January 18, 2019

NFL Conference Final picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

The lines are from Betway.com and the home teams in CAPs.

NEW ORLEANS -3.5 over L.A. Rams

We all know just how well these four remaining teams can put up points on offence, but the biggest advantage that remains is on the other side of the ball. Of the four conference finalists, the Saints’ defence is arguably the top unit on that side of the ball. The Rams were smart enough to steal signs from the Cowboys last week, but won’t be able to pull that trick again. The coaches are fairly evenly matched, but Sean Payton has the edge in experience and there’s certainly no discounting Drew Brees playing at home in the dome. This is also the biggest test of Jared Goff’s career and we’re not entirely sure if he can pull it off. Todd Gurley will see more action this week while C.J. Anderson proved an admirable fill in, but it’s not like the Saints can’t counter with Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. This should be a high-scoring affair, but we’re counting on New Orleans making one or two more stops than the Rams do.

New England +3 over KANSAS CITY

It has been well-documented how well the Pats play at home and this game will in the rocking confines of Arrowhead. But just how rocking will the crowd be in frigid temperatures? Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs easily took care of Indy last week in a chilly one, but the Pats aren’t afraid of the cold. Again, both teams can put up points on offence and did when they faced each other earlier this season at Foxboro. Not to take anything away from Andy Reid, but that first matchup will likely help Bill Belichick a lot more in this rematch. We’re not forgetting that of the seven times that the Pats have given up 40+ points under Belichick, it was against Reid, but having seen those working parts in action will certainly help. Sony Michel has provided a strong running game for New England and has finally proved his worth as a first-round pick. Add in James White’s receiving ability out of the backfield and the Chiefs have just as much to worry about on defence as the Pats.

Last week: 2-2

This playoffs: 4-3-1

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