With only two games on the docket, this week’s picks will include prop bets in addition to the games.
The confidence meter is being abandoned for the remainder of the season as these picks are meant to be jinxes. (Sorry, y’all.)
No. 6 Tennessee Titans at No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs
Titans 31, Chiefs 27
The Titans have been exceptional on offense and defense during the playoffs. They have been clinical in scoring touchdowns instead of settling for field goals. If the Titans can turn one or two Kansas City touchdowns into field goals, the Titans will advance to their second Super Bowl. The moneyline for the Titans (at the time of writing) is +275.
Ryan Tannehill under 219.5 passing yards:
This is strictly based on the gameplan. The Titans will run the ball, and it is unlikely for Tannehill to throw the ball more than 20 times, barring a large deficit.
Patrick Mahomes over 308.5 passing yards:
Betting the under on Patrick Mahomes seems like a bad decision.
Last week, the Chiefs hit the over by themselves. While the Titans have hit the under in both of their playoff games, this game should be a more end-to-end affair.
Derrick Henry over 109.5 rushing yards:
If Henry does not get to 110 rushing yards, the Titans would have to be getting obliterated. That is not going to happen.
Tyreek Hill over 5.5 catches:
Hill was not the focal point in Kansas City’s 51-7 run last week, but he is the most dynamic weapon in football. He will likely be used early and often to slice the Titans.
Tyreek Hill over 100 receiving yards:
Doubling up on Hill, he will likely have a showcase performance against the Titans. It might not end in a win, but Hill could post numbers in the ballpark of eight catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.
No. 2 Green Bay Packers at No. 1 San Francisco 49ers
Packers 24, 49ers 19
Aaron Rodgers is a better quarterback than Jimmy Garoppolo. While other positions matter, Green Bay will rattle Garoppolo with pressure, forcing him into an untimely interception or two. With short fields, the Packers will operate with efficiency and pull out a close win. A win would send the Packers to their sixth Super Bowl appearance.
I have my doubts about the Packers allowing yards, but they have been a solid example of bend-but-don’t-break as a defense. They will likely force field goals rather than touchdowns, preserving the under.
Jimmy Garoppolo under 244.5 passing yards:
Similar to the Ryan Tannehill pick, Garoppolo will likely not be asked to throw the ball enough to get to 245 yards.
Jimmy Garoppolo under 31.5 pass attempts:
This pick will cause some nail-biting, but both teams should commit to the run enough for neither quarterback to surpass 30 pass attempts.
Aaron Rodgers under 241.5 passing yards:
For the third time, the selection is based on the gameplan. The offense will likely flow through Aaron Jones, and Rodgers will be asked to be efficient, not prolific.
Aaron Jones over 1.5 total touchdowns:
Jones is a touchdown machine, and I think he finds the end zone twice on Sunday.
Aaron Jones to lead the week in rushing yards (+350):
Similar to the double Tyreek Hill picks, doubling up on Jones seems like a logical play. The Packers are interested in staying in the game, and the 49ers can be exploited more on the ground than through the air. It is difficult to bet against a red-hot Derrick Henry, but Jones could slip away with the week’s highest rushing total if Titans-Chiefs turns into a shootout.