Just when I thought I had a good read on the NFL playoffs, last week happened and I was again humbled by the results.
I continue on, taking what I've learned and applying those lessons to this week's Conference Championship Games, playing the long game and working with a windshield mentality.
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Chiefs vs Ravens Team Total Prediction
The Baltimore Ravens dominated the Houston Texans in a workmanlike fashion last Saturday, holding C.J. Stroud and crew without an offensive touchdown, 213 total yards, 4.5 yards per play and only 47 offensive plays.
It's a completely different animal this week as the Kansas City Chiefs, who are used to frigid temps, outdoor stadiums and raucous crowds, come calling.
All season long I've said the Chiefs are more about defense than offense, but it's tough to ignore what they've done offensively recently, albeit against less-than-stellar or even healthy, defenses.
The Ravens defense has given up 21 points only four times the entire season and only once since the calendar turned to November.
However, none of those teams had Patrick Mahomes at quarterback.
The Chiefs don't need to win or even score 30 for this bet to come through and while the hook on the end of the 20 is a real concern, I'll take Mahomes, Isaiah Pacheco, Travis Kelce and Harrison Butker to find a way to 21 more often than not.
PICK: Chiefs Team Total OVER 20.5
Lions vs 49ers Team Total Prediction
The Detroit Lions have given up 23 points in each of their two playoff games and those were at home. Now they hit the road to take on one of the most dynamic offenses in the league.
This seemed like a no-brainer at first and then I saw Brock Purdy look like he forgot how to throw a forward pass and Deebo Samuel get injured last week.
Those two things were cause for a pause and the latest report lists Samuel's status as uncertain for Sunday's contest.
Five straight opposition quarterbacks have thrown for 300 plus on the Lions and that includes Nick Mullens throwing for 411 yards once and 396 in the two matchups with the Vikings.
Samuel makes a difference, but I'm not sure he doesn't play, even if as a decoy.
I also don't think it matters as the home-standing 49ers have too many other weapons against a sketchy Lions defense and score early and often on their way to at least 30 points.
PICK: 49ers OVER 29.5 points
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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