McGon’s Picks: 2018 NFL Conference Championships

The results of the Divisional Round were tough for fans like myself…

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…but great for the average NFL fan.

While everyone loves a Cinderella story, it’s a treat to NFL fans that the final four teams alive are pretty undisputedly the four best teams in the league. Many people were high on the Colts, but the Chiefs took care of them easily and reminded everyone how good they are. The Cowboys loss was tough, as the Rams showed why they went 13-3 and ran all over the Cowboys defense which had just shut down the team with the most rushing yards this season. The home team proving they were the better team was the theme of the weekend, as the Pats smacked the Chargers early Sunday. The week concluded with the Eagles incredible run coming to an end at the hands of the Saints. While I would love more than anything for the Cowboys to be playing, I’m still very excited for the weekend upcoming.

Just like the regular season, the playoffs have been a struggle for me. I went 2-2 outright, and 1-3 against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (correct pick in blue, incorrect pick in red):

Colts at Chiefs (-4.5)

My Pick: Chiefs 27, Colts 20

  • Chiefs 31, Colts 13– Switched this pick once the spread got closer and the weather appeared like it was going to be a factor. Good thing I did or I would have laid a goose egg ATS.

Cowboys (+7) at Rams

My Pick: Cowboys 27, Rams 24

  • Rams 30, Cowboys 22– Not only do the Boys lose, but I miss the cover/push by a point.

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Chargers (+4) at Patriots

My Pick: Chargers 24, Patriots 21

  • Patriots 41, Chargers 28– I still don’t know how this happened. Why can the Pats beat everyone in the playoffs except NFC East teams?

Eagles at Saints (-8.5)

My Pick: Saints 31, Eagles 17

  • Saints 20, Eagles 14– When the Saints missed that late field goal, not only did we lose the cover, but I was sure the Eagles were gonna win too. Thank god for Alshon Jeffrey.

3 games to go.

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Rams at Saints (-3)

Saints 28, Rams 24

  • Just like the Chiefs and Pats, the Rams reminded us just how good they were last weekend by defeating the Cowboys pretty easily
  • The Saints started slow, but dominated the final 3 quarters and held on to knock off the defending champion Eagles
  • The Saints are now 6-0 in home playoff games in the Brees/Payton era
  • This spread indicates they are as even of teams as it gets
  • They did win and cover last week, but I once again note the Rams are 3-3 outright and 1-5 ATS this season against the other NFC playoff teams, including a loss at the Saints earlier this season
  • Saints have felt like a team of destiny since the start of the season
  • These teams are extremely evenly matched, I think it comes down to one possession and the home team in a dome has a big advantage here. The Saints edge out a close win to head to their second Super Bowl

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  • These teams last met in Week 9, with the Saints defeating the then 8-0 Rams 45-35 (highlights)

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  • These teams last met in the postseason in the 2000 Wild Card round, with the Saints defeating the defending champion St. Louis Rams 31-28 (highlights)

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Patriots at Chiefs (-3)

Chiefs 27, Patriots 20

  • The Patriots were doubted a lot heading into last week going up against a team almost everyone agreed was better. But to no surprise, they then kicked the Chargers asses to head to their 8th consecutive AFC Championship Game
  • The Chiefs had a very similar week, as they dominated the high flying Colts with their defense, something we haven’t seen much of this season
  • The Chiefs have put up 40+ points against the Patriots each of the last two seasons, and both of those games were in New England, where visitors rarely find success
  • Last week was proof that the Pats “disappointing” regular season may mean nothing, but they are on the road this time and I think the Chiefs are definitely better than the Chargers
  • Tom Brady is 8-4 in AFC Championship games, but 2-3 on the road, including 3 straight losses (2006 @Colts, 2013 and 2015 @Broncos)
  • Don’t know if they Chiefs can duplicate last week’s defense performance, but if they can even get half of that, I don’t think they lose this game
  • This may not be the end of the Pats run, but may be the beginning of a Chiefs run. The Chiefs will win by a score to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in 49 years

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  • These teams last met in Week 6, with the Patriots defeating the then 5-0 Chiefs in a thriller, 43-40 (highlights)

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  • The last time these teams met in the playoffs was the 2015 Divisional Round, with the Patriots winning 27-20 (highlights)

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That’s it for the Conference Championships, be back for Super Bowl LIII with prop bet picks included. Which two teams will win and earn a chance to repeat what they have all done at least once?

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