NFL Conference Championships Betting Odds and Predictions (Jan. 30)

NFC AFC NFL Football Betting Background

  • Mahomes, Burrow could shatter playoff passing records in a matchup
  • Rams look to hurdle 49ers dominance for Super Bowl berth
  • Offensive firepower can equate to OVERS in both games

Check out our top NFL sportsbooks to find all of the lines for this NFL week 18 offerings.

AFC Championship

  • Cincinnati Bengals (10-7, 5-3 road) at Kansas City Chiefs (12-5, 7-2 home)
  • Place: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Date/Time: 12:05 PST, 2:05 CST, 3:05 PST
  • TV: CBS

The Series:

The Cincinnati Bengals lead the series 16-14 and have won five of the last 6 in the series. The Stripes can become only the third team since 2003 to go from “worst to first” and make the Super Bowl the next season. The Bengals would join the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles in that scenario. Kansas City is the first team in NFL history to host a championship game in four consecutive seasons.

Cincinnati came from behind in Week 17 as the Bengals rallied from 14 points down to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs, 34-31, and win the AFC North. Like last week, kicker Evan McPherson hit a walk-off field goal to lift the Bengals into the playoffs. Bengals QB Joe Burrow passed for 446 yards and four touchdowns as he hit Ja’Marr Chase with TD passes for 72, 18, and 69 yards and then gave the Bengals a 31-28 lead when he hit Tyler Boyd on a 5-yard scoring pass. Chase had 11 catches for 266 yards and three touchdowns.

Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes and Darrel Williams ran for two for Kansas City as his TD passes to Demarcus Robinson and Travis Kelce gave the Chiefs a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

Last Time Out:

In an NFL Divisional playoffs weekend where all four games were decided in walk-off fashion, McPherson was at his best once again in hitting four field goals in the Bengals’ 19-16 dismissal of the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. Cincinnati’s defense came up big as it picked off Tennessee QB Ryan Tannehill three times as he threw into a crowd with the game tied 16-16 and Logan Wilson picked him off to set up McPherson’s heroics.

“Mahomes Magic” engulfed maybe the most epic playoff game in NFL history as the Chiefs gave up the fourth touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Gabriel Davis with 13 seconds remaining and Buffalo took a 36-33 lead and was seemingly set to host the AFC title game. However, Mahomes threw two passes of 19 yards to Tyreek Hill and 26 yards to Travis Kelce to set up a game-tying 49-yard field goal from Harrison Butker.

The Chiefs won the toss to start the overtime and Mahomes drove them 75 yards in eight plays and hit Kelce from eight yards out with the game-winner.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Cincinnati Bengals +7 (-105) +285 O 54½ (-115)
Kansas City Chiefs -7 (-115) -355 U 54½ (-105)

When the Bengals have the Ball:

Bengals LogoSince the first meeting on Jan. 2, how much about the way Cincinnati will attack the Kansas City defense, even with adjustments, can change? Burrow-to-Chase gained ground that day and that win allowed the Bengals to climb into another echelon. Chase is the first rookie in NFL history with 100-yard receiving games in multiple playoffs appearances.

You have to wonder about Burrow’s durability if this porous offensive line becomes a problem again although the Chiefs only posted 31 sacks, 29th in the NFL. Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu remains in concussion protocol and his status for this game is uncertain

When the Chiefs have the Ball:

Kansas City Chiefs LogoMahomes is back to destroying secondaries as he has averaged 391 yards passing in the two playoff games and has 15 touchdown passes against one interception in his last five games. Kelce has been at 95 receiving yards or over in his last five postseason games and also has a receiving TD in the last five outings.

Tyreek Hill has eight straight playoff games where he has hauled in 50 yards or more. This comes down to whether Cincinnati can exact a steady pass rush with Trey Hendrickson, who ranked fifth in the NFL with 14 sacks on the season to set a career-high.

UNDER Trends:
  • The UNDER has been the call in 5 of the last 7 Bengals games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 6 of the last 7 Chiefs-Bengals games in Kansas City
OVER Trends
  • The total has gone OVER in the chiefs’ last 7 games
  • Kansas City has gone OVER in 5 of its 10 home games
Why Bet OVER 54.5:
With both Mahomes and Burrow and their tremendous passing numbers, this seems destined for the OVER. With the Chiefs nursing a 28-14 lead in the second quarter in the regular-season game, their offense fell apart. We know that these two pass defenses struggled as the Bengals are 25th in the NFL (248.5 yards) against the pass and the Chiefs are 26th (251.5) while the Bengals have 42 sacks (T/11th) and the Chiefs only 31 QB drops (29th). Another aerial show is in the works and will make for a fun afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium…Chiefs 40, Bengals (+7) 35.

