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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
glenn erby

NFL conference championship best bets: One wager to make for each of the final four teams

We’ve reached the penultimate round of the NFL playoffs as the final four teams left will look to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. The Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens will square off in the first game at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, while the Detroit Lions will visit the San Francisco 49ers in the second game on at 6:30 p.m. ET.

With only three games left in the season, there aren’t many betting opportunities remaining. But on the bright side, these four teams should give us entertaining matchups before the big one on Feb. 11.

Here are our best bets for conference championship weekend, with one wager to make for each of the four teams.

All odds courtesy of BetMGM.

Chiefs: Marquez Valdes-Scantling to score and Chiefs to win (+1400)

This is a risky bet, but while the odds reflect the low probability of conversion, it is an intriguing possibility. Valdes-Scantling was a veritable non-factor, even a liability for Kansas City’s offense during the regular season, but seems to have saved his best efforts for the playoffs after his impactful performance against the Bills. It may be a long shot for the mercurial receiver to score a touchdown, or for the Chiefs to win, but the potential profit from this wager makes it an intriguing proposition. John Dillon, Chiefs Wire

Ravens: Mark Andrews OVER 34.5 yards receiving (-115)

Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens activated tight end Mark Andrews from injured reserve ahead of Sunday’s AFC Championship Game, and he’s the security blanket that’ll take Lamar Jackson’s performance to another level. Andrews finished third on the Ravens in receiving (544 yards), second in receptions (45), and first in touchdown catches (six) despite missing six games and most of a seventh after suffering a fractured fibula in the November 16 win over the Bengals. Isaiah Likely has emerged in Andrews’ absence, but it’ll be Andrews who has the breakout performance in the AFC title game. Glenn Erby, Ravens Wire

Lions: Jahmyr Gibbs OVER 22.5 receiving yards (-120)

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Gibbs has posted over 40 receiving yards on four receptions in each of the last two Lions games. He’s become more involved in the passing game in part because his pass protection has improved. That will afford him more chances to attack a 49ers defense that doesn’t defend the pass to running backs all that well. In their last 10 games, San Francisco’s defense allows a 75% catch rate and 7.8 yards per reception to opposing RBs – both in the bottom 10 of NFL defenses in that timeframe. It shapes up well for the rookie RB to rack up receiving yards. Jeff Risdon, Lions Wire

49ers: Lions +7 (+100)

There’s certainly a path to the 49ers getting an early lead on Detroit and forcing Jared Goff to beat them. He’s struggled outdoors this season and if San Francisco gets ahead it could quickly get out of hand for the Lions. Given San Francisco’s NFC championship game performance though it’s hard to believe Detroit gets run out of the building. They should be able to keep the game close with their outstanding rushing attack and then make things easier for Goff from there. The 49ers are the more experienced and more talented team, so they should probably win outright, but this feels way more like a 3-point game than a 7-point one. – Kyle Madson, Niners Wire

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