NFL 2018-19 Playoffs: Conference Championships Preview & Betting Tips

January 14th 2019, 2:41pm, By: andyrosos

Before You Bet and followers had a great weekend in NFL betting tips as we hit on three out of four bets over the divisional round of the playoffs! We heartbreakingly missed the fourth bet by just 0.5 points as the Rams defeated the Cowboys by 8 points to cover the 7.5-point line.

We’ll look to continue our strong form this weekend as we take a look at the two massive Conference Championship games, both set to be played on Monday morning (AEDT).

NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship Betting Tips

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (Monday 7.05am AEDT)

The New Orleans Saints made their largest ever playoff comeback in the divisional round to beat the Philadelphia Eagles at home. Down 14-0 in the first quarter, the Saints faught back through some excellent play by star offensive trio in Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas to claim a 20-14 win. Thomas in particular was fantastic, racking up 12 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown while Alvin Kamara had over 100 all-purpose yards.

The Saints will be at home for the conference championship, where they are extremely comfortbale under the dome. The Saints were 6-2 at home this season, losing only to Dallas on a Thursday night and Carolina in a Week 17 dead rubber at Mercedez-Benz Superdome.

The Rams trailed the Dallas Cowboys 7-3 in their divisional round matchup but a 17-0-point second quarter all but iced the game for Los Angeles. They went on to win by eight points at home as running back duo CJ Anderson and Todd Gurley II combined for 238 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the win. The new look running game for the Rams looks extremely dangerous but they’ll be facing a great run defence in the Saints this weekend, who allowed the second fewest rushing yards per game at 80.2 per game in the regular season.

The Saints will start as 3.5-point favourites at home, which we think is about right given they defeated the Rams by 10 points which included a late touchdown at home back in Week 9 of this season. The Saints run defence will be a massive factor here, and they should be able to stop Anderson and Gurley having as much of an impact this week.

That will mean more pressure will be on Jared Goff, who despite having a great regular season, is a bit of an unknown quantity in the playoffs. Drew Brees, on the other hand, is a proven performer in the playoffs and should be able to pick apart the Rams defence as he did back in Week 9 when he threw for 346 yards and four touchdowns. We think the Saints win here and cover the line in a high scoring game.

New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs (Monday 10.40am AEDT)

Different year, same old story for the New England Patriots. Tom Brady and his men advanced to their 8th straight AFC Championship game with a win over the Los Angeles Chargers on the weekend and will face the red hot Kansas City Chiefs in the title game.

The Patriots got off to a flying start against the Chargers, piling on 14 points to take a 14-7 lead into quarter time. The second quarter proved to be the difference, however, as the Patriots scored three unanswered touchdowns in the quarter and go into the main break with a 35-7 lead. It was a formality for the Patriots from there, as they scored just 6 more points in the game but their defence stayed true, helping them claim a 41-28 win.

Many critics were writing star Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman off before the playoffs this season, but a 9 catch, 151-yard performance by the former quarterback proved he is still a major threat. However, it was running back Sony Michel who starred for the Pats, racking up over 220 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in a massive breakout game.

The Kansas City vs Indianapolis divisional round matchup seemed over in the first quarter as the Chiefs opened the game with 17 unanswered points. The Colts got a free touchdown on the back of a blocked punt but ultiamtely their offence never looked like worrying the Chiefs throughout the game.

Patrick Mahomes failed to throw a touchdown pass for just the 2nd time this season, however, he did throw for 278 yards with no interceptions and add one rushing touchdown in the comfortable win. Damien Williams, Tyreke Hill and Darrel Williams all had a rushing touchdown as well as the KC run game looked ominous.

The Chiefs start as three-point favourites at home, which means the bookies basically have these teams dead even. The Patriots will be looking to make their third Super Bowl in a row while the Chiefs will be hoping to reach their first Super Bowl since 1969. Always tough to bet against the Belichick/Brady combination in the playoffs, but the Chiefs have been the best team in the AFC all season, we think this is a high scoring game that goes down to the wire, but the Chiefs should win at home.

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