For some, the NFL Conference Championship games are more entertaining than the Super Bowl itself. Who will be taking to the field in Tampa Bay for Super Bowl LV on February 7th? Can the Buffalo Bills surprise the Kansas City Chiefs? Will Aaron Rodgers lead the Green Bay Packers past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Find out right here with our NFL betting team’s Conference Championship predictions against the spread.
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NFL Conference Championship Predictions Against the Spread
All spread lines are provided by DraftKings and were correct at the time of writing. They are, of course, subject to change the closer we get to kickoff.
Sunday, January 24th, 3:05 PM ET
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4.0) @ Green Bay Packers (-4.0)
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers brutally disposed of the number one defense in their Divisional Round win over the Los Angeles Rams. Their reward? A date with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Conference Championship.
Stopping the Packers this season has been a difficult task. Rodgers has been at his utter best, seemingly motivated by the Packers’ decision to draft his heir apparent in the 2020 NFL Draft. Furthermore, Davante Adams has been the best wide receiver in the league.
Between Rodgers, Adams, and a triple-headed monster out of the backfield, the Packers have had the best scoring offense in the NFL this season. They have scored a touchdown on a remarkable 9.1 percent of passing plays. For context, the closest team to them was the Seattle Seahawks with 7.1 percent.
Only the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, and the Buccaneers have been able to slow them down — important context for this NFL prediction.
Only the Buccaneers defense stands between Rodgers and his first Super Bowl appearance since guiding the Packers to Super Bowl XLV
The last time the two teams met, Ronald Jones II ran wild over the Packers defense. His 2 touchdowns and 113 yards propelled Tampa Bay to a 38-10 victory. As much as this game will be touted as Rodgers vs. Brady, it will be the Packers’ ability to shut down the Buccaneers run game that will ultimately decide who advances to the Super Bowl. The two quarterbacks struggled for a combined 326 yards, with Rodgers throwing 2 interceptions.
If there is any defense set up to beat the Packers, it is this Tampa Bay unit. They were the number one ranked rush defense through the regular season, allowing just 80.6 yards per game. Additionally, they only allowed 10 touchdowns all season.
They are also one of the most productive pass defenses in terms of forcing turnovers. The Buccaneers forced an interception on 2.4 percent of pass plays against them. That was dramatically demonstrated in their Divisional Round win over the New Orleans Saints.
Despite this, it’s difficult to see the Tampa Bay offense going toe to toe with the Green Bay offense. Brady reaching a Super Bowl with a team other than the New England Patriots would be an incredible storyline. However, it will be Rodgers who has the opportunity to add another Lombardi Trophy to his résumé.
NFL predictions against the spread for the NFC Conference Championship — Packers win and cover the spread.
Final score prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28, Green Bay Packers 35
NFL Conference Championship Predictions Against the Spread
Sunday, January 24th, 6:40 PM ET
Buffalo Bills (+2.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5)
The Kansas City Chiefs fought off the Cleveland Browns to book their Conference Championship place. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills stymied the NFL’s premier rushing offense to beat the Baltimore Ravens and secure their first Conference Championship appearance since the 1993 season. The two teams revisit their Week 6 showdown, with the winner earning the right to represent the AFC in Super Bowl LV.
Their ability to shut down the Ravens’ rushing attack on Saturday night may prove crucial to the Bills’ chances of reversing their Week 6 defeat. Buffalo allowed 245 total rushing yards, including 161 to rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, as the Chiefs won 26-17 back in October. If the Bills can replicate the run defense that limited the Ravens, this NFL prediction could get tricky as they will have a better chance of causing an upset against the Chiefs than they did in the regular season.
A tale of two quarterbacks
Equally critical will be the play of Josh Allen. The Bills’ quarterback was limited to a season-low 122 passing yards when the two teams met. Since then, Allen’s relationship with wide receiver Stefon Diggs has become one of the most potent in the NFL. As a result, it’s difficult to imagine that the Chiefs limit Diggs to just 46 receiving yards again. Due to their non-existent run game, the Bills really live or die on the passing game’s success.
For all the talk of the Bills’ defense and offense, the game could hang on the health of Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs’ quarterback took a nasty hit against the Browns. Looking dazed, confused, and barely able to walk, it was a troubling sight for Chiefs fans. Although they hung on for the win without him, Chad Henne’s performance doesn’t inspire confidence in the Kansas City offense if Mahomes is ruled out.
Presuming that Mahomes is good to go on Sunday, we should be set for a high-scoring showdown. Although I expect it to be closer than their Week 6 matchup, the result will ultimately be the same. Mahomes will outlast Allen, and the Chiefs head to Tampa Bay, looking to secure a second consecutive Super Bowl.
NFL predictions against the spread for the AFC Conference Championship — Kansas City wins and covers the spread.
Final score prediction: Buffalo Bills 28, Kansas City Chiefs 31
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Oliver Hodgkinson is a contributor for Pro Football Network, focusing on NFL Draft, general NFL, and NFL fantasy football. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.