2017 NFL Conference Championship Sharp Betting Picks

Posted by Peter Boysen on January 19, 2017 in

The Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons will square off at the Georgia Dome for the NFC Championship on Sunday afternoon — followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots from Gillette Stadium on Sunday night for the AFC Championship. Both games feature a great deal of intrigue — but how can you make the most money from your wagers on these classic tilts? Take a look at our betting advice — as well as all of our NFL betting props for this round of the playoffs.

2017 NFL Conference Championship Sharp Betting Picks

New England will cover — but that game will stay under

The weather forecast for Boston on Sunday is a high of 43…but a low of 35 as the sun goes down. This is the evening game, which means most of this contest will take place under the lights in Foxborough. As the temperatures glide down into the upper thirties, the forecast also says a 30% chance of scattered showers, which could make for a slippery track.

The game features the top scoring defense in the league (in New England) against a bruising Pittsburgh defense that can slam the door against opposing running games but can give up some big passes down the field against their secondary. Tom Brady was able to exploit gaps in the Houston defense in the second half of the divisional round game, despite an agile Texan pass rush. That was a day game, though, with temperatures in the upper forties. As the night gets colder, expect the game to slow down and develop more of a grinding feel. I foresee a score along the lines of Patriots 27, Steelers 20 — which gives the Pats a cover but also keeps the game total under that gambling tally of 51. I just see both teams grinding out a slugfest much of the game, with the Patriots pulling away in the fourth quarter.

Expect a track meet at the Georgia Dome

Let’s see. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones get to lead the Atlanta offense against a Green Bay defense that is missing key players in the secondary. That means that there will be yards aplenty for the Falcons’ passing attack, and it should lead to plenty of points, as long as Atlanta can avoid some of the dumb mistakes that doomed Dallas in the first half of last week’s divisional round (Seriously — when’s the last time you saw as boneheaded a penalty as Brice Butler going into the huddle and then leaving the field, to draw a 15-yard penalty that erased a 22-yard completion down the field and doomed a drive? Not since Vontaze Burfict turned a Bengal win into a loss with a stupid unnecessary roughness penalty and then Pacman Jones gave the Steelers 15 more yards by opening his mouth. Just saying.) . On the other side of the ball, the Atlanta defense has stiffened significantly since the middle of the regular season, but this is Aaron Rodgers we’re talking about — whose 36-yard dart while running to his left against Dallas put the Packers in range for that game-winning field goal. The over/under total is 61 points in this game, but I think the total could push 70 or 80, with both teams playing offense at video game speed.