NFL Experts Picks and Predictions for Conference Championship

caleb tallman
By:
Caleb Tallman
01/24/2024
NFL
NFL 2024 | Conference Championship

The AFC and NFC Championship Games are upon us, setting the stage for thrilling showdowns with Super Bowl berths at stake. In the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens, led by the dynamic Lamar Jackson, face off against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs, commanded by the incredible Patrick Mahomes. Both teams have showcased their prowess throughout the season and are determined to seize the opportunity for Super Bowl glory. 

Meanwhile, in the NFC, the Detroit Lions, powered by quarterback Jared Goff, collide with the San Francisco 49ers, featuring offensive juggernauts like Christian McCaffrey and George Kittle. Expect intense battles and high-stakes football in these championship clashes make things interesting for sports bettors this Sunday.

Odds provided by Fanduel

GamesAway OddsHome OddsInfo (EST)
Chiefs @ Ravens+166-198M&T Bank Stadium, Sunday 3:00pm
Lions @ 49ers+265-330Levi's Stadium, Sunday 6:30pm

Kansas City Chiefs (11-6) vs Baltimore Ravens (13-4)

The AFC Championship showdown between the Baltimore Ravens (14-4) and the Kansas City Chiefs (13-6) at M&T Bank Stadium is set to be an epic clash of two football powerhouses. Both teams have had impressive seasons and are now on the cusp of earning a ticket to Super Bowl Sunday.

The Ravens, led by star quarterback Lamar Jackson, have been a force to be reckoned with. Jackson, with his dual-threat abilities, has had a spectacular campaign, making a strong case for his second MVP award. In the divisional round, Baltimore showcased their resilience by scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter to secure a convincing 34-10 victory over the Houston Texans. Jackson's performance, combining 152 passing yards and 100 rushing yards, was nothing short of sensational.

On the flip side, the Chiefs, the defending champions, have continued to be a dominant force. In their recent divisional round clash, they defeated the Buffalo Bills 27-24 in a thrilling contest. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes displayed his prowess, throwing for 215 yards and two touchdowns, with Travis Kelce as his primary target. The Chiefs' journey to their sixth conference championship game has  been marked by their determination and offensive firepower.

Betting Tips:

Lamar vs. Mahomes: Keep a close eye on the quarterback duel between Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. Both are capable of game-changing plays.

Turnovers: Turnovers could be pivotal. The team that protects the football better may gain the upper hand.

Total Points: Consider the over/under line of 44.5 points at Caesars Sportsbook. Given the offensive talent on both sides, this game has the potential to be high-scoring.

Kansas City Chiefs

The defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, continue to be a powerhouse in the NFL. Led by star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs boast a high-octane offense capable of explosive plays. In the divisional round, they showcased their determination by defeating the Buffalo Bills 27-24. Mahomes' ability to make plays with his arm and legs, combined with the Chiefs' solid defense, makes them a formidable opponent. Their journey to the conference championship has been marked by resilience and a desire to defend their title. The Chiefs are looking to secure another Super Bowl appearance and cement their legacy as one of the NFL's elite teams.

Kansas City Chiefs Injury Report:

  • Kadarius Toney (WR) - Questionable
  • Wanya Morris (OT) - Questionable
  • Derrick Nnadi (DT) - Questionable
  • Joe Thuney (G) - Questionable
  • Willie Gay (LB) - Out
  • Mike Edwards (S) - Out
  • Skyy Moore (WR) - Injured Reserve

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens, led by electrifying quarterback Lamar Jackson, have been a dominant force throughout the season. Jackson's dual-threat abilities make him a nightmare for opposing defenses, and he's been a strong contender for his second MVP award. The Ravens' offense has shown explosiveness, and they displayed their resilience in the divisional round with a 34-10 victory over the Houston Texans. Their defense, ranked first in points allowed per game (16.5), is formidable. With a balanced roster and Jackson's playmaking, the Ravens are determined to secure a Super Bowl berth and prove themselves as contenders.

Baltimore Ravens Injury Report:

  • Mark Andrews (TE) - Expected to play
  • Tylan Wallace (WR) - Questionable
  • Del'Shawn Phillips (LB) - Questionable
  • Marlon Humphrey (CB) - Questionable

 

SportsbookPickOdds
FanDuel SportsbookChiefs +3.5Chiefs -105
DraftKings SportsbookChiefs ML+170
Caesars casino logoOver 44.5 points-110

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Detroit Lions (12-5) vs San Francisco 49ers (12-5)

The 2024 NFC Championship Game is set to be a thrilling showdown between the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers, with a Super Bowl 58 spot on the line. The Lions, coming off an impressive victory against the Buccaneers, are determined to secure their first-ever Super Bowl appearance after clinching the NFC North title this season. On the other side, the 49ers, with a storied history of 19 conference championship appearances, are the top-seeded team in the NFL playoffs and will enjoy home-field advantage at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET, and the 49ers are favored by seven points, with an over/under of 50.5 points at FanDuel Sportsbook.

As for tips, keep an eye on Lions' quarterback Jared Goff's exceptional performance in the playoffs, maintaining a high completion rate and controlling the passing game effectively. Meanwhile, the 49ers' offense, led by Christian McCaffrey and supported by talented receivers like Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle, poses a formidable threat. The game could feature a high-scoring affair, so consider the over/under when making your wagers.

Betting Tips:

Quarterback Efficiency: Goff's accuracy and ball control vs. Purdy's game management are crucial factors. Analyze their performance for player-specific prop bets or team totals.

Running Back Impact: Gibbs and McCaffrey's dominance can sway the game. Explore bets on rushing stats and touchdowns based on their performance.

Red Zone Effectiveness: Watch red zone efficiency closely. Lions excelled in regular season, while 49ers have a potent red zone offense. Consider bets on red zone outcomes.

Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions have surged to the NFC Championship Game, led by quarterback Jared Goff, who's been impeccable in the playoffs. Goff's precision passing and ability to avoid turnovers have been instrumental. The Lions' offense, known for its scoring prowess during the regular season, maintains its consistency in the postseason, with an efficient red zone conversion rate. Their defense, while not the stingiest, has done enough to complement the offense. Detroit, driven by its newfound playoff success, seeks to secure its first-ever Super Bowl appearance.

Detroit Lions Injury Report:

  • Alex Anzalone (LB) - Questionable
  • Kalif Raymond (WR) - Questionable
  • James Houston (LB) - Questionable
  • Jonah Jackson (G) - Doubtful
  • Frank Ragnow (C) - Questionable
  • Brock Wright (TE) - Doubtful

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers enter the NFC Championship Game with an impressive blend of offensive firepower and a resilient defense. Quarterback Brock Purdy manages the game effectively, while star running back Christian McCaffrey spearheads a potent ground attack. The 49ers have a diverse receiving corps, with Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle offering big-play potential. Defensively, they're solid, capable of creating turnovers and stifling opponents in key situations. The 49ers, a storied franchise, aim to add another championship to their legacy by navigating this critical postseason clash.

San Francisco 49ers Injury Report:

  • Deebo Samuel (WR) - Questionable
  • Clelin Ferrell (DE) - Injured Reserve

SportsbookPickOdds
FanDuel Sportsbook49ers -7-105
DraftKings Sportsbook49ers ML-325
Caesars casino logoOver 50.5 points-105

A huge sports fan; locally, many know me as the guy who does the PA for our high school football team on Friday nights. Having grown up in Michigan, I am a sports fan of all the Detroit teams, and at the college level, I love Michigan State sports. I have covered sports betting, iGaming and casino industry news for many well known websites.