Championship Sunday, ride Patrick Mahomes and get some cash

Sports

Use Mahomes for a bigger America and an increase in the bank account

Image: Getty (Getty Images)

Not many of the 365 days we get around the sun every trip can match the excitement of Championship Sunday.

You know what makes them even more exciting? Add to our profit. So let’s stay focused on that and cherish the day.

top/bottom: 14-4-1

Spreads: 11-8

teaser: 8-11

Props: 10-9

Overall record*: 43-32-1, +12.42 units

*Each over/under rated to win 2 units; everything else for 1 unit. Play-offs are half

Best over/under bet

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

Top/bottom: 54.5

For the fourth consecutive season, Patrick Mahomes has led the Chiefs to the AFC title game. Since this streak started when he first became the starting quarterback in Kansas City, it’s time to realize that Mahomes is generations.

I recognized it a while ago simply by the ostentatious numbers and leadership that the former first round draft pick would display immediately upon his arrival in the league. But what really sets Mahomes apart from the rest of his generation is how unstoppable he becomes at this time of year.

Look at these video game-esque numbers as the football calendar flips to the playoffs: 107.2 passer rating, 3,106 yards, 25 touchdown passes and just five interceptions as he completes 66.2 percent of his throws. This would be an excellent regular season for most QBs over time, but that was in 10 games.

And this is the postseason, where legacies are etched. At this rate, Mahomes could really replace Tom Brady as the widely regarded best QB ever. He is already looking to potentially take over Brady’s record of consecutive Conference Championship appearances.

Given the time of year and where this particular match will come from, how could you anticipate a no-skew on the Chiefs scoreboard?

Not only do KC hit a stunning average of 33.2 points per game in the playoffs with Mahomes behind the middle, they also regularly light up the opposing team’s defenses just when they play at Arrowhead. In fact, Mahomes has led his squad to an average of 31.1 points in 38 career games (including postseason) in front of Chiefs stalwarts.

Eight of those home games took place in the playoffs and, remarkably, the Chiefs only scored the top 30 points once (and in that one game, Mahomes barely played more than the first half). With how Mahomes is now in his usual rhythm, based on how well he’s done over the past two months, we have to assume that 30 points is about the floor for Kansas City.

But what about the Bengalis? By winning two-on-two in their playoff games so far, you might think they’ve been more defensive.

While the D was solid, the offense continues to follow Cincy as Joe Burrow continues to cement his position as one of the best young quarterbacks in recent memory. At least, if what the thrill of the second year has been like throughout the campaign is any indication. More likely than not, it is.

Burrow has been so good this season that his score of 108.3 passers by beat every QB1 except Aaron Rodgers (111.9). To put into perspective how great the LSU product was, that’s almost 10 points higher than what Mahomes ended up with.

There is no doubt that Burrow has one of the better supporting casts around him. Joe Mixon has long been an underrated tailback and the WR trio Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are among the best.

This combination immediately translated into success, with the Bengals in seventh place this season in terms of runs scored (27.1). They put 34 on the Chiefs a few weeks ago.

A 1930s grand total isn’t even necessary from Cincinnati. That’s what we expect from the other side, and as long as the Bengals prove to be a quality enough dance partner while KC applies their usual mastery on offense, this game will hold plenty to pass.

Finally, let’s realize that the weather won’t be of the usual harsh variety when NFL football typically takes place in Kansas City right now. The temperature is expected to rise above 40 degrees.

As in an Arrowhead Stadium affair at the beginning of the season, where I emphasized the importance of this number (and got a push out of it rather than a loss) in over/unders, I buy half a point to have 54 and highly recommend that you do the same. Choose: OVER 54 (-120)

Best Spread Bet

San Francisco 49ers in Los Angeles Rams

Spread: 49ers +3.5/Rams -3.5

Normally, taking the other team in a third meeting during the playoffs isn’t the wisest choice when a division rivalry causes one team to win both games in the regular season.

There may be an exception here, however, with how dominant the Rams have been on the way to getting to this point. First they trampled Kyler Murray all night in the very first Monday night football playoff game, before last week knocking out Tom Brady in arguably his last ever NFL action.

