NFL Picks and Predictions Against the Spread: Will the 49ers and Chiefs face off again in a Super Bowl?

What are our predictions and picks against the spread as the NFL season reaches the Conference Championships?

We are down to just three games remaining in the NFL season. This week, we find out which two teams will face off in Super Bowl 56. Let’s make our picks against the spread and offer NFL betting predictions for the 2021-22 Conference Championship games.

NFL picks and predictions for the 2022 Conference Championships | NFL lines and odds

The Divisional Round nearly saw a clean sweep by the road teams for the first time in NFL history. Will the Conference Championship games be just as competitive?

Let’s examine the NFL odds for the two Conference Championships at 2 PM ET on Saturday, January 29, and make our picks and predictions for how the two games may turn out.

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (-7)

Before the sportsbooks release the lines, I always like to guess what I think they will be. It allows me to generate an early opinion on what side may present value. This line is exactly where I thought it would be. Although the Bengals got the better of the Chiefs in their first meeting, that was in Cincinnati, and much has changed in a month.

The Chiefs have hit their stride offensively at precisely the right time. Their loss to the Bengals is their only defeat since Week 10. Patrick Mahomes is playing as well as he ever has. This offense is humming. They’ve scored 42 points in each playoff game and averaged 37 points per game over their last seven.

On the other hand, the Bengals have mostly been winning with defense. Joe Burrow had consecutive games against the Ravens and Chiefs where he threw for 525 yards and 446 yards, respectively. The Bengals scored 41 and 34 points in those contests. In Cincinnati’s other three wins since mid-December, they’ve scored 15, 26, and 19 points. That’s not going to cut it against the Chiefs.

My concern for the Bengals this week is they will need to score on the vast majority of their possessions — because that’s what the Chiefs are going to do. And by score, I mean touchdowns, not field goals. I love Evan McPherson as much as you do, but if he’s on the field too much for reasons other than kicking extra points, the Bengals are going to lose this game.

Chiefs vs. Bengals Prediction: Chiefs 41, Bengals 20

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5)

The Rams and 49ers are set to meet for the third time, but this is no rubber match; the 49ers have bested the Rams twice already. In their first meeting, the 49ers just completely stomped the Rams 31-10. The game was never competitive.

The second meeting was much different. San Francisco needed the win to make the playoffs at all. The Rams jumped out to a 17-0 lead and then completely fell apart in the second half, getting outscored 24-7, including overtime. Will the third time be the charm for the Rams?

We often hear analysts say it’s difficult to beat a team three times in one season. But is it? Since the merger, there have been 21 instances where one team has defeated another twice during the regular season before facing them again in the playoffs. Of those 21 games, the team that won the first two matchups also won the third contest on 14 occasions.

Simply put, I think the 49ers have the Rams’ number. San Francisco is playing extremely well defensively. They’ve held the Cowboys and Packers to 17 and 10 points, respectively. The 49ers have also averaged 29 points per game against the Rams. Meanwhile, Los Angeles tried everything in their power to give away what should’ve been a convincing win over the Bucs last week.

Personally, I want to see the Super Bowl we deserved three years ago in Rams vs. Chiefs. Unfortunately, I think we’re getting a rematch of the year after.

Rams vs. 49ers Prediction: 49ers 23, Rams 20

Jason Katz is a Fantasy Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter: @jasonkatz13 and find more of his work here.

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