• Max Carlson

Max against the Spread | Championship Weekend

Well, last week I wrote 641 words explaining why I thought the Colts, Cowboys, Chargers, and Saints would cover their respective spreads. I ended up whiffing on all four picks because gambling is dumb.

Now, with just three total games left on the year, it’s time to tackle the two conference championship games.

Let’s dive in!

Patriots @ Chiefs (-3.5)

For only the second time since 2007, the Patriots are underdogs in a playoff game. I would love nothing more than to see Patrick Mahomes advance to the Super Bowl, but with three and a half points being offered, there’s no way I’m not taking New England. They’ve got the experience, they’ve got Tom Brady, and they’ve got Bill Belichick.

While the game time temp should be cold, it’s looking as of now that it will be relatively dry with no wind issues. If that holds, then both offenses should have no issue putting points on the board. I’m expecting a great game here, but unless father time abruptly catches up with Brady in Kansas City, I don’t see a scenario where New England doesn’t at least keep this game close.

Take the Patriots and pray I’m wrong (which is true fairly often.)

The pick: Patriots (+3.5)

Rams @ Saints (-3)

While the Saints are a dominating force at home, they don’t exactly dominate against the spread in the dome. On the year, Drew Brees and the boys are 7-2 at home straight up, but just 4-5 against the spread.

This week they get a rematch with the Rams, who they defeated 45-35 on November 4 in the Super Dome. If their last meeting is any indication of what we should expect in this NFC Title Game, then we’re in for a treat. In that week 9 meeting, both quarterbacks combined for a ridiculous 737 yards passing and 7 touchdowns through the air. Rams’ WR Brandin Cooks posted a 6 catch, 114 yard, 1 touchdown performance, while Saints’ WR Michael Thomas put together an absurd 12 catch, 211 yard, 1 touchdown clinic.

I’m taking the Saints in this one, as I have pretty much all year, but I worry about their recent tendency of starting out really slow out of the gate. They were able to get away with that against Nick Foles and the Eagles, but that won’t fly against Sean “Boy Genius Bobby Fischer” McVay. If the Saints come out firing on all cylinders, then I don’t see Jared Goff out dueling Drew Brees in the dome. But if the Saints come out lethargic from eating too much Gumbo with Marcus Peters, then I might be looking to quickly hedge my risk with a live bet on the Rams.

Either way, the four best teams have made it this far, and we should be in for a wonderful day of football on Sunday.

The pick: Saints (-3)

Stay tuned for my betting coverage of Super Bowl LIII, where I’ll be bringing you a huge breakdown of the ridiculous prop bets!

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