This is NFC Championship game is the first game of the day, which is a match-up with the L.A Rams vs New Orleans Saints (with the Patriots vs Chiefs to follow). The Saints are the home team and look to head to the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history. Their one and only appearance was against the Colts in the 2010 Super Bowl, and the Saints defeated the Colts in that match-up. Saints, with Brees, are 8-6 in the Playoffs and 6-0 at home with the Saints. The Rams have been to the Super Bowl three times and with one SB win (St. Louis Rams).
Jared Goff and the Rams enter this game off a big win against the Cowboys, a game in which they controlled the clock with the run game and also with solid defense. The run game was lead by C.J Anderson for the most part, and of course Todd Gurley. Goff in that game was 15-28 with 186 yards and no TDs. The Rams didn’t need a huge game out of Goff last week, but he necessarily didn’t have a solid performance. Goff will need to have a better game if they want any chance of beating the Saints considering he has zero TDs and 5 ints against the last 3 playoff teams he has faced this year. This includes the Bears on the road 15-6 loss, Eagles at home 30-23 loss, and last week at the Cowboys, a 30-22 win.
Home teams in the Championship rounds of the playoffs in the last 5 games are 10-0 SU and 8-2 ATS. This included the last 10 SB teams. Last SB winner to play a road game were the Ravens lead by Joe Flacco. The Saints defense has been a pleasant surprise for the Saints, as they are typically known as just an offensive juggernaut. Saints defense has only last 8 games only allowed 14 points per game on average.
The line opened at -3.5 for the Saints and dropped to -3. I would be surprised to see this move either way now and it will most likely stay put at -3. The over/under is at 57, where it opened at, and some books have it at 56.5. My favorite bet here is the Saints -3, considering how Brees plays at home in the playoffs and Goff’s recent games against playoff caliber teams. The only way I see the Rams covering is from a strong performance from the run game and a very good game from Goff. These two teams played earlier in the year in New Orleans, where the Saints won 45-35. I predict the final of this one to be 38-28 with the Saints winning.
Official Pick- Saints -3, lean over 56.5
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