This year’s Big Game is almost upon us, and there’s just one remaining obstacle that contending teams must tackle. That obstacle, it turns out, happens to be one of the most fun weekends on the NFL football calendar. The NFL conference championships will determine who will face off in the Big Game, but you don’t have to wait for the teams to be announced to start thinking about who you’re going to pick on the biggest Sunday in sports.
To help you get your head in the game, we’re discussing the league’s last four contenders and who we think could make it all the way. Let’s take a look!
American Football Conference (AFC) Teams
The Kansas City Chiefs were the preseason favorites to come out of the AFC and win it all, but they’re almost an afterthought at this point. Instead, everyone is talking about the Tennessee Titans, who the Chiefs will be playing in the AFC finals. The Titans are coming off of two extremely impressive wins over the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. They were underdogs in both games, and they’ll be underdogs once again in the AFC title game, with the line opening at 7.5 points as the Titans head into Kansas City.
The Titans have gotten to this point thanks to a superb defense and a seemingly unstoppable running game led by Derrick Henry. Ryan Tannehill hasn’t had to do much as the Titans’ quarterback (aside from handing the ball off to Henry), and things could become very difficult for Tennessee if that changes. Given that the Chiefs defense came alive during the second half of the season in a big way, a game riding on Tannehill’s shoulders would be very problematic for the Titans.
National Football Conference (NFC) Teams
In the NFC, the top two seeds – the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers – did what they needed to do in the divisional round, dispatching their opponents with little difficulty. Now, these two teams face off with a trip to the Big Game on the line. Much like the Titans, the 49ers have advanced this far on the strength of an aggressive defense and a tireless run game. Unlike the Titans, though, the 49ers have a difference-maker at quarterback with former Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo. However, Garoppolo and his 49ers will have their hands full with the Packers, who are 7-point underdogs but have the ultimate equalizer in Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers might not be what he once was, but he’s been in this spot before and has come through on multiple occasions. This may be a flawed Packers team, but Rodgers can certainly help anyone looking to cash in. A +260 money line doesn’t hurt either.
NFL Championship Predictions
So, who are the best football picks to win these conference championships and move on to the Big Game? The Titans have been incredible this postseason, and it’s hard to see anyone beating them. However, the Chiefs have shown that they can respond to adversity, coming back from a 24-point deficit to wallop the Texans the rest of the way in the divisional round. Look for the Chiefs to take the AFC and move on to the Big Game, where they’ll likely face the 49ers.
As for who we think can snag this year’s Lombardi Trophy? The Chiefs certainly learned from coming up short last year, and they’ve proven that they can win in difficult situations in the playoffs. Look for Kansas City to win and make conservative bettors happy with their NFL picks this February.