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I'm always surprised about how quickly the NFL season goes by. While at times it can feel like a long year, more often than not I'll be gearing up for a slate of preseason games, look up and we're suddenly at Championship Sunday. It's been a fun season so far and we still have three games left before we put the 2023 season in the books. Before we do, I'll try to keep us on this wave that has been extremely profitable over the last month or so. 

I was able to go 4-0 ATS in my picks in the divisional round and, if you read last week's column, I was spot on in my analysis of Bills vs. Chiefs, pinpointing the correct score and even highlighting my concerns about Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass. That has me boasting a 41-17 ATS record since Week 16, and I'll look to keep that going as we look forward to the AFC and NFC championship games. 

2023 record


Regular season
Locks of the Week ATS
: 45-45-1
ATS: 145-116-11
ML: 174-98

All NFL odds via SportsLine consensus odds.

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

The Chiefs offense has started to click over the last few weeks, which is an encouraging sign for the franchise overall, but I don't believe it's going to help propel them to another Super Bowl appearance. Why? Because they haven't faced a defense like the Ravens to this point. Sure, they averaged 7.7 yards per play against the Bills in the divisional round, but that defensive unit has been decimated by injuries. Baltimore is a different caliber. The Ravens rank first in the league in points per game allowed (16.5), sacks (60) and takeaways (31). The Chiefs also moved the ball thanks largely to chunk plays, notching a season-high eight plays of 20 or more yards against Buffalo. This season, the Ravens have allowed the ninth-fewest 20-plus yard plays and the third-fewest 25-plus yard plays. 

One of the big X factors for this Chiefs offense this postseason has been Rashee Rice, who did seem hobbled during that win over the Bills as well. If he's less than 100% and the Ravens can deploy safety Kyle Hamilton on Travis Kelce, there may not be much Patrick Mahomes can do to move the football. 

As for Baltimore's offense squaring up against Kansas City's defense, I think Lamar Jackson can do damage with his legs. They just let Josh Allen rush for 72 yards and two touchdowns last weekend, and I can see Jackson having a similar impact on the ground. The Ravens are also 6-1 ATS in Jackson's last seven starts. 

Projected score: Ravens 28, Chiefs 20
The pick: Ravens -3.5

Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers

  • Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

Laying a full touchdown in a game of this magnitude is always a little sketchy, but the only real reservation I have about the 49ers would be the elements, as we saw Brock Purdy struggle a bit in the rain last week at Levi's Stadium. However, the forecast is calling for a partly cloudy, 72-degree day in Santa Clara on Sunday, so I don't believe we'll have any weather concerns. Outside of that, I have confidence in Kyle Shanahan finding a way to torch this Lions secondary that already saw Matthew Stafford throw for 367 yards and Baker Mayfield throw for 349 yards in the playoffs. Purdy had an NFL-record 9.6 yards per attempt this season and the Lions ranked 31st in the league in that category. Even if the Niners don't have Deebo Samuel (shoulder) for this game, the likes of Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle should be enough to gash them.  

Defensively, the 49ers apply pressure without blitzing 34.5% of the time, which is 10th best in the league. When pressured this season, Jared Goff is completing just 53% of his passes with a 4.9 yards-per-attempt average. 

In their last six playoff home games, the 49ers are 5-1 ATS with that lone ATS loss coming last week against Green Bay. Following an ATS loss in his career, Purdy is 6-2 ATS. 

Projected score: 49ers 30, Lions 20
The pick: 49ers -7