The Final Four is set. After a wild weekend of action, we have just two games remaining before the Super Bowl, which feels pretty surreal, given how quickly these playoffs have moved along. The matchups are not what we thought they would be, despite chalk holding on the NFC side of the bracket.
Tennessee stormed through the door, a No. 6 seed making it to the AFC Championship Game, Jets and Packers advanced to their respective championship games. Tennessee will have its hands full with the Chiefs, who had the seas parted for them as Andy Reid pursues his first ever Super Bowl victory.since 2010, when both the
For the Packers and 49ers, there's so much at stake. Aaron Rodgers can greatly bolster his legacy with another title run, and Matt LaFleur can go ahead and get working on the statue in Titletown if he wins a championship in his first year. Kyle Shanahan might have demons lingering from his time in Atlanta, and he can snuff them out with a ring. He can also get back at his old boss Mike Pettine with a win on Sunday afternoon to get the 49ers into the title game.
Let's look at the odds for the two matchups. Make sure and. If you want video analysis, click play on the YouTube at the bottom of the post and if you want audio, hit the player immediately below and check out our divisional round recap on the Pick Six Podcast.
Chiefs -7.5 vs. Titans, O/U 51
Sun., Jan. 19, 3:05 p.m. ET (CBS, stream on CBS All Access here)
What a wild way for these two teams to collide in the AFC Championship Game. The Titans manhandled the Ravens on Saturday, getting up early on Baltimore, punching the Ravens in the mouth and refusing to let up. They stuffed Baltimore over and over on fourth down, shutting down drives into Tennessee territory. Baltimore couldn't mount a comeback and now Ryan Tannehill is four quarters away from playing in the Super Bowl ... in Miami! To get there he has another tall task, setting up as a pretty big road underdog for the third week in a row.
Tannehill and the Titans toppled the Ravens as nearly 10-point dogs and they actually opened as almost the same here: In some spots, this line was set as Chiefs -9.5 before being hammered down to Chiefs -7. It settled back up at KC -7.5, which shouldn't be a surprise based on what we saw from the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes was down 24-0 with 10 minutes left in the second quarter to the Texans on Sunday and erased that deficit in roughly three minutes of game time. The Chiefs are crazy explosive and getting in their way is dangerous. The Titans are a dangerous defensive team, much more so than the Texans though, so it's possible they can hang here. To do so, it stands to reason the Titans would need to do what they did against the Ravens, by jumping out to a lead early and uncorking Derrick Henry downhill against the Kansas City run defense. KC getting Chris Jones back would be enormous in this spot.
I would anticipate heavy public action on the Chiefs here, thanks to Mahomes' performance on Sunday, but don't discount the Titans, who have already beaten the Patriots and Ravens on the road. Remember, the Titans already took down the Chiefs once this season.
49ers -7 vs. Packers, O/U 45
Sun., Jan. 19, 6:40 p.m. ET (Fox, stream on fuboTV here)
Another regular season rematch, this time one in which the 49ers already smashed the Packers. San Francisco manhandled Green Bay back in Week 12 on the West Coast, with the Pack coming off their bye and getting a little careless out by the Bay. The offensive line for the Packers was no match for the ferocious San Francisco pass rush, and as a result the 49ers secured home-field advantage for this game. The Packers took care of business against the Seahawks, but it wasn't as easy as it should have been, with Green Bay allowing Russell Wilson to do Russell Wilson things and try to storm through the backdoor late. A fortunate spot and some absolute lasers from Aaron Rodgers gave the Packers the win, and here they are, hoping for revenge against San Francisco.
The 49ers, by the way, stomped the mess out of the Vikings. That's the one reason to be careful with this game -- everyone saw Green Bay struggle a little, they saw the 49ers dominate, they know what happened in the regular season ... it stands to reason everyone will be on the Niners. If there's one quarterback who can wreck shop by going full supernova one more time in the playoffs, it's definitely Rodgers. He wasn't some elite monster against the Seahawks, but he was dropping precision throws on third down, where he was 7 of 8 for 121 yards and a TD. The Packers ripped the Seahawks apart on third down, which seems a bit unsustainable against the Niners, although maybe Rodgers just gets hot.
I would be really surprised if this line moved toward the Packers, although it is currently juiced that way. In my opinion we're a lot more likely to see it slide toward the 49ers, because of an influx of people expecting the better team to take care of business. We've seen the 49ers capable of getting downhill on a team and uncorking a pass rush. It does feel like the Packers could be vulnerable to each of those issues if they can't get a lead early. If they can, though, the Packers could play aggressive and utilize play action to take some shots to Davante Adams. He shouldn't be trailed by Richard Sherman, which could mean opportunities in the slot.
My early lean would be the favorite in both these games.