NFL Championship Sunday: Kern picks Titans vs Chiefs and Packers vs 49ers, throws in prop bets with Patrick Mahomes, George Kittle and more
OK, it’s finally time to find out if Andy Reid can make it back to another Super Bowl, 16 years after his first trip. Or if Aaron Rodgers can get to his second Supe, a decade later. Or is the Titans can defy the odds at least one more time. Or if the 49ers can make it to the ultimate stage a year after winning all of four times.
It’s the NFL’s championship Sunday, where both home teams, the Niners and Chiefs, are favored by the same 7.5 points over the Packers and Titans, respectively. Last year, both of the road teams won these games outright. And the Chiefs were one of those losers, at home in overtime to the defending champions, where Andy has of course had his issues in this spot for whatever the reasons.
I’m going to start out by playing a two-team teaser. I’ll take the Chiefs -1.5, with the Pack at +13.5. I respect what Tennessee has done in winning at New England and Baltimore (by 16 no less). But I just think this is finally Andy’s time. Hard to see his team losing this one again in back-to-back years, even though his Eagles certainly did way back when. And I’m not saying it will be easy. But I don’t think they’ll fall behind again, or at least not by that much so early. I guess we’ll see. And the Titans did beat KC by three in Nashville months ago. I’m hoping they fall behind and have to play catch-up instead of dictating the way they want the game to proceed.
As for the Pack, they got crushed in San Fran not that long ago. And while something similar to that could certainly happen again, I don’t see it. Maybe I’m giving Rodgers too much credit, even though he’s maybe not the guy he was not that long ago. I just see this one being close. Hope I’m right.
As for the over-unders, to me that kind of depends on which sides you like. So going by that logic I would probably lean toward the over of 46.5 in the NFC and the over of 51.5 in the other conference.
There are also some interesting props, again depending upon how you think the games are going to unfold.
One I kind of like is Patrick Mahomes to rush for 30-plus yards and the Chiefs to win, at +245. Hey, Mahomes can run a little. One or two good scrambles could get him in the vicinity. The over-under for Mahomes’ touchdown passes, by the way, is 2.5, if that does anything for you. His counterpart, Ryan Tannehill, is 1.5.
How about Terrell Suggs to have a sack, at nearly 2-1? Or maybe Sammy Watkins to have 75 yards receiving to go with a KC win, at 2-1? Just saying. The possibilities are enticing.
In the NFC, Jimmy Garoppolo’s yardage number is 246, to Rodgers’ 238. For what it’s worth, I might try Davante Adams to score the first TD, at +950. Or my man George Kittle, one of my favorite players, at +650. If you really want to get nuts, how about Garoppolo +4200 and/or Rodgers at +4100? Hey, you never know. It could come down to a sneak, and all you need to do is put a buck or two on it just in case.
I might put a little on this one: Rodgers to throw for two TDs and Green Bay to win, at +520. Of course that means the underdog has to win outright, but again, you don’t have to put much on it to get back something decent. If you think GB can actually get it all the way done and not just cover.
Oops, almost forgot. For the first TD scorer in the AFC, Derrick Henry at +550 could be worth a look. Travis Kelce, who scored three times last week, is +600. Mahomes is +2400, and Tannehill +2700. I can throw a buck or two on both of those too.
OK, enough. Happy hunting. See you in two weeks for Supey Dupey 54 (please don’t ask me to do the Roman numeral thing, but I think it’s LIV), where the Prop stuff will really get goofy. I promise to come up with a few that appear to be the most attractive. I’m already working on that national anthem research, but historically I’ve been known to lean to the over. And it’s served me well. See you then.