Patriots

NFL odds: Titans-Chiefs and Packers-49ers spread, moneyline for Championship Sunday

NFL odds: Titans-Chiefs and Packers-49ers spread, moneyline for Championship Sunday

The matchups are set for championship Sunday in the NFL playoffs, and it's an exciting time for sports bettors.

This past weekend's Divisional Round games were full of twists and turns, particularly the Kansas City Chiefs overcoming a 24-0 first-half deficit to beat the Houston Texans 51-31. It was one of the craziest rollercoasters for sports bettors. People who wagered on the Texans were feeling pretty good early in the second quarter, but those warm feelings quickly disappeared as Houston not only lost outright, but also failed to cover a large 10-point spread.

Three of the four Divisional Round matchup had betting lines of seven or more points, and both games Sunday also have spreads of a touchdown or higher. 

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The Chiefs will host the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium as 7.5-point favorites. The Titans have rewarded bettors nicely through two postseason games. They were 5.5-point underdogs against the Patriots and 10-point underdogs versus the Ravens, easily covering both times. 

Kansas City's offense, led by superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, looks unstoppable. The Chiefs scored a touchdown on eight consecutive drives versus the Texans, which set a playoff record. Tennessee's own offense is quite formidable, too.

Running back Derrick Henry led the league in rushing yards during the regular season, and he's stepped up his performance another few notches with 377 rushing yards and a touchdown in road playoff wins over the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. The best way to beat the high-scoring Chiefs offense is to control the clock by running the ball effectively, thus keeping Mahomes off the field as much as possible. The Patriots used this strategy to great effect in last season's AFC title game, and the Titans are well-equipped to do the same.

Here are the latest betting odds for the conference championships, via the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.

AFC Championship (3:05 p.m. ET at Arrowhead Stadium)
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs

Spread: Chiefs -7.5
Moneyline: Chiefs -350, Titans +290
Total: 52

NFC Championship (6:30 p.m. ET at Levis Stadium)
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Spread
: 49ers -7
Moneyline: 49ers -290, Packers +230
Total: 45

Curran: For Brady and the Patriots, there's no easy way out

Jarrett Stidham focused on improving during 2020 offseason, not Tom Brady's free agency

Jarrett Stidham focused on improving during 2020 offseason, not Tom Brady's free agency

Tom Brady is set to hit unrestricted free agency for the first time in his 20-year NFL career. While the legendary quarterback could return to the New England Patriots in 2020, there's no guarantee that he will.

If Brady doesn't return, the Patriots will have a number of ways to address the quarterback position. They could target a free agent passer in one of the strongest free agent quarterback classes ever. They could spend a draft pick on one in a strong 2020 quarterback draft class.

Or they could roll with the only other quarterback option they currently have on their roster, 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Stidham spent his rookie season backing up Brady and played a grand total of 15 snaps for the squad. He completed 2-of-4 passes for 14 yards and threw an interception in that action.

Despite his relative inexperience, Stidham would theoretically be the next man up at quarterback if Brady leaves. But moving forward, he isn't thinking a lot about Brady's impending free agency. He's more focused on what he can do to improve heading into his second year.

"Right now, I can't really think too much about [Brady's free agency]. I have to worry about what I need to do to prepare to enhance my game, to learn as much as I possibly can," Stidham said per ESPN's Mike Reiss. "That's the biggest thing I've focused on, making a big stride from Year 1 to Year 2."

That said, Stidham did call his time learning as Brady's backup "priceless" and said that Brady is "phenomenal" in all facets of the game.

"He's a phenomenal teammate, a phenomenal person, obviously a phenomenal player," Stidham said per Reiss. "There was just so much that I got to learn from him. He was obviously very open to me about stuff that he's thought about the game of football, and stuff like that. It was great. I can't speak highly enough of that guy."

Perhaps Stidham's time learning from Brady has served him well. After all, Patriots fans haven't seen him in action since Week 7 and Phil Perry reported that Stidham was impressing his teammates and coaches alike in late-December.

But is he ready to be a starter? The Patriots moves this offseason will surely tell us more about their thoughts on that.

The Patriots won't definitively know what Brady's plans are for 2020 until he puts pen to paper somewhere. In the interim, it's at least encouraging that Stidham is putting in the effort behind the scenes to improve after spending a year learning from Brady. 

Eminem name-drops Tom Brady on his just-released album

Eminem name-drops Tom Brady on his just-released album

Tom Brady appears to have a kindred spirit as his career continues into his 40s.

Eminem name-drops TB12 on the track "Premonition" off the album "Music To Be Murdered By" which he released on Friday.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App. 

The song takes on the critics of the 47-year-old rapper from Detroit and compares the critiques he gets to ones leveled at LeBron James, 35, and the Patriots quarterback, who'll turn 43 in August. 

Here's part of the song:

“Revival flopped, came back and I scared the crap out ‘em

But Rolling Stone stars, I get two and a half outta

Five, and I’ll laugh out loud

‘Cause that’s what they gave BAD back in the day

Which actually made me not feel as bad now, ‘cause

If it happened to James

It can happen to Shady

They do the same [expletive] to Brady

More people hate me than love me

This game will make you go crazy.”

It's not Eminem's first reference to Brady in one of his songs. In 2013's "Baby", he raps, "I'm what Tom Brady is to the Patriots of rap. Not a man, a weapon."

And it's just the latest Brady reference that has dotted hip-hop and rap since the mid-2000s when the QB led the Pats to the second and third of the six Super Bowl titles they've won. Other artists such as Drake, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane and Kanye West have referenced him as a symbol of excellence. 

Brady told the Boston Globe last year before the Super Bowl he appreciates it.

 “That’s always really cool,” Brady said. “I’m a big fan of so many of those guys. I have a lot of friends [in music] that I’ve met over the years that are fans of what we do, too...I think that mutual appreciation or admiration is really flattering.”