NFC and AFC Championship Picks
NFC AND AFC CHAMPIONSHIP PICKS – So it turns out that I am not “Playoff Toby”, but rather “Layoff Toby”, as I am likely to be laid off following the disastrous week I just had. Managed a perfect 0-4 last week. It’s almost impressive how bad my predictions were.
Divisional Round Total: 0-4
Playoffs Total: 5-5
So what did we learn? Well, Baltimore is still likely the best team in football and I should just continue to trust them like I had for most of the season. Brock Purdy may not be as good if it’s raining a little bit.
Jared Goff, at least in good conditions, has been excellent. And the Chiefs can still be the Chiefs whenever the games are important enough.
GAME 1: KANSAS CITY @ BALTIMORE -4
I don’t have a good feel for either of these games, but if I had to risk all the money I have on one of them I’d probably go with this one. Well, truthfully I’d go Over 44.0 in this one, but you know what I mean.
Yes it feels odd to bet against Kansas City here but they still aren’t as good as they have been in previous years and I’m once again just going to trust Baltimore when I’m undecided. This is a narrative game for Lamar Jackson, as winning this one would do a ton to silence criticisms of his playoff performances. Will Jackson silence the haters, or will he struggle here and amplify the noise?
And let’s not forget about the Ravens’ defense, which I have as the #1 unit in the NFL this season. Combine that with what I consider the 5th best offense this year and the Ravens are a different beast from Miami and Buffalo. Kansas City is no slouch, as I have their defense at number 5, but nobody has excelled in both phases this season like Baltimore has. Can they cover…Marques Valdez-Scantling? I think they can!
GAME 2: DETROIT +7.5 @ SAN FRANCISCO
I have no idea where to go with this one, so give me the points.
My fear for Jared Goff’s Lions has always been the thought of them playing outdoors in sweater weather with a light breeze. While they won’t get the good fortune of hosting the Packers at home, they will get the next best thing, as the weather report for the Bay Area this weekend looks downright pleasant. Upper 60s and sunny? THAT’S LIONS WEATHER, BABY!
This team keeps resoundingly answering every question they face and did so again last week, as they generally carved up a good Tampa Bay defense. Now, how is their defense going to play? They’ve had their moments but overall it has not been a very good year for that unit, and this week they get a true challenge in, by my metrics, the NFL’s best offense this season. And that offense looks like it will have Deebo Samuel back from injury this weekend.
San Francisco is vulnerable in their secondary however, and with the strength of Detroit’s offense being their offensive line, they seem like the type of team to neutralize the Niner pass rush and exploit that weakness. The Lions also have a great running game to keep linebackers honest, lest they swing one out to Jah’myr Gibbs for a 40 yard catch-and-run.
The more I write about it, the more I talk myself into taking the Lions moneyline (+270 at last check) and riding the Cinderella story all the way to the Super Bowl. Screw it, lock it in.