Editor’s Note: We’ve listed only the top four teams remaining and excluded those out of the playoffs.
And then there were four. A Fab 4 to be sure as the Chiefs, Rams, 49ers, and Bengals are the only teams still standing after an absolutely wild Divisional round.
Let’s check out the OddsTrader Power Rankings and see where the remaining teams rank as we enter the third of four rounds.
Don’t forget, you can go over our nifty tool explanation with our Week 1 post, and remember to check back every Tuesday for analysis of the adjustment in the positions.
Now, let’s review our top 4 teams and see if you agree.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-5 SU, 10-9 ATS) Next: vs. Bengals – If you missed the madness and mayhem of the Chiefs/Bills game last weekend then watch a replay of the last two minutes of regulation and you will see a staggering 25 combined points scored which ended in a 36-36 tie, forcing overtime. Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes proved yet again they are among the elite passers in the game and the shootout at the Arrowhead corral was nothing short of stunning.
The poorest decision Josh Allen made all day was his choice of tails during the overtime coin flip. Had he called “heads” we could very well be writing about the Buffalo Bills as the odds-on-favorite to win the Super Bowl.
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However, it was the Chiefs that opted to receive the ball first and in four minutes and 15 seconds, Patrick Mahomes engineered another game-winning drive, hitting Travis Kelce for an eight-yard touchdown pass to ice a 42-36 victory.
The Chiefs will welcome the upstart Bengals to Arrowhead for the AFC Championship and look to avenge a 34-31 loss in Cincinnati just four weeks ago.
2. Los Angeles Rams (14-5 SU, 10-9 ATS) Next: at Bucs – The Los Angles Rams treated Tom Brady like he was an undrafted backup throughout much of the game last week. The Bucs’ offense was stymied and the ferocious LA pass rush, led by Aaron Donald and Von Miller, gave Brady fits all afternoon long.
But Tom Brady was not done despite the Bucs falling behind by 24 points in the third quarter. Between several Rams miscues and Tom Terrific rallying his troops, Tampa Bay stormed back and tied the game with only 42 seconds remaining, courtesy of a nine-yard Leonard Fournette run.
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It looked like another preternatural comeback by the man who has done exactly that on countless occasions.
However, Matthew Stafford had some magic of his own and drove the Rams 63 yards on five plays which resulted in a 30-yard game-winning field goal by Matt Gay, ending the Bucs’ hopes for consecutive Super Bowl titles.
Los Angeles will take on the 49ers in the NFC Championship game and will try to avenge two regular-season losses to their divisional rivals.
3. San Francisco 49ers (12-7 SU, 11-8 ATS) Next: at Rams – The 49ers will not go away. It’s like the Zombie Apocalypse, they keep coming and coming, leaving death and destruction in their wake. Last week they were supposed to be a tune-up for Aaron Rodgers and the well-rested Green Bay Packers. Instead, it was the Niners who tuned the Packers up when they strutted out of Lambeau with a 13-10 victory in hand.
The San Francisco defense was once again front and center as they limited MVP candidate, Aaron Rodgers, to only 225 yards and zero touchdowns. The Niners’ defense sacked Rodgers five times and the routinely prolific Green Bay offense could do no better than an AJ Dillon rushing touchdown and a Mason Crosby field goal.
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But to say this was an easy win for the 49ers would be disingenuous as they were tied in the waning seconds of the game until Robbie Gould ripped a 44-yard kick through the uprights to capture the stunning win and propel his team to the NFC title game.
The 49ers will meet the Rams and try to go for a three-peat over LA after a 31-10 Week 10 victory and a 27-24 overtime win on the last week of the regular season.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (12-7 SU, 12-7 ATS) Next: at Chiefs – The Bengals have to be saying, “How do ya like me now?” to their detractors. Not only did they win the AFC North but have now won five of their last six games including a Wild Card round win over the Raiders and a stunning upset of the AFC’s No. 1 seed, the Tennessee Titans, last weekend.
The Titans’ pass rush was unrelenting, sacking Joe Burrow a whopping nine times, but Cincinnati’s young gun continued to punish the Tennessee secondary as evidenced by his 348 passing yards and nearly 76 percent completion percentage.
His favorite receiver and former LSU teammate, Ja’Marr Chase, caught five of six targets for 109 yards but it was Evan “Money” McPherson, a fifth-round rookie out of Florida, who did most of the damage. When the smoke cleared McPherson made all four field goals, including the game-winner, a 52-yard bomb with no time remaining to claim the 19-16 victory.
The Cats will travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City juggernaut led by Patrick Mahomes. The NFL odds at all of the best online sportsbooks have installed the Chiefs as seven-point home favorites.
And remember to check back for more betting strategy at the OddsTrader blog. Happy betting!