should be a low scoring game, and we have often deferred to the old adage, “when in doubt, take the points”. However, we simply found it too hard to ignore how bad Colin Kaepernick has performed in Seattle, including his start here this season that ended in a 29-3 Seattle rout. Kaepernick completed only 13-of-28 passes in that game for a mere 127 yards with three interceptions. Yes, it is true that he was working with a depleted receiving corps in that game and that group is now fully healthy, but his receivers were at full strength when the 49ers visited the Emerald City last December and Kaepernick seemed to be greatly affected by the loudest crowd in all of sports in a 42-13 Seattle beatdown. And truth be told, Kaepernick was not even that good when the 49ers managed to nip the Seahawks 19-17 back home in San Francisco in Week 14, completing 15-of-29 passes for 175 yards with all of his receivers including tight end Vernon Davis in the lineup. And let’s not forget that the Seahawks are 24-10 ATS in their last 34 games as home favorites and 5-0 ATS their last five home to the 49ers, so while the oddsmakers know that they have the strongest home field advantage in all of football, they still have not adjusted for their home field enough apparently.

San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks ‘under’ 38½ (-101): In case you were not paying attention, the two finals between these teams this season were 29-3 and 19-17, and Seattle led the NFL this year in both scoring defense and total defense while San Francisco finished third in scoring defense and seventh in total defense. In other words, while picking the side in this game was tough for us, this ‘under’ is probably our favorite play among our four selections. Yes it became much rarer this season to see NFL posted totals of less than 40 and even this total opened at 40 before taking a slight dip, but as long as it is higher than the quasi-key number of 38, we do not see this matchup going ‘over’. We already touched on the struggles that Kaepernick in particular and the San Francisco offense as a whole have had vs. the Seattle defense, and even the Seattle offense was very conservative in the 23-15 win over the New Orleans Saints last week with Russell Wilson completing only 9-of-18 passed for 103 yards. That was much more by design though that because of anything the Saints’ defense did, as Seattle ran the ball 35 times for 174 yards with “The Beast” Marshawn Lynch accounting for 140 of those rushing yards on 28 carries. Look for Coach Pete Carroll to play this game just as close to the vest unless the 49ers get a clear lead, which we simply do not see happening.


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