NFL Conference Championship Betting Guide

We are down to just a few more games left in the NFL season. That means only a couple more opportunities to make some money. Last week, we went 1-3 thanks to a bad beat in the Chiefs game. This week, we have multiple picks for each game since we’ve only got two to pick. All lines come via Draft Kings as of Saturday afternoon. Now, without further ado, let’s get to the ATB betting guide for the Conference Championship.

Betting Guide for the Conference Championship

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49ers at Eagles: 49ers Moneyline (+130); UNDER 45.5 (-110)

Both of these teams look really good as of late. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, this could not be a worse matchup for them. The Eagles are not going to have the same success on the ground against the 49ers as they do with everyone else. Couple that with the fact Niners rookie quarterback Brock Purdy is on fire right now, and it could be a long day for Philly.

Af far as the total goes, expect this to be a low-scoring affair. As mentioned before, the Eagles will have trouble doing what they do best. On the other side of the ball, Purdy is still a rookie facing arguably the best defense that he has seen in his young career. At most, you might see a 24-21 game. Even that would still come in under 45.5.

Bengals at Chiefs: Bengals Moneyline (+100); OVER 48 (-110)

The Bengals are by far the hottest team remaining in the postseason . They are firing on all cylinders right now. The defense has looked stout as of late. They absolutely dominated Josh Allen and the Buffalo offense last week. On the other side of the ball, Joe Burrow and company have been unstoppable. Look for the Bengals to roll past the Chiefs, who are playing with a banged up Pat Mahomes.

Despite Mahomes’ injury, any matchup between him and Burrow is bound to be electric. There will be plenty of points in this one. Expect the Bengals to get a two score lead early on, but Mahomes will make it close in the second half. I’m thinking 31-27 Cincinnati, which would be comfortably over 48.

Championship Game Betting Guide Recap:

  • 49ers ML (+130)
  • 49ers/Eagles Under 45.5 (-110)
  • Bengals ML (+100)
  • Bengals/Chiefs Over 48 (-110)

2023 NFL Draft: Baltimore Ravens Mock Draft

For non-playoff teams, the 2023 NFL draft looms large. Despite not taking place until late April, the NFL’s yearly selection draft offers all teams an opportunity to improve. Front offices are investing their time in all-star games and player interviews while prepping for the NFL combine. 

As for those of us in the media, it’s mock draft season. Although teams do their own simulations, the most notable works are produced by sportswriters. Most are for the general draft, while many others, including this one, are more team-centric. 

The Baltimore Ravens are currently hunting for their next offensive play-caller while also evaluating this year’s new crop of college prospects. Baltimore’s process this year might be their most important in recent memory. With potential question marks at quarterback, while only possessing five draft picks, the onus is on the Baltimore Ravens scouting staff to nail their picks this year. 

Sidenote: The following Ravens mock draft was made via the Pro Football Focus Mock Draft Simulator

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Baltimore Ravens Mock Draft


Round Two: Pick 33 – Kelee Ringo – Cornerback – Alabama 

TRADE

Baltimore Gets: 2023 second round pick (33), 2023 third round pick (65)

Houston Gets: 2023 first round pick (22) 

With Marcus Peters entering his age-30 season and a current free agent, the Baltimore Ravens face a massive need at outside cornerback. Marlon Humphrey is one of the NFL’s premier corners, however he cannot be asked to face the AFC North’s receivers alone. 

Kelee Ringo is a somewhat boom-or-bust prospect given some technical rawness. However, given his ceiling, he’s worth the risk at this spot. Ringo could see plenty of early reps given those athletic traits, which should hopefully speed up his development. 

Round Three: Pick 65 (from Houston) Marvin Mims – Wide Receiver – Oklahoma 

After the hypothetical trade, the Baltimore Ravens also picked up another third round pick which they use on their second biggest need. With Rashod Bateman’s rash of injuries and a lack of talent outside of him, Marvin Mims will be asked to contribute immediately. Mims is a quality separator with great concentration skills and can give the Baltimore Ravens a quality deep threat. 

Round Three: Pick 86 – Noah Sewell – Linebacker – Oregon 

This is by far the best pick for the Ravens in this mock draft in terms of value. Noah Sewell was once billed as a top-ten prospect who’s seen his stock drop over the course of the season. Despite this, he’s a versatile defender who can fill the hybrid backer role for Baltimore. He’s got the weight and length to play the edge while possessing the IQ to cover space. 

Round Four: Pick 125 – Jaelyn Duncan – Offensive Lineman – Maryland 

Yet again, another value pick for the Ravens here in this mock draft. Jaelyn Duncan is a highly-touted offensive tackle prospect who has plenty of great athleticism, but is viewed as a developmental prospect at this point. Luckily, the Baltimore Ravens are in a position to draft, and stash, a player like Duncan with both Ronnie Stanley and Morgan Moses already on the roster. 

