SGP Challenge – AFC and NFC Championship Games: Beat the Huddle Trader

January 26, 2024

SGP Challenge – AFC and NFC Championship Games: Beat the Huddle Trader

We are down to the final three NFL games of the 2023-2024 NFL season. All four divisional games are wrapped up and we have the AFC and NFC championship games this weekend, followed by the Super Bowl in two weeks!

In the AFC Championship game, we’re getting a juicy matchup between the #1 seeded Baltimore Ravens and the #3 seeded Kansas City Chiefs. We’re also getting a super #1/#3 matchup in the NFC Championship game, as we’re seeing the San Francisco 49ers get pitted against the Detroit Lions.

The Ravens are flying high right now after demolishing the Houston Texans by a score of 34-10 in the Divisional Round. Lamar Jackson continues to impress, and this offense is clicking in ways we haven’t seen since 2019. Mind you, this iteration (led by new OC Todd Monken) also features far more weapons, including rookie WR Zay Flowers and breakout second-year TE Isaiah Likely. The Ravens’ bread and butter is their defense though, and its loaded with star players like LBs Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen, second-year DB Kyle Hamilton, and DT Justin Madubuike.

The Chiefs are unlikely to be fazed going into Baltimore, as they have the best QB on the planet in Patrick Mahomes. TE Travis Kelce, more in the news for his girlfriend (Taylor Swift) than his football as of late, remains one of the best postseason performers of all-time. The Chiefs also have Andy Reid’s offensive wizardry and a breakout rookie WR of their own in Rashee Rice. This is also the best Kansas City defense that Mahomes has ever had.

Jake's Picks

I’m going big with a five-leg parlay with quite a few interesting variables. For starters, I’m taking the Ravens moneyline. Yes, I’m biased as a Ravens fan and yes, I want them to win! I’m also taking Odell Beckham Jr. O23.5 receiving yards. He’s been quite as of late, but he has the reputation of being a clutch playoff performer and an overall stud when the lights are shining bright – look no further than his 4/97/1 performance in a crucial overtime win against the LA Rams. I think both QBs will have their moments to shine, as I’m taking both Mahomes and Jackson O1.5 passing touchdowns. Lastly, I think Mahomes will look to Kelce as his safety net early and often, leading to me betting on Kelce’s O6.5 receptions in this game. 

For the NFC Championship game, the 49ers are heavier favorites. This is their seventh NFC championship appearance since 2011. Meanwhile, this is the first time since 1957 that the Detroit Lions have won multiple playoff games in the same postseason. This matchup will feature an elite offense (DET) going against an incredible defense (SF). For all the hullabaloo about the Lions offensive firepower (ranging from QB Jared Goff to rookie RB Jahmyr Gibbs to top-5 WR Amon-Ra St. Brown), the 49ers have a deep and talented collection of defensive stars to counter. Fred Warner is perhaps the only linebacker in the NFL I’d take over the Ravens duo, and the 49ers have pass rushers galore (Nick Bosa, Chase Young, Javon Hargrave). 

So what am I going with for my bets? Another crazy longshot, because why not?!

For starters, I’m rolling with the Lions. They’ve been on fire recently, dispatching the Rams (who were a brutal challenger in the Wild Card round) and the Buccaneers in the playoffs. The 49ers, if you’re asking me, probably would’ve lost to the Packers if not for a 4th quarter meltdown by Green Bay that involved a missed kick by Anders Carlson. Brock Purdy looked human. The SF Defense looked mortal. But they won. Regardless, I’m rolling with the Lions. Similar to my AFC bet, I’m taking both Purdy and Goff O1.5 passing touchdowns. Here’s where things get fun. I’m also taking the over on receptions for Christian McCaffrey (O4.5 receptions), George Kittle (O4.5 receptions), AND Amon-Ra St. Brown (O7.5 receptions). That’s a +4900 longshot.

Domagoj's Picks

AFC Championship game is something that everybody has hoped to see since the start of the season. Two great QB, great coaches and massive offenses. And, massive defense from the Baltimore side only

Although everybody believes in Mahomes, his genius and capability to make impossible possible I think this is just not his game. Lamar is hot, Harborough is a great coach and Ravens want to prove that they are unfairly underestimated. This games should be real fireworks from both sides. So my pick is over in total, talented offenses and two great QBs- what ore can you ask. In this kind of games when you have those kind of players from both sides they compete not only to win but also to prove individually and beat the other one. Thats why this guy will not hold back.

Lamar's favorite target is healthy and ready to play- Mark Andrews. He is a great tight end and I think he will be a mismatch for Kansas defense, specially in the end zone. My second player pick is also a Baltimore one- Gus Edwards, running back. Kansas has history of having problem with rushing defense and now they are facing a dual threat QB and running back(s) who are having a great season. Edwards is their first RB and he will give Kansas defense a “run for their money”. In my opinion line 41,5 is too low for him.

So for my last pick I had to put something on Patrick Mahomes. With Humphrey still questionable while I am writing this he will target his WR and TE. Also, Baltimore will put a lot of pressure on him so this is a ideal situation for him to try to make his no look or other trick throws.

The NFC Championship game is something completely different. The 49ers are a team that is created to go all the way, while Detroit is a great team but not near as great as 49ers. Also, one big advantage here is the home field. While in AFC game both teams play outdoors, here we have an indoor team that comes outdoors. This is why I trust the 49ers here and I think this will be a much easier game for them then the one they had a week before against Green Bay.

Jared Goff is trying to make it to the Super Bowl again but this time it will be much harder. He is a good QB but not the game changer. Also, this year he has 12 Interceptions and playing against one of the top defenses in the NFL you need to be at your best. The 49ers defense will put a lot of pressure on him and sack him possibly more than 2 times in this game. 

If he will target someone and try to get the ball out of his hands it will be Amon Ra St. Brown. He is playing great this season and surely he will be open more than a few times. This is why I will try my luck with him.

Detroit does not have a clear running back situation and they are rotating them a lot. This is why I took David Montgomery under. 49ers rushing defense is not great but I think they will stop him.

Since the stake in this game is huge and it is the final ticket for Super Bowl both teams will try hard to get it. If any of the team is trailing in the last quarter or at the half they will try everything to win it. This is a great opportunity for crazy 4th downs and interceptions. So I think the second half will go over in points.

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