Let’s get started in the ‘Dirty South’ where Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons will look to hold it down at home against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers before moving far up north to chilly Massachusetts where Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will try to hold off Big Ben Roethlisberger and the explosive Pittsburgh Steelers.
NFL Conference Round Sharp Betting 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
I picked Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to cover the spread as 4-point road underdogs and I believe they will, but I think a sharper pick for the NFC Championship is a play for the Over 60 total points.
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.
If you want another sharp pick on this intriguing matchup, then you should know that the first half total for this contest has been set at 31 combined points and I believe it’s a virtual lock that the Falcons and Packers top that figure. The Falcons put up a league-best 33.8 points per game this season and Green Bay has topped the 30-point plateau in each of their last six games.
As far as my ATS pick is concerned, you should know that the Green Bay Packers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 playoff road games and 5-0 ATS in their last five playoff games overall while the Atlanta Falcons have gone 1-5 ATS in their last six games in the month of January and 1-6 ATS in their last seven playoff games overall.
Sharp Picks: Green Bay +4 Points, Over 60 Total Points, Over 31 Total First Half 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
My sharp pick on the AFC Championship clash between the Steelers and Patriots says Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are going to cover the NFL betting line as a nearly touchdown road dog.
Pittsburgh has gone 2-0-2 ATS in their last four playoff games and a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five road games. The Steelers are also a blistering 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine games and 13-3-3 ATS in their last 19 games in the month of January. More importantly, the New England Patriots are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven Conference Championships games.
In addition to this ATS pick, I also really like the first half total odds on this affair. With these two AFC Super Bowl hopefuls playing in cold conditions – and both teams playing really solid defense lately, I’m thinking the Under 25 total points for the first half is the way to go. I mean, just think about it, New England leads the league by limiting the opposition to just 15.6 points per game or basically, about eight points per half. Play the Under 25 total first half points as part of your conference championship parlay picks.
Pick: Under 25 Total First Half Points
Pittsburgh limits the opposition to just 20.4 points per game defensively (10th) while New England limits the opposition to just 15.6 points per game defensively to rank first in points allowed.
Sharp Picks: Pittsburgh Steelers +6 Points, Under 25 First Half Points