NFL Conference Championship Expert Picks, Best Bets Against the Spread


A mere three NFL games remain (Pro Bowl doesn't count) this season, and the final four teams will be battling with a Super Bowl berth on the line. Below are our experts picking the games against the spread this season, along with each of their picks against the spread and best bets for this weekend's slate.

Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Max Meyer, Producer, SI Gambling
Jimmy Traina, SI Media Columnist

Season Standings
Meyer: 129-112-8
Gramling: 126-115-8
Traina: 120-121-8 

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Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)

To be honest, I wouldn't bet anything this weekend—these lines are tough. But you can't deny that the Chiefs have been, objectively, the best team in football over the past two months. They've played eight games with their full offensive lineup intact this season (that's Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and the offensive line), and in those games they're 8-0 straight up and 8-0 against the spread with an average margin of victory of 16.5 points. And only two of their games have been decided by less than eight points—road wins over the Patriots and Chargers, both by seven points. 

Add to that: I know the Titans have the extra day of rest, but the defense was out there for 92 plays in Baltimore on Saturday night. And in Tennessee's last 12 games in which the total was 50-plus points, they're 1-11 against the spread. —Gary Gramling

Green Bay Packers (+7.5) at San Francisco 49ers

The Packers suffered what might have been the worst loss I saw all year when the Niners absolutely destroyed them in Week 12, 37-8. That game was a full domination from start to finish by San Francisco. I just can't see that happening again to a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers. Aaron Jones probably won't be able to produce like he can against the Niners' great run defense, but I think Rodgers will be able to keep this close. 

A late-week ankle injury for monster tight end George Kittle can also become a factor in this game. Kittle is one of those guys who has to be dead not to play, but if that injury limits him in any way, that's a big blow to the Niners' offense. I'm getting that extra half that could be valuable here, so Green Bay plus 7.5 is the play.—Jimmy Traina

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-7.5)

With the return of Dee Ford, Kwon Alexander and Jaquiski Tartt, San Francisco's defense looked like a different beast in its dominant win over the Vikings last weekend. Minnesota had seven first downs... the entire game. The 49ers were able to survive a subpar Jimmy Garoppolo game, but the offense gets to face a vulnerable defense in the Packers that gave up 6.2 yards per play to the Seahawks in the Divisional Round.

The Seahawks inexplicably left Davante Adams in single coverage, and I'd bet that Robert Salah will devise a much better scheme to keep the Packers star wideout in check. If Adams doesn't go ballistic, it's hard to trust the other aerial weapons at Aaron Rodgers's disposal.

These two teams met in late November at Levi's Stadium, where the 49ers utterly dismantled the Packers 37-8. It was a statistical domination, as San Francisco outgained Green Bay 7.8 to 2.8 in terms of yards per play. While I doubt we see that level of destruction again, I'll roll with by far the more complete team to win by multiple scores.—Max Meyer

Season record: 36-19-2

More Gambling: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers Playoff Betting Preview
More Gambling: Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs Playoff Betting Preview

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