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NFL Betting – Parlay Gambling Odds Conference Championships

NFL Betting – Conference Championship Parlay

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It’s hard to get any better than the old-school, cold-weather, smashmouth games awaiting us in conference championship week.

Let’s sort through these tough-to-call matchups.

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears

Sunday, January 23, 3:00 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Packers -3.5

The Packers are far and away the hottest remaining team in the final four. They’ve essentially played four consecutive playoff games, running through the Giants, Bears, Eagles and Falcons. Those are four very good teams. At this point, some handicappers consider the Pack the front runners to win Super Bowl XLV – hence them being road favorites this weekend.

Aaron Rodgers looks pretty much unstoppable; he has the most touchdown passes ever for a quarterback in his first three playoff starts with 10. The Pack’s defense also looks formidable; Tramon Williams in particular has been a force, picking off three passes in two games and housing one.

So how can the Bears beat the Packers? For one, they need to hit Aaron Rodgers early and often. If they throw him off his game, he may have trouble connecting with his receivers; Greg Jennings in particular has struggled recently in cold weather. Playing in the Georgia Dome last week was easy by comparison.

Secondly, Jay Cutler needs to make good decisions. He played well last week against Seattle, accounting for four Chicago touchdowns. Overall, though, I think Green Bay is an awkward matchup for Chicago. The Bears are better at shutting down run-first teams; they’re No. 2 in run defense and 20th against the pass. The Packers will attack Chicago’s weaknesses as their offense isn’t run-oriented.

Also – Cutler had it easy against the woeful Seahawks defense. Green Bay’s unit is full of playmakers who will punish any wrong decision he makes. I like the Pack to book their ticket to Dallas. Prediction: Packers 20, Bears 14

New York Jets vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, January 23, 6:30 p.m. ET
NFL betting favorite: Steelers -3.5

At first, I thought this was the easier of the two games to predict. On second thought, it’s the tougher one. The Steelers seem invincible at Heinz Field after rallying from 21-7 to beat the Ravens. But this New York Jets team (a) beat Peyton Manning at Indianapolis; (b) beat Tom Brady at New England; and (c) beat the Steelers at Pittsburgh in the regular season. We have to take them seriously.

Ben Roethlisberger faces a real challenge this week; can his body handle the punishment the Jets will dole out? Also, Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie showed last week that they can completely blanket receivers; Tom Brady had to hold onto the ball forever and the same could happen to Big Ben.

However, I would argue Pittsburgh is a tougher matchup for the Jets offensively for two reasons. For one, the Steelers have a better downfield weapon than Indy or New England had; Mike Wallace. He’s probably the AFC’s fastest receiver. Secondly, Big Ben is much better at generating plays with his feet than Manning or Brady. When he has no options downfield, he can still run for a first down.

Also  — even though Mark Sanchez has played well in the playoffs, the Jets remain a run-first team. The Steelers are by far the best run-stopping team in football. Sanchez may have to throw more than he’s used to and that may expose some of his flaws.

Should be a good battle but I like the Steelers to prevail. Prediction: Steelers 24, Jets 21


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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.