NFL conference title games picks: Take the unders and the underdogs as best bets in Rams-Saints and Patriots-Chiefs

Making NFL picks against the spread can be so frustrating at times. Just when you think you have a grasp on it, reality sets back in for most of us. We aren't nearly as good as we think we are – as I found out last week.

After going 4-1 with my best bets in the wild-card round of the playoffs, I puffed out my chest a bit last week. This isn't so hard, I said. Then a truck smacked me in the face – one with the word "looooser" on the side panel. I went 1-4 with my best bets last week, with the Eagles the only winner, and that was in danger late until the Saints missed a field goal.

Gross.

But I feel good about the two championship games this week, which means it's time to get back on track. Here's a hint: Dogs will be barking.

Stream the NFC Championship game on fuboTV, try it for free, and stream the AFC Championship game on CBS All Access.  

Rams +3.5 at Saints

I think the Rams showed something last week in running for 273 yards against the Cowboys. That will carry over in this one. The Saints will be without defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, which will hurt their run defense. The Rams will control the clock and make big pass plays off the run game. They will win this game outright.

Rams-Saints Under 56.5

Because the Rams will run the ball, they will chew up clock. And I think the Saints will also be able to run the football, which means two teams chewing up the clock. The last time these two plays it was 45-35. They won't come close to that number this time around.

Who wins the AFC and NFC Championship Games? And which sides of the spread can you bank on in well over half of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has beaten 98 percent of experts over the past two years. 

Patriots +3 at Chiefs

It's hard to believe I am taking both road teams, but I am. I just think the Patriots are cresting at the right time, which will not be a good thing for the Chiefs. Pats coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Brian Flores will come after Patrick Mahomes. That will force a key turnover or two. I think Tom Brady will get the best of this quarterback battle with a constant flow of short, quick throws. Take the points.

Listen to Pete Prisco, R.J. White and Will Brinson break down their Championship Sunday picks on the Pick Six Podcast:

Patriots-Chiefs Under 55.5

The last time they played back in October, the score was 43-40. There is little chance they come close that again, especially if the weather is an issue, which it is expected to be. I think this one will be lower scoring than expected. 

If you still haven't marked your calendar for the Super Bowl, the game will be kicking off from Atlanta on Feb. 3 and will be televised by CBS and you can stream it right here. If you're thinking about buying a new TV for the big game, CNET has you covered. They shared their best picks for every budget.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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