Welcome to the Conference Championship Round of the NFL Playoffs!
The Action Network's Chief Content Officer Chad Millman has his pick and analysis for the Conference Championship Round of the NFL Playoffs, including a Chiefs-Ravens preview, Money Line Parlay, and a Best Bet for the weekend.
Jump ahead to each segment:
Chad says the AFC Championship game is the one that's dividing the betting world.
The Ravens are -3.5 favorites at home, and when looking at each team's strengths, the Ravens' defense is strongest where the Chiefs are most effective: in the middle of the field.
Plus, the Ravens' rushing attack is the league's best, and it is coming up against a Chiefs defense that allowed 182 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns last week against the Buffalo Bills.
There's a lot to like about the Ravens in this matchup. But the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes, and as an underdog in his career, he is 9-1-1 against the spread and 8-3 straight-up.
The potential for more Mahomes magic is the main thing giving bettors reservations about the Ravens.
Chad says that betting on the NFL Championship MVP before the two teams are finalized is a good way to find some value.
With the fourth-shortest odds in that market at +500, Chad thinks that Patrick Mahomes could be worth a shot since his odds to win the award will never be longer if they win on Sunday. If you like the Chiefs to beat the Ravens, this could be a smart play.
There are only two Ravens players - Lamar Jackson and Zay Flowers - among the 12 players with the shortest odds. Jackson has the shortest odds at +240, but if you like the Ravens this weekend, Flowers at +7500 is a value pick especially since the last two non-quarterbacks to win the award were wide receivers.
The San Francisco 49ers host the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship, and Chad likes the Niners to win this one in what could amount to a bounce-back for Brock Purdy after an underwhelming Divisional Round performance against the Green Bay Packers.
The Lions secondary has been shaky all season, so Chad will take the Over on Purdy's passing yards prop. He also likes Jahmyr Gibbs to find the end zone.
Chad's Same Game Parlay: 49ers ML, B. Prudy Over Pass Yards, J. Gibbs Anytime TD
There are not too many options for the Money Line Parlay with only two games this weekend.
Chad is going for the favorites in both games.
Chad's Money Line Parlay: Ravens ML, 49ers ML
When Deebo Samuel has been on the field for the 49ers this season, they are 12-1 and win by an average of 18 points. The only time they won by less than 10 points was back in Week 2 in an away game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Samuel is trending toward playing after suffering a shoulder injury in the Divisional Round, and Chad thinks he is the X-factor, especially when it comes to attracting attention away from his teammates and getting himself open.
Chad's Best Bet: SF 49ers -7.0
Odds mentioned in this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.