NFC, AFC Championship Games schedule: Point spreads, betting lines, picks, predictions

The AFC and NFC Championship Games of the NFL postseason have officially arrived–meaning the best Sunday of football all year is upon us. Championship Round weekend features two marquee matchup: Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles. Can the upstart Jaguars walk into New England and upset Tom Brady and Bill Belichick? Are the Vikings and quarterback Case Keenum truly a team of destiny or will the Eagles ride the underdog wave all the way to a Super Bowl appearance?

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We’ve reached the best Sunday on the NFL calendar: AFC and NFC Championship Round games.

With the sport’s final four set, it’s time to attempt what feels almost impossible on a weekly basis: Pick all the winners, game-by-game style.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (-8.5)

Sunday, Jan. 21, 3:05 p.m. EST

If a team is going to knock off Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, certain factors must come into play: Pass rush, commitment to running the ball, self-confidence and a quarterback able to make clutch throws. Jacksonville has the formula, but I can’t see Blake Bortles rising to this occasion. Here comes another Patriots Super Bowl. THE PICK: Patriots.

Minnesota Vikings (-3) at Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, Jan. 21, 6:40 p.m. EST

The game of the weekend will go down at Lincoln Financial Field when the Vikings invade to take on the home underdog Eagles. Much like last week, the Eagles will ride a dominant defense, rowdy crowd and masterful play calling of head coach Doug Pederson to a close game in the fourth quarter. But Minnesota’s historic third-down defense will make every point hard to come by here. One big play and one turnover flips this game.

How does an old-school defensive battle end? With two tortured fan bases holding their collective breath as Kai Forbath lines up for a field goal to send the Vikings to a home Super Bowl. When it goes wide left, The Linc will erupt. THE PICK: Eagles 16, Vikings 14.

Joe Giglio may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JoeGiglioSports. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


Source: BLOGNJ