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2011 NFL Conference Championships Playoff Handicapping Tips

NFL Playoffs – Conference Championship Round Preview & Predictions

The road to Super Bowl XLV continues this Sunday with the NFL Conference Championships. All four teams believe they have what it takes to advance to the title game on Sunday, February 6 but the reality is that only two teams will earn that trip.

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The following is a look at the pertinent statistics and trends for each game along with my prediction of which team wins. All odds are supplied courtesy of Bookmaker.com.

Sunday, January 23

3:00 PM (ET)
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (FOX-TV)
Pointspread: Packers -3
Over/Under: 44

Green Bay needed a 10-3 win over Chicago in the final week of the regular season to even make the playoffs as the sixth and final seed, but it has certainly proved it belongs. First, the Packers got by Michael Vick and the No. 3 Philadelphia Eagles 21-16 in the Wildcard Round as a one-point road underdog. The total stayed ‘under’ the 46 ½ point line. Next, they rolled over the No.1 Atlanta Falcons 48-21 as a one-point road underdog in the Divisional Round. Green Bay’s 48 points took the 43 ½ point total line ‘over’ on its own.

Chicago earned a bye in the Wildcard Round by virtue of winning the NFC North with the second-best record in the conference at 11-5. The well-rested Bears thumped No. 4 Seattle 35-24 as a 10-point home favorite in the Divisional Round. The total went well ‘over’ the 42 ½ point line.

These two divisional foes met twice during the regular season with each team winning at home. Chicago squeaked out a 20-17 victory in Week 3 as a three-point home underdog. The total stayed ‘under’ the 45 ½ point line. Green Bay won as an 11-point home favorite in Week 17 with the total staying way ‘under’ the 43 ½ point line.

The Packers are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games on the road and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in eight of Green Bay’s last 10 road games.

The Bears are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games and 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in Chicago’s last four home games and in six of its last seven games overall.

Head-to-head, Green Bay has won four of the last six games SU and is also 4-2 ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in five of the last six games in Chicago and in eight of the last 10 meetings overall.

The Pick: Green Bay -3 and UNDER

6:30 PM (ET)
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS-TV)
Pointspread: Steelers -3 ½
Over/Under: 38 ½

No. 6 New York put its money where its mouth is so far in these playoffs. First, it took out Peyton Manning and the No. 3 Indianapolis Colts 17-16 on a last-second field goal in the Wildcard Round. The Jets closed as a one-point road underdog and the total stayed ‘under’ the 44 point line. Next, the Jets pounded Tom Brady and the No. 1 New England Patriots 28-21 in the Divisional Round. This time, they closed as a 9 ½-point road underdog and the total went ‘over’ the 45 point line.

No. 2 seed Pittsburgh capitalized on three third quarter turnovers to erase a 14-point halftime deficit on its way to a 31-24 victory over No. 5 Baltimore in the Divisional Round as a 3 ½-pount home favorite. The total went ‘over’ the 37 ½-point line. The Steelers were coming off a bye in the Wildcard Round after winning the AFC North on a division-record tiebreaker over the Ravens.

The Jets and Steelers met in Week 15 with Pittsburgh closing as a 3 ½-point home favorite and the ‘over/under’ line set at 36. New York grinded out a 22-17 win on a late field goal and safety. These two scores proved to be the difference after the Jets’ defense came up with a crucial stop deep in its own territory with two minutes left to play.

New York is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 road games and 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in 10 of the Jets last 11 games on the road and in four of their last five games overall.

Pittsburgh is 4-1 ATS in its last five games at home and 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in three of the Steelers last four games overall.

Head-to-head, the Jets have won three of the last five games SU and are 4-1 ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in three of the last five meetings.

The Pick: New York +3 ½ and UNDER

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David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.


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