What are the best bets for the NFL Conference Championship games on Sunday? Here are selections.
NFL Conference Championship Odds
According to oddsmakers, the Patriots are 7.5-point home favorites to beat the Jaguars in the AFC Conference Championship Game at 3:05 p.m. ET. New England opened as 8.5-point favorites but the line has dropped in wake of Tom Brady’s hand injury. (He will play.) As for the total, the number hit the board at 47 but was bet down to 45.5.
Meanwhile, the Vikings are 3-point road favorites to beat the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game at 6:40 p.m. ET. Philadelphia opened as a 3.5-point underdog but the line dropped to the key number of 3. As for the over/under, the number opened at 38 but jumped to 39.
NFL Conference Championship Injury Report
For the Jaguars, Dante Fowler Jr. is probable to play with a shoulder injury. Safety Tashaun Gipson has also been upgraded to probable with a foot injury.
On the other side, Brady is probable with his hand injury while LaAdrian Waddle (knee) and Alan Branch (knee) are questionable.
In the NFC Championship Game, safety Andrew Sendejo (concussion) is probable for the Vikings and so is receiver Adam Thielen. For the Eagles, Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) is officially questionable.
NFL Conference Championship Predictions
Jacksonville ranked first in points per game defensively. They were also first in yards per drive allowed and first in first downs allowed per game. They have the elements to at least slowdown Brady, who might not be as accurate as a passer given his thumb injury. The Jags also need to rely on a ball-control offense to alleviate pressure on Blake Bortles. Thus, I like the under 45.5 in the AFC title game.
As for the NFC title game, I’m going with the Vikings and laying the field goal. Nick Foles wasn’t asked to do much last week and it resulted in 15 points for the Eagles. The Vikings have a better defense than the Falcons, so I don’t expect much from Philly again offensively. The key to this game is Case Keenum and the Vikings, who won’t be handcuffed by having Steve Sarkisian as their offensive coordinator. Sarksian’s game-planning and play-calling sunk the Falcons a week. Pat Shurmur won’t do the same to the Vikings tonight.