San Francisco has also taken an intriguing path of defeating two conference heavyweights (Cowboys, Packers) on their own, despite a quarterback now playing below average.

Admittedly, it’s only been two balls games, but the numbers are still telling when we weigh how Jimmy Garoppolo injured the thumb of his throwing hand a few weeks ago to the point of requiring out-of-season surgery. So that means he’s playing at significantly less than 100 percent — a tough job for anyone about to take on the dangerous Rams D.

In his previous two appearances this postseason, Garoppolo only managed 300 passes combined and registered less than seven yards per attempt. Given his condition at the moment, I don’t think he will stray far from that output, which indicates LA is imposing his will.

Matthew Stafford, meanwhile, is just showing what the world has been missing out on in all the years he’s been sidelined in play-off time. He managed 10.3 yards per pass attempt en route to connection on four touchdown passes compared to zero interceptions. All in all, he has a 131.5 (!) passer rating

Apparently, we are indeed witnessing long-awaited greatness and I’m willing to bet if he only needs to cover a minuscule spread. The x factor for me to make this run possible is Odell Beckham Jr.

The 29-year-old is finally — like his quarterback — getting the chance to shine brightest on the sport’s biggest stage, and he predictably made the most of it. Cooper Kupp may attract the most attention, but that just makes Beckham’s presence all the more deadly for the opposition.

Trust me the Rams can keep moving the ball at will. Garoppolo with less than full health adds to a ceiling that LA can’t surpass. I also strongly recommend buying the hook. Choose: RAMS -3 (-130)

Best Teaser Bet (2 Game, 7 Points)

Leaders -7 -> HP

SF-LAR U46 -> U53

Teasers are the hardest when you work with the fewest games. We will continue on Championship Sunday anyway.

Let’s hope for a straight win for the Chiefs first, supporting an (already) great QB of all time in his most comfortable setting: Arrowhead Stadium in January.

The trends suggest another explosive performance from KC today. Can the Bengals keep up? I don’t think they can.

Yes, Cincinnati defeated them in their regular season meeting earlier this month, but there is a significant difference from the playoff action. As special as Burrow looked already, I feel like this is more of a learning experience for the 2020 No. 1 overall design pick. Plus, Mahomes always rolls in these showings, which is why he’s 8-2 in the post-season.

For the second half of Championship Sunday, we’re looking at the total rather than the spread. With an extra touchdown (and extra point) added, the bottom one in 49ers-Rams looks deliciously tempting.

While LA has one of the most complete offenses in professional football, they’re about to tangle with a first-class defense that just continues to excel — and one that’s done a good job against Matthew Stafford. The Niners capped the former Detroit Lion to a meager passer score of 78.9, easily his lowest mark this year against all other NFC West residents.

Obviously, the Rams also have an excellent defensive unit. Put them up against anyone and you will always love their prospects. Put them against an offense that makes QB start playing hurt and that increases their chance of a good outing.

Coupled with a grand total of 53, the Rams just need to avoid any kind of scoring outburst. Knowing that Jimmy G is still playing with an injured thumb on his throwing hand, that seems like a good bet. Garoppolo didn’t do well in both rounds.

Best player prop bet

Joe Burrow over/under 37.5 passes

As highlighted in our best over/under bet of the week, there will be a healthy amount of scoring in Chiefs Kingdom today. No matter who wins, we can predict the type of action.

If Cincinnati emerge victorious and resolve the monumental upset, well, it would require a monumental feat from their starting signal caller. If KC wins, which seems more likely, that points to Burrow and Co. have to catch up.

Either way, there’s plenty of meaningful data to suggest why we can watch the Bengals take to the skies often today. The proof that sticks with me most is the fact that in the nine games this year, the Bengals put in more than 20 points, Burrow averaged 36.7 passes.

Considering Kansas City’s incredible ability to score easily at home and in the playoffs, you have to think they are guaranteed to top that relatively low output of 20 points. So, whatever the outcome, we know Burrow’s lowest possible number of throws. He will surpass that. Choice: MORE THAN 37.5 pass attempts (-114)

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