Stone-Cold Locks: Conference Championship Edition

And then there were 3. Only 3 games left to sort through! Conference title games and then the Super Bowl in a couple weeks, my how the time has flown. The bad news is, the season is coming to an end, but the good news is A) These games should be amazing and B) I am guaranteed a finish well above 50% this season!  

(62-49) on the season. Which means…the worst I can finish is 62-52 and the best I can finish is 65-49. 54% at the worst. 57% at the best. Right where we want to live at the end of the season. But most importantly…let’s get these W’s!

49ers (+2.5) @ Eagles- I get it. Brock Purdy, he’s a rookie, he’s a 7th rounder, he shouldn’t be able to go into Philly and get a win on the road. Well, ya know what, he shouldn’t have been able to go 8-0 to start his career either, but here we are. All he has to do is continue to manage the game and let his team take care of the rest because these dudes are special. This is very much a bet on the Niners and not against the Eagles, I have all the respect in the world for Philly. In my experience, in these spots, a dominant defense will win out 8 out of 10 times. How do the Eagles want to beat you? Running the football. Cool, the 49ers are #1 against the run. They held running backs to 3.3 ypc this season. Not a single running back went over 100 yards on them all year. How about last week? They held Zeke to 2.6YPC, lower than his season average. Tony Pollard, season average 5.2 guy, Niners held him to 3.5. Nick Bosa, pretty special coming off the edge, #1 in sacks @ 18.5. Also, sleeper in this equation…Deommodore Lenoir, an interception in each of the 2 playoff games thus far, and this year, he’s held QB’s under an 80 rating all year, 11 passes deflected…and they’re going to need to turn Hurts over at some point if they want to win this game. One other area I like. Philly has 1 weakness, run defense. They rank 20th in the league. They feast off building an early lead and not allowing you to settle into a ground game…I just don’t see how they do that against this defense. Give me the Niners to win but I’ll take the points for insurance. Lock it up!

Bengals (+1.5) @ Chiefs-  I have made a personal promise to never bet against Joe Burrow again, so this one was easy. Burrow is 3-0 against Mahomes in case you haven’t heard yet this week. But let’s look at this a different way. Zach Taylor is 3-0 against Andy Reid. Football is a total team effort and clearly Taylor has figured something out, top to bottom, in how to beat an Andy Reid team. Also, back to Burrow…the man is a stone-cold killer. Literally. He is 8-0 in games where the temps dip below 40. Should be in the 20’s Sunday night in KC. Also, I want to be clear, I’m not even factoring Mahomes ankle into my analysis. He’s good enough to overcome it, we know that. Last week, against the blitz, Mahomes went 7 for 10 with a 122 passer rating, and a touchdown pass…and that was on one leg. But how about the fact that Cincy’s defense is really good, this unit is criminally underrated. 18ppg over their 10 game win streak they’re currently riding. Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard allow them to generate pressure without sending extra guys, and their coverage guys are stellar too…Eli Apple and company, #1 DB’s in the league statistically this season. The Bengals D is 3rd best vs TE’s and 5th best vs RB’s in the pass game. Both things the Chiefs want to beat you with. Also, secret sauce in this one…Trayveon Williams. One of the best return men in the league, going up against a Chiefs coverage team that ranks towards the bottom in the NFL. Bengals have the edge all over the field. Lock it up!

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers

Photo: Getty Images

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