NFL Betting: Conference Championship Game Previews

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NFL Betting: Conference Championship Game Previews

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The final four is set with the Green Bay Packers heading to Atlanta in the NFC conference title game, and the New England Patriots hosting Pittsburgh in the AFC. Who will head to Super Bowl 51 in Houston?

 

Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons

Sunday, 3:05 PM ET
Favourite: Falcons -4

The quarterbacks were in the limelight for both teams in the last round. Aaron Rodgers steered the Packers to a 34-31 win in Dallas, and Matt Ryan led the Falcons to a 36-20 home win over the Seattle Seahawks. The Packers have won eight straight games, making them a dangerous underdog. They were 4-1 ATS when posted as underdogs this season.

Interestingly enough, Rodgers has struggled in his last two NFC Championship Games, posting a meager 55.6 passer rating. We’ll see if he can do better this time, but three of his top receivers – Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison – are banged up and questionable.

Examining the Total
Over/Under: 61.5

The total for this contest sits at 61.5, which is the highest-ever for a playoff game. You have two of the best quarterbacks in the league against two defenses that have given up a ton of yards and points this season, and they're playing inside the Georgia Dome on turf. The Falcons’ last 11 games on turf have all gone over the number. During the regular season, the Packers went over 10 times, and the Falcons went over 14 times. We could be in line for a shootout in Atlanta.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots

Sunday, 6:40 PM ET
Favourite: Patriots -6

The Steelers needed six field goals to win 18-16 in Kansas City, and RB Le'Veon Bell continued to be the difference-maker. He’ll be a key player again on Sunday, as Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is 12-1 when he throws for 256 yards or less in the playoffs and just 1-5 when he throws for 257 or more. The Steelers need their running game to thrive.

These two teams met back in Week 7, when New England beat the Steelers 27-16 in Pittsburgh. Brady and company didn’t have to face Big Ben, who missed the game with an injury. The victory looked easy enough, with RB LeGarrette Blount rushing for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Now, the Patriots get to play the Steelers in the Gillette Stadium, where the Pats went 7-2 SU and ATS this season, including their game against the Houston Texans last weekend.

Examining the Total
Over/Under: 51

The total for the AFC Championship Game is 51. The Steelers have gone under in 12 of 18 games this year, while the Patriots have gone under the number in 10 of 17 contests. Both teams’ defensive units have been playing better than expected lately, as the Steelers have allowed an average of 16.5 points per game during their nine-game winning streak. As for the Patriots’ defense, they led the NFL in points allowed per game (15.6). Weather will be a factor in Foxborough on Sunday night; at this time, temperatures are expected to be in the brisk 30s, with an overcast sky.  

 

*Odds as of January 20, 2017