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I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Conference Championship Games won’t be quite as exciting as the four games the Divisional Round delivered. I’ll still be pretty satisfied if they’re half as good as those outstanding games from the best weekend of football the NFL has ever produced. The Bengals will play in the franchise’s first AFC Championship in 33 years while the Chiefs are making NFL history by hosting their fourth consecutive AFC Championship Game. I’m taking Joe Mixon (Cin) under 72.5 rushing yards (90 pts) with my first selection. Mixon hasn’t topped 65 rushing yards in seven straight games since RT Riley Reiff first injured his ankle in Week 13, which includes his 12/46 rushing performances against the Chiefs in Week 17. The Bengals will likely have to go with a more pass-heavy game plan this week as seven-point road underdogs too. I’m looking at Jerick McKinnon (KC) over 45.5 rushing and receiving yards (75 pts) for my second prop from this contest. McKinnon has been a revelation over the last three weeks since he first emerged in the season finale, totaling 50+ scrimmage yards in three straight games while averaging 6.6 yards per touch. He played more than 70% of the snaps last week even with Clyde Edwards-Helaire back in the mix.
Both the Rams and 49ers will be making their second NFC Championship Game appearances since 2018, but only one team will represent the NFC for the second time in that span — the Rams last did it in 2018 and the 49ers did it in 2019. I’m grabbing Deebo Samuel (SF) under 5.5 receptions (95 pts) with my first prop in this contest. Samuel has seen more of his touches as a runner than as a receiver in each of his last four games, with 7+ carries compared to four or fewer catches in each of those contests. I’m also taking Matthew Stafford (LAR) under 280.5 passing yards (110 pts) in his third matchup against the 49ers. Stafford posted 243/1 passing in Week 10 and 238/3 passing in Week 18 in this matchup. The 49ers’ offense is the best at taking the air out of the ball for opposing offenses, and they’ve held 17-of-19 passes to 278 or fewer yards this season. Enjoy the last weekend with multiple games and good luck as always! — Tom Brolley