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NFC Championship

  • San Francisco 49ers (12-7) at Los Angeles Rams (14-5)
  • Place: Sofi Stadium, Los Angeles, Ca.
  • Date/Time: 3:30 PST, 5:30 CST, 6:30 PST
  • TV: Fox

The Series:

The San. Francisco 49ers have been the proverbial kryptonite for the Los Angeles Rams as they have won the last six games in the series and overall, they hold a 74-67-7 lead in the series. This is the first NFC Championship game with two teams from the same division as the Seattle Seahawks defeated the 49ers, 23-17, in 2013. The Rams are only the second No. 4 seed since 1990 to host a championship game. The 49ers have 17 NFC Championship appearances, the most in the Super Bowl Era.

As we said, San Francisco knows how to beat the Rams as they stifled the Herd, 31-10, on Nov. 16 as Jimmy Garoppolo hit George Kittle and Deebo Samuel on a pair of touchdown passes and Jimmie Ward returned a Matt Stafford pass 27 yards for a touchdown. The Niners picked off Matt Stafford twice as this was the second game of a two-game losing skid for Los Angeles.

LA led San Francisco, 17-0, midway through the second quarter on the last day of the season, but then the 49ers rallied for a 27-24 win in overtime. The Niners were on the brink of not making the playoffs as a loss would have sent them home and would have given the New Orleans Saints the 6-seed in the NFC. Jimmy G threw doe 318 yards as he hit Jauan Jennings twice for touchdowns, the last coming with 26 seconds remaining to tie the score at 24-24. Stafford threw two interceptions in this game as well as the 49ers’ Ambry Thomas picked him off in overtime to win the game for San Francisco.

Last Time Out:

San Francisco weathered a cold night in Green Bay as Jordan Willis blocked a Corey Bojorquez’s punt and Talanoa Hufanga picked it up and ran the ball into the end zone to tie the game at 10-10. After the Packers went four and out on the next drive, Jimmy G drove San Francisco to the Green Bay 6-yard line and Robbie Gould hit a game-winning 24-yard walk-off field goal to advance the 49ers to the NFC Championship.

Los Angeles jumped on Tampa Bay early and rolled up a 27-3 lead midway through the third quarter before the Buccaneers rallied and tied the game at 27-27 with 42 seconds remaining. It was a good day for Matt Stafford as he rolled up 366 yards through the air. He punctuated it with a 20-yard pass and then a 44-yard pass deep down the middle to Cooper Kupp. This set up Matt Gay’s 30-yard walk-off field goal as the Rams upset Tampa Bay, 30-27.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
San Francisco 49ers +3½ (-110) +150 O 46 (-110)
La Rams -3½ (-110) -180 U 46 (-110)

When the 49ers have the Ball:

49ers LogoFrustrating Garopollo will be an objective for a Rams pass rush that tallied 50 sacks, the third-most in the NFL. The Rams are fast and laterally quick on the front seven as we have seen in the last two weeks against the Cardinals and Buccaneers. San Francisco’s running back duo of Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel will once again cause a litany of problems.,

Although the Rams are third in the NFL against the run as they give up 103.2 yards per game on the ground. Mitchell had 1,100 yards from scrimmage in the regular season and five games of over 100 yards rushing.

When the Rams have the Ball:

Los Angeles Rams Logo Getting to Matt Stafford is San Francisco’s objective as he has thrown four interceptions combined in the two losses this season. He is 41-of-55 for 568 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions in the playoffs so far. Cooper Kupp is of MVP quality at wide receiver for the Rams.

He posts 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns as the catches and yards are the second most in both categories in a single season. The 49ers are sixth in the NFL against the pass (206.5 ypg) and seventh vs. the run (103 ypg)

OVER/UNDER Trends:

  • The UNDER has been the call in 5 of the Rams’ last 6 home games
  • The Rams have gone OVER in 9 of their 17 regular-season games
  • San Francisco is 4-5-0 vs. the OVER/UNDER in its 9 road games
  • Los Angeles posted the OVER in 4 of 8 home games.
Why Bet OVER 46.5:
Stafford seems to be settled and back in a rhythm and groove as he looks to procure his first trip to the Super Bowl after languishing got 13 yards in Detroit. Cooper Kupp and San Francisco’s Deebo Samuel are big-play threats from anywhere on the field. With so much offensive weaponry on both sides of the ball, even against defenses this solid, we are likely to see a Rams team with laser focus, especially after being owned for three years by the 49ers … Rams (-3.5) 27, 49ers 23.

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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