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PFT’s 2023 NFL conference championship picks, Florio vs. Simms

With only three postseason games to go, one of three competitions has been clinched. This weekend, another one will be clinched.

One remains up for grabs.

Simms has won the season-long against-the-spread competition. He’s 138-133-11. I’ve clinched the straight-up game at 176-106.

What’s left is the best bets. I’m 30-27-1. He’s 29-28-1. He can tie me this weekend, if he’s right and I’m wrong.

Last weekend, I was 4-0 straight up, and 3-1 against the spread. I’m 7-3 straight up and against the spread in the postseason.

Here are our picks for the conference championship round.

Chiefs at Ravens (-3.5)

We’re witnessing history with Patrick Mahomes. Six straight AFC Championships. Three Super Bowl appearances. For the first time, they’ll play for a Super Bowl berth on the road. Mahomes is very aware of his legacy, and of his competition with Tom Brady for career championships. While the Ravens are good enough to win, the Chiefs have a knack for keeping games like this close — and ultimately stealing them.

Besides, I picked the Chiefs to make the Super Bowl before the season started. I can’t bail on them now.

Simms, who also picked the Chiefs before the season began, thinks the Ravens will hold serve at home, with inevitable MVP Lamar Jackson carrying the day for the home team.

Florio: Chiefs, 30-27.

Simms: Ravens, 24-20.

Lions at 49ers (-7)

Simms and I both picked the 49ers to get to the Super Bowl before the season started, and we’re not wavering now. I think the Lions will cover; Simms doesn’t.

The Lions are good enough to win this one, especially if Brock Purdy has another bad day. But the weather should cooperate, and Purdy should be able to solve a secondary that is far from the primary strength of the Lions.

The Lions, I think, will score points and keep it close. But the Super Bowl will have to wait another year for the Lions.

Florio: 49ers, 24-21.

Simms: 49ers, 30-20.