A brief post this week picking only two games as the reality of the football season being nearly over hits me. I can’t complain that my favorite team, the Packers are among the final four, but do they legitimately stand a chance against that stout 49ers defense?
At the start of the year, I placed eight futures bets trying to name the NFL Super Bowl finalists. Among them was a matchup between the favored Chiefs and the upstart 49ers. Now I enter the Conference Championships with a legitimate chance to win this 88-1 bet by having the two 7.5 point favorites this weekend. However I have a good friend sitting on a Titans AFC Championship ticket from November at 100-1. Something has to give…my favorite team, my bet, my friend’s bet!
What a weekend of football this will be!
Championship Weekend Picks
Last Week: 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS, 0-4 O/U
Playoffs: 2-6 SU, 2-5-1 ATS, 2-6 O/U
Regular Season: 157-98-1 SU, 128-128 ATS
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 31, Tennessee Titans 24 (ATS: Titans +7.5, Over 52.5)
On paper this doesn’t seem like a difficult pick. Tennessee is being carried legitimately by one player, Derrick Henry, while the Chiefs offense seems too dynamic to be slowed by a good, but not great Tennessee defense. Last week’s 24-0 Texans lead over the Chiefs surprised me far more than the Titans win in Baltimore, as impressive as that was. But this week, one would think the luck would run out for Mike Vrabel’s upstart squad. How will they slow down Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs’ myriad of weapons? Can Ryan Tannehill win the game if KC stacks the box to stop Henry? Needless to say it’s a real gamble picking Andy Reid teams to win big games…but the man is overdue in KC. In what I expect to be a close, hard fought game, the Chiefs hold on late though Tannehill nearly leads his team on a game-tying drive. Derrick Henry goes for 125 on the ground but it won’t be enough to prevent the Chiefs from making their first Super Bowl since 1970.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 23, Green Bay Packers 17 (ATS: Packers +7.5, Under 45)
Here’s a crazy stat about Aaron Rodgers: considering he’s been one of the NFL’s elite QBs for more than a decade, Green Bay has never hosted the NFC Championship Game in his tenure. This is the fourth time the Packers have made it this far under Rodgers and all have been on the road. As much as I love my Packers, I hardly see them as an elite team. Can they win this game and avenge the butt-kicking they suffered a few months ago? Sure. But San Francisco also has that team of destiny feel to them as I see it. Jimmy Garoppolo missed most of last year with a knee injury (suffered against the Chiefs ironically) and though they had a few late season hiccups, this team has mostly been the NFC’s best all season. I don’t expect this game to be nearly as entertaining as the AFC Championship nor nearly as boring as the teams’ 37-8 matchup the weekend before Thanksgiving. But San Francisco will lead throughout and the best player on the field, Rodgers, won’t be able to get much going in the 4th quarter as the 49ers advance to their first Super Bowl since 2013.
Just a quick note on LSU’s incredible season capped off by a dominant performance in the National Championship Game over Clemson. I don’t think there’s a team who’s defeated more quality opponents in a season than the Tigers did in 2019-20. Think about this – they defeated the TOP FOUR teams from the preseason poll (Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma) which I don’t think will happen ever again. It’s one of those anomalies.
And as for Joe Burrow, his 63 total touchdowns marks the greatest season a QB has ever had in the great sport of college football, and while I don’t know who would be runner up on that list, I can’t imagine they would be close. I saw the Tigers play Central Florida on 1/1/19 in the Fiesta Bowl and thought they were impressive…but not an all-timer of a team as they’ll be known as. And yes, I believe Burrow will be a fantastic NFL QB (likely in Cincinnati).
In the coming weeks, the CFB ‘experts’ and I will look ahead to the 2020-21 season…but for now, let’s just appreciate the dominance we just witnessed.