Underdog Pick ‘Ems Conference Championship Round | 2024 NFL Playoffs

by Ahaan Rungta · Betting & Props

This is Underdog Pick ‘Ems Conference Championship edition! This is your spot for finding the best-value weekly spots to pick whether players will go higher or lower than their projection. As usual, if you want weekly audio content for pick ‘ems, including getting in early on some lines that will move early in the week, check out the Pick ‘Em Power Hour every Friday with us hosts, Ahaan S. Rungta (@AhaanRungta) and Trevor Tipton (@FFCULater).

Last week, we were one Amon-Ra St. Brown reception away from a winning two-pick entry. However, we are looking for a bounce back with two more entries this weekend for the Conference Championship Round. If you would like to tail our plays or create your own, join Underdog today with promo code UNDERWORLD for a 100% deposit match up to $100 USD upon entry. Here are our picks for the Conference Championships.

Ahaan’s Conference Championship Round Picks

Gus Edwards (BAL) HIGHER than 4.5 receiving yards

This pick is a pure read of the lines on sportsbooks. Although the Ravens running back Gus Edwards has failed to clear this projection in three straight games, his receiving yard line has stayed at 3.5 in Baltimore’s last couple of games and this week, it is up to 4.5.

Sportsbooks are hinting to us that Edwards is still going to run a handful of routes and a Chiefs defense that has been around middle-of-the-pack in volume and yards per reception allowed to running backs this season. This is essentially one catch for Edwards in wet conditions. In Baltimore’s first playoff game, Edwards drew two targets. However, he only caught one and lost yardage. This is a clear regression spot. Additionally, he has at least five receiving yards in seven of 10 games where Edwards has at least one reception. It is time to read the tea leaves and sweat out Edwards’ one or two catches of the game.

Justin Watson (KC) HIGHER than 14.5 receiving yards

This projection is already set at 16.5 on some sportsbooks. The vertical threat Justin Watson has a route participation north of 50-percent in every non-injury/non-blowout game and has at least 30 air yards in 12 games this season already. The Baltimore Ravens have a reputation for bracketing top options, and in this case, their elite coverage squad will be on Travis Kelce and Rashee Rice. Patrick Mahomes‘ attempts line is set at 36.5. Watson has cleared this line in 10 of 13 games this season where Mahomes attempted more than 30 passes.

Recommended: 0.50u on the two-pick entry

Additionally, this weekend, Kansas City simply has to make sure Watson is involved out of necessity with Kadarius Toney now out, Skyy Moore on injured reserve, and Mecole Hardman nearly costing them the game in the Divisional Round with two fumbles. Watson’s receptions line is about the same price on the over. However, his 17.5-yard average depth of target is No. 3 among NFL wide receivers. Additionally, weather issues don’t affect the Mahomes offense all that much. Therefore, the receiving yards are certainly attainable on just one catch.

Trevor’s Conference Championship Round Picks

Patrick Mahomes (KC) HIGHER than 36.5 Passing Attempts

Mahomes and the Chiefs roll into Baltimore this weekend. If Kansas City is going to pull this win off, it will be on Mahomes’s arm. Kansas City averages a 60-percent passing rate each week. As a result, Mahomes will try to exploit the Ravens’ defense through the air.

The Chiefs’ offensive strategy may also call for more passing attempts in this game. The Ravens boast a formidable defensive line and have shown a solid ability to stop the run. As a result, the Chiefs likely rely more heavily on their passing game to move the ball down the field, which leads to an increase in Mahomes’s passing attempts.

Furthermore, the game’s outcome may also affect Mahomes’s number of passing attempts. If the Chiefs find themselves in a negative game script, which they most likely will, this will lead to an increase in passing attempts for Mahomes as the game progresses. Baltimore is also No. 31 in the NFL in pass attempts allowed this season. This is primarily due to teams playing from behind. Mahomes has exceeded this number in five out of his last seven games. Simply put, we love the higher for Mahomes this week. 

Brandon Aiyuk (SF) HIGHER than 77.5 Receiving Yards

The Detroit Lions’ secondary has struggled this season at defending the pass, which presents a favorable matchup for Aiyuk. In their playoff run, the Lions have allowed big games to opposing wide receivers, including Mike Evans (8/147/1) and Puka Nacua (9/181/1). Aiyuk’s combination of speed, route-running ability, and strong hands make him a difficult matchup for any defensive back, and he should be able to exploit the Lions’ secondary for big plays and significant yardage.

With Deebo Samuel questionable to play this week, this will likely open even more opportunities for Aiyuk. Detroit is No. 29 in receiving yards allowed this season, and we have seen Aiyuk have seven 100-yard games this season. Aiyuk leads the 49ers in target share this season. This week will be no different. Whether through quick screens, deep shots, or intermediate routes, Aiyuk should have plenty of opportunities to make an impact and surpass the 77.5 receiving yard mark.

Brock Purdy (SF) HIGHER than 20.55 fantasy points

Brock Purdy is no longer Mr. Irrelevant. This season, Purdy ranked No. 5 in passing yards (4,280) and No. 3 in passing touchdowns (31), and his consistent performance throughout the season demonstrates his ability to produce in high-pressure situations. He led the 49ers on their game-winning drive last week and now gets the Lions secondary to pick on all day. 

Recommended: 0.50u on the three-pick entry

The Lions have been burnt all postseason, just like during the regular season. Matthew Stafford threw for 367 and two TDs. Baker Mayfield threw for 349 and three touchdowns last week. The Lions have continued to run more zone recently, and we have seen Purdy crush zone defenses all season. His passing yards line opened up at 255.5 and has risen to 279.5. We want to take advantage of the game script and the 49ers going to the Super Bowl behind Brock Purdy‘s arm this week.