The NFL insisted on playing football for a season and now we get more chalk. So if it’s “normalcy” you seek in 2021, rejoice, you’ll see a lot of familiar faces today.
Tom Brady has been in 13 AFC championship games and will play for his first NFC title today against Aaron Rodgers, who will make his second straight appearance on championship Sunday. And in KC, Pat Mahomes’ Chiefs will host the AFC final for the third year in a row.
The Bills are the newbies, but they’re no fluke. They won their first playoff game since the ‘90s this year and have a chance to play for a trip to Super Bowl LV.
A matchup of top seeds and grizzled vets may not be the championship Sunday you wanted. Luckily, the spreads make every game interesting. We have two close ones today. Here’s who I like ATS.
Bucs at Packers (-3.5)
It’s the GOAT vs. the MVP frontrunner. The Bucs are 1-0-1 ATS in the playoffs coming off a HUGE win against the Saints. The Packers? They look ready to play in the Super Bowl. Green Bay covered a 6.5-point spread and then some last week against the Rams. And for all the geriatric talk between these two QB’s. They should, at least, provide an entertaining match up.
Love em or hate ‘em, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are old hits that still rock. Before they pack up and go to vinyl, just enjoy this game while we have it.
Pick: It would be cool if the Bucs became the first team to play at home in a Super Bowl, but it’s not going to happen. The Packers are rested, at Lambeau, with the best quarterback in the league. Tom Brady is 3-3 in away conference championship games. He’ll be 3-4 by the end of the afternoon. I like the Packers by a touchdown.
Weather: The tundra will barely be frozen. 30º and cloudy with a chance of snow.
Bills at Chiefs (-3)
After Patrick Mahomes’ concussion last week, Vegas set the line at Bills -1.5. Now, with Mahomes clearing concussion protocol he is good to go for his third straight AFC championship, and the spread is KC -3.
But is Mahomes, who is still dealing with turf toe and coming off a head injury, worth four points? Maybe. He’ll be up against the hottest team left in the NFL playoffs. The Bills haven’t lost a game since November 15 and they’re 1-1 ATS in these playoffs. This will be the biggest game of Josh Allen’s life. So, which young QB do you like here?
Pick: Patrick Mahomes is great, but I’m wary of any signal-caller who couldn’t stand up a week ago. Take Buffalo straight up and against the spread. The Bills feel like a team of destiny.
Weather: Cold? Sure, but not freezing at 39° and cloudy. That’s sleeveless weather for most players on the field and some meatheads in the stands.