Championship Sunday has arrived, so it's time to get our bets for the action. The Cold, Hard Football Facts have successfully predicted the outcome of NFL games all season, and our proprietary stats have identified a few plays with a lot of value.
Lamar Jackson Over 66.5 Rushing Yards
Lamar Jackson will win MVP this season. The quarterback has been exceptional all season and continued to improve, which has been amazing to watch. He currently has 22% of the Super Bowl MVP handle on DraftKings, and his dual-threat ability makes him so dangerous.
Jackson is coming off a 100-yard game where he averaged over nine yards per carry with two touchdowns. The Texans had no answer for Jackson, and we don't anticipate the Chiefs finding a way to shut down the quarterback.
Kansas City's defense stepped up in key moments last week, but Josh Allen had his way with the defense on the ground. He carried the ball 12 times for 72 yards with two touchdowns.
The Chiefs allow over 20 rushing yards per game to quarterbacks, which is toward the bottom of the NFL. The Ravens will use Jackson in the designed run game, but he is so dangerous when the blitz doesn't get home.
This is when lanes open up, and defenders turn their back, leading to significant gains for the quarterback.
Travis Kelce Over 62.5 Receiving Yards
Rashee Rice has been Mahomes' favorite target at times this season, and Travis Kelce has largely underperformed, but don't be fooled...
When the game is on the line, and Mahomes needs a big play down the field, he will look to Kelce. Kelce has been dominant in the playoffs. In two games, he has had 12 catches for 146 yards with two touchdowns.
He has surpassed this 62.5-yard prop in both playoff games. The tight end needs to play a significant role in this game to give the Chiefs a chance. Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes, which is dangerous, but they must play their best game to beat the Ravens.
If Kelce isn't an active participant, especially as a safety valve for Mahomes when the Ravens get pressure, it will be a long night for the Chiefs. There are very few areas for improvement with Baltimore for our proprietary stats.
Lions vs 49ers Under 51.5
The biggest concern with playing the Under of 51.5 in the Lions vs 49ers game is that Detroit's secondary needs to be fixed. They're a good team, but they're horrendous against the pass.
The team ranks 25th in Defensive Real Quarterback Rating and 27th in Defensive Real Passing Yards/Attempt. If the 49ers start throwing the ball effectively, the Lions won't have an answer.
However, the best bet for San Francisco in this game is to use Christian McCaffrey. The entire offense runs through him, especially if Deebo Samuel isn't 100% healthy in this game.
The Lions can win this game by having their offense on the field for extended drives. If San Francisco sets the tone with the ground game, this won't happen.
Detroit last played outdoors on December 10 in a 28-13 loss to the Bears. If the 49ers can apply pressure, it will neutralize Jared Goff. The same goes for the Lions' defensive front against Brock Purdy.
There is a path to victory for Detroit, so I want to stay away from a side. Although, this quickly becomes a physical ground-and-pound game for both teams, leading to a low-scoring effort.
Christian McCaffrey Over 86.5 Rushing Yards
In the offseason, the Lions knew they had to fix their defense. They couldn't recover the front seven and the secondary, so they focused on the ground game. Detroit doesn't rank high in the Cold, Hard Football Facts Defensive Rusher Rating metric, but they still don't allow many rushing yards.
The Lions are second in rushing yards allowed at just 88 per game. However, they'll face a 49ers team rushing for over 140 yards per game. They have the best Offensive Hog Index and are second in Offensive Rusher Rating.
Christian McCaffrey can make something into nothing. McCaffrey rushed for 98 yards on 17 carries last week. He has surpassed this 86.5-yard prop in four of his past five games.
In the big moments, Kyle Shanahan will lean on McCaffrey, and we shouldn't see them abandon the run to control the game's pace.