2021 NFL Conference Championship Weekend Preview

Is there a better weekend than the 2021 NFL Conference Championship weekend?

Key Points

  • Underdog Cincinnati travels to Kansas City in the AFC championship game.
  • San Francisco has beaten the Rams twice this season and looks for a third win in the NFC championship.

The NFL conference championship games are set for this coming weekend. The winners will advance to play each in Super Bowl LVI which will be held in Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium on Sunday, February 13.

Three of the four remaining teams were all underdogs in their divisional round playoff games. Kansas City was the only favorite that won last weekend and all four games were decided on the final play. Will we get that kind of excitement this weekend?


AFC Championship

Kansas City battled Buffalo last week winning in overtime to advance in one of the best playoff games in recent history. This week, the Chiefs will take on another underdog – Cincinnati.

The Bengals went on the road last week and beat No. 1 seed Tennessee. QB Joe Burrow led the Bengals down the field in a matter of seconds allowing Evan McPherson to hit a game-winning 52-yard field goal.

The issue for Cincy though was Burrow getting sacked nine times. The Chiefs and Bengals played back in Week 17 and Kansas City sacked Burrow four times.

Cincinnati was able to overcome those sacks with its own defense. In the first game against KC, the Bengals held Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to just three second-half points after they had taken a 28-14 halftime lead. Last week, Cincy picked off Titans QB Ryan Tannehill three times.

Both teams are crushing it against the number. Cincy is 6-0 ATS in its last six games and the Chiefs are 8-2 ATS in their last ten. Burrow is 5-1 ATS as a road underdog.

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What’s interesting is that conference championship game favorites of more than a field goal are 15-8 ATS since 2004. Even more interesting is this. In conference title games where the two opponents played earlier in the season, the favorite (of more than a field goal) is 6-2 ATS.

NFC Championship

The NFC title game also features teams that have played each other earlier in the season. In fact, the Rams and 49ers, both of the NFC West Division, played each other twice so far this season. San Francisco won both games.

The 49ers have won the last six games in a row over the Rams sweeping the past three seasons. Now, they meet for a shot at the Super Bowl. With that, go take a look at our NFL Championship Round staff selections.

The Niners actually have dominated the Rams in both games this season. They played in the season finale and San Francisco won in overtime. The game wouldn’t have been close if not for the Rams converting 7-of-10 third downs and 3-of-4 red zone trips.

The 49ers outgained the Rams 449 to 265. San Francisco sacked Rams QB Matthew Stafford five times and held LA to 123 second half yards. In the first game, it was more of the same. The Niners picked Stafford off twice and ran for 156 yards in a 31-10 blowout.

There is a history of division matchups in playoff games. Since 2003, road teams are 15-8-1 ATS and home teams failed to cover in eight straight such games until this season. Also, the team with the lower winning percentage is 14-6-1 ATS and the team that won the last game by a touchdown or less is 8-5 ATS.

Before you go, check out our last publication. We talked about how to bet NBA point spreads.