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The NFL season is wrapping up quickly as we enter the Conference Championship games this weekend. On Sunday, January 28, the Baltimore Ravens will host the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Detroit Lions will be on the road against the San Francisco 49ers.
Below are the three best prop bets for these matchups that will decide who’s in Super Bowl LVIII.
Starting things off, we’re looking at Ravens interior defensive lineman Justin Madubuike. This season, he’s been a fantastic pass rusher for Baltimore, racking up 71 pressures and 14 sacks. This week, he’ll take on a Chiefs offensive line dealing with an injury to a notable player: Joe Thuney.
Thuney suffered a pectoral injury in the Divisional Round, leaving his status up for the game. If he does play, Thuney is an excellent guard who’s allowed just two sacks all season. However, it’s difficult to say how badly that pectoral injury will impact things, especially with Madubuike matching up with you primarily in the trenches.
Madubuike had seven pressures in the Divisional Round and six games with six or more. In those games, he’s managed a sack in all but one. In games with three pressures or more (14), he’s posted in a sack in 12 of them.
Whether Thuney suits up or not, look for Madubuike to get after Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes here and rack up at least half of a sack.
If there’s one thing we learned from the Divisional Round, it’s that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will still run plenty, even in this new Todd Monken offense. Against the Texans, he had 100 rushing yards, two touchdowns, and passed for two more.
Against the Chiefs here, he’ll face a defense that’s been prone to rush-heavy quarterbacks.
They’ve allowed six rushing touchdowns to signal callers this year from Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Joe Burrow.
Jackson has seven rushing touchdowns on the year, including the two last week, and he’s had five designed runs or more in three of his last four games.
This is simply part of the offense for him. Last week, Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr. suffered a neck injury that could take him out of this game. That’s important because he was the primary quarterback spy used against Josh Allen.
That’s impactful as Gay Jr. has the speed to spy a quarterback effectively, but judging by Allen’s rushing production in the Divisional Round, they had trouble with it.
Look for Jackson to score here. Take the +105 line.
Taking the under on Christian McCaffrey doing anything is always a tough bet, but here, he’s facing a ferocious Lions run defense.
This season, the Lions have held teams to just 61.68 rushing yards per game and 3.61 yards per carry.
McCaffrey is essentially the only rusher used when he’s on the field. The Lions have only allowed 87 rushing yards or more in a game twice this season (Week 7 and 18). In those games, no single player rushed for 87 rushing yards.
Of course, McCaffrey is a different threat, rushing for 87 yards or more ten times this season, but he’ll likely be used more as a receiver here as trying to run on the Lions is unlikely to prove successful.
Look for McCaffrey to rake in the receptions here, but the rushing production will probably be around 10-15 carries for 60-70 yards, whether they lead or not.
Suppose wide receiver Deebo Samuel misses the game with his shoulder injury. In that case, that’ll only mean more passing game work for McCaffrey, too.
After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Journalism, Richard Janvrin has been covering iGaming and sports betting since December 2018. Richard has covered betting at Bleacher Report, Gambling.com, The Game Day, Forbes, and more.More info on Richard Janvrin
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