Early Predictions For NFC and AFC Championship Games
Just four teams remain in the hunt to hoist the Lombardi Trophy following an excellent divisional round of the NFL playoffs over the weekend. Here’s a look at next week’s NFC and AFC Championship games with early predictions to help with your NFL picks.
San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons (+3.5, 48)–The Falcons barely survived against the Seahawks, while the 49ers played perhaps the most complete game of all four division-round winners when stifling the Green Bay Packers on Saturday. San Francisco would have to be considered the Super Bowl favorite after that performance against the Packers, but Atlanta doesn’t figure to be a push over in this spot, either. The Falcons are 8-1 at home this season and with much better offensive balance than the Packers, they may be able to a better job keeping up with Colin Kaepernick and company. Pick: Falcons +3.5
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots (-9.5, 51)–The Patriots seem to be a deserved heavy-favorite in this spot following a strong all-around performance in their win against the Houston Texans. Of some concern is that All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski will not play the remainder of the playoffs after re-breaking his forearm against Houston. Baltimore won a game for the ages against the Denver Broncos Saturday, but seemingly have nowhere near the firepower to stay with Tom Brady and crew. Still, laying 9.5 points against a team as defensively sound as the Ravens is a bit worrisome. Pick: Ravens +9.5
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