The NFL’s Final Four is upon us, with storyline narratives for all potential Super Bowl matchups ready and waiting. First up on Sunday’s itinerary will be the NFC Championship Game, straight from Lambeau Field. Tom Brady will lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. We’ll take a look at OddsShopper to compare betting odds while referencing player stats, matchups, and team trends to narrow down our NFC Championship Sunday NFL betting picks.
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NFL Betting Picks: NFC Championship Sunday Football
(+126, SugarHouse & DraftKings Sportsbook)
Another postseason, another Conference Championship appearance for Tom Brady. This time he takes the field with some of the best weaponry made available to him on offense in any of his 14 playoff appearances. Among the teammates that Brady is likely most thankful for in this postseason push is multi-talent running back Leonard Fournette. The running back had the most meaningful performances of his season (and possibly his career) in the Bucs past two games. When taking a look at the Receptions Player Prop subcategory on OddsShopper, Fournette’s betting line of 3.5 catches with +126 odds-on, the over stands out as an instant value spot with what we know of his prominence in the passing game.
With the absence of wide receiver Antonio Brown due to a knee injury, the options in the passing game are narrowed for Tampa Bay with the Packers secondary able to assign extra help on Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. Along with Green Bay activating newly acquired cornerback Tramon Williams, following his release by the Baltimore Ravens, Fournette appears to be the writing on the wall for the Bucs, as he’s been a potent inclusion in both the rushing and passing successes over the past two weeks on the road in the playoffs. Although averaging 3.6 targets per game throughout the regular season, Fournette has seen 5.5 targets the last two weeks. In his recent performance leading the Bucs in receptions in their victory over the Saints, Fournette hauled in five catches. With Brown’s absence, one could assume Fournette’s target share will increase with consideration to his recent production, while the Packers defense lend to the likeability here as well.
Green Bay’s secondary has remained stout from the regular season through last weekend’s Divisional Round matchup against the Rams. Yet their weakness has been proven against opposing running backs and particularly of note in the passing game. The Packers are tied for 26th in the league in receptions allowed to opposing running backs with 92 catches surrendered, along with the most receiving yards allowed to the position with 774. As this is far from Brady’s first rodeo, logic may say that the Greatest of All Time was aware of this defensive hole long before now.
All signs are pointing to a solid workload for Fournette heading into Lambeau, after he tied his season-high seven targets just last week. We can get a 26% increase on the even-money betting odds, a bonus for just four catches or more. Take the plus-money.
The Packers find themselves back just prior to where they left off a season ago with a shot a redemption in the NFC Championship Game, except this time playing amidst their snow-slathered stadium at home in Lambeau Field. With Davante Adams garnering an average 34% target share through the regular season, it’s a near-guarantee that he’ll draw help coverage on nearly every passing down. This makes the player props for surrounding cast members that much more interesting. Finding tight end Robert Tonyan with a reception player prop of 3.5 catches – including +130 odds-on the over – seems worthy of looking into the matchup given the inviting betting odds.
Averaging 3.7 targets per game through his 16 games in the regular season, Tonyan’s target share picked up slightly in the latter half of Green Bay’s schedule with five targets in each of four straight games. Just a week ago, Tonyan hauled in all four targets slung his direction, reflecting directly on his literally-perfect drop rate of 0% throughout the entire season (56 receptions on 56 catchable passes through 17 games played). With consideration to being on the right side of perfection (**knocks on wood**), so long as the target volume is made available to Tonyan his chances to snag four catches or more are evident.
Facing a Buccaneers defense that ranks third-to-last in receptions allowed to opposing tight ends, totaling 98 receptions surrendered to the position for a 71% catch rate (26th in NFL), Tonyan providing a 130% reward on the excess of four catches makes for some of the best value available among NFL Championship Sunday betting picks. Factoring the pass rush bolstered by the return of nose tackle Vita Vea, Rodgers may be looking to get rid of the ball quickly in more passing scenarios under pressure, which also bodes in favor of the much-reliable Tonyan.
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