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AFC Championship Pick: Patriots vs Chiefs, 1-20-19


New England Patriots (12-5, 10-7 ATS) vs Kansas City Chiefs (13-4, 10-6-1 ATS)

NFL: Sunday, January 20th,  6:40 PM EST

Line: Chiefs -3, O/U 56

Last Meeting: 10/14/18 KC 40 NE 43

NFL Spread Pick by James Gunnar

The New England Patriots will lace it up for their 8th consecutive AFC Championship game on Sunday as +3 point underdogs when they take the field at the frigid confines of Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.  The Patriots were -3 point favorites at home in Week 6 vs the Chiefs and New England managed a 43-40 win on a last-second field goal. Will the likely league MVP, Patrick Mahomes lead the Chiefs past Tom Brady and one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history?

Tom Brady is looking to prove doubters wrong that a 41-year-old can’t lead a team to a Super Bowl.  Brady (4355, 29 TD, 11 INT) didn’t have a typical Tom Brady season but he has led his team to another AFC Championship. Offensively, the Patriots are still one of the best in the NFL with 27.2 PPG, 127 rushing yards per game and 393 total yards. Defensively, the Patriots have held firm allowing only 20.3 PPG but their secondary will certainly be tested by Patrick Mahomes.  New England has done a good job of establishing the running game to compliment Brady's precision in the passing game, allowing them to attack the Chiefs in multiple ways.

Andy Reid will need to fight through his playoff demons on Sunday to get back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2004 when he lost to the New England Patriots.  The Chiefs will put their confidence to bring home the first Super Bowl since 1970 in likely NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes (5,097, 50 TD, 12 INT) has one of the best statistical seasons in NFL history but will his nerves be an issue for the young quarterback?  Tom Brady won Super Bowl XXXVI in his first season as a starter. In order for Mahomes to be able to say the same, he has to go through Brady.

The Chiefs are (8-1) at home this season compared to the Patriots (3-5 ATS) on the road.  Kansas City has the #1 ranked offense which averages 35.3 PPG and 425 total yards per game.  If Patrick Mahomes remains stoic under center, can the Patriots defense stop this high powered Chiefs offense?  The Chiefs glaring weakness as a team is their defense. This unit ranks near the bottom of the NFL in just about every statistical category and ranked 31st during the regular season.  Tom Brady will have no issues locating Rob Gronkowski or a number of receivers at his disposal. I predict this game to play out similar to Week 6 with two great quarterbacks going back and forth, despite the cold weather.  I see this game going Over 56 in an exciting, high flying AFC Championship game.  

Patriots vs Chiefs AFC Championship Pick: OVER 56

James Gunnar is 10-4 (71%) this month in NFL


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