Conference Championships: NFL picks from caddies Joe Skovron, Mark Urbanek, Justin York and Chris McCalmont
We’re down to the final four.
Just four teams remain in the NFL playoffs. In the NFC, the New Orleans Saints host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon. The victor will meet the winner of the AFC Championship – later that evening – between the Kansas City Chiefs and the visiting New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53 on February 3 in Atlanta.
How will the conference championship games pan out?
PGA Tour caddies Joe Skovron, Mark Urbanek and Justin York, along with LPGA caddie Chris McCalmont, think they know.
Here’s a look at each caddie’s respective picks for the conference tilts…
LA Rams at New Orleans
Spread: New Orleans -3.5
Skovron’s Pick: New Orleans
Why: I will start with saying that I’m not sure I trust Goff to get a team to the Super Bowl in the Superdome against the No. 1 seed at this point in his career. The good news for the Rams is that they have a two-headed monster running it down people’s throats and can control the game on the ground. On the other side, the Saints offense has slowed down quite a bit since the first shootout with these two teams. Michael Thomas continues to put up huge numbers, but the Saints offensive output just hasn’t been the same. The Saints D has won some games for them this year. I’m torn on this one, especially with that extra 1/2 point.
Urbanek’s Pick: New Orleans
Why: Home-field is crucial at this point. I see it as a very evenly matched game on all sides of the ball but have to give the edge to the crowd in a dome. The Saints have been the best team in the league all year, amazing what a solid D there can do. LA 23, NO 30.
York’s Pick: LA Rams
Why: Obviously this late in the year, both teams are polished and playing tough. The Rams are coming off a big win over the Cowboys and shut down one of the league’s best backs. They seem to have the right recipe to win in the playoffs this year. Drew Brees is still very tough to beat at home and they are coming off a quality win over Philly. This will be a last-possession game with the Rams coming out on top and winning outright. Place your bets!
McCalmont’s Pick: Saints
Why: it’s pretty simple, Brees and Payton don’t lose at home during the playoffs and this will be Goff’s first road playoff start. So, I’ll take the veteran in Brees.
New England at Kansas City
Spread: Kansas City -3
Skovron’s Pick: Pats
Why: Let me start by saying that the Pats have me all thrown off after last week. I didn’t see that dismantling coming and didn’t realize this year’s team had it in them. The Sunday night game at Foxboro between these two earlier in the year was one of the most entertaining games of the year. That first half was the only time I’ve seen Mahomes look a little bit off all year. He shook it off and played excellent in the second half. Both teams destroyed their opponents last week and this is a great coaching matchup as well. This should be another good one. I think the Pats will move the ball on the Chiefs and that this game will come down to who Belichick can neutralize on that Chiefs offense. Does he take Kelce out of the game or does he try to do something that holds Hill in check? Will be fun to watch.
Urbanek’s Pick: Chiefs
Why: This is the future of the game. Watch as the torch is passed from the goat of one generation to the potential goat of the next. Mahomes brings angles we’ve never seen before, add in Kelce and Hill and it’s borderline unstoppable. NE 31, KC 37.
York’s Pick: Pats
Why: Tom Brady in the playoffs is as good as gold. Kansas City will have their hands full in this one. This will be one of the best games you can watch this season. I don’t foresee any defense during this game so expect high scoring. I think the Chiefs squeak this one out in the end but won’t cover the three and a hook. Small wager on the Pats.
McCalmont’s Pick: Chiefs
Why: Simply because KC is at home. The Pats, who haven’t won road playoff game since 2007, are a different team on the road. Also, I don’t think the moment will be too big for Mahomes, who has too many weapons for the Pats D.