Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints
My Bookie Line: Saints -3
The public is on the Saints (61.5%) and the Over (58.5%) fairly heavily at this point. When these two teams met in the regular season they combined to score 80 points and the Saints won (at home) by 10.
The amount of offense that was put up in this game was pretty incredible and whichever team moves on to the Super Bowl is likely going to have the opportunity to put up historic numbers, yet again!
New England Patriots vs. Kansas City Chiefs
My Bookie Line: Chiefs -3
No, there aren't any errors in either of the spreads or totals; Vegas has set both exactly the same! I'm certainly not going to do the research, but let's just say this is the first time this has ever happened.
Though the spreads are the same, the money lines are vastly different: Saints -115; Chiefs -120.
The public is nearly split right down the middle with the spread in this one (Patriots - 50.5%) while they're taking the over at a 57.9% clip.
It's going to be cold in Kansas City today, but the forecast is calling for a mostly sunny day. Don't expect the weather to stop either one of these QBs!
Brian Bentley Picks
This is a tough games to pick as the Saints haven't really impressed me the last 6-7 weeks. Obviously, they have a more experienced QB1 (Drew Brees), the better defense and they won the regular-season matchup. That said, I see the Rams making adjustments and expect their defense to play much better today.
It's hard to go against the GOAT (Tom Brady), but the Patriots are under .500 on the road this year. Kansas City has looked good in every game this season; including their losses, which have all been close. The crowd will be a huge factor in this one and Patrick Mahomes will make a couple key plays with his legs.
Eric Bentley Picks
The Saints won this matchup 45-35 in Week 9; albeit, it was a good and close game for the majority. I see this being another close one, but the experience and home-field advantage should allow the Saints to go marching into Super Bowl LIII and cover the spread. If you're feeling frisky, throw a little some-something on the over, too.
This is the hardest game to bet, thus far in the 2019 NFL Playoffs. This is what I know and trust: Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, New England Patriots in the Playoffs. The Chiefs have been a great, fun, and exciting team to watch; but can you really feel good about betting against New England in the cold, in big games like this? If you say yes, I question your gender.
Side Note: I do have Saints vs. Patriots in my Super LIII prediction and 2019 NFL Playoffs preview article posted back in early December. It'd be nice to see it come to fruition!
Zac Fluewelling Picks
Before the season I would have told you that the Rams have by far in a way the better defense when compared to the Saints. That's simply just not the case. Marcus Peters has been underwhelming and while Aaron Donald has been the undisputed Defensive Player of the Year, the rest of the front seven hasn't shown up.
In a game with two of the best offenses in the league, the defense is what will make the difference.
Here are some fun facts for you:
- Teams who score 40+ points in a playoff game are 5-25-1 ATS in their next game, going back to 1990.
- When that 40+ point game is a Divisional Playoffs game, that team is 2-11-1 ATS in the Conference Championship game.
- The over is 114-80-2 in games played in temperatures colder than 30 degrees since 2003.
- When the temperature dips below 20 degrees in playoff games the over has gone 14-5-1 (73.7%) since 1985.
- The temperature for the game will be hovering right around 20 degrees.
- The Chiefs and Patriots combined to score 83 total points in their regular season matchup.
I think the Patriots and the combo of Brady & Belichick outsmart and outplay Reid and Mahomes today, but I expect spectacular performances all around.
Brian Deyette Picks
'Who Dat' nation has one hell of a team on their hands this year! The Saints are the most versatile team in the Playoffs; they can slug it out and they can sling it. Whatever style game you want to play, they're capable of matching it!
The Patriots are a different team on the road this year: 8-0 at home versus 3-5 on the road. Under Andy Reid the Chiefs have face New England four times and have score more than 40 in three of those four matchups!
This is the year of the Chiefs and Andy Reid to take that next step!