NFL Pick’off – Conference Championships

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 30:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers dives for more yardage against Keanu Neal #22 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 30, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Want to find out the winning formula for this weekend’s Conference Championships?

This Sunday I’ll make my selections “Straight-Up” (SU) and “Against The Spread” (ATS) from the two games.

The team listed in bold is the straight up pick, where as the red +/- indicates the pick when including the Vegas line.

I’ll provide a brief sentence or two of nonsense or logic (depending on the outcome), for what led me to that choice.

I’ll be competing against Catch-22’s NFL Senior Editor (Mark Staniusz) throughout the playoffs, and I will list his picks below.

Divisional Round Results:

Mark 3-1 SU / 3-1 ATS

Phil 2-2 SU / 1-3 ATS



Green Bay (+5) @ Atlanta

It’s been a calamity of errors picking games during these playoffs. I rode with Alex Smith and Dak Prescott last week (despite knowing better) in an attempt to outsmart the gambling matrix. Overthinking things can get you into world of trouble, especially when betting against Aaron Rodgers. Trusting Matt Ryan and the Falcons in this spot is very risky, based on NFC playoff history and wagering instincts… Atlanta is 13-28 ATS in home games after 2 or more consecutive wins since 1992. It’s almost insanity to count Rodgers and the Packers out at this point, so I’m comfortable taking Green Bay to beat the spread. The Packers hung on over Dallas last week, and it was more so the Cowboys self inflicted wounds that tilted the game Green Bay’s way. As risky as this seems, the Falcons emerge victorious in this one by a whisker.

Oct 30, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) talks to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) after a game at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Packers 33-32. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


Pittsburgh (+6) @ New England 

The Steelers didn’t even score a touchdown last week against Kansas City and managed to punch their ticket to the AFC Championship game!? (That’s really hard to do). Got to respect Pittsburgh and their ability to emerge victorious regardless of the circumstances. That respect alone sees a close game in New England against Touchdown Tommy & The Hood. Betting against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium this season is the equivalent of burning your money…  New England was 11-2 ATS against conference opponents. Since the obvious and safe play is the Pats to cover, we’re going to throw conventional wisdom out the window (like an idiot genius) and root for a close game. Once the drama plays out in Foxborough, I’ve got the Patriots returning to the Super Bowl for the 9th time in franchise history.


2017 Playoffs: 4-4 (SU) / 2-6 (ATS)

2016 Season: 129-89-2 (SU) / 98-112-10 (ATS)



Green Bay (+5) @ Atlanta

Pittsburgh (+6) @ New England

2017 Playoffs: 7-1 (SU) / 4-4 (ATS)

2016 Season: 136-84-2 (SU) / 105-105-10 (ATS)


*All NFL point spreads from www.vegasinsider.com (VI Consensus) as of 6:45 PM EST


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Follow authors: @Phil_Jones2020 and @MarkStaniusz




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