• 2019 NFL Playoffs Bracket: Chiefs Over Saints in Super Bowl

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    NFL Playoffs 2019: Chiefs Over Saints in the Super Bowl

    With Wildcard Weekend wrapped up, the real NFL playoffs begin now. The top two teams in each conference get to host games that count and the best eight teams remaining in the league are all in action in the divisional round, which should probably be more accurately referred to as the conference semifinals.

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    AFC Playoffs

    Starting with the AFC, the Chargers go to New England to take on the New England Patriots in a game that features two veteran quarterbacks still standing. Philip Rivers is 37 years old, which makes him sound like a teenager next to the everlasting 41-year-old Tom Brady. On neutral ground, Rivers and the sturdy Chargers may well beat the Patriots. This game, however, is at Foxboro, and New England is therefore a heavy favorite to advance.

    Andy Reid's record isn't stellar in the playoffs, but he's never quite had a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes is so stunningly good, along with being the MVP favorite in his first full year under center, that no one entering this game has Andrew Luck ranked ahead of the Kansas City QB. The Colts turns some heads in how they jumped out to an early lead and put their Wildcard game to bed, but playing at Arrowhead against Mahomes and the no. 1 team in the AFC is test of another grade. KC is 68% to win, which should be noted as the strongest differential of any of the eight teams to advance.

    The Chiefs and Patriots meeting in the AFC Championship feels like a passing of the torch from Brady to Mahomes, but Brady likely has no interest in passing anything other than the football. Any previous year, Brady would be the best quarterback on the field without question, but this has been Mahomes season, and it will take a special effort from the weakest looking Patriots team in recent memory to bypass the Chiefs and punch another ticket to the Super Bowl for the Pats.

    2019 NFL Playoffs Bracket

    NFC Playoffs

    The Rams host the Cowboys at the LA Memorial Coliseum, which promises to be a packed house and provide an electric atmosphere. LA seemed to be back to its high-scoring ways to wrap up the season, and that spells doom for the Cowboys. If the Rams rack up points, Dallas is going down, and that's a 60-40 likelihood according to AccuSore.

    Similarly, the Saints and Eagles is an interesting proposition. It's Super Bowl favorite versus Super Bowl champion. The Eagles may be back to looking like a team to beat, but playing New Orleans in the same place where Drew Brees and company clobbered Philadelphia 48-7 and put the Eagles' season on life support is not a positive sign of a Philly win. The Saints aren't scared of the Eagles, and this is another 60-40 game in favor of the Saints in the computer's eyes.

    The NFC Championship featuring the Rams and Saints promises a high-scoring affair, but these two teams met in New Orleans during the regular season, and the Saints outscored the Rams 35-17 in the first half. The final score looked like a respectable count of 45-35, but the game never felt that close.

    Like the Chiefs, the Saints look like a clear favorite, and AccuScore's 10,000 simulations have New Orleans as a 60% favorite to advance to the Super Bowl over the Rams.

    Super Bowl 2019

    The Chiefs and Saints meeting on a neutral ground is fitting because these have been the two best teams this season, and that's been clear as day to see. For Mahomes, facing Brees after facing Brady should lead to even more exaggerated imagery of a torch being passed. Of course, the Super Bowl is a monster of chaos, distractions and pressure unlike any other football game, so Brees has an edge on the Chiefs' quarterback in that regard.

    Still, AccuScore believes that the Chiefs are simply better, though a 56% to 44% difference implies that this will be a tough challenge for the Chiefs. Ultimately, though, the Chiefs should conquer the Saints on Super Bowl Sunday with Mahomes key to victory.

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  • AccuScore Picks Kansas City to Win SuperBowl

    Kansas City Picked to Win the Super Bowl

    After 17 weeks of regular season in NFL, there are 12 teams left standing and fighting for a chance to win Super Bowl in February. Accuscore has simulated every postseason game 10,000 times to calculate Super Bowl probabilities for every team still alive in the Vince Lombardi trophy.

    While Vegas odds have the New Orleans Saints as the favorites to win it all, AccuScore's super computer says that the AFC's top seed Kansas City Chiefs should have the highest probability to stand victorious in Atlanta.

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    On the whole, AccuScore's simulations don't show notable playoff upsets. Essentially, every favorite is projected to take care of business with home teams looking strong. The tightest match is a young Dallas Cowboys team hosting Russell Wilson and the experienced Seattle Seahawks. In the divisional round, bye-week teams have an obvious advantage over wild card winners. It is not very common that there is no lower seeded winners during playoffs, but right now, it's tough to find a clear Cinderella story. More likely, the 2019 NFL Playoffs will be similar to the 2018 NFL Playoffs, when top seeded teams faced each other in Super Bowl.

    Both number one seeded teams have a very strong home field advantage, and Kansas City is definitely looking for improvement from last year’s loss to Tennessee in the playoffs. Their only home loss this season came against the Chargers, but Philip Rivers and company need to get past a red hot Baltimore on the road before even dreaming of walking into Arrowhead Stadium. Meanwhile, Kansas City performance was very strong in their 40-43 loss to the Patriots on the road, and a rematch would be held in Missouri. With revenge on their minds, a Patriots versus Chiefs AFC Championship game could turn into an unofficial passing of the torch from Tom Brady to Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City not at least making the AFC Championship game would be a huge disappointment.

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    In the NFC, two high-flying offenses are projected to meet in the Championship game. The upstart LA Rams have only one playoff game worth of experience from last season, but they appear be more ready for the long playoff run this season. Still, the Super Bowl winning QB Drew Brees together with great running back tandem should be too much for the Rams, and with the Saints holding the home field advantage, the teams' regular season meeting is a good representation of how the Saints can beat the Rams in the NFC Championship game.

    Before the season, it was very difficult to project out Kansas City because of a rookie starting at QB. As we all know now, Mahomes has surpassed all expectations with his record breaking season, essentially as a rookie. Mahomes has been tipped to win the NFL's MVP award, to underscore how incredible the second year QB out of Texas Tech has been.

    When comparing Vegas odds to Accuscore Super Bowl probabilities, basically only Kansas City has value for betting. Long shots like Houston or Dallas have minor value as well, but as the probability is very low, it doesn’t make sense from a mathematical point of view to place those bets. Kansas City is good value to win the Super Bowl at this stage, but we will monitor playoffs as the picture develops on weekly basis and a couple upsets sure to change the probabilities.