Championship Round Preview
Well, at this point Im finding it very hard to predict the NFL in the playoffs and this has been a shit show so far but here we go again, I'll attempt to do my best this week:
Sunday January 19th:
Titans @ Chiefs 2:05 PM
Division: AFC South Runner Up
PPG: 25.1PPG allowed: 20.7
Record against the spread: 10-7-1
Keys to the Game:
Get Derrick Henry going, this shouldn't come as a surprise but when they get him going and they are able manage the clock it becomes incredibly difficult to beat this team.
If it becomes a shootout Tannehill needs to be able to come close to matching Mahomes big play ability. Which he has shown us he can do but its been a couple weeks since they have had to rely on him making plays down the stretch
Keep Mahomes in check and inside the pocket, don't allow the big play and get off the field on 3rd and long situations!!!! I can't even tell you how many times I've seen the Chiefs in 3rd and 10 or more and convert, with Mahomes and their speedsters they are never too far away to get the first. This Titans D is going to have to come up big in 3rd and long situations if they want to win this game.
Division: AFC West Winner
PPG Allowed: 19.2
Record against the spread: 11-5-1
Keys to the Game:
STOP DERRICK HENRY, this is close to impossible but it is possible to limit his demoralizing long runs. The chiefs need to make him earn every yard.
Mahomes HAS to play at a high level, this means just being his usual self but if they want to win he's gonna be the guy to do it for them.
Get Travis Kelce going, when Kelce is the focal point of the offense it's a thing of beauty. If they are able to get Travis going, their entire offense begins to click.
Honestly fuck Vegas for these lines. They've been screwing over the public for the first two weeks of playoff football and they certainly didn't stop here. The Titans currently sit as 7 point underdogs after already beating this Chiefs team during the regular season. How could it not be even a little bit closer, like even 4 or 5 point dogs? Whatever you gotta learn to roll with the punches I guess. Last week I chose the Titans to cover against the Ravens, this week I will be choosing to bet against them. I truly believe this is the Chiefs year and Andy Reid's time to jump over the hurdle, there's no Brady or Belichick in the way to ruin it and he is by far the most experienced coach left in the playoffs. Mahomes also was in this game last year and lost, which is why I'm expecting him to learn from that hardship. I think a lot of people are going to be riding the Titans after this miraculous run but I'm choosing to be different. I feel like my backs against the wall with this game, do I like this line? no, not one bit. But, do I have a choice? no, not really. So with that being said CHIEFS -6.5 LFG.
Gambling Pick: Chiefs - 6.5 @ -130
Mahomes O 310.5
Derrick Henry O 113.5
Travis Kelce O 79.5
Choose which ever one you feel most comfortable with(mine is Mahomes) but I seriously don't think you can go wrong with any of these 3. Im not saying all of them will hit but I do think they are good lines and if you believe in one then take it, the lines are generous enough where you should.
Packers @ 49ers 5 :40 PM
Division: NFC North Winner
PPG Allowed: 19.6
Record against the spread: 11-6
Keys to the Game:
Get Aaron Jones going early and often, this Niners D line is scary and if you don't get the running game established out of the gate you're screwed.
Rodgers has to play not spectacular, but just well enough. It seems weird to say but Rodgers over the past couple of games hasn't looked like his usual self, this isn't a huge concern but he will not have a lot of room for error in this game so he needs to be on top of things.
STOP THE RUN. This 49ers squad lives off of running the ball and can be sent into shock if they have to rely heavily on the passing game. Jimmy G has looked great this year but he hasn't really had to burden the load of willing them to victory yet. If the Packers can somehow manage to keep them out of sync with the ground game they will find success on defense.
Division: NFC West Winner
PPG Allowed: 19.4
Record against the spread: 10-6-1 Keys to the Game:
This is obvious but continue their dominance in the ground game, this will keep them in rhythm and open up the play action for Garoppolo and make his live a hell of a lot easier.
Get to the QB. this D line has done it all year and to win this game they are going to have to force Rodgers to be uncomfortable and make him feel their presence.
Garoppolo needs to make big time throws down the stretch. Im not sure if this game will even come down to it because of how bad last game was but if it is close, they will need their $137 Million QB to make plays when it matters most, Garoppolo will need to prove he was worth that large amount of money.
I wasn't really all that excited for this rematch once I saw the Packers beat the Seahawks last Sunday night but I think this has a shot at being a better game. However, the 49ers are so obviously the better team here that I cannot imagine the Packers overcoming them to make it to the Super Bowl. I think the 49ers will continue to do their thing and prove why they are the number 1 seed in the NFC. Again, this leads to the question of just how much they will win by. Vegas can justify this spread a little more just based off of how the first meeting went between these 2 teams but still 7.5 is a pretty large margin for a Conference Championship game. Im deciding to stick away from the spread in this game and choose an alternate route. I love the 49ers team points in this one and think its pretty likely that they'll score over 27 points.
Gambling Pick: 49ers O 27
Deebo Samuel O 42.5 yards