Get your popcorn ready – tonight is Madden MAYhem conference championship night. The two winners of Saturday’s AFC and NFC championship games will square off in the first ever Madden MAYhem Super Bowl on Sunday evening.
Thursday night saw the cream rise to the top with both favorites (the Chiefs and the Saints) winning and covering with ease. Friday night was more of the same as the Seahawks demolished the Redskins and the Browns out-dueled the Colts. The Overs also continued to roll going 3-1 over the last two nights.
As for me, I went 1-1 ATS and 1-1 on O/U’s Thursday. That’s 9-4-1 ATS and 7-7 O/U for the whole tournament. I’m shooting for north of 70% ATS and above 50% on O/U’s and damn I feel good about tonight.
New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks
Line: Saints -3
Saturday 5pm PST
Both the Saints and Seahawks had convincing Elite 8 wins over teams (the Bears and Redskins) that had overachieved in Madden MAYhem. The Saints shut out Mitch Vick (Trubisky) and the Bears winning 22-0. As the score indicates, the New Orleans defense dominated the out-matched Bears resulting in the second game where the Saints have limited the opposing team to less than 10 points (NO also beat the Carolina in the opening round 31-8). With the exception of Matt Ryan and the dangerous Falcons passing attack (scoring 27) the Saints defense has complimented their strong offense perfectly.
Drew Brees and company has been as good as advertised and can beat teams through the air or on the ground. Coming out of the backfield, Alvin Kamara is a dual threat and one of the best pass catching receivers in the league. Michael Thomas is a top 5 wide receiver in the league and Jared Cook is playing like a top tight end. In other words, good luck stopping this dangerous and balanced attack. The Seahawks might have to outscore New Orleans.
If a shootout is in the cards, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense can certainly hold their own. The Redskins were a nice story but had absolutely no answer for Seattle. As we all know, Wilson can beat you with his legs as well as his arm and Madden 2020 seems to favor mobile quarterbacks. The Saints defense will have their hands full trying to limit his effectiveness. They’ll also be going up against a nice Seahawk supporting cast that includes Chris Carson coming out of the backfield and DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on the outside. Other than Wilson, the Seattle offense may not quite have the star power of the Saints, but they can be just as productive.
In addition to shutting down the Redskins offense on their way to a 41-13 ass whipping, Seattle walloped the 49ers 40-19 and outlasted the Rams 25-22 in the opening round. It should come as no surprise that Seattle and New Orleans are playing for the NFC championship as both are complete teams with few weaknesses.
These are two evenly matched teams in what should be a gem of a game. Now you are telling me I can take a home dog that has scored over 40 points in consecutive games. Well sign me up, my friend. I predict a back and forth game with a lot of offense and big plays. I’ll take the field goal and the home dog. Give me the Seahawks and the Over.
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs
Line: Chiefs -8.5
Saturday 7pm PST
The Believeland Browns! Who would have thought Cleveland would be playing for a chance at a Super Bowl berth. They surprisingly knocked off Phillip Rivers and the Colts 34-24 Friday evening setting up a dual vs Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs. On their way to the AFC Champ game, the Browns also toppled the Steelers 35-21 and the Bengals 31-23.
If you are connecting the dots, that’s three straight games where Baker Mayfield and the offense have put up more than 30 points. It’s a dangerous offensive attack that includes Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry on the outside and TE Austin Hooper over the middle. Out of the backfield is the two-headed monster of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. There isn’t another team with a better set of skill players in the league. With Mayfield playing good football and with an actual real head coach (opposed to Freddie Kitchens last year) maybe we shouldn’t be surprised of their new-found success.
While the Browns have been a nice surprise, the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs have been as good as expected. On Thursday night, KC beat the Bills 38-20. Patrick Mahomes and the offense continues to light up the scoreboard while the defense is doing just enough. The Chiefs also beat the Raiders 35-21 and the Chargers 41-31 on their way to the AFC Champ game.
Joining Mahomes is Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce is the passing game and Damien Williams and rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of the backfield. There’s been no stopping this offense and the Browns will struggle to limit the Chiefs to less than 30 points.
Looking at these two teams, there more similarities than there are differences. Both offenses are dynamic and can score quickly. Both defenses have question marks and can allow big plays. Can Vegas set the Over/Under high enough? The key difference between the two teams is Patrick Mahomes. The best QB in the league will have a huge game and while Mayfield will have his moments, he’ll also threw a couple of picks which could decide the game. I’ll lay the points. Give me the Chiefs and the Over.