A sports betting guide to the NFL Playoffs Conference Championship games
We only have three football games left this season. It went by too fast. But on the bright side, all signs point to the three games we have left being great matchups, including the AFC and NFC Conference Championship games this Sunday.
The first matchup of the day features two of the best quarterbacks of the generation. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are both not only sure-fire Hall of Famers but the type of players you tell your grandchildren about. And somehow, despite how many games they’ve played and playoff appearances they’ve had, this is only their 3rd ever head-to-head matchup and their first in the playoffs. We’ve been waiting a long time for this one.
Whereas the NFC has two aging legends, the AFC Championship will host the future of the league. Patrick Mahomes cleared concussion protocols, and will likely play. That will make this battle between elite offenses and electric quarterbacks a must-watch.
But how should you bet on these games? What are the key player props to watch? We discuss all that and more in this sports betting guide to the NFL Conference Championship games.
All odds and player props can be found on the Wager Champs website as part of the free January public contest.
NFC Championship: #2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at #1 Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady in a cold-weather game with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line? Yes, please. We all would have signed up for this matchup before the season, and after a fairly drama-less conference semifinal round, it’s all the more welcome.
Date: Saturday, January 24
Time: 3:05 p.m. est.
Spread: Packers -3.5
Total: O/U 51.5
Moneyline: Packers -179
Why the Buccaneers will cover: Tom Brady is 8-5 against the spread in Conference Championship games. Do you really want to bet against him in this situation?
Why the Packers will cover: The Packers are 6-3 against the spread this season as home favorites, which is exactly what they are in this game.
Key Buccaneers Player Prop: Leonard Fournette O/U 42.5 rushing yards. All the attention in this game is on the quarterbacks, but the Bucs will likely try to establish the run with Fournette early. If he can’t get to the magic number of 43 rushing yards, Tampa Bay fans should be worried.
Key Packers Player Prop: Aaron Rodgers O/U 2.5 touchdown passes. Rodgers was the MVP of the NFL this season. But he has been bad in past NFC Championship games, with only 6 career touchdowns to 7 interceptions. He’s going to need to reverse the trend this year for the Packers to have a chance.
AFC: #2 Buffalo Bills at #1 Kansas City Chiefs
Sure, upsets are fun. But there is just something that feels right about the two best teams in the AFC fighting for the chance to play in the Super Bowl. This game also provides us the juxtaposition of the defending champs against a long-haunted franchise.
Date: Sunday, January 24
Time: 6:40 p.m. est.
Spread: Chiefs -3
Total: O/U 54
Moneyline: Chiefs -164
Why the Bills will cover: The Bills have been dominant over their current eight-game winning streak, with only the Colts staying within single-digits.
Why the Chiefs will cover: The Chiefs haven’t been great against the spread this season with just a 7-9 record, but they have the offensive firepower to get hot and turn this game into a blowout.
Key Bills Player Prop: Stefon Diggs O/U 7.5 receptions. The Bills need to win one-on-one matchups on the outside, and Diggs is their best bet to do it over the course of the entire game.
Key Chiefs Player Prop: Travis Kelce O/U 92.5 receiving yards. With Mahomes battered and questions at running backs, the Chiefs are going to need Kelce to step up and be a matchup nightmare.