It’s been a great start to the NFL playoffs, but we’re down to the final three games of the season, with two Conference Championship games set for Sunday. Admittedly, I have a handful of futures that are going to force my hand in how I bet or lay off certain bets in these games. Hopefully you tailed some of those, and I’ll highlight them below. If you didn’t, I’ll still highlight how I’d be betting the games this weekend if I were going in without any futures in pocket. Here’s what stands out on DraftKings Sportsbook.
For a full breakdown of these games, with analysis from Johnny Avello (Director of DK Sportsbook) and Ross Tucker (former NFL player and current analyst) check out the Unreasonable Odds Podcast from earlier this week.
49ers to win the NFC (-125) 4-units — placed at start of postseason
Chiefs to win the AFC (+200) 2-units — placed November 17
Ravens to win the Super Bowl (+1000) 0.5-units — placed November 6
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (Sunday 3:06 pm ET)
I’m in a unique spot for this game, with a KC AFC future and BAL SB future. In theory, if Baltimore wins the game, but then loses the Super Bowl, both bets lose for -2.5-units. However, I think we’re in a pretty decent spot overall here, especially considering this might be the toughest game of the postseason to bet. I loved KC against Miami, and really liked KC against Buffalo. This one is much tougher. I lean to Baltimore to win the game, but once we start giving Patrick Mahomes too many points, I can talk myself into both sides. So I’ll leave these alone for now, collecting a 1.5-unit win if KC wins the game, and lose 2-units if the Ravens win the game — but stay alive to win 5-units on a Baltimore SB victory.
Edit: Adding a 2-unit play to win 1-unit on Baltimore ML. This is essentially just buying off of my Chiefs future. I like the Ravens in the game and would bet it that way if neutral.
6PT Teaser: KC +10/SF -1 (-120) — 1-unit
Getting the Chiefs up to +10 is appealing to me, because ultimately I don’t believe Mahomes is going to get blown out in a game like this. However, if a team can, it’s this Ravens team — they have 9 wins by 14 or more points over teams that finished the season over .500. That’s wildly impressive. But nothing is going to come easy for either team in this game. The moment is going to be big for Baltimore, while it’s just another year in the AFC Championship game for Mahomes and company. I can go back and forth with stats that push the agenda of either side in this game, but ultimately it’s one that I’d tease the dog or pass on, even if I didn’t have a future on both sides.
Potential Prop: Isiah Pacheco O63.5 Rushing Yards
Edit: With the injuries to the offensive line, Pacheco dinged up, and my lean towards Baltimore in the game I’m passing on the prop.
I want to wait to see how healthy Pacheco is here, but he’s been a battering ram for this offense in the postseason. Pacheco went for 15-97-1 against Buffalo and 24-89-1 versus Miami. In his last eight games, which dates back to the start of November, Pacheco has topped this number six times, including going for over 110 rushing yards twice. If there’s a weakness in Baltimore’s defense, it is the run, where they rank just below league average at home, giving up over 111 yards per game. If Pacheco is a full-go, this is likely a play on the over.
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday 6:38pm ET)
Assuming KC can cover the teaser leg, we’ll enter this game with 5-units on the Niners to win, which would be my largest position of the NFL season. If you haven’t bet the future, and don’t want to tease, I’m fine laying it with the Niners up to -7.
San Francisco looked a bit sloppy against Green Bay, and was ultimately fortunate to advance. Brock Purdy struggled throwing the ball in the rain, and defenders were sliding all over the place. With a beautiful forecast for Sunday, I don’t think we see the Niners play two bad games in a row.
The Bucs just proved they could go on the road and run the ball against the NFL’s second-ranked rush defense, setting up a pretty nice spot for the 49ers’ running game at home here. Not to mention Detroit ranks 31st in passing yards allowed per game this season.
I also believe the Lions might struggle a bit going outdoors here, despite the weather itself not really being concerning. Detroit has played 14 games indoors this season, averaging 30.75 points. It’s played outdoors just once in the last 12 weeks — scoring 13 points at the Bears. While this isn’t going to be December in Chicago, the Lions do average just 17.8 points per game in five games in open-air stadiums.
San Francisco should be able to bully the Lions on both sides of the ball here, creating a sizable mismatch.
6PT Teaser: KC +10/SF -1 (-120) — 1-unit
That 31st-ranked passing defense has been getting scorched in recent weeks. The Lions have allowed a 300-plus yard passer in four of the last six games, and this is a big bounce-back spot for Purdy. He looked awful in the rain last week, but now gets a near perfect combination of matchup and conditions for the biggest game of his career. Look for Purdy to show up in this one.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook, lines and odds subject to change.
All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.