National Football League
Best NFC, AFC conference title game prop bets, picks: How to bet Mahomes, Kelce
National Football League

Best NFC, AFC conference title game prop bets, picks: How to bet Mahomes, Kelce

Updated Jan. 24, 2024 5:26 p.m. ET

The NFL conference championship weekend matchups are set and bettors everywhere are itching to get in on the championship action.

Even though there are only three games left in this football season, these will be the three most-bet games of 2023-24. 

The Kansas City Chiefs travel to face the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC crown before the huge NFC showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions on FOX and FOX Sports App.

The sportsbooks are filled with all sorts of tasty wagers, and you can easily lose yourself scrolling through all the prop betting options while eating your mom's spaghetti. 


This is where I come in.

Here are my favorite prop bets I like for the conference championship games.

Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers (6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX and FOX Sports app)

Brandon Aiyuk receiving yards Over/Under 79.5 yards

Detroit's pass defense is one of the worst in the NFL. 

The Lions allowed 147 yards to Tampa Bay's Mike Evans in the divisional round, which marked the fifth-straight game the Lions allowed at least 140 yards to one receiver. 

It's clear opponents have figured out ways to find open space against Detroit, and I’m going to wager on that trend continuing.  

PICK: Brandon Aiyuk Over 79.5 receiving yards

Are the Lions a good team or a good story?

Jahmyr Gibbs longest rush Over/Under 14.5 yards

San Francisco's run defense is 26th in expected points added, and opposing running backs have taken advantage of that lately. In their last four games, the 49ers have allowed five running backs to have an explosive rush of over 16 yards. 

This is a good spot for Detroit, who are 10th in rushing EPA and fifth in yards per rush. 

In fact, both of the Lions' running backs — Gibbs and David Montgomery — averaged over 4.6 yards per attempt during the regular season.

The way the Lions scheme their running game, plus the explosive nature of Gibbs' running style, means that his longest rush could very well be over 14.5 yards.

PICK: Jahmyr Gibbs longest rush Over 14.5 yards

Chiefs eliminate Bills, Mahomes outduels Allen in AFC Divisional

Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens (3 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)

Travis Kelce receptions — Over/Under 5.5

I had Kelce Over 5.5 receptions against the Buffalo Bills, and he finished Under with five. 

Yes, those five catches were crucial because he converted multiple first downs and reached the end zone twice. But "only" five receptions against a beat-up Buffalo back seven is a tad alarming, considering the Chiefs now have to face the Ravens' outstanding linebacker and safety group.

I expect Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald to take away Kelce as a first option for Patrick Mahomes because Baltimore has great coverage defenders. And let's be honest, Kelce, at the ripe age of 34, is clearly not as swift this season.

It's also worth noting that Travis is no longer the every-down player he has been in the past. Now, after a big catch, he tends to find himself on the sideline for a few plays. 

I don't expect him to be a high-volume pass catcher on Sunday.

PICK: Travis Kelce Under 5.5 receptions 

Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes the new Brady-Manning rivalry?

Patrick Mahomes rushing attempts — Over/Under 4.5

Mahomes will need to make plays with his legs for the Chiefs to win. 

The Ravens have an elite pass rush, so Mahomes will have plenty of opportunities to scramble while escaping the pressure. There's often no one to cover the quarterback if he's on the move. 

I also expect Kansas City's passing game to struggle at times against Baltimore's secondary. If receivers are not open, Mahomes will be forced out of the pocket to try to create yards.

Also, any kneel downs by a quarterback count toward rushing attempts. Give me the over.

PICK: Patrick Mahomes Over 4.5 rushing attempts 

Zay Flowers receptions — Over/Under 4.5

Kansas City's defense just doesn't allow the No. 1 receiver many chances to catch the football. 

In the Chiefs' last four games, they allowed Stefon Diggs to catch four, Tyreek Hill five, Ja'Marr Chase three and Davante Adams just one.

Why? L'Jarius Sneed, Kansas City's No. 1 cornerback. 

Sneed has given up one touchdown all season (to Hill), and when facing Diggs last weekend, he allowed one catch in 25 one-on-one matchups. 

He's going to shut down Flowers.

PICK: Zay Flowers Under 4.5 receptions 

Lamar Jackson rushing yards — Over/Under 63.5

Kansas City has an excellent pass defense, and the Chiefs will take away Jackson's ability to use his arm so he will resort to running the football when the pass game struggles. 

Plus, the Chiefs rushing defense is without some interior linemen and possibly one of their linebackers in Willie Gay, and that's not going to be helpful in trying to stop Jackson. 

Kansas City's defense tends to allow mobile quarterbacks to escape the pocket with poor rush lanes. Joe Burrow and Josh Allen both have routinely run the ball well against the Chiefs in the postseason. I expect Jackson to run it well on Sunday.

PICK: Lamar Jackson Over 63.5 rushing yards

Geoff Schwartz is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.


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