Casual bettor's guide to NFL conference championships: Brady, Mahomes will prevail


And then there were four.

The NFL’s AFC and NFC championship games will take place this Sunday and two teams will emerge victorious to face each other in the Super Bowl. Will it be the Green Bay Packers (-3) and the Kansas City Chiefs (-3)? Or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) and the Buffalo Bills (+3)? Or Kansas City and Tampa Bay? Or Green Bay and Buffalo? The combinations are not endless, they end there.

Both of these games are set to feature great quarterback matchups. You’ve got the old duo of Tom Brady (43) and Aaron Rodgers (37) in the first game before the young-gun faceoff between Patrick Mahomes (25) and Josh Allen (24).

While we prepare to see which ancient quarterback will face which kid in the Super Bowl, let’s take a look at the casual bettor’s guide to these two championship games.

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Green Bay Packers (-3, O/U 51.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

A Tom Brady-Aaron Rodgers playoff meeting is a quarterback matchup made in heaven.

This is Brady’s 14th conference championship game, which is an NFL record by far, and also his first time in the NFC version of this game. This will only be Rodgers’ fifth conference championship game (weak) and his first one at Lambeau Field. The Packers are come into this game off a 32-18 win over the Los Angeles Rams last week, while the Buccaneers cruise into Green Bay following a 30-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

I’m going with the Buccaneers all the way in this one. Brady is locked in and as motivated as ever to win a Super Bowl. He wouldn’t be tweeting out videos of refs snubbing his high fives or spending this valuable prep time selling watches on Instagram if he wasn’t confident about how well he’ll perform against Green Bay. He knows he’s going to the Super Bowl once again and Tampa Bay will make it past the Packers to get there.

On Wednesday, Brady’s teammate Mike Evans said of the quarterback, “He always gets teams to the playoffs. He’s a winner. He’s a natural born winner, leader, all that. At this point in his career, he’s just playing chess and we’re definitely very happy that he’s on our side.”

Sold. Even I’m ready to run through a brick wall for this team.

Bucs +3, Over 51.5.

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Kansas City Chiefs (-3, O/U 53.5) vs. Buffalo Bills 

Josh Allen has taken the Bills this far, but can he carry them all the way?

A variable here is how Mahomes feels on game day. He suffered what looked like a neck/head/concussion injury on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. Jim Nantz diagnosed it as a concussion on the broadcast so it most definitely is, of course. It’s still unclear what his status will be this weekend.

Mahomes did participate in practice on Wednesday, but he is still currently in the league's concussion protocol. Even if Mahomes doesn’t play on Sunday, Kansas City still has Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Hopefully Hill will be as revved as he was last week when he shoved assistant coach Greg Lewis on the sideline, explaining after the game he did so because he was “fired up.”

Josh Allen might give them a run for their money, but the Chiefs will get past the Bills, especially with that Hill energy. Kansas City defeated Buffalo 26-17 in Week 6 and, even though the Bills have won 11 of their 12 games since that loss, the Chiefs will beat them once again this weekend.

And if Mahomes does play, this will be Sunday’s Great Quarterback Matchup No. 2. It will be a treat of a football day.

Give me Chiefs, -3, Under 53.5.