Sáb. Feb 24th, 2024

Only three more games to pick before we mercifully can turn the page and focus on the fall. By then, we will have forgotten how bad things have gone this year — but we don’t expect you to. Receipts won’t be tough to come by. It’s fine, and it’s fair. We enjoyed the highs of the past two seasons. We own the struggles of this one.

Ok, here we go for championship weekend (Editor’s note: SVP is 3-1 all-time against the spread in «Winners» on championship weekend). I will start with this – I think it’s Baltimore and San Francisco in a rematch of the game the Ravens dominated in California. But I think it’s different paths to get there this weekend.

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Sunday’s NFL picks

AFC Championship

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5, 44.5)
3 p.m. ET, M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore

Van Pelt’s pick: Chiefs +3.5

The fear for Kansas City must be that after facing Miami and Buffalo, whose defense were absolutely devastated by injury, they face a Baltimore team that has the best defense in the NFL and looked the part last week in suffocating Houston. Kansas City doesn’t get blown out with Patrick Mahomes at QB — just doesn’t happen. So, while I believe the Ravens win, I think it is close, and 3 1/2 points is candy we will take.

SVP: 1-5 all-time when picking against the Ravens

NFC Championship

Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers (-7, 50.5)
6:30 p.m. ET, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.

Van Pelt’s pick: 49ers -7

I am laying them in the NFC title game. My guess — and it’s just a guess — is the Niners got their poor game out of the way and the Lions away from home have not been as formidable. Their story is hard to resist, they’ve made massive strides this year. I believe it ends, for this year, in Santa Clara.

SVP: 2-3 all-time when picking an NFL team favored by at least 7 points

So… Niners more comfortably than Baltimore, and that’s a wrap.


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