NFL odds, picks for AFC, NFC Championship Games: Proven computer model loving over in Saints vs. Rams

 cbssports.com  01/17/2019 19:17:24   CBS Sports Staff

In the latest NFL odds, the Kansas City Chiefs remain three-point favorites against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, with the over-under down to 55.5 after opening at 57. Oddsmakers, however, are keeping a close eye on the Kansas City weather, with frigid temperatures expected, as well as the NFL injury report with Spencer Ware (hamstring) and Eric Berry (heel) among the players who are iffy. For the NFC Championship Game, the Saints (-3) have placed defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (Achilles) on injured reserve, but both New Orleans and Los Angeles should have all the other key pieces close to 100 percent. With NFL odds and spreads on the move and injury reports updated daily, be sure to check out the NFL picks and playoff predictions from SportsLine's proven computer model before locking in any plays of your own for Championship Sunday.

SportsLine's proprietary computer model went 176-80 straight up last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Sports Office Pool players in 2016 and '17. It also performed better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on A-rated picks against the spread last season, and $100 bettors who have followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000. 

The model has continued to nail its top-rated picks in 2018-19, entering the championship round on a blistering 16-6 run. For the season, it is now 30-15 on all top-rated picks, extending its two-year run to a strong 78-49. It also went 170-84 on straight-up NFL picks during the regular season, ranking inside the top 10 on NFLPickWatch.com. Additionally, it is 7-1 on all against-the-spread picks in the 2019 NFL playoffs. Anyone who has followed it is way up. 

Now it has examined the latest NFL odds and lines, simulated every snap 10,000 times, and its NFL picks and predictions are in. One of the top championship round NFL picks the model recommends: The over (56.5) hits when the Rams travel to the Superdome to take on the Saints at 3:05 p.m. ET in the 2019 NFC Championship Game. 

This total has inched down half-a-point, creating even more value on the over in the simulations. The Rams are accustomed to seeing some large totals this season, but they've regularly cleared them. They played in 14 games with an over-under of greater than 48 and went over in nine of them. That includes the Rams vs. Saints matchup that produced 80 total points in a November game where Vegas expected 58. 

With C.J. Anderson teaming up with Todd Gurley in the backfield, the Rams have yet another weapon for this matchup. SportsLine's model is calling for that duo to account for around 200 yards of total offense, while quarterbacks Jared Goff and Drew Brees both throw for around 300 yards as the over hits in well over half of simulations. 

Another one of the championship round NFL predictions from the model: The under (55.5) hits in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium between the Patriots and Chiefs at 6:40 p.m. ET on Sunday. 

Even with this over-under moving down two points due to concerns about the Kansas City weather, the model still is backing the under in well over 50 percent of simulations. These teams combined for 83 points in their first matchup of the season at New England, but the scenario is much different on Sunday. 

The Patriots vs. Chiefs forecast continues to call for weather that could be under 10 degrees, even testing the resolve of two teams that are accustomed to frigid postseason games. The model is calling for both teams to lean on the run game more than normal, with Sony Michel projected to get almost 20 carries and Damien Williams getting 15. That should keep the clock running, helping the under clear with room to spare. 

The model also has locked in NFL against-the-spread picks for the AFC and NFC Championship Games. It's identified which side of each game has all the value, making it a must-back, so you absolutely need to see its NFL picks before you lock in your own.

What NFL picks can you make with confidence during the NFL's championship round schedule? And which sides of the spread are a must-back? Check out the latest NFL odds for Sunday below and then visit SportsLine to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has beaten 98 percent of experts over the past two years.

NFC Championship Game: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-3, 56.5)
AFC Championship Game: New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs (-3, 55.5)

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