Which Teams Will Contest the NFC and AFC Championship Games?
There are just eight teams remaining in the NFL that could be declared the Superbowl LIII Champions. After last weekend’s Wildcard games, which saw plenty of drama, this coming weekend sees the Divisional Playoff games, effectively two semifinals in the NFC and the AFC which will decide which two teams go forward to contest the Conference Championship game next weekend.
As with all the big American Football playoff weekends, it is a big weekend for betting on the NFL and as such, we are going to give you our tips for the four games being played this weekend, as well as who we think out of the eight remaining teams, stands the best chance of being the Superbowl Champions in February.[featured_offer id=”2416″]
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Let’s quickly review how Wildcard Weekend went before we preview the four games taking place this weekend in the NFL Playoffs.
Wildcard Weekend Review
Indianapolis Colts 21-7 Houston Texans
Solid play from Andrew Luck and a superb defensive rearguard action in the second half was the foundation for the Indianapolis Colts to earn a road victory over their AFC South Rivals, the Houston Texans. The Colts offensive line dealt well with. Houston’s defensive line to allow Andrew Luck the time to pick apart the Houston secondary.
Seattle Seahawks 22-24 Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott became the first Dallas Cowboy quarterback to rush and pass for a touchdown in a playoff game as the Cowboys hung on to record a narrow win over the Seattle Seahawks. In what was a very even contest, it was the Cowboys better third down efficiency which proved key in landing the victory, with the Seahawks only able to convert 15% of third downs.
Los Angeles Chargers 23-17 Baltimore Ravens
Michael Badgley was the unlikely hero for the Los Angeles Chargers as the kicker landed five out of five field goals to contribute 15 points in the Chargers win over the Ravens. The Ravens were lacklustre for most of the game and only got on the scoresheet in the 3rd quarter. Two fourth quarter touchdowns brought the Ravens back into it but a fumble by Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson with 28 seconds left saw Melvin Ingram claim the ball and the victory for the Chargers to deny the Ravens a chance to win the game.
Philadelphia Eagles 16-15 Chicago Bears
The Philadelphia Eagles up and down season rumbles on thanks to a last gasp blocked field goal. This was another even contest which ebbed and flowed and which went right down to the wire. With the Eagles leading by one, Chicago had a field goal with 10 seconds left of the game. Kicker Cody Parkey had nailed his previous three attempts but saw his match-winning attempt blocked by Hester, with the ball then hitting the post and the crossbar before bouncing back into the end zone to deny the Bears victory.
Divisional Playoff Preview
Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Colts have beaten two AFC South opponents to get this far and there’s no doubt Andrew Luck and his team have picked up their form over the last two games. However, they now travel to Arrowhead to take on the Kansas City Chiefs, a team with a troubled playoff past, but with new hope following the stellar season of rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs offense is hugely dynamic and while they are the top seeds left in the AFC, losing just four games all season long, they do have a history of underperforming in the playoffs and this Colts team, which has found its best form of the season at the right time will give them a severe test.
That said, I think that Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes will be the driving forces behind this Kansas City team and in what is likely to be a white-hot atmosphere, I am backing the Chiefs to come through and claim the win.
Tip – This is a game that has plenty of potential for points, so back the Over 57 points option with bet365 at 10/11.
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams
These teams last met last season and shared 65 points, with the Rams coming out on top as the 35-30 winners. This game will be played in Los Angeles though and as such, I think that gives the Rams a much stronger chance of going through.
The Cowboys did well against the Seahawks to narrowly earn the victory but that was a game between two sides who were well matches in all areas of the field. While the Rams may have some issues on defense, I feel their offense is a much more potent one than Seattle’s and that could be the Cowboy’s downfall.
The Cowboys defense hasn’t been the best this season and they only average 21 points per game, that’s more than ten fewer than the Rams. The Rams defense though is porous but they do tend to outscore teams on their way to victory and that is precisely what I see happening at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday evening.
Tip – Take the Rams to win this with a -7.0 spread bet at 20/23 with bet365 Sport.
Los Angeles Chargers @ New England Patriots
For a good while now the Los Angeles Chargers have been many experts pick as potential Superbowl winners. With Philip Rivers enjoying a renaissance at quarterback and the explosive running of Melvin Gordon, backed up by a strong defence, the Chargers went 12-4 during the season to claim a Wildcard berth behind the Chiefs in the AFC East.
The Patriots have been somewhat hot and cold this season, pairing good performances with some poor results despite amassing an 11-5 record. Homefield advantage could be crucial here, but Rivers is an experienced quarterback and with Gordon running so freely, even if the temperature does drop in New England, I still fancy the Chargers to cause this ordinary Patriots defence plenty of problems.
This is a game where I expect the Chargers to take the lead but the Patriots to hang doggedly in there. I can’t see there being more than one score between the teams but for me, the Chargers will just about claim the win.
Tip – I’m backing the Chargers to win this one with a +4.0 spread at 10/11 with bet365 Sport
Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints
Given how poor they were at times this season, it is testament to the Eagles battliung spirit that they remain in the hunt to defend their Superbowl crown, but I think that their journey is likely to come to an end on Sunday in Louisiana.
While the Eagles have been inconsistent for the majority of the season, the Saints have generally been the most consistent performers in the league. Sean Payton and Drew Brees in tandem have once again been the foundations of a team for whom a Superbowl victory is a real possibility.
Nick Foles always does well in the post-season but I think even he may struggle here against what is potentially the best all round team in the NFL and as such, I think with home advantage, this is a game that the Saints will win.
Tip – The Eagles may be Superbowl Champions but I think this is the Saints game. Back them to win at -7.5 spread with bet365.
Who Wins the Superbowl?
At the moment, the New Orleans Saints are the 12/5 favourites to win the Superbowl with the LA Rams and Kansas City Chiefs both at 4/1, New England at 11/2, the Chargers are 10/1, the Colts 12/1 with the Eagles and Cowboys both 18/1.
For me, I think the LA Rams will make the Superbowl this year, just pipping the Saints to the NFC Championship, while I feel that the Kansas City Chiefs will earn the spot in the AFC. However, of the two, I feel that it will be the Rams who claim victory in Superbowl LIII in February.