NFL conference championship best bets: Chiefs start fast; 49ers hang with Rams

The NFL postseason is just days from giving us our Super Bowl matchup. Sunday features the Cincinnati Bengals visiting the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game and the San Francisco 49ers heading south to play the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.

Betting analysts Doug Kezirian (17-32-2, 0-2 last week), Tyler Fulghum (25-33, 0-0), Joe Fortenbaugh (58-56-2, 1-4), Anita Marks (338-296, 14-10) and Erin Dolan (8-5, 1-0), fantasy and sports betting analyst Eric Moody (152-151, 3-1), ESPN Stats & Information's Seth Walder (66-61, 2-3) and Mackenzie Kraemer (8-15, 0-0), sports betting deputy editor David Bearman (30-31-1, 0-0) and Football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz (63-50-1, 0-3) will provide their top plays across the NFL landscape. (Records through the divisional round.)

Here are their best bets for Sunday's conference championship games.

Note: Lines from Caesars Sportsbook as of Thursday (unless otherwise indicated).

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NFC Championship

(6) San Francisco 49ers at (4) Los Angeles Rams (-3.5, 46)

Schatz: Let's start with the overall matchup here. The Rams are now up to third in weighted DVOA, including the postseason. But the 49ers are up to fifth, not too far behind. We know that San Francisco has beaten the Rams in six straight games, and it's uniquely built to attack the Rams' weaknesses. For example, the Rams want to play defense with two high safeties to prevent big plays. They've been surprisingly strong against the run this year (fifth in DVOA) despite using the lowest average men in the box of any defense. But the Rams are very susceptible to short middle passes (29th in DVOA). And which offense throws the most passes in the short middle? The 49ers, of course, and they rank fourth in the league in offensive DVOA on those passes.