There are just three games left in the NFL season, and after a perfect divisional round in my straight up picks, I’m looking to close the season out with a bang.
This week, the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the early game on Sunday to determine the AFC champion.
Then, the Detroit Lions’ storybook season will continue against the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers, who needed a game-winning drive to beat the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.
- Divisional Round Record: 4-0
- Season Long Record: 171-111
I have a bet for both games this week on the moneyline ahead of the Super Bowl!
For more NFL Championship Week picks, check out our NFL betting analyst Iain MacMillan’s best bet for every game on the slate here!
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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens Moneyline Pick
- Pick: Ravens -180
This spread has hung at Ravens -3.5, which technically puts us outside one of the best trends in football.
As a favorite of 3 or less — or as an underdog — Lamar Jackson is 21-4 against the spread in his NFL career.
He’s 5-0 SU this season in that spot, and it’s something I don’t want to look past even with the Chiefs getting 3.5 points in this game.
Patrick Mahomes is elite as an underdog (9-1-1 ATS in his NFL career) but I am worried about this Kansas City offense that hasn’t been up to its usual standard this season.
Baltimore’s defense is a much different test than Buffalo’s as it ranked No. 1 in the NFL in yards per play allowed and total points allowed in the regular season.
We just watched the Ravens hold a vaunted Houston Texans offense to just three points on offense (the team had a punt return TD) in the divisional round.
Meanwhile, Jackson and the Baltimore offense found a groove in the second half, with Lamar totaling four scores (two through the air, two on the ground).
If there’s one way to beat Kansas City’s defense — which ranked No. 2 in points allowed this season — it’s on the ground.
The Chiefs allow 4.5 yards per carry, the seventh most in the NFL, this season.
Which team runs the ball more than any other in football? The Baltimore Ravens.
This is a stylistic advantage for the Ravens, who have been elite against the spread (second best in the NFL this season).
I’ll take them to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time in Jackson’s career.
Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers Moneyline Pick
- Pick: Lions +250
Can the Detroit Lions really advance to the Super Bowl?
I don’t think it’s as far-fetched as many may think.
Detroit is one of the best offenses in the NFL, ranking inside the top 10 in points scored and yards per play this season, and it should be able to keep up with a San Francisco 49ers team that is potentially down a key offensive weapon in Deebo Samuel.
The 49ers and Brock Purdy struggled in the passing game without Deebo against the Green Bay Packers, and the team is just 8-9 overall when Samuel sits in his NFL career.
If the 49ers want to lean on the run, they’ll be playing into Detroit’s defensive strength.
While the Lions rank 30th in the NFL in net yards allowed per pass attempt, they are ELITE against the run, allowing just 3.7 yards per carry — the third best mark in the league.
San Francisco has not done well from a betting perspective as a home favorite, going just 3-6 against the spread (including playoffs) this season.
Meanwhile, the Lions are 2-1 ATS as underdogs and 21-10 ATS as dogs under head coach Dan Campbell.
San Francisco may have the talent advantage, but Detroit is being undervalued at this current number. I don’t mind taking a shot on the Lions to win the NFC title game.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Find Peter Dewey's betting record here.