The stage for the NFC and AFC Championship games is almost set. In the NFC, the No. 1-seeded Green Bay Packers await the winner of Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees after Aaron Rodgers defeated the Los Angeles Rams 32-18. In the AFC, The Buffalo Bills await the winner of Chiefs-Browns. If Cleveland pulls off the upset, Buffalo will host the conference championship. Otherwise, it goes through Kansas City.
Each week, we’ll collect all of the best picks and gambling content from CBSSports.com and SportsLine in one place, so you can get picks against the spread from our CBS Sports experts as well as additional feature content for each game, including plays from top SportsLine experts and the SportsLine Projection Model, best bets from our staff, survivor picks and more. This is your one-stop shop when it comes to picks!
All NFL odds via William Hill Sportsbook.
Time: Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET (Fox), stream on fuboTV (Try for free)
«They did advance last week, but the Buccaneers did struggle a bit against Taylor Heinicke and it was hardly one of those wins you felt good about going forward. It kind of felt like they simply escaped rather than sent a message to the rest of the NFC that they were around to make a deep run. Meanwhile, the Saints had no problem with the Bears last time out, but you could make a case that we didn’t learn much about New Orleans either as Chicago did their best to come away with the ‘L.’ While Tampa Bay has the talent, it’s hard to trust them going on the road and slaying the Saints. In their careers, Drew Brees is 5-2 SU and ATS in head-to-head matchups with Tom Brady. This game will be closer than the previous matchups, but I’ll still roll with the status quo in New Orleans.» — Tyler Sullivan on why he likes the Saints to cover on Sunday.
«When two division rivals meet in the playoffs, I don’t necessarily pay attention to what happened during the regular season, but in this game, it’s kind of hard to ignore. The Saints blew out the Buccaneers twice this year with wins of 34-23 and 38-3, and yes, I count that first score as a blowout because it was 34-17 late in the game until the Buccaneers scored a garbage-time touchdown. Apparently, it’s supposed to be tough to beat a team three times in one season, but I’m starting to think that’s an old wives’ tale that some drunken NFL fan came up with one night after having one too many drinks on Bourbon Street. Since 1970, a total of 21 teams have gone 2-0 against a divisional opponent in the regular season and then faced them again in the playoffs and those 21 teams went 14-7 in the third game, which means 66.7% of the teams have finished the three-game sweep. Over the past 25 years, that number is 75% (9-3).» — John Breech on why he’s on the Saints to cover.
«Tampa Bay’s offense is putting up big numbers thanks to Brady, but that New Orleans defense hasn’t allowed 300 passing yards in any game all year. So, that New Orleans offense could be a little sharper than last week, but I think their ‘D’ dictates the game and the offense gets conservative in the second half.» — SportsLine’s R.J. White on the Pick Six Podcast explaining why he’s leaning towards the Under.
Top prop picks
Alvin Kamara Under 102.5 total yards (-115)
«Tampa Bay has allowed 100 total yards to just two running backs all year (Dalvin Cook, Brian Hill in Week 17). Shoot, only seven teams have had their running backs total 100 yards against this front! The Bucs have held opposing runners to 3.7 yards per carry in their past eight, and despite ranking first in running back receptions per game allowed (6.18), they’re sixth-best in yards per catch allowed (6.5) and 12th in receiving touchdowns per game allowed (0.18). Kamara is obviously a special player, but even he’s struggled to get even 70 total yards against the Bucs in two games this season despite five receptions in each game. I fully expect Kamara to score and get close to the number, but not over it.» — CBS Sports’ Dave Richard
Tom Brady Over 0.5 interceptions (-145) — Jordan Dajani