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January 20, 2019

NFL conference championship round picks

Eagles NFL
011919AndyReid David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports

Andy Reid salivates over destroying Bill Belichick like a walrus hunts down a polar cod. Yes, I googled "eating habits of a walrus."

For the gambling degenerates, here are my NFL conference championship round picks. To note, the team logos indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.


Rams at Saints (-3): The Saints beat the Rams in a wild 45-35 game Week 9, at a time when New Orleans' offense was in the middle of a four-game stretch in which they averaged 43.5 points per game. That offense has sputtered a bit of late, while the Rams seem to have gotten past a late-season lull of their own, when they finished the regular season strongly, and then convincingly dispatched of the Cowboys in the divisional round.

At a neutral site, I'd be picking the Rams to win this game. In the Superdome, it's just too hard to trust anything other than a Saints win.


Patriots at Chiefs (-3): In Super Bowl LII, the Eagles were the better team, and yet, they were 5.5-point underdogs to the Patri*ts. That was somewhat understandable. After all, the Patri*ts were Super Bowl regulars, led by perhaps the best quarterback and head coach of all-time (if you ignore all the cheating), facing a backup quarterback and a guy who was once called the most unqualified coaching hire in the history of the NFL.

The Chiefs are significantly better than the Patri*ts, in my view, and yet they're only three-point favorites over the Patri*ts, at home. There's no doubt that line is a reflection of the Patri*ts post-season success, and Andy Reid's history of crushing playoff losses. There's also the matter of Tom Brady's apparent 24-4 career record in sub-30 degree games, which is thought to be relevant because Kansas City is set to be pounded by an Arctic blast on Sunday.

Ignore all that noise. Two thoughts:

  1. Andy Reid will be just fine in this game.
  2. You can slice and dice Tom Brady's career record any way you want, and it's still going to look impressive.

For me, this pick doesn't have to be more complex than it needs to be. Andy Reid has the best team in the NFL, and he has coached his ass off this season. Get on board and enjoy the ride. 

• Picks against the spread: Chiefs (-3).

• Eagles picks: 11-7

• 2018 season, straight up 173-92-2 (0.652)
• 2018 season, ATS: 41-35-2 (0.538)
• 2017 season, straight up: 181-86 (0.678)
• 2017 season, ATS: 36-32-2 (0.529)
• 2016 season, straight up: 171-94-2 (0.644)
• 2016 season, ATS:  41-34 (0.547)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)

• Last 4 years, ATS: 164-131-6 (0.555)

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