NFL Conference Championship Betting Picks & Predictions
Divisional Round Recap: After posting a 2-1 ATS record Wild Card Weekend, I reversed that mark in the Divisional Round, dropping both overs on Saturday before hitting the Chiefs (-10) over the Texans. Of course, it took a Kansas City rally from down 24-0, but it was a “W” I badly needed following an 0-2 Saturday.
The losing weekend dropped my record to 35-29-2 on the year. While profitable, this season has certainly been a grind. After playing every game last postseason, I vowed to be more selective with my picks during the NFL playoffs. While I lean towards the over in the NFC Championship Game, I’m sticking with my favorite play this weekend as my lone selection for Sunday.
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- Spread: Chiefs -7
- O/U: 52.5
- Time: 3:05 p.m. ET, Sunday, January 19
Let’s start off with the regular season, where Henry rushed 303 times for 1,540 yards (5.1 YPC average) and 16 touchdowns. In the postseason, he rushed for more yards (377) in any two-game span in postseason history. He also has the most consecutive games—regular or postseason—with 180 yards rushing at three.
Now let’s get to the Chiefs. Henry has averaged 7.3 yards on 55 career rushes against Kansas City, including the playoffs. In those three games, the Titans are 3-0 and Henry has scored five times while averaging 134.0 rushing yards per contest. Those numbers include a 188-yard rushing effort in Week 10 this season, as well as a 156-yard rushing effort in the 2017 Wild Card round.
Making matters more complicated for the Chiefs is that, as of this writing, defensive linemen Chris Jones (calf) still hasn’t practiced. Jones missed last weekend’s win over the Texans and doesn’t appear to be close to 100 percent. If he’s unable to suit up this Sunday, Kansas City’s run defense will be without a key cog. Even if the Chiefs weren’t hosting a pure rushing beast in Henry, this would be a problem.
The Titans have won both of their postseason games in 2019, despite quarterback Ryan Tannehill being held under 100 passing yards in both contests. That doesn’t mean Tannehill handcuffs Tennessee’s offense. In fact, he actually matches up well with a Kansas City defense that plays press coverage more than any team in the NFL. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Tannehill has averaged 8.3 yards per dropback since Week 7 when defenses have pressed one or both cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage. He’s thrown 16 touchdown passes over that span and owns a 74 QBR in that situation, which ranks fourth-best in the NFL. Before Henry rushed the Titans into the AFC title game, Tannehill was the focal point of the team after saving Tennessee’s season. Coupled with A.J. Brown, he’s capable of making big plays.
Meanwhile, I’m not going to wax poetic about how the Titans are going to shut down Patrick Mahomes and the dynamic KC offense. That’s a stretch, even after Tennessee’s defense took down future Hall of Famer Tom Brady and likely MVP Lamar Jackson the past two weeks. That said, Mike Vrabel is a disciple of Bill Belichick, who has been the best when it comes to forcing opponents to play left-handed (i.e take something away and force a team to go to its next-best option offensively).
My best guess into how Vrabel and DC Dean Pees will defend Mahomes and Co. on Sunday is what Belichick did last year in the AFC title game: Put a corner and a safety on receiver Tyreek Hill, then attempt to go single coverage on Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins. Will it work? Nothing works for four full quarters against the Chiefs, but the Titans should be able to design a game plan to at least slow Kansas City down.
The Titans are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games versus the Chiefs, which includes a 5-1 ATS mark in their last six games at Arrowhead. The road team is also 8-2 at the window in the last 10 meetings. Tennessee might not pull off another upset, but I like the Titans to give the Chiefs hell regardless.
NFL CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY PREDICTION: TENNESSEE Titans +7
Looking for more picks? Check out Sharp Angle Sports for access to Anthony's CFB selections and exclusive NFL selections from SuperContest Winner James Salinas, who is a documented 63% ATS over 320 NFL selections since 2015.
2019 NFL ATS Betting Record
- Week 1: 1-2
- Week 2: 1-2
- Week 3: 3-1
- Week 4: 3-1
- Week 5: 2-1
- Week 6: 1-2
- Week 7: 2-1
- Week 8: 1-3
- Week 9: 1-3
- Week 10: 2-2
- Week 11: 1-2-1
- Week 12: 3-1
- Week 13: 2-1
- Week 14: 3-0
- Week 15: 1-3
- Week 16: 1-1-1
- Week 17: 4-0
- Wild Card Weekend: 2-1
- Divisional Round: 1-2
Season Total: 35-29-2 (55%)