2018 AFC Conference Championship Free Betting Picks

My worst nightmare is coming true. Brady. His sixth ring. Undisputed GOAT. Path of least resistance: Mariota, Bortles, Keenum/Foles. It's all happening. It's like living November 2016 all over again. Let's get this over with. Patriots ML parlayed with the Under.

I've got to give credit where credit's due. I had no faith in Jacksonville's defense and I paid the price on that one. I didn't think there was a chance Jacksonville could go up north and win twice in Pittsburgh. Perhaps Big Ben is really over the hill. But don't take anything away from Jacksonville: they were the better team and they deserved to win that game. Jalen Ramsey and Marshon Lattimore are the next generation of star cornerbacks. If Jacksonville is going to have a hope in hell of winning this game, Ramsey is going to have to have the game of his life. If Jacksonville's defense doesn't put up points, they won't win this game.

I was planning on writing about how football is very much a psychological sport. You can almost see the momentum changing. You sometimes just know that one team has another team's number. It's not just raw talent out there on the field. And I was planning on writing about how New England owns Pittsburgh. But Jacksonville? These are a bunch of brash, talented kids who truly believe they are destined to win the Super Bowl. And they will, in the next three years. But will experience make the difference in this one? You're going up against the best quarterback-coach duo in NFL history.

I'd love to pick the upset in this one. It has been an insane playoffs with the dogs going 6-2 ATS and 4-4 SU. I just can't advise putting your hard earned money up against the death star of Brady-Belichick...in January...in Foxboro. There's just too great of a disparity between these offenses. At quarterback, this disparity is most pronounced. Even a nominal football fan would understand this. But I think the insurmountable issue for the Jags is how are they going to cover Gronkowski? The man is a monster and presents an issue for any opposing defense. If the Pats establish a run game with Dion Lewis and force the Jags to stay honest, this is going to allow Gronk too much space to operate. Don't get me wrong, Marquis Lee was one of the top underrated fantasy finds and Leonard Fournette has the potential to become one of the greatest running backs of his generation (if not the last few decades). But Belichick will be ready for both of them and with Fournette's lingering injury issues, I just have no idea how Jacksonville's offense will respond. They haven't faced this type of beast all season. And the Patriots have been dominant on defense since the beginning of December.

At the beginning of the playoffs, I looked at the potential brackets and I said, please just let Kansas City and Pittsburgh get their rematch with the Pats. If needed, send in the Saints to finish the job. And now Pats' haters' nation turns its lonely eyes to Bortles, Foles & Keenum. Get ready for a sixth ring.