The NFL season is fast approaching its climax, and there are a couple more matches to enjoy this evening.
First up is the NFC Championship game, which sees the Green Bay Packers hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at a wintry Lambeau Field. The two sides met in the regular season in week 6, with the Buccs thrashing the Packers 38-10, in what was a big surprise at the time.
The Packers will undoubtedly be seeking revenge for that defeat, and they look a lot stronger now, at home in the snow and the wind. The running game will be important given the likely conditions, but the Buccs defend the run well and are sure to double team Packers star Davante Adams. This could open up more space for the short passing game, and we’ll take a punt that Packers tight end Robert Tonyan scores the opening touchdown.
He has scored the first TD in three of the last 10 Packers games, and we think the 11/1 on offer creates value.
The late game sees the defending Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, taking on the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Championship game.
The Chiefs are favourites to win tonight, and they did defeat the Bills 26-17 in week 6 of the regular season. However, they were pressed for long spells by the Cleveland Browns last weekend, particularly when their star quarterback Patrick Mahomes was forced off with concussion. The status of the reigning Super Bowl MVP has been up in the air for much of the build-up. Although it appears he will start, there must still be doubts about his effectiveness at this point. This could result in a tight match.
The Chiefs usually choose to defer at the opening kick off, preferring to receive the ball in the second half. This means the Bills will start with the ball, and have the first chance of scoring the opening TD. The Bills rarely run the ball, but if they get close to the goal line they tend to rely on quarterback Josh Allen keeping it himself. We’ll take a punt he scores the first TD.
Packers/Buccs: Tonyan to score first TD, 1 pt, at 11/1, SkyBet
Chiefs/Bills: Allen to score first TD, 1 pt, at 11/1, UniBet