Another week leading to another opportunity for a bland .500 week. It’s better than going home with nothing, but this is the third consecutive week where the winning and losing column were identical.

So, I’m out to change that this week with intriguing matchups in the conference championship games. All four quarterbacks are top-level talents, so this week should at least offer up competitive matchups.

To handicappers, this year’s final four is more proof that picking that upstart underdog each week isn’t always the best decision. New England has been the best team against the spread this year, going 14-3 ATS with an amazing margin of victory of 12.3 points (the next-best in that category is Atlanta at 8.8).

But the other three teams haven’t been slouches either. Green Bay and Atlanta are third-best in the NFL at covering the spread, at 64.7 percent, while Pittsburgh was slightly below at 61.1 percent.

Good teams cover games, no matter how high the spread is on a weekly basis. It’s satisfying to pick the underdog, but New England and Pittsburgh combined to be a favorite in 31 games this season and went a combined 22-9 ATS as a favorite.

Here’s the NFL conference championship best bets.

Aaron Rodgers should lead Green Bay to a solid playoff run. Flickr

Last Week: 2-2 ATS

Overall: 53-53-3 ATS

Green Bay (+4) at Atlanta

How many times am I going to pick against Aaron Rodgers? I mentioned last week that the best value pick to win the Super Bowl was Green Bay, but then proceeded to get cold feet, and picked against them in Dallas.

Rodgers is a machine and masks pretty much everything else going wrong in Green Bay. That secondary is still a mess and while the running game has its moments, it’s not at a level where we can expect Green Bay to milk the clock.

In two playoff games, the Packers have surrendered at least 299 yards passing to Eli Manning and Dak Prescott.

Meanwhile, Atlanta’s defense hasn’t been great either this season, ranking three spots worse than Green Bay’s total defense. However, the Falcons were slightly better against the pass.

Both teams are fairly even and during the season’s first meeting, they were pretty much identical. So that means I get four points and Rodgers, so I’m hammering the Packers, even on back-to-back road playoff games. – Go Against The Chalk with Green Bay

Pittsburgh (+6) at New England

How good is New England? Really?

I know their past success tells a great deal of their recent impact on the NFL. But their opponents don’t exactly tell a story of greatness.

New England played five regular season games against playoff teams, going 4-1. That’s a respectable number in the wins/loss category, but two of those wins came against a Miami team that many of us wouldn’t necessarily consider a sterling example of what a playoff team would look like.

And the majority of those wins came early in the season. Since defeating Pittsburgh in week 7, New England played Buffalo, Seattle, San Francisco, the New York Jets twice, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Denver and Miami. Only two of those teams made the playoffs, and one of those, the Seahawks came to New England and won.

The Steelers faced the same amount of playoff teams since that loss and have an identical record against those playoff teams. And Pittsburgh is currently riding a nine-game winning streak.

New England is missing its best player (Rob Gronkowski) and has beaten up on some teams competing for the No. 1 draft pick. The only reason why the Patriots are favored by almost a touchdown is the fact that they’re the Patriots. That’s not a reason to pick them as a favorite when I get a Pittsburgh team competent on both sides of the ball. – Go Against The Chalk with Pittsburgh

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