NFL Playoffs Preview: Championship Sunday
Josh Allen. Patrick Mahomes. Tom Brady. Aaron Rodgers. Wow. The NFL Championship games are set and Super Bowl LV is in sight. Arguably the four best quarterbacks of this NFL season have helped put their team on the verge of a conference title and are now just one game away from the big dance. Sundays never looked so good. Let the NFL Playoffs continue…
For the stories, stats and suggestions ahead of this weekend’s AFC and NFC Conference Championship games, read on.
AFC: Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs
The AFC Playoffs have gone as planned, at least in the sense that the Number 1 seed are hosting the Number 2 seed for the AFC title. Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns turned over higher seeds on Wildcard Weekend, but the Ravens were brushed aside in Buffalo and KC did enough to fend off the Browns; Chad Henne coming up clutch after Mahomes’ early exit.
By doing so, the Chiefs will now become the first team in AFC history to host three consecutive AFC Championship games and therefore it’s no surprise that they’re -3.5 point favourites with Grosvenor Sport to return to the Super Bowl this year.
Last weekend was rough for reigning Super Bowl MVP Mahomes, who played through a niggling toe injury before leaving the game due to a concussion in the third quarter. But he had done enough, as had the usual suspects. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce both surpassing 100 receiving yards, with the tight end adding a touchdown. Both men are 7/1 to score the first touchdown, while Kelce – who set a record for receiving yards by a tight end this season – is 4/5 to score any time.
As for the Bills, it was all about one playmaker again. Stefon Diggs, the NFL leader for receiving yards and receptions, added 106 yards and a touchdown as he continues his phenomenal maiden season in Buffalo. The Bills rushed for just 32 yards against the Ravens, the fourth-fewest by a winning team in NFL Playoffs history. The three teams with fewer went on to win the Super Bowl. Omen.
One play to consider is Josh Allen to score the last touchdown at 11/1. There’s every chance Kansas City could have too much for the Bills, and a soft defence late on could allow Allen to march down the field and run into the endzone in garbage time – or he could be the hero and win an Arrowhead epic all by himself, taking Buffalo back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1994.
With Mahomes confirmed good to go and Allen in red-hot form, this could be an instant classic.
NFC: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Green Bay Packers
The quarterback duel for the ages. The most successful QB of all time, Tom Brady, taking on Aaron Rodgers, a man who many deem to be the most talented. Hmmm. Anyway, after leaving behind New England Patriots and an unrivalled era of dominance, TB12 opened himself up to critics and his haters. A system quarterback only successful because of his coach, good luck and the occasional flouting of the rules, they said.
Well, after an understandably inconsistent start, look who’s laughing now? The 43-year-old was majestic in the final weeks of the season, and two road wins in the NFL Playoffs have sent him to his 14th Championship game in 21 years as a professional. GOAT argument is well and truly settled, but he will have to overcome the odds again – the Green Bay Packers are 3.5-point favourites (19/20) for this one.
Against the number 1 defence in the NFL last weekend, Green Bay put on a clinic. Rodgers threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns. Rather than Davante Adams (66 yds, 1 TD), it was Allen Lazard who was the top WR on the day with 96 receiving yards and a TD. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams added the ground threat with 99 and 65 rushing yards respectively. In the air or on the ground, the Packers know how to put up points.
But so do their opponents. In fact, these two lead the way on offense in the NFL this season. That being the case and with Grosvenor Sport’s adjustable slider widget, you can get over 52.5 points at Evens. If you fancy the favourites and the full match parlay, Green Bay Packers, -3.5 and over 51.5 points is 5/2.
Another fancy is the Packers to get in front early. Despite a 38-10 beating back in Week 6, Rodgers and the Packers raced out into a 10-0 lead and are likely to try and start fast once more at Lambeau. Packers to lead after the 1st Quarter by more than 1.5 points is 6/5.
Now you’re all set for more NFL Playoffs action. Championship Sunday is gonna be fun. Enjoy it.
*Stated odds correct at time of writing
Oh, and if you fancy some more knockout football, check out our FA Cup Preview including the Round Four tie between Man Utd and Liverpool!