Okay NFL betting faithful, if you’re fired up about this weekend’s pair of quickly-approaching conference championship matchups and you’re looking for some expert betting predictions that could help you cash in on both contests, then consider your postseason ticket punched because I’ve got a pair of expert parlay picks just for you! And before getting into more detail, be sure to check out our exclusive NFL Playoffs bracket!
2019 NFL Conference Round Parlay Picks
Four teams remain.Who will advance to #SBLIII? #NFLPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/6rnDrsNrzA— NFL (@NFL) January 14, 2019
L.A. Rams (14-3) at New Orleans Saints (14-3)
- When: Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 3:05 PM ET
- Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
- NFL Odds: New Orleans -3.5 / Total: 57
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams (14-3 SU, 8-8-1 ATS, 9-8 O/U) closed out the regular season by winning two straight before taking out Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys 30-22 this past Saturday to narrowly cover the spread as a 7.5-point home favorite.
Los Angeles got a fantastic effort out of franchise running back Todd Gurley who rushed for 115 rushing yards and one score in the win while the late-season addition of veteran running back C.J. Anderson continued to pay some eye-opening dividends as he rushed for a team-high 123 yards and two touchdowns.
“We always talk about attacking success, never fearing failure,” McVay said after the win. “We wanted to come out here and try to play fearless tonight.”
Los Angeles’ offensive line dominated Dallas’ highly-publicized front seven from beginning to end and their much-maligned defense dominated as well while limiting Ezekiel Elliott to just 47 rushing yards on 20 carries.
“Feels great, just running the ball the way we did,” quarterback Jared Goff said after his first career playoff win. “Two 100-yard rushers, that’s rare, and it starts with those five guys up front.”
Los Angeles has won six of eight road games this season while going 4-4 ATS and 2-6 O/U along the way. The Rams average 32.9 points per game to rank second in scoring while allowing 24.0 points per game defensively (20th).
The bad news for L.A. betting backers heading into the NFC Championship is that all three of L.A.’s losses this season came against playoff participants in falling to the Bears and Eagles in Weeks 14 and 15 while also falling to NFC Championship opponent New Orleans 45-35 in Week 9. The Rams have gone 5-5 SU and 5-4-1 ATS over their last 10 road games as an underdog of 3.5 points or less.
- Rams are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Rams are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games in January.
- Rams are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games.
- Under is 5-1 in Rams last 6 road games.
- Over is 6-2 in Rams last 8 vs. a team with a winning record.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints (14-3 SU, 10-7 ATS, 7-10 O/U) lost their meaningless regular season finale against Carolina and they had to overcome a slow start to climb out of a 14-0 first quarter deficit to beat Philadelphia 20-14 in their intense NFC divisional showdown last Sunday.
The Saints used a fantastic defensive effort to keep high-flying Philly off the scoreboard for the game’s final three quarters while future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees completed 28 of 38 passes for 301 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. The eagles also had no answer on how to stop Saints Pro Bowl wide receiver Michael Thomas who caught 12 passes for 171 yards and one score.
“What you saw from him today is what I see every day in practice,” Brees said of Thomas. “He’s a big-time player who wants to be the guy to make plays.”
The Saints average 30.8 points per game to rank a stellar third in scoring while allowing 22.1 points per game defensively (14th). New Orleans has won seven of nine at home this season while going 4-5 ATS down in the Big Easy. Unfortunately New Orleans is just 4-5 ATS at home this season while the Over/Under total has gone 5-4. The Saints beat three playoff participants this season, including the Rams and Eagles (twice).
New Orleans has gone a blistering 25-7 ATS in their last 32 home games against a team with a winning road record and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in January. New Orleans has gone 5-5 SU and 4-5-1 ATS over their last 10 home games as a favorite of 3.5 points or less.
- Saints are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. NFC.
- Saints are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Over is 6-1 in Saints last 7 playoff home games.
- Under is 6-1 in Saints last 7 vs. NFC.
- Under is 6-2 in Saints last 8 games overall.
- Over is 10-4-1 in Saints last 15 playoff games.
While Los Angeles was quite impressive rushing the ball and playing defense in their 30-22 NFC divisional round win last weekend against Dallas, the fact of the matter is that the Rams have underachieved in a big way on defense this season and I suspect their modest 14th-ranked pass defense (236.2 ypg) and 23rd-ranked run defense (122.3 ypg) are both going to be vulnerable against Drew Brees and the Saints’ explosive offense.
Conversely, the Saints have seen some serious improvement on the defensive side of the ball as the season has gone along and they defense they played against Nick Foles and a red-hot Eagles team to shut them out for the game’s final three quarters is what leads me to believe New Orleans is the easy pick to win and cash in against L.A. in this contest.
