The matchups in the AFC Championship and NFC Championship Games are set and we have the opening odds and points spreads to give an early preview.
Could the 2020 NFL Playoffs be any drunker? If Wild Card Weekend — which saw plenty of calamity in itself — wasn’t enough, the Divisional Round certainly did the job. While the San Francisco 49ers opened things up with a strong overall effort on Saturday, that was not the standard for the remaining three games.
Saturday concluded with the Tennessee Titans, the No. 6 seed in the AFC that went just 9-7 in the regular season before upsetting the Patriots in the Wild Card Round, lambasting the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens. Derrick Henry continued his torrid and historic rushing pace while the Titans defense put the clamps on Lamar Jackson to ground the high-octane Ravens.
If you thought it couldn’t get crazier from there, you were wrong. The Houston Texans started Sunday by jumping out to a rapid 24-0 lead over the heavily favored Kansas City Chiefs. Then Bill O’Brien lost his guts and Patrick Mahomes found his, guiding the Chiefs to 28 points in the second quarter and 41 unanswered points overall to not just come back but to beat Houston by 20 points.
Frankly, the Divisional Round finale between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks was somewhat anticlimactic after those two games but Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson still gave us a show that very much went down to the wire.
But now it’s onto the next round where the matchups for the AFC Championship Game and NFC Championship Game are set. And we also have the early odds and point spreads for both of those games, which we’ll dive into a little bit here.
AFC Championship Game: 6 Tennessee Titans at 2 Kansas City Chiefs
Point Spread: Chiefs -7.5 | Moneyline: KC -350, TEN +275 | Over/Under: 52
Derrick Henry and the Titans are putting together one of the most unlikely and impressive playoff runs we’ve seen. Even though Ryan Tannehill has under 200 yards passing combined in their two wins over the vaunted Patriots and juggernaut Ravens, Tennessee has just been taking care of business on the ground and with strong defense.
Those two things will have to be in high order on Sunday in the AFC Championship, however, as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs appear to be ready to strike at any moment. Despite falling into a 24-0 hole to start the Divisional Round matchup with Houston, they rebounded with 41 unanswered points to get a 51-31 victory in the end.
Tennessee remaining the underdog, especially staying on the road, makes sense against the explosive Chiefs. Having said that, they’ve been the underdogs all the way to this point, so what’s overcoming the odds one more time? Well, in the simplest terms this time around, it’s a ticket to the Super Bowl.
NFC Championship Game: 2 Green Bay Packers at 1 San Francisco 49ers
Point Spread: 49ers -7 | Moneyline: SF -325, GB +265 | Over/Under: 45
Considering the fact that the 49ers topped the Packers by 29 points in a dominant regular-season effort this year, it’s not surprising that they open as seven-point favorites playing at Levi’s Stadium. Moreover, San Francisco was perhaps the most consistently dominant team in the Divisional Round.
While that may be true, the Packers as underdogs remain an enticing bet. In terms of their top-end potential, there’s no question that they can hang with the Niners. Furthermore, Aaron Rodgers has miles more playoff experience than his counterpart, Jimmy Garoppolo. Maybe, just maybe, another playoff road upset is in the cards.
No matter the case, the AFC Championship and NFC Championship Games offer a ton of intrigue. You have the ultimate underdog in the Titans, an otherworldly offense with the Chiefs, a fiery upstart in the 49ers and a postseason stalwart with the Packers all in the fold. What more can you ask for from the NFL Playoffs?