Expert NFL Parlay Picks for 2018 Conference Finals

Expert NFL Parlay Picks for 2018 Conference Finals

Written by on January 18, 2018

If you like stringing wagers together as part of a potentially bankroll-boosting NFL parlay, then you’re going to love the pair of expert picks that you are about to get on both conference championship games that are going down this weekend. With the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles, both, not only covering the chalk as underdogs in their respective divisional round matchups, but winning outright, NFL betting buffs across the globe need to know if one, both – or neither – can duplicate their respective feats from last weekend when they take the gridiron for their conference title tilts. Thankfully, that’s where I come in! Now, let’s get down to business.

Expert NFL Parlay Picks for 2018 Conference Finals

Jacksonville Jaguars (12-6) at New England Patriots (14-3)

  • When: Sunday, 3:05 PM ET
  • Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
  • TV: CBS
  • Radio: 1010 AM (Jacksonville) / 98.5 FM (New England)
  • Stream Option: NFL Live
  • AFC Championship Betting Odds: New England Patriots -8.5 (Over/Under at 46.5)
Blake Bortles has been repeatedly ripped by NFL fans, writers (like me) and even, many of his own counterparts for the vast majority of his career after being the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft and rightfully so. I mean, all Bortles did prior to this season was toss 69 TD passes and a whopping 51 interceptions. This season, however, Bortles – and the Jaguars altogether – have been completely transformed by the arrival of vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin and head coach Doug Marrone. While the oft-maligned signal-caller hasn’t been what anyone would call a superstar by tossing 21 TD passes and 13 interceptions, he has seemingly improved through pure maturation – and a powerful rushing attack, if nothing else. For reference, Bortles led the Jags to their second win of the season over Ben Roethlisberger and the second-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend to reach the AFC Championship. The Jags beat the Steelers 45-42 in their AFC divisional matchup on Sunday while cashing in as a 7-point road underdog in the process. Jacksonville got 109 rushing yards and three touchdowns from powerful rookie running back Leonard Fournette while Bortles added 214 passing yards and tossed a huge fourth-quarter TD pass to lead the upstart Jags to victory. Defensively, Jacksonville bent but didn’t break, even though it looks like they did in giving up 42 points. In reality, Jacksonville sealed Pittsburgh’s fate by shutting the Steelers down in the first half while picking off Roethlisberger once, recovering one fumble and limiting superstar running back Le’Veon Bell to just 67 rushing yards.

Expert Final Analysis and NFL Parlay Pick

While I’m not prepared to pick Jacksonville for the outright upset, I do like Jacksonville’s run-first style of football to help them chew up plenty of the clock to keep the final score close. While the Patriots ranked fifth in points allowed and didn’t let their opponents into the end zone with regularity, they also gave up a ton of yardage this season while finishing 30th against the pass (251.2 YPG) and 20th against the run (114.8 YPG). Jacksonville is 4-0 ATS in their last four games after rushing for more than 150 yards in their previous game, 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games against their AFC rivals and 5-4 ATS on the road this season. Two other things stand out for me about this contest. First, New England is just 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Conference Championships games and Jaguars vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin knows just how to beat the Patriots, having done so twice in Super Bowl matchups as the head coach of the New York Giants. New England manages to get the outright home win to advance to Super Bowl 52, but I like the Jags to cover the chalk, which is why they should be your NFL parlay pick. Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars +8.5

Minnesota Vikings (14-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)

  • When: Sunday, 6:40 PM ET
  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philly
  • TV: Fox
  • Radio: 1270 AM (Minnesota) / SportsRadio 94WIP (Philadelphia)
  • Stream Option: Fox Sports Go
  • NFC Championship Betting Odds: Minnesota Vikings -3 (Over/Under at 38)
The Vikings needed the miracle of all miracles to beat Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints 29-24 on Sunday, while Philadelphia put Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons on ‘lockdown’ in their statement-making 15-10 divisional round win. The Vikes got the win on the game’s final play as veteran quarterback Case Keenum hooked up with wide receiver Stephon Diggs on a ‘lucky’ 61-yard touchdown heave to beat the Saints. Keenum did pass for 318 yards with one touchdown and one interception while Minnesota got two rushing scores and picked off Brees twice to overcome a 294-yard, three-touchdown passing day from New Orleans’ future Hall of Famer. Stefon Diggs and the Vikings should be included in your NFL Parlay Ticket for the Conference Finals. Veteran running back LeGarrette Blount rushed for one score and Jake Elliott kicked three field goals to lead Philly to the hard-fought win as the first top-seeded underdog in the divisional round in league history. The Eagles also got a game-saving goal-line stand on Atlanta’s final drive and 246 passing yards from Foles in the narrow win. Despite their big win and Minnesota’s ‘lucky’ outcome, for this NFC championship clash, I’m going with the Minnesota Vikings to get the outright road win and narrow ATS cover, simply because I’m expecting their powerful defense to put the clamps on Nick Foles and Philadelphia’s offense a whole lot easier than they did against Brees and the Saints’ high-powered offensive attack. While the Eagles were able to get the divisional round victory against Atlanta by scoring just 15 points, I believe it’s going to take a lot more than that to get past the Vikings.

Expert Final Analysis and NFL Parlay Pick

Sure, Minnesota may not be an offensive powerhouse and they could struggle against a Philadelphia defense that is very good, but right now, I think Case Keenum is a better quarterback than Nick Foles and that he’s going to lead the Vikings to a few more points than Foles does with the Birds, so be sure to include them in your NFL parlay ticket. The Vikings are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games and 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight-up win while the Eagles have gone 1-4 ATS in their last 5 playoff games and an uninspiring 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a straight up win. Last but not least, the Vikings are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss and a bankroll-boosting 42-18 ATS in their last 60 games overall. Minnesota wins and covers the chalk! Pick: Minnesota Vikings -3