NFL Picks and Props – Championship Weekend
Hey guys, hope everyone had a good week! I am trying to get these out early this week as lines tend to move aggressively the day of the games so if we can grab these lines early, we can get in before the lines move too much. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in my channel. As for those questioning, these are leans not picks. I won like 4-5 units last weekend but I don’t know the exact amount.
NFC Championship – Packers/Bucs
We get the reverse of last week. The most talked about QB matchup is the first game this week. A-A-Ron “Discount Double Check” Rodgers is hosting his first ever NFC Championship game at Lambeau field against “Tampa” Tom Brady. This is going to be a fun one. Lambeau is expected to be frigid with a chance of snow. What more could you ask for?
In my write up last week, I explained that Tampa Bay (and Tom Brady) do not do well with pressure scenarios. The Saints are among the best pass rush teams in the league and getting sustained pressure is something they want to do. Because of that, we saw them play more of a dink and dunk game on offense that is more “classic Brady” than “classic Arians”. This week, the Packers struggle at getting a strong pass rush and really struggle when trying to blitz. The Packers are best when they run man on the outside and zone in the middle and go for coverage sacks, or at least give Za’Darius Smith enough time to get from off the line into the backfield.
Therefore, while we wrote up last week that Gronk will have to be used as a blocker more than a receiver because of the pass rush, we cannot make that same assumption this week. I expect that he will line up in the slot more often, which questions if I think he can go over his prop or under. This also puts into question Cameron Brate’s props as well.
The main injury news we have so far is Antonio Brown is out. Alex Cappa is still out for the Bucs on the line. Therefore, there is a chance that Gronk still stays in on the line, but I am not willing to bet any money on it. I think Brady has found his James white type RB in Lenny Fournette and expect him to get 5-6 targets in this game so his receiving prop of 23.5 yards is low. Alexander is a shut down CB and I expect him to hold Evans Under on his prop, which makes me want to play Godwin’s Over.
For the Packers, we have said this each week for the Bucs. They have an amazing Run D. What makes them so dominant is that their OLBs (Lavonte David and Devin White) are 2 of the fastest LBs in the entire league. Because of this, they beat most RBs to the edge, force them back inside, and get minimal yards. Both Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams want to be on the outside. They rarely run down the middle. But a third back, AJ Dillon, has the body of Derrick Henry and spent a college career at Boston College of being a constant battering ram down the middle. Green Bay’s best chance to run the ball is with AJ Dillon. We sadly don’t have any Dillon props. That being said, I requested that PointsBet prices a AJ Dillon over 20.5 Rushing Yards. If they do, I will let everyone know. Im hoping for a +150 to +250 line that I can put a unit on. On top of that, Aaron Jones/Jamaal Williams Rushing unders are probably in play, but just not something I really want.
To the passing game. The Bucs, in their first matchup this year, were able to pressure Rodgers with 4 man fronts getting a 28% pressure rate in the game. That allowed them to normally drop 7 into coverage. I expect a similar game plan to start. Adams will be the star of the show again on offense. But his 89.5 receiving yards prop is just a bit too strong for me. MVS and Lazard both got 8 targets last week and would expect a similar showing this week. Therefore, MVS Over 31.5 and Lazard Over 47.5 are my preferred receiving plays. Also I plan on taking Rodgers over passing.
Homer Pick: Green Bay -3 for 1 Unit
- Leonard Fournette Over 23.5 Receiving Yards for 1 Unit
- Chris Godwin Over 68.5 Receiving Yards for 1 Unit
- Mike Evans Under 65.5 Receiving Yards for 1 Unit
- AJ Dillon (if priced on Pointsbet) Over Rushing YardsMarquez-Valdez Scantling Over 31.5 Receiving Yards for 1 Unit
- Allen Lazard Over 47.5 Receiving Yards for 1 Unit
First TD Props:
- Davante Adams +525 for 0.25 Units
- Marquez Valdez Scantling +2000 for 0.25 Units
- Leonard Fournette +1050 for 0.25 Units
- Chris Godwin +1100 for 0.25 Units
AFC Championship Game – Chiefs vs Bills
I want the Bills to win this game. My bets will have a very large Buffalo lean in this game. Just fyi.
Patrick Mahomes is going to play in this game. Whether or not he will be limited at all, he is lethal at any % of availability. And I think everyone on the Chiefs staff saw Henne’s deep ball and want to throw in Mahomes at 50% or better over that duck.
Second fun fact: Both of the games this weekend played in Week 6. What a coinkydink.
So, this is where we have to make assumptions. Anyone who looks back at the Week 6 box score can tell you the storyline. The Chiefs just flat ran over the Bills. CEH had 161 yards on 26 carries. The team had 245 yards on 46 carries. The Bills played 2-safety Nickell, full zone, on EVERY. SINGLE. DEFENSIVE. PLAY. In that game. Absolutely insane. The Bills invited the Chiefs to run the ball. And they were very happy to do just that.
In this game, with Patty Mahomes coming off a concussion and with a bad foot, do we really believe they will repeat that same game plan? They blitzed 30% of the time in every other game this season but 0% in that Week 6 game. I expect that to change. I expect more man coverage in this game. I expect more pressure. Therefore, I do not expect the run game to be as prolific as it was in Week 6. Also, this is extremely contrarian for DFS. That being said, if CEH is ruled out again this week, Darrel Williams Over 43.5 Rushing yards is super close to a stone cold lock.
In the passing game, Mahomes Under 314.5 (even at ridiculous juice) feels like a good bet. That being said, some of the Bills corners have come out this week saying they will be more aggressive than they were in Week 6. That could leave them open to explosive plays out of Hill or Hardman. I fully expect Kelce to keep doing Kelce things. 97.5 receiving yard prop is too rich for me given that I am taking Mahomes passing under. I don’t see much else worth taking from the Chiefs honestly since we don’t know what the Bills are going to do defensively.
For the Bills, welcome to the Josh Allen show. Over 307.5 passing yards, yes. Over 34.5 Rushing yards, Yes. Stefon Diggs Over 97.5…maybe, if Gabe Davis plays, I am going back to the well on his over. If he does not, I will take Isaiah Mckenzie Over. The Bills are likely to run out of 10 formation a lot as it feeds what Allen wants: 4 receivers running routes, a RB to block, and receivers deep enough that he can take off and run if needed. That likely means Dawson Knox goes under his receiving prop.
Game Pick: Buffalo +3.5 for 1.5 Units and/or Buffalo +150 for 1 Unit
- Patrick Mahomes Under 314.5 Passing Yards for 1 Unit
- Darrell Williams Over 43.5 Rushing Yards for 2-3 Units (if CEH is ruled out)
- Josh Allen Over 307.5 Passing Yards for 1 Unit
- Josh Allen Over 34.5 Rushing Yards for 1 Unit
- Dawson Knox Under 22.5 Receiving Yards for 1 Unit
- Stefon Diggs Over 97.5 Receiving Yards for 1 Unit
- Gabe Davis/Mckenzie Over possible…need to know injury news
First TD Props:
- Josh Allen +1100 for 0.25 Units
- Stefon Diggs +850 for 0.25 Units
- Travis Kelce +700 for 0.25 Units
Last TD prop is up in the air depending on CEH injury. If hes out, I want Darrel Williams. If hes in, I will probably take a chance on MeCole.
Enjoy this weekend! Play some picks and props, and tell us all about it in our #winning-bets rooms!! -fighton