NFL Championship Round

…..

After a relatively predictable first two rounds, we’ve narrowed it down to the cream of the crop, and to the surprise of few, we’re left with the top four seeds. Many predicted this final four months ago, and rightfully so. Each dominated most of the league en route to division titles, and provided the league with some of the most exciting football fans have ever witnessed, myself included. Not surprisingly, a few of those barn burners we’re between the remaining finalists, including a 43-40 Patriots victory over the Chiefs, a 45-35 Saints victory over the Rams, and a 54-51 Rams victory over the Chiefs.

Something tells me won’t be disappointed by these four on Sunday.

…..

After my 4-0 start to the Wild Card Round, I followed it with a 1-3 Sunday. I bounced back in the Divisional Round, going 6-2. So far, I’m 11-5 overall, including 7-1 on over/unders. I’m confident I can finish 4-0 heading into the Super Bowl. My vision of these playoffs has altered slightly, but my Super Bowl winner is still alive, and so am I.

If you’re not already, be sure to FOLLOW ME on Instagram @ROBBIEGOLDFINGERSINVEGAS where you can find links to this article, ask me questions and provide feedback, or just stalk me in general.

…..

Rams @ Saints (-3)

O/U 56

If you’ve been following me this season, (thank you if you have), I picked these Saints to win the Super Bowl long ago. I believe it was after they beat the Ravens and Vikings in back-to-back road games. Drew Brees has displayed incredible ability at 40 years young, and appears to be as focused and happy as ever. After securing the #1 seed, New Orleans drew Philadelphia in the Divisional Round following the latter’s road win over the Chicago Bears. Despite a rough start in which the Saints fell behind 14-0 in the 1st quarter, they owned the last three quarters. Up 20-14, Will Lutz missed a 51-yarder wide right, thatwould have put New Orleans up 9, essentially securing the win. Instead, the door was open for Philly. We’ve all seen Alshon Jeffrey’s drop that landed in Marshon Lattimore’s hands, sending the Saints to the NFC Championship.

To me, that was the chance. The chance to knock off these Saints. The Eagles drew up a great gameplan, and still couldn’t win. Champions need breaks too. I love a team that gets the fear of losing put in them early. Those same Eagles got a lucky breaky against the Falcons last year, and made the most of it. I believe these Saints will do the same, and will be marching into Atlanta in two weeks.

The Rams rolled over Dallas, but that was Dak Prescott, and Jason Garrett. Drew Brees and Sean Payton symbolize a much larger task, and it’s one I’m not sure Sean McVay and Jared Goff are read for just yet. They redeemed last year’s loss to Atlanta last week, but this is the Saints year, and this young duo isn’t ready to knock off the old guard.

Goff will buckle under the pressure of trying to keep up, again, and a crucial turnover will be the difference. It’s close most of the way, but Saints walk away late.

Along with the Saints, I have to go over, because I don’t think the Rams defense will be able to handle the noise of the Dome, creating tons of communication issues. Additionally, the Rams will be excited to be here, and know they will have to throw everything at the wall to keep up. The Saints knoe that with Drew Brees over the 40 mountain, they met not see this chance again. At least not together. Saints march on.

…..

Pick: Saints (-3)

Pick: Over 56

Final Score Prediction: 38-27 Saints

…..

If you need a stat:

-Sean Payton & Drew Brees are 6-0 at home in the playoffs.

-Saints are 15-2 SU in in their L/17 at home.

-Saints are 7-2 ATS in their L9 following consecutive ATS losses.

-Rams are 0-3 SU & ATS in their L/3 trips to the Superdome.

…..

…..

Patriots (+3) @ Chiefs

O/U 56.5

Tom Brady turned the clock back in a dominant 41-28 win over the Chargers last week, that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score would have you believe. New England implemented the well-known, yet still impossible to stop, ground-and-dunk. They completely controlled the game via the run, while converting crucial 3rd downs with short and intermediate routes. The defense looked markedly improved, never allowing Phillip Rivers to get comfortable, and shutting down the run game.

Kansas City looked like themselves in a comfortable 31-13 win over the outmatched Colts, and that’s all there really is to say about that.

I’ve been torn on this game all week. Torn between one of my cardinal rules of betting, which is to never bet against Tom Brady, and the respect that I’ve grown for the Chiefs. Ultimately, the prior wins out, and I’ll tell you why.

Nothing about this game, or this line, makes sense. If you were blindfolded, with no knowledge of the teams involved, just the numbers, you’d think the home team would be favored by 4.5-6 points.

Kansas City finished the season 7-1 at home, while posting outrageous home/road differentials in defensive stats. They’ve been noticeably better at home, in all facets of the game. Meanwhile, the Patriots have been particularly bad on the road, going 3-5 straight up, their worst mark since 2009, when Matt Cassel started at QB after Brady tore his ACL. New England has had horrible home/road splits in nearly every category, and while I recognize the Brady factor, I don’t know that the books would institute such a heavy handicap.

Simply put, this is a rare moment, when the Patriots are not the square play. Every sharp, and most public bettors, are hyped on this Chiefs team, and rightfully so. But you have to earn your stripes in this league, and Bill Belichick getting another crack at a young QB, while catching 3 points in an all too familiar environment (8 straight AFC Championship appearances), is too good to pass up.

To make it worse for KC, the Patriots are as motivated as they’ve ever been. Coming off a tough Super Bowl loss to the Eagles last year, a disappointing (considering their standards) 11-5 season, and a week where they’ve pegged themselves as underdogs; that’s a train I’d rather not step in front of. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady don’t need any added motivation, and the thought of them out to prove at least once more, that Brady isn’t dead, is scary.

I expect the Pats to run the Chiefs’ defense around in a way the Colts couldn’t, by spreading out James White as a receiver, and running Sony Michel down their throats to control the clock, keeping Patrick Mahomes off the field. I also expect the Chiefs offense to sputter a bit in the cold at times. Andy Reid will do his best to counter Belichick by getting his own ground game going early, making it a point of importance without Kareem Hunt. I don’t know that Damien Williams and company are up to the task, and forcing a young QB to beat Brady and Belichick is less than ideal, as evidenced by the last matchup between these two.

Despite the game playing out this way, I expect it to go over, with the weather report returning to humane conditions, and the pure talent of both quarterbacks. Two veteran head coaches will duel this one out, and I’ll have to ride with the proven winner. A close game flares up late, and comes down to a vintage Brady comeback drive.

…..

Pick: Patriots (+3)

Pick: Over 56

Final Score Prediction: 34-30 Patriots

…..

…..

If you’re not already, be sure to FOLLOW ME on Instagram @ROBBIEGOLDFINGERSINVEGAS where you can find links to this article, ask me questions and provide feedback, or just stalk me in general.

Robbie Goldfingers

Born and raised in Vegas, but a die-hard Chicago sports fan (Sox, not Cubs). I also love my hometown Golden Knights.7 years of experience betting all sports, but the NFL is where I butter my bread.26-14-4 ATS this season (65%)

Robbie Goldfingers has 15 posts and counting. See all posts by Robbie Goldfingers

Leave a Reply