Last weekend we saw the four NFL Divisional Playoff games take place and there was plenty of drama in each. From those games, four teams have moved on to the Conference Championship games this weekend.
Here they will face off for a chance to play for the Lombardi Trophy at Superbowl LV in Tampa, Florida on February 7.
The two games sees the top two seeds in each conference host the game and it promises to be a dynamic weekend starting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5) @ Green Bay Packers (1) in the NFC, followed by the Buffalo Bills (2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (1) in the AFC.
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Shortly, we will quickly preview both the games taking place in the NFL Conference Championship games this weekend, starting with the opening game in the NFC which will see two of the greatest ever quarterbacks in the history of the game, go head-to-head.
However, before that here is a quick roundup of last weekend’s Divisional Games which saw the four teams clinch their place in this week’s Conference Championship Games.
NFL Divisional Game Roundup
Baltimore Ravens 3 – 17 Buffalo Bills
A game that was in the balance until Bills cornerback Taron Johnson intercepted Lamar Jackson in the end zone as Baltimore tried to level the score at 10-10. Johnson then ran the ball back for a pick-six giving the Bills a 17-3 lead which they held on to to claim the victory.
Los Angeles Rams 18-32 Green Bay Packers
Led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay’s powerful offense was on song to inspire the win over a solid Rams side. Rodgers threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another to play a key role in securing Green Bay another tilt at the NFC title.
Cleveland Browns 17-22 Kansas City Chiefs
This game was overshadowed by a concussion to Patrick Mahomes that saw the Chiefs quarterback taken out of the game in the 3rd quarter. The Chiefs hung on to win with Chad Henne coming in to nervously see the Chiefs over the line with some dramatic plays to let them run out time.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-20 New Orleans Saints
Was this Drew Brees final game? A below par performance from the New Orleans quarterback saw him throw three interceptions as the Buccaneers, led by Tom Brady, avenged two Regular season defeats by the Saints to claim a spot in the AFC Championship game next weekend.
NFL Conference Championship Games
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5) @ Green Bay Packers (1)
This game will be pitched as Tom Brady, the six-time Superbowl winner and Greatest Of All Time according to some, taking on Aaron Rodgers, rated by many as the most talented quarterback in the game at present and likely the NFL’s MVP for the current season.
The teams have already met this season, with the Bucs coming out on top 38-10 in Florida, handing Green Bay their biggest defeat of the season.
However, on the flip side of that, in cold weather games at Lambeau Field, the Buccaneers are 0-8 against the Packers. This is the worst record of any team in the NFL in cold weather games and with this game being in midwinter at Lambeau, that could be a huge factor.
Tom Brady though is used to cold weather games from his time in England, so this Bucs side may have a bit more steel in the snow than the Packers have been used to.
However, the game is not just about the quarterbacks as both teams will try to establish a dominant run game which will not only act as a potent weapon, but also free up the passing game, especially if the weather proves to be windy, cold, inclement or all three.
This should be a cracking game and while many feel Tampa’s name is etched on the trophy due to the Tom Brady factors, I just think backing against Green Bay at home is too difficult. I’m taking the Packers to win this one at 20/37.
Sunday 24th January – 23:40 UK Time
Buffalo Bills (2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (1)
For me, and pretty much everyone with an interest in the game, it is what happens this week with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes five-step Neurological testing that will likely be the decisive factor in this game.
If Mahomes concussion rules him out of the game, the Chiefs chances of winning this game plummet with Chad Henne under centre, so much so that if Mahomes is not fit, I would strongly back the Buffalo Bills to win this game (5/4).
However, if Mahomes plays, given that this Kansas City offense is set up to take advantage of his particular skill set and abilities, and assuming that he is genuinely 100% fit to go, then I think the Chiefs will run out winners of the game relatively comfortably (20/29).
As such, it may be prudent to wait until you have confirmation whether Mahomes plays or not before placing your bet this week, so crucial is his fitness to the Chiefs chances of success.
It should be noted here that this is no disrespect to a fantastic Buffalo team, who even if Mahomes is fit for the Chiefs, I feel will push the Chiefs very hard in this game regardless. Josh Allen has proven to be a superb quarterback and Stefon Diggs is arguably the best receiver in the NFL at present.
The thing for the Bills though is without Mahomes, this is a strong Chiefs team but a beatable one. With Mahomes, that Chiefs offense is pretty much unstoppable, even for as decent defense as the Bills have.
My gut feeling here is that Mahomes will be declared fit and will play, but I would advise you to wait on that news until later on in the week before placing your bet.
What Is The Superbowl Betting Now?
Patrick Mahomes injury and potential to miss this weekend’s game with the Buffalo Bills has thrown the To Win Outright market for Superbowl LV into disarray. Instead of being the hot favourites, the Chiefs are now just 2/1 to win the Superbowl for the second year in a row, just ahead of the Green Bay Packers who are 21/10.
The Bills are third favourites at 16/5 with the Buccaneers at 17/4. However, if Mahomes is ruled out from the game, you can expect the Chiefs to drift still further while the Bills, Packers and Buccaneers odds will all likely shorten.
Given that this injury has created such a volatile market, it could be wise to wait a little while before placing your bet. However, if you think Mahomes will recover enough to play, then snap up the 2/1 on the Chiefs now as that price will not stay for long if he is confirmed as fit and eligible to play against the Bills this weekend.