NFL picks against the spread, championship weekend: Falcons given too many points at home

USA TODAY Sports

Expect both championship games to be closer than expected on Sunday afternoon.

The season is almost over which means that my picks against the spread are winding down. Most of you are probably glad for this given the loads of unhealthy advice I have dished out over the past few months. The rest of you are likely masochists for continuing to listen to me for this long. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Anyhow, here are my picks against the spread for both the NFC and AFC Championship games. As always, the lines come courtesy of Bovada.

San Francisco 49ers -5 vs. Atlanta Falcons

To me, this is the better of the two games. I look forward to seeing how the 49ers' secondary matches up against the thrilling offense of the Falcons. How they plan on stopping Tony Gonzalez on third down will be key. That is possibly the most important factor as to why the Falcons are where they are.

While I don't expect Colin Kaepernick to have as big of a day as he did against the Packers last week, I still think he will have a nice day for himself. Will he finally succumb to the pressure and tumble down as most NFC West fans have been hoping? Can he outplay Matt Ryan, a QB who is notoriously dominant at home? We shall find out.

Five points just seems like a lot to me given how the Falcons have played this season. They are the #1 seed and I think too many people are counting them out as they twist their ankles trying to jump on the 49ers bandwagon.

Pick: Falcons

Baltimore Ravens +10 vs. New England Patriots

Let's face it, history is on the Patriots' side. They are 7-1 in AFC Championship games with Tom Brady at the helm. It doesn't get much better than that. They are also one of the best home teams in all of the NFL. Gillette Stadium has been kind to them over the years.

Will we see the Joe Flacco that we did against the Broncos or will he return to his inconsistent ways? I want to lean towards the latter, as that is something I am accustomed to him doing. But I am not sure. Has he finally transcended to another level?

Regardless of that, I think the Pats win this game. But I don't think it will be handily. The Ravens have too much on the line with Ray Lewis retiring after this season. They want to get back to another Super Bowl for him.

Pick: Ravens

Enjoy the games!

We invite you to follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and like us on Facebook. Also, follow me on Twitter at @TylerNickelASU.

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