There’s only one weekend of the 2018 NFL playoffs remaining before Super Bowl LII. Sunday’s action starts with the New England Patriots hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game, and it concludes with the Minnesota Vikings visiting the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game.
Below are picks against the spread and the schedule for both conference championship games, as well as updated betting odds at Las Vegas and online sportsbooks. Betting lines and trends are courtesy of OddsShark.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+9.5) at New England Patriots (3:05 p.m. EST, CBS)
Don’t underestimate Jacksonville’s chances of pulling off an upset in New England. This game is about much more than just Blake Bortles vs. Tom Brady. The Jaguars have the AFC’s best defense, and it’s a unit that turns mistakes into points, which is why Jacksonville ranks just three spots behind New England’s No.2 scoring offense. The Patriots have lost in the playoffs when their opponent has been able to put pressure on Brady, and New England’s offensive line faces a difficult task against the team that finished the regular season second in sacks.
No NFL team rushed for more yards in 2017 than the Jaguars. Only one team allowed more yards per carry than the Patriots. If Jacksonville can avoid falling into an early hole, they should be in this game for most of the way.
Jacksonville is 8-4 against the spread in their last 12 games. New England is 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 games.
Prediction ATS: Jacksonville
Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates with Calais Campbell #93 after rushing for a touchdown in the first quarter during the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Jan. 14, 2018 in Pittsburgh. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images
Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (6:40 p.m. EST, FOX)
There are plenty of reasons to pick the Vikings to reach Super Bowl LII. Minnesota has the NFL’s No.1 ranked defense. They’ve got the quarterback advantage with Carson Wentz out, and Case Keenum has more dangerous weapons at his disposal than Nick Foles. The Eagles have totaled just 34 points in their last three games, and they probably won’t score a ton of points Sunday night.
That doesn’t mean Philadelphia can’t stay within a field goal or even win the NFC Championship Game. The Eagles will be at home, where they went undefeated before losing a meaningless game in Week 17. After holding Matt Ryan and the defending NFC Champs to 10 points in the divisional playoffs, Philadelphia has allowed 13 points per game at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles pressured the quarterback more than anyone in the regular season. Keenum was under constant pressure against the New Orleans Saints last weekend behind an offensive line that is without its starting left guard.
The Vikings are 9-3 in their last 12 games against the spread. The Eagles have covered the spread in six of their last eight home games.
Prediction ATS: Philadelphia
Source : http://www.ibtimes.com/nfl-playoff-picks-against-spread-2018-predictions-schedule-conference-championship-2642338