The Saints beat the Rams 45-35 in a high-scoring affair in Week 9 to cash in as a surprising 1.5-point home underdog and I’m expecting New Orleans to get the repeat win this time around, but not quite by the same 10 points they won by earlier this season.
Los Angeles has gone a discouraging 1-4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record while New Orleans has gone a bankroll-boosting 25-7 ATS in their last 32 home games against a team with a winning road record and an encouraging 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in the month of January.
More importantly, I’m not very high on Jared Goff and believe the Rams’ signal-caller is more of a byproduct of Sean McVay’s system than an actual elite quarterback. One thing’s for sure, he’s nowhere close to being in the same class of signal-callers as Drew Brees. The Saints win and narrowly cover the chalk!
NFL Conference Round Betting Pick: Saints 28 Rams 24
New England Patriots (12-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (13-4)
- When: Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 6:40 PM ET
- Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
- NFL Odds: Kansas City -3 / Total: 57.5
New England Patriots
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (12-5 SU, 10-7 ATS, 6-11 O/U) completely dominated Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers en route to a stunning 41-28 smackdown win in their AFC divisional round matchup this past weekend. Rookie running back Sony Michel rushed for 129 yards and three scores while Tom Brady passed for 343 yards and one touchdown.
Now the Patriots are looking dangerous as they look to duplicate their thrilling 43-40 shootout win over Kansas City in Week 6
New England averages 27.2 points per game to rank fourth in scoring while allowing 20.3 points per contest defensively (7th). The Patriots beat four playoff participants this season (Houston, Indianapolis, Chicago, K.C.) but let it be known that New England struggled in going just 3-5 SU on the road this season while suffering head-scratching losses against lowly Jacksonville, Detroit and Miami. The Patriots have gone 6-4 SU and 7-3 ATS over their last 10 games as a road dog of 3.5 points or less.
- Patriots are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in January.
- Patriots are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 playoff games.
- Patriots are 17-8 ATS in their last 25 road games
- Patriots are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 Conference Championships games.
- Over is 6-1 in Patriots last 7 playoff games.
- Over is 5-1 in Patriots last 6 games in January.
- Under is 8-2 in Patriots last 10 games overall.
- Under is 4-1 in Patriots last 5 road games.
- Under is 6-2 in Patriots last 8 Conference Championships games.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs (13-4 SU, 10-6-1 ATS, 1-6-1 O/U) got a fantastic performance from Patrick Mahomes and the rest of their high-scoring offense, but it was the Chiefs’ defense that stole the show in their dominating 31-13 smackdown of Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in their AFC divisional round showdown last weekend. Mahomes passed for 278 yards and rushed for one score while running back Damien Williams added 129 rushing yards and another score. Defensively, Kansas City held Andrew Luck to a modest 203 passing yards while shutting down running back Marlon Mack to the tune of 46 yards on nine carries.
The Chiefs average a league-leading 35.3 points per game this season, but they also suffered all four of their losses against playoff participants in losing to the Patriots, Rams, Chargers and Seahawks. The good news for Chiefs betting backers is that Kansas City has won eight of their nine home dates this season while going 5-4 ATS and 3-5-1 O/U along the way.
While K.C. allowed a generous 26.3 points per contest defensively to rank an uninspiring 24th in points allowed, they’ve also given up just 16 combined points over their last two games. The Chiefs have gone 6-4 SU and ATS as a home favorite of 3 points or less and 4-1 SU and ATS over their last five such contests.
- Chiefs are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game.
- Chiefs are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 vs. AFC.
- Chiefs are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Chiefs are 2-5-1 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
- Chiefs are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 4-0 in Chiefs last 4 playoff home games.
- Under is 4-1 in Chiefs last 5 playoff games.
- Over is 4-1 in Chiefs last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 5-2 in Chiefs last 7 games overall.
Were this game being played in Foxborough Stadium, I’d seriously consider backing New England for the outright win. Unfortunately for the New England Patriots, this game is being played at Arrowhead Stadium and I believe that simple fact is going to be the deciding factor in what looks like another thrilling matchup between these two just waiting to happen.
I love the fact that Andy Reid has gone 2-2 against Bill Belichick over their last four meetings dating back to 2014 and it’s definitely important to know that the Chiefs have scored 40 points or more in three of those contests. With five losses, New England has been a ‘hot mess’ on the road this season while Kansas City has been a near lock at home. Despite their annual excellence, the patriots have gone a dismal 2-7 ATS in their last 9 Conference Championships games while the Chiefs have gone 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games against their AFC counterparts and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games against a team with a winning road record. I’m going with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to light up new England’s defense en route to the win and ATS cover.
NFL Conference Round Betting Pick: Chiefs 34 Patriots 28