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NFL picks against the spread: 49ers to take out Rams in NFC Championship Game

Sportsnaut
Sportsnaut
 2022-01-24

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NFL picks against the spread. NFL Championship Sunday edition.

And then there were four. With three road teams winning on last-second field goals and the Kansas City Chiefs pulling off a dramatic win , the NFL’s version of the Final 4 has been set.

Sunday’s slate starts with Joe Burrow and the upstart Cincinnati Bengals looking to dethrone the two-time defending conference champion Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game.

It concludes with the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in the NFC Championship Game. The winners of these two matchups will then take to SoFi for the Super Bowl . Below, we provide you with our NFL picks against the spread, Championship Sunday edition.

Related: NFL Playoff and Super Bowl predictions

Game Time (ET) TV
Bengals (+7.0) @ Chiefs 3:05 PM (Sunday, Jan. 30) CBS, Paramount +
49ers (+3.5) @ Rams 6:40 PM (Sunday, Jan. 30) FOX

NFL picks against the spread: NFL Championship Sunday

Cincinnati Bengals (+7.0) to cover against Kansas City Chiefs

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Albert Cesare / The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

It was Cincinnati’s defense that stepped up during the team’s thrilling win over the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. This unit recorded three interceptions of Ryan Tannehill , including picks to both open and close the game. All said, Tannehill completed 15-of-24 passes for 220 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

We know full well that Patrick Mahomes is playing absolutely elite football (782 passing yards, eight touchdowns and one interception in two playoff games). He’s much better than Tannehill. That’s not even in question. However, Mahomes has also been prone to turning the ball over this season (17 giveaways, postseason included).

  • Cincinnati Bengals playoff defense: 35 points allowed, two passing touchdowns, four interceptions, five takeaways

On the other end of the spectrum, all Burrow does is play at a high level while leading Cincinnati to win after win. Saturday’s win over the Titans included, he’s led Cincinnati to a 6-2 record on the road this season. That includes the sophomore throwing twice as many touchdowns (16) as interceptions (8) . No moment appears to be too big for the former Heisman winner and record-breaking college quarterback.

Now, does this mean that the Bengals are going come out on top? Nope. Kansas City is playing its best football of the season. Mahomes has tallied 20 touchdowns against two interceptions in his past seven games. With that said, we’re expecting a much closer game than the point spread indicates. Look for the Chiefs to come out on top by roughly a field goal in this one.

Related: NFL schedule, picks and fantasy football advice

San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) over Los Angeles Rams

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s some food for thought if you’re going to take up our NFL picks against the spread advice for Championship Sunday. Jimmy Garoppolo is a career 6-0 as a starting quarterback against the Los Angeles Rams, including two regular-season victories over the Rams.

It was just a couple short weeks ago that San Francisco’s playoff hopes were hanging by a thread. The team found itself down 17-0 late in the second quarter back in Week 18 against these very same Rams. Garoppolo was a mistake waiting to happen. Shockingly, he helped lead the 49ers all the way back to pull off the 27-24 overtime win and clinch a playoff spot.

Related: Ranking NFL Playoff defenses

Fast forward two weeks, and Garoppolo has “led” his 49ers to consecutive playoff victories on the road against the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. All he does is win. Seriously.

The embattled quarterback is also now 14-5 as a road underdog in his career, the best winning percentage in NFL history .

As for the Rams, they have not defeated the 49ers since December 30 of 2018. This was the very same season that saw Garoppolo miss both matchups due to a torn ACL. The moral of this story? It’s hard to pick against Garoppolo in these situations despite the obvious limitations he has. Expect him to lead San Francisco to its second Super Bowl appearance in three seasons — both against the aforementioned Chiefs

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