Early NFL Conference Championship Predictions and Picks Against the Spread: Take Lamar Jackson To Beat Patrick Mahomes?

The betting lines are set, but who will advance to the Super Bowl? We make our picks in our early NFL Conference Championship predictions.

And now we’re down to four. We’re one week away from knowing the participants for this year’s Super Bowl, as the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Detroit Lions have all advanced to the Conference Championship Round. Which teams will be making the trip to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks?

Let’s dive right into our NFL betting picks in our early NFL Conference Championship predictions.

Early NFL Conference Championship Predictions

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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens Predictions

  • Spread
    Ravens -3
  • Moneyline
    Chiefs +140, Ravens -165
  • Total

Blewis: The Ravens were the far superior team in the regular season, with better units than the Chiefs on both sides of the ball, even on offense. While the Ravens have defeated playoff teams such as the Texans (twice), Browns, Lions, 49ers, and Dolphins by double digits, I’m not expecting the same result in this game.

While I like the Ravens to win outright, I don’t see enough value on the spread or moneyline to take them. So, instead, I’m going to go in a different direction.

This is a matchup of two of the best defenses in the regular season, each ranking in the top 10 in yards allowed, DVOA, EPA, and success rate.

Although Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are a far different beast, the Ravens’ defense can match up against anybody, with performances against potent offenses including the Lions, 49ers, and Dolphins being prime examples.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, might have just given up 24 points against the Bills in the Divisional Round, but they held them to just 4.7 yards per play. All season long, this unit has been the strength of this team, which is a pleasant surprise for a Mahomes-led squad.

Unders went 12-5 in the regular season for the Chiefs and are 1-1 so far in the postseason. I’m expecting this to be a close game that isn’t particularly high scoring.

Pick: Under 45.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Bearman: I honestly don’t know who to take in this one. Hard to bet against the Chiefs and Mahomes, who proved they’re still Super Bowl caliber in their win at Buffalo, but the Ravens look like the best team in the NFL right now.

What stands out to me in this matchup are the two outstanding defenses. Kansas City’s defense is much better than Houston’s, so after taking the Over in the Ravens’ last matchup, we’re going to go in the other direction this time.

Pick: Under 45.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers Predictions

  • Spread
    49ers -7
  • Moneyline
    Lions +260, 49ers -320
  • Total

Blewis: Even though I got burned by taking them as a heavy favorite in their win over the Packers, I’m going to run it back with the 49ers by laying the points once again.

While they looked vulnerable in their 24-21 win over the Packers, I still believe the 49ers are the far superior team. The 49ers’ defense is significantly better than the two units Jared Goff and the Lions have faced in the last two rounds, and they won’t have the luxury of playing in front of their home crowd indoors, either.

MORE: NFL Playoff Bracket

But the biggest factor here comes down to the Lions’ defense. Brock Purdy struggled against a weak Packers defense, and if Deebo Samuel is good to go (he’s 50/50 at the moment), then I think the 49ers can take advantage of this weak Lions unit. Outside of their loss to the Ravens, when they’re at full strength, the 49ers offense has been almost unstoppable.

For the Lions, this will be a major step up in class after they allowed the Buccaneers to put up 23 points and over 400 yards of offense in their house. Meanwhile, for the 49ers, you could argue that they’re facing a team that isn’t any better than Green Bay.

Pick: 49ers -6.5 (-118 at DraftKings)

Bearman: I said on Twitter/X on Saturday as the Niners snuck by the Packers that it was going to take me less than a second to take the Lions, and that’s exactly what I did.

The Lions might be the new kid on the block, but they have a veteran QB who has won an NFC title and tons of talent across the board. Are the 49ers better? Probably, but they should have lost to the Packers on Saturday night and are fortunate to move on.

The 49ers may very well win the Super Bowl, but I’m gladly taking the points here.

Pick: Lions +7 (-115 at ESPN BET)

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