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9 Facts to Know Before Making NFL Conference Championships Picks

9 Facts to Know Before the Conference ChampionshipsWe are in for an absolute treat this weekend as we get two premier showdowns in both the AFC and NFC Championship Games. With the total number of games remaining in the 2019-20 NFL season down to three, it is going to take a lot of resolve and diligence to continue turning over a profit these last two weekends. On top of that, if you are like myself and never think that you have enough action on a game, the long drawn out waiting period for these late afternoon games is a killer. Here are 9 things to consider for this weekend’s matchups, in case you feel the need to fire off on some last minute prop bets or DraftKings lineups…it’s time to #showmethedata!

1. 40+ point explosions are tough to repeat

Last week, the Kansas City Chiefs went off for 51 points against the Texans, including an incredible 2nd quarter comeback (and then a 2nd half domination). A team has scored 40 or more points and won a playoff game 25 times. Three of these teams won the Super Bowl (XXXVII Tampa Bay 48, XLVIII Seattle 43, LII Philadelphia 41), but in the 22 games after a team scored 40 points they are just 8-14 straight up and only average 21.5 points per game.
The Pick: Chiefs Team Total u30.5

2. The Titans are impressive in the underdog role

For the 3rd week in a row the Tennessee Titans will hit the road as an underdog. Since Mike Vrabel took over the head coaching position in 2018, the Titans have been an underdog of more than a field goal 14 times. In these games, Tennessee is an impressive 9-5 Straight Up (SU) and 10-4 Against The Spread (ATS). In the games they covered, they have put up an average of 26 points per game.
The Pick: Titans Moneyline +275

3. The Packers start hot and dominate the 1st Quarter

On their first drive last week, a 20-yard Davante Adams touchdown got the Green Bay Packers off to a quick start and a 7-3 first quarter lead. The Packers are third in the league this year in 1st Quarter scoring averaging 6.8 points per game and have amassed a record of 10-5-2 SU.
The Pick: Packers 1Q +0.5

4. 1-Yard Touchdowns in the Playoffs are almost automatic

The divisional games all featured a touchdown of 1 yard, capped off by two Marshawn Lynch 1-yard scores in the final game of the weekend. Since 2015, there have been 1-yard touchdown scores in 46 of the 61 playoff games (75.4%). In the 2019-20 playoffs there have already been six games with a 1-yard score, so all we need is one more game to put this bet into the green for the sixth straight postseason.
The Pick: Shortest TD u1.5yds -125 (Both Games)

5. Greg Joseph has yet to attempt a Field Goal as a Tennessee Titan

Joseph signed with the Titans before their Week 16 matchup with the New Orleans Saints, but the Titans have been so successful in the red zone that they have not needed him to attempt a Field Goal yet (he is 15/15 on Extra Points). If we extrapolate this red zone success even further, it gets more impressive. After Tannehill took over the reins of the offense in Week 7, Tennessee has scored a Touchdown in 31 of their 32 red zone drives. Even more impressive, 18 out of 21 (85.7%) of their third and fourth down red zone plays have resulted in either a first down or touchdown, the league average in this situation hovers around 40%.
The Pick: Titans Team Touchdowns o2.5 +110

6. Aaron Jones steps up when the Packers stall in the passing game

The San Francisco 49ers finished the season as the 2nd best passing defense according to DVOA. When facing a Top 10 ranked passing defense this year, it was really a story of two Aaron’s for the Packers. Rodgers saw a steep decline in Average Yards (276 -> 206), Yards per Attempt (7.7 -> 6.1), Completion Percentage (64% -> 57%), and Fantasy PPR (23.9 -> 17.8). Luckily, Jones was able to step up big in these games and saw huge increases in Scrimmage Yards (84.3 -> 125.2), Rushing Attempts (13.7 -> 17), TDs per Game (1.1 -> 1.4), and Fantasy PPR (18.2 -> 23.7)
DraftKings Play: Aaron Jones $6700

7. Derrick Henry is having a historic playoff performance

This is an obvious one, but it’s still fun to talk about some of these crazy stats. His 377 yards broke the record for most rushing yards in the first two rounds of the postseason. He’s averaging 32 carries per game over his last three games and he’s the only player in NFL history to rush for more than 180 yards per game in a 3-game stretch. In case you need more convincing, since 2018, Henry is averaging 25.2 DraftKings points during games played in December & January.
DraftKings Play: Derrick Henry $8700

8. Tyreek Hill is about to remind everyone of his greatness

Despite only playing 12 games this year, Tyreek Hill led the Chiefs in AIR Yards (Total Receiving Yards minus Yards After Catch) and averaged almost 100 AIR yards per game including a 38% market share of the Chiefs offense. The Tennessee Titans gave up the 6th most AIR Yards per game this season, and in their first meeting this year, Hill got 19 targets (!!) resulting in 11 catches for 157 yards and 1 TD.
DraftKings Play: Tyreek Hill $7200

9. George Kittle has frequently outscored Travis Kelce this year

Travis Kelce had an all-time fantasy game last week, completely dominating the Texans for 10 catches, 134 yards, and 3 touchdowns. George Kittle on the other hand, was less than impressive against the Vikings with only 3 catches for 16 yards. Due to some recency bias, Kittle is now $1300 less than Kelce on DraftKings. In the 13 weeks where both Kittle and Kelce suited up this year, Kittle outscored Kelce in six of those weeks.
DraftKings Play: George Kittle $5800

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