NFC Championship 2019 : The NFC Title Game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams is set to kick off on Sunday afternoon.Kickoff is set for 3:05 p.m. ET from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Los Angeles Rams spent most of the season as the odds-on 2019 Super Bowl favorite. They gave way to the Saints late in the year, in part because of a loss to New Orleans in one of the most entertaining games of the season. Their rematch on Sunday in the NFC Championship will send the winner to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
The Saints beat the Rams 45-35 in a Week 9 classic that ended Los Angeles’ undefeated start, but both clubs went on to dominate their divisions. New Orleans has held steady as a three-point favorite in the latest Rams vs. Saints odds. The over-under for total points scored has dipped slightly to 56.5. With so much on the line, check out what SportsLine’s Projection Model just locked in before making any Rams vs. Saints picks and NFL Playoff predictions of your own.
SportsLine’s proprietary computer model went 176-80 straight up last season and beat more than 95 percent of CBS Sports Office Pool players in 2016 and ’17. It also performed better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on A-rated picks against the spread last season, and $100 bettors who have followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.
The model has continued to nail its top-rated picks in 2018-19, entering the championship round on a blistering 16-6 run. For the season, it is now 30-15 on all top-rated picks, extending its two-year run to a strong 78-49. It also went 170-84 on straight-up NFL picks during the regular season, ranking inside the top 10 on NFLPickWatch.com. Additionally, it is 7-1 on all against-the-spread 2019 NFL playoff picks. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, it has crunched the numbers for Rams vs. Saints (stream live on fuboTV) and simulated the entire NFC Championship Game 10,000 times. We can tell you it’s leaning over, but it has also generated a point-spread pick that hits more than 50 percent of the time. You can only see that one at SportsLine.
The model knows that the last time the Saints hosted the NFC Championship, nine years ago, Brees threw for three touchdowns in a thrilling win over the Vikings. The future Hall of Famer hasn’t lost a home playoff game as signal-caller for New Orleans. In his post season career, Brees is completing 66.4 percent of his passes for 4,510 yards, 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. During the regular season, he was sixth in touchdowns with 32 and No. 1 in the entire league in QB rating with 115.7, almost two points higher than the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
The home team has covered the spread in seven straight meetings in this series. The Saints are on a 25-7 run against the number at home versus opponents with winning records. They also have a 5-2 spread record in their last seven January games.
But just because the Saints are at home and have already handled L.A. doesn’t mean they’ll cover the Saints vs. Rams spread.
The model also knows the Rams have a dynamic one-two punch they can throw at each of the skill positions. When running back Todd Gurley missed the final two weeks of the regular season with a knee injury, C.J. Anderson filled in admirably, rushing for 299 yards and two touchdowns in the final two weeks. Even after Gurley returned last week, Anderson went for 123 yards and two touchdowns, while Gurley added 116 rushing yards and a score of his own.
At wide receiver, the Rams have two 1,200-yard options in Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. Cooks is the big-play threat who takes the top off secondaries, while Woods works the intermediate routes and forces defenses to work at every level.
The Rams also have two capable receiving tight ends in Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee. The pair combined for 57 catches, 612 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season.