With that said and both conference clashes quickly approaching, let’s get started.
2017 NFL Conference Round Lock Picks
Green Bay (12-6) at Atlanta (12-5)When: 3:05 PM ET, Sunday, January 22, 2017
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
NFL Odds: Falcons -4 / Total: 60
While I picked Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to cover the spread as 4-point rod underdogs and I believe they will, I think the ‘lock’ pick for the NFC Championship is a play for the Over 60 total points.
The Packers average 27.0 points per game to rank fourth in scoring and have absolutely exploded on their opponents recently, scoring at least 30 points in six straight games. The Falcons average a stellar 33.8 points per game to lead the league in scoring and hung 36 points on defensive-minded Seattle in their NFC divisional date this past weekend.
The Over is 6-0 in Green Bay’s last six games overall, 6-1 in their last seven road games and 4-1 in their last five playoff road games. The Over is also 6-0 in Atlanta’s last six playoff home games, an insane 9-0 in their last nine home games and a consistent 14-2-1 in their last 17 games overall.
I’m thinking both of these Super Bowl hopefuls are going to easily put 30 points on the board, making the Over a virtual lock people!
Lock Pick: Over 60 Total Points
Pittsburgh Steelers (13-5) at New England Patriots (15-2)When: Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 6:40 PM ET
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
NFL Odds: New England -6 / Total: 50.5
I’m going to get right to my lock pick on the AFC Championship by saying that I believe it’s a virtual lock that Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to cover the NFL betting line as a nearly touchdown road dog.
The Steelers are 2-0-2 ATS in their last four playoff games and a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five road games. Pittsburgh has also posted a blistering 7-1-1 ATS mark in their last nine games overall while also going 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight games against their AFC counterparts and a consistent 13-3-3 ATS in their last 19 games in the month of January.
Better yet, the New England Patriots are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven Conference Championships games. However, outside of all of the aforementioned ATS trends, I simply believe Pittsburgh is a nearly evenly matched team to the Patriots, even though New England is statistically better on both sides of the ball.
Pittsburgh averages 24.9 points per game (11th) while limiting the opposition to just 20.4 points per game defensively (10th). New England averages 27.6 points per game (3rd) while limiting the opposition to just 15.6 points per game defensively to rank first in points allowed.
Not only will the Steelers cover the spread as 6-point dogs, but they’ll push Tom Brady and company for the outright win!
Lock Pick: Pittsburgh +6 Points