The Super Bowl is just a few short weeks away, but before we can get to the “Big Game”, the conference championships must be played.
These two matchups promise to be extremely exciting and feature four of the best teams the NFL has to offer. If you are looking to make both these contests a guaranteed thrill ride, it’s worth it to consider placing down a wager on the action.
We’re here to help you decide which way to lean in each game. We will provide some analysis on our projections against the spread, as well as predicted outcomes for both the AFC and NFC Championship game. Keep reading to find out our picks and good luck with your wagers.
*Point spreads via ScoresAndOdds.com, home team in CAPS.
AFC Championship: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-9) over Baltimore Ravens
As hard as it is to give more than a touchdown in a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship, we’re going to do it for a variety of reasons.
For starters, the Pats have home field advantage, but that didn’t amount to much when they narrowly defeated the Ravens, 23-20, approximately a year ago.
The main difference this year is that the Pats offense is even more explosive than it was last year, and there is also the addition of a powerful running game.
QB Tom Brady is on top of the world and wants nothing more than to capture a fourth Super Bowl in the twilight of his prime. Coach Bill Belichick has plenty of tape on these Ravens after seeing them early in the 2012 campaign and in the aforementioned AFC title.
Which team will cover?
Seemingly the only thing going against the Pats right now is Rob Gronkowski’s season-ending injury, but the team thrived without him for five weeks during the regular season and should have no problem reverting to the schemes used during that stretch.
We’re also convinced that the Ravens are spent after pulling off a miraculous victory against the Denver Broncos in double-overtime, and there is simply no way that they can muster up another similar performance.
Expect this to be superstar linebacker Ray Lewis’ last hurrah, as the magic runs out and Baltimore’s run ends in Foxborough.
Predicted Outcome: Patriots 35 – Ravens 24
NFC Championship: San Francisco 49ers (-4.5) over ATLANTA FALCONS
This is going to be a quick and clean Niners beatdown, as the Falcons proved they do not have the resilience to make a Super Bowl in the divisional round.
After generating a 20-0 lead at halftime, the Dirty Birds allowed the Seattle Seahawks to climb back in the game, and it required a long field goal by Matt Bryant to secure Matt Ryan his first career playoff victory.
It was the definition of an ugly win and it would have surprised no one to see Atlanta eliminated in such debilitating fashion. However, the Falcons did manage to pull it out and lived to play another game, but that’s as far as they will go.
They are arguably one of the worst No. 1 seeds we have seen in a while, and the 49ers are clearly the better team.
Which team will cover?
SF QB Colin Kaepernick is prepped to have his way with the opposing defense, while the Niners D should have no problem stoning the Falcons' offensive attack.
We foresee a complete and utter blowout, with the Niners advancing to the Super Bowl without breaking much of a sweat.
Predicted Outcome: 49ers 27 – Falcons 10