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Conference Championships to decide who meets in Super Bowl LIII

Los Angeles Rams @ New Orleans SaintsĀ (8.05pm Sunday)

Form:

The Sean Bowl. 13-3 LA Rams travel to the Mercedes Benz Super Dome to take on the 13-3 Saints. They met in week 9 when the Saints won 45-35 at home. Michael Thomas (12/211/1) and Kamara 116 scrimmage yards and 3 touchdowns both had a big game vs Rams.

Rams only allowed Ezekiel Elliott 47 yards rushing last week, but yielded 100+ rushing yards in their previous five games. Jared Goff hasn’t had as good a second half of the season, that could be a lot to do with his star receiver Cooper Kupp’s injury. Rams are run heavy as a result, but have the brilliant Todd Gurley to carry them in that department.

Saints have a strong run defence though. In the last 7 games Sean Payton’s men have only allowed 1 touchdown and a measly 2.9 yards per carry.

Sean McVay’s Rams beat the Cowboys 30-22 in the divisional playoffs, Saints made harder work than they should have against Philadelphia, 20-14.

The Match:

If the Saints stop Gurley that puts pressure on the much maligned Jared Goff. We are dealing with four of the top scoring offences left in the competition. I’ve a feeling the best QB wins here. Drew Brees has thrown for less yards this season than Goff, 3992 vs 4688 but crucially they both threw for 32 touchdowns and Goff has thrown 12 interceptions vs Brees 5. Brees a 74.4% completion rate versus Goff’s 64.9%.

Saints may have more weapons too. Michael Thomas is amazing; 125 receptions for over 1400 yards and 9 TD’s. Kamara is sneakily a big part of the pass catcher core too, 81 receptions for over 700 yards with 883 yards rushing on the ground and 18 TD’s overall. Todd Gurley for the Rams needs to have a big game if they are to have a chance; he has 1251 yards rushing this season and 17 TD’s rushing.

Verdict:

I can see a shootout here but crucially the Rams may be susceptible to making some mistakes, turning over the ball and not keeping pace with the New Orleans Saints. As impressive as Sean McVay has been this season, it’s Payton to win the Sean bowl for me.

I’ll include the Saints in a bet at the bottom of the piece, but for a fun bet on this ideally timed NFC Championship game, I’ll select a #BetBuffet special. Ted Ginn seems to be playing a more important role for the Saints in recent weeks, 15 targets in the last two and he can have a big game.

Drew Brees to have 300+ passing yards & Ted Ginn 100+ receiving yards 15/2

Betting for the Saints vs Rams and a host of specials can be found on BarOneRacing.com here

New England Patriots @ Kansas City Chiefs (11.40pm Sunday)

Form:

11-5 New England Patriots travel to Arrowhead stadium to take on the 12-4 Kansas City Chiefs. They met in week 6 and the Patriots beat the Chiefs at home 43-40. The weather is set to be very cold but not quite at the level as feared. Still -5 Celsius at kick off is plenty chilly. Patrick Mahomes hasn’t much experience playing in freezing conditions, and Brady, even for an old boy should be fine with a good record in the cold.

The Chiefs haven’t allowed 30 points at home in 34 straight games. This season Kansas have only allowed 17.4 points per game at home, yet 34.3ppg on the road. Patriots similarly have only scored 21.6ppg on the road, but 33.8ppg at home. Belichick’s men are only 3/5 on the road this season. The weather has the potential to be a great leveler.

Patrick Mahomes has thrown for 50 touchdown’s this season compared to Brady’s 29. Tyreek Hill could be the difference tonight; he has 1479 receiving yards this season from 87 receptions and 12 TD’s.

A worrying stat for Patriots fans is that they’ve allowed 853 yards and 5 touchdowns in the last 9 games from 167 rush attempts, over 5 yards a carry.

The Match:

Andy Reid can be expected to have his usual fast start, excellent from a prepared play script. Kareem Hunt was 22/246/3 in 2018 against the Pats, Damien Williams is filling his boots well and can have a big night. Tyreek Hill has an excellent record against New England; 7/142/3 in 2018. Surprisingly Kelce has no TD against the Patriots in their last three meetings.

Patriots will rely on Sony Michel and James White for lots of play action and quick, short stuff to get the offence moving. Julian Edelman will also be an important go to man for Tom Brady. Rob Gronkowski has been so quiet of late, mainly blocking for the team, but you imagine would have to have a big impact if Pats are to win on the road. Patriots will rely on an excellent secondary to keep the Chiefs weapons at bay. Belichick always surprises and will need player’s like Dorsett to have a big night to keep this close.

Verdict:

I can’t see Kansas not scoring 30 points. They haven’t conceded 30 in 34 games. Therefore, despite the weather I think the best team wins. Week 6 didn’t tell the full story. It’s the night for a changing of the guard and home is where the heart is.

#BetBuffet selection: Damien Williams, James White & Tyreek Hill all to score a Touchdown 6/1

Betting for the Chiefs vs Patriots is on BarOneRacing.com here including #BetBuffet specials

Moneyline Enhanced Double: Saints & Chiefs 7/4



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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article