Beating the Book: Conference Title Games

Beating the Book: Conference Title Games

This article is part of our Beating the Book series.

Last week was good – I went 3-1 overall and won my best bet (Rams.) In fact, the only game I got wrong was Titans-Bengals, and that's only because Jeff Erickson talked me into it. 

This week I like the 49ers especially, and the Chiefs-Bengals is closer to a coin flip. 

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Bengals +7 at Chiefs

The Bengals were lucky to survive nine sacks, thanks in large part to three Titans interceptions and a turnover on downs, and their star kicker Evan McPherson made all four of his field goal attempts, including two from 50-plus. But the Bengals beat the Chiefs at home in Week 17 and showed they could go toe to toe in a shootout. The Chiefs offense has kicked into another gear during the playoffs, and Patrick Mahomes played a flawless game against the Bills last week. But nothing I saw from their defense convinces me Joe Burrow and his receivers won't hang around, provided they can protect him even a little bit better. Take the points. 

Chiefs 34 - 30

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

49ers +3.5 at Rams

The 49ers overcame a 17-0 deficit against the Rams to win in overtime just three weeks ago, and home field advantage should be minor, given both teams play in the same time zone, only an hour flight away. The Rams have a better secondary and better quarterback, but the Niners are deeper on both sides of the ball and have more weapons. Bottom line, these are roughly

Last week was good – I went 3-1 overall and won my best bet (Rams.) In fact, the only game I got wrong was Titans-Bengals, and that's only because Jeff Erickson talked me into it. 

This week I like the 49ers especially, and the Chiefs-Bengals is closer to a coin flip. 

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Bengals +7 at Chiefs

The Bengals were lucky to survive nine sacks, thanks in large part to three Titans interceptions and a turnover on downs, and their star kicker Evan McPherson made all four of his field goal attempts, including two from 50-plus. But the Bengals beat the Chiefs at home in Week 17 and showed they could go toe to toe in a shootout. The Chiefs offense has kicked into another gear during the playoffs, and Patrick Mahomes played a flawless game against the Bills last week. But nothing I saw from their defense convinces me Joe Burrow and his receivers won't hang around, provided they can protect him even a little bit better. Take the points. 

Chiefs 34 - 30

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

49ers +3.5 at Rams

The 49ers overcame a 17-0 deficit against the Rams to win in overtime just three weeks ago, and home field advantage should be minor, given both teams play in the same time zone, only an hour flight away. The Rams have a better secondary and better quarterback, but the Niners are deeper on both sides of the ball and have more weapons. Bottom line, these are roughly equal teams, the home field isn't a big deal and the Rams are coming off a near-collapse in last week's Tampa game. I'd feel more strongly about this if Trent Williams (ankle) were able to play, but that's up in the air right now. Still, take the points. 

49ers 24 - 23

I went 3-1 last week and won my best bet (Rams) to go 5-5 in the playoffs. During the regular season my record was 139-130-3, my best bet record was 12-6 and I finished the Supercontest 46-43-1. In 2020, my record was 118-130-8, my best bet record was 5-12 and I finished the Supercontest 35-48-2. From 1999-2021, I've gone 2,947-2,756 (51.7%), not including ties. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Liss
Chris Liss was RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio from 2001-2022.
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