Risky Business on Championship Weekend: The Tantalizing and the Taboo
Sunday, 3:05 PM ET (FOX)
If You Must Bet: Rams
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
The NFL odds board is reflecting the Saints as 3 to 3 ½ point home chalk but I’m here to tell you that the oddsmakers have the wrong favorite. My crystal ball is cloudy concerning the total on this matchup because the number seems a bit high for my liking, yet these two juggernauts could easily eclipse the upper 50’s if both teams begin to trade touchdowns.
However, the moment the topic turns to which team will emerge victorious, the shadowy orb turns navy and gold, as the unmistakable sight of Rams’ horns slowly appear. To me this bet is easier than a Kardashian at a Lakers’ game and I will tell you why. First and foremost, the Saints have not been the prolific scoring machine that many would lead you to believe. Drew Brees is a terrific quarterback but his offense has been hardly that over the final stretch of the season. New Orleans is averaging only 19 points per game over their last six contests, and for those that would ask me to recall the last time these clubs met, I would submit that plenty has changed since that 45-35 Saints victory in early November. The Saints lost their interior defensive anchor last week when Sheldon Rankins tore his Achilles in their win over Dallas. This will open up the running game for LA and Jared Goff will be far less predictable when he wants to air it out.
Lastly, the Saints had it easy against a susceptible Rams’ defense without Aqib Talib blanketing Michael Thomas. Talib is back and he will limit Thomas to a far less impressive outing than the one he had in the earlier meeting. Look for LA’s twin terrors Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson to continue their ground assault and not only cover but win this one outright. Take the points if you’re not completely convinced but if you are then back Jared and the Juggernauts on the money line.
Final Score: Rams 31 – Saints 27
Sunday, 6:40 PM ET (CBS)
If You Must Bet: Under
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
I’m from Boston and even I’m not touching the Patriots here. But you better believe I’m not going all Benedict Arnold on my boys and backing KC either. Tom Brady looks like he’s finally recovered from his rumored MCL sprain but the Pats have been patsies on the road this season. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes looks like the fastest gunslinger in the league but the New England defense has made huge strides as the season progressed. Too many question marks for me on the side so I will take a hard pass here.
However, there looks like an opportunity to make some beaucoup dough on the total. The squares will be laying it in on over in this game because the last time these teams tangoed, they lit up the Razor for 83 points. Not this time amigo. It’s going to be cold enough for a cane in KC and if anyone knows the origin of that absurd expression, raise your hand. What’s a cane have to do with the cold?
Anyway, I digress. Arrowhead will be chillier than your mother-in-law’s icy cold heart which means it will be tough to toss a spiral, catch a spiral, or take a hit without shattering. Yeah, even for the pros, the same rules of nature apply. The weather alone will cut down the scoring but also expect the Patriots to give the rushing game, with Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead, a real hard look so that they move the markers and keep Mahomes off the field. It all adds up to a relatively low scoring affair but make sure you check the lines of all the best online sportsbooks found at SBR odds so you get the best value in your NFL picks.
Final Score: Chiefs 24 – Patriots 21