2024 NFL Conference Championship Games: Trends & Injuries to Keep In Mind Before Betting

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Deebo Samuel San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers is tackled by Boye Mafe #53 of the Seattle Seahawks. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

The NFL Championship games are set and there will be countless articles breaking down various aspects covering each contest. Our primary focus will be useful for trends to consider before betting at the top sportsbooks and what, if any, injuries could impact the outcome.

Chiefs vs. Ravens (-3.5) – Total 44.5

AFC Championship

  • Key Trend – Since 2017, Kansas City has been 10-0-1 ATS as an away underdog. K.C. has won the last six of those games outright.

Patrick Mahomes‘ skill and will to win makes him almost unbeatable as an underdog. Players like Mahomes are always looking for ways to motivate themselves or their teammates and being a dog fits the bill for the – Respect – card.

  • Key Trend – Kansas City is 7-0 ATS versus teams averaging 130 or more rushing yards a game in the second half of the season since 2021.

Though Kansas City has not been strong against the run in the latter part of the season, an important cog in their success versus opponents like this is the Chiefs offense. With KC grabbing leads that can take the opposing team out of their normal offense and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s ability to create pressure keeps foes behind the sticks.

  • Key Trend – Baltimore is 6-0 ATS vs. teams averaging 235 or more passing yards a game this season.

Baltimore is #1 in points allowed (16.1), passing yards per attempt (5.2), and points per yard allowed (18.4). Though the Chiefs’ pass offense has appeared better the last two weeks, they have not faced a pass defense with this much speed and coverage skills.

  • Key Trend – Kansas City is 8-1 Under after four or more consecutive wins the last two seasons. Baltimore is 17-4 Under after a cover as a double-digit favorite.

These have been two of the best stop troops in the NFL all year. Yes, Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are special talents, nonetheless, each defense will force field goals to keep the score lower.

Chiefs Injuries

For KC, [G] Joe Thuney (Pectoral), [S] Mike Edwards (Concussion) and [LB] Willie Gay (Neck) were all injured against Buffalo and as of Monday were considered questionable.

A more exact status will be confirmed on the NFL’s injury report later this week. All three are starters and missing any of them makes the Chiefs a bit weaker.

Ravens Injuries

The Ravens are quite healthy except for missing [CB] Marlon Humphrey (Calf). There is no word on his status for this week.

Baltimore expects to have [TE] Mark Andrews (Ankle) active this week as he practiced with the team last week. He adds another weapon to Baltimore’s offense.

Lions vs. 49ers (-7) – Total 51

NFC Championship

  • Key Trend – Detroit is 12-2 ATS vs. teams averaging 235 or more passing yards a game since 2021.

Similar to Kansas City, it has been Detroit’s offense that has helped them become a point-spread winner when facing good to great passing opposition. The Lions pass rush has improved markedly since DE Aiden Hutchinson‘s arrival, which also plays a big part.

  • Key Trend – San Francisco is 13-3 ATS vs. teams allowing 5.65 or more yards a play in the second half of the season since 2021.

The diversity of the 49ers offense when it comes to running and passing keeps suspect defenses on their heels. Coach Kyle Shanahan and his staff will break down the flaws of his next opponent and put them on the defensive.

  • Key Trend – Detroit is 10-2 against the money line after allowing 400 or more total yards in their previous game.

Not exactly sure why coach Dan Campbell keeps winning these types of games despite his club’s defensive shortcomings. For the most part, Detroit will give up yards, just not necessarily a lot of points which ends up mattering.

  • Key Trend – San Francisco is 10-1 Over as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points the last three seasons.

This might be a bit of a surprise for a defense known for containing foes. However, this type of point spread suggests the Niners can suffocate lesser competition, but when they are closer to San Fran in talent and skill, they will permit more points, while still scoring an ample amount themselves.

Lions Injuries

The Lions have a Top 3 offensive line in the NFL and they have two key pieces listed as Questionable in [C] Frank Ragnow (Knee & Ankle) and [G] Jonah Jackson (Knee).

To have a shot at knocking off San Francisco, Detroit needs both at least 80% and playing.

*Update – Jonah Jackson was moved to Out 1/22/24.

49ers Injuries

Arguably the most important player on any of the remaining teams on an injury report is [WR] Deebo Samuel (Shoulder), who is questionable. He makes the 49ers offense complete and his absence would affect the Niners on Sunday.

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