Our gridiron guru Charlie Mullan has been assessing this weekend’s Conference Championships for his latest NFL predictions and is eyeing a 5/2 double on the spread.
We will find out which two teams will contest Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta next month, so the stakes couldn’t be higher for punters, players and coaches alike.
Kansas City Chiefs -2.5 vs New England Patriots @ 39/50
Patrick Mahomes is one win away from reaching his first Super Bowl. Standing in his way is Tom Brady, considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time.
Brady may have 18 years more experience than his counterpart, but Mahomes has home advantage, which at this stage of the season is vital.
The Chiefs are the league’s most penalised team and the Patriots will try to exploit this as much as they can, but referees can often be swayed by local supporters on tight calls.
Both teams have well-balanced attacks and the outcome could come down to which defence has the better game.
The Chiefs, who led the league with 52 sacks, need to find a way of stopping Brady linking up with his favourite target, which is currently Julian Edelman, who caught nine passes for 151 yards in their defeat of the Chargers.
However, Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill offers Mahomes a deep threat which can help Kansas City reach their first Super Bowl since they claimed their one and only outright success in 1970.
The Chiefs haven’t hosted a game of this magnitude in such a long time, so they are not going to let the Patriots spoil the party, according to our NFL betting tips.
New Orleans Saints -3.5 vs Los Angeles Rams @ 1/1
It’s for games like this that home advantage makes such a difference.
No team makes the most of it more than the Saints, who make it very loud and force opposition quarterbacks to use silent snap counts to run their offence effectively.
This was evident against Philadelphia last week, when you could hear everything Drew Brees said and not a single word uttered by Nick Foles.
The Rams will have worked on their communication and will have certain plays up their sleeves to get WR pair Robert Woods and Brandon Cooks into the game.
Perhaps the visitors’ best chance of success is scoring first and staying ahead on the scoreboard, using their running game, led by RBs Todd Gurley and CJ Anderson, to wind down the clock.
For the Saints, they need to establish their running game early and be patient. Last week, they looked for the deep throw early on, which gave Philadelphia the momentum to go 14-0 up.
However, the poise shown by evergreen QB Brees to inspire a 20-14 comeback victory over the defending champions highlights just how strong New Orleans are this season.
Head coach Sean Payton has won the Super Bowl before and knows how to come up with a winning gameplan, so we’re firmly behind the Saints in our NFL predictions.
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