Round Five: Pick 159 – Rakim Jarrett – Wide Receiver – Maryland 

Back-to-back Maryland picks here for the Baltimore Ravens. Rakim Jarrett had a disappointing 2022 season and has fallen in this simulation to the fifth round. Even so, Jarrett could get plenty of early snaps given the Baltimore Ravens needs at the position. Jarrett has solid ball skills and could grow into a potent slot weapon for whichever offensive coordinator Baltimore adds. 

Round Six: Pick 200 – Jaren Hall – Quarterback – BYU

Best player available is the strategy with the Ravens final selection of this mock draft. With Lamar Jackson’s contract currently in dispute, quarterback could become a much bigger need if things do not progress positively. If Jackson is gone, Tyler Huntley could be looked at as the stop-gap quarterback while they search for a permanent option. Jaren Hall is an older prospect, but has plenty of tools at his disposal that could make him some money as a backup. 

Josh McDaniels: Does History Repeat Itself?

Josh McDaniels has become one of the most successful coordinators in all of football during his time in the league. McDaniels has overseen a boatload of success alongside Bill Belichick in New England. That success eventually led him to his first head coaching gig in Denver. Josh won the Broncos’ job in 2009, and things looked very promising. However, in this case, the good things didn’t last long.

Now, with McDaniels’ tenure in Sin City off to a rocky start, some are questioning if McDaniels is cut out to be a head coach. Some may wonder, is history repeating?

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels
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Josh McDaniels’ Broncos Tenure

The hope that followed Josh McDaniels to Denver led to questions after some interesting moves early on in his reign. First, McDaniels decided to move on from Jay Cutler, sending him to the Chicago Bears. This led to a saga as the search for a quarterback began. McDaniels ended up bringing in Kyle Orton to replace Cutler.

Yet, there seemed to be a method to Josh’s madness at first. The Broncos would find themselves with a 6-0 record — a very impressive start for the rookie head coach.

Unfortunately, shortly after that things began to unravel. Denver lost eight of their last 10 games, and would finish the season with a 8-8 record. After the season ended, McDaniels traded star receiver Brandon Marshall to Miami.

More questionable moves and poor performances would eventually lead to McDaniels’ downfall. Drafting Tim Tebow and trading Peyton Hillis proved to be awful decisions. His 3-9 record during his second season didn’t help much, either. McDaniels was eventually fired before his second season concluded.

Josh McDaniels’ Raiders Tenure

Josh McDaniel’s second job as a head coach would have to wait a while. He ran himself into a fiasco in Indianapolis, but that fizzled out and he returned to New England. After more success with Belichick and the Patriots, McDaniels was eventually hired by the Las Vegas Raiders before the 2022 season.

His first offseason cycle in Sin City was promising. Unlike his first job, McDaniels would inherit a talented, playoff-caliber team in Las Vegas. The Raiders owned the fifth seed in 2021, and nearly knocked off the eventual AFC Champions in the first round.

Things got a lot more exciting when the Raiders signed Chandler Jones shortly before trading for Davante Adams. Adding these two to a playoff roster seemed to be a recipe for success. Unfortunately, things once again didn’t go according to plan for McDaniels.

The first season under McDaniels would turn out to be a disaster. Las Vegas won just six games, and lost four games in which they had a 17-point lead.

As the season wound to a close, McDaniels would make the decision to bench Derek Carr and attempt to trade him after the season. While this decision may help the franchise in the long run, it further ruffled feathers between McDaniels and the fan base.

Another Disaster? Or is it Too Early to Tell?

Indeed, there are some similarities between both of Josh Mcdaniels’ head coaching tenures up to this point. The main reason for that has been the commonality of losing, with rare wins sprinkled in between. At this point, both franchises have soured on McDaniels for various reasons.

One potentially troubling similarity is Josh’s removal of a starting quarterback. He was quick to discard Cutler, but gave Carr 15 games before making the decision to move on from him.

In Denver, McDaniels got rid of several skill players in hopes of bringing in his own. Cutler, Hillis, and Marshall were all shown the door before McDaniels’ second season in charge. In Las Vegas, it hasn’t been quite the same. Carr will be gone, but he’s been involved in trade rumors for quite some time now. McDaniels’ moves in Denver were much more abrupt.

Ultimately, it seems too early to tell if history will repeat itself in Las Vegas. McDaniels currently owns a 17-28 record as a head coach, so he hasn’t been impressive in either city. Raiders fans will hope 2023 brings change, but up until now, McDaniels hasn’t done anything to prove himself or instill confidence to the fan base.

Three Underrated NFL Players From 2022-23 Season

Another NFL season has come and gone. With that, each player has another year under their belts, and each player has another year notched off their career. Now, the endless cycle of fan opinions regarding these players circulates, and now new players have earned “underrated” and “overrated” titles. With that in mind, here are three of the most underrated NFL players from this past season.

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Tyler Allgeier

Tyler Allgeier was selected in the fifth round of the NFL draft last year by the Falcons. With a draft selection that late, and Cordaralle Patterson already on the roster, his expectations were understandably small. However, Patterson suffered some injuries this season, which gave a ton of playing time to Allgeier. He did not waste a second.

Allgeier never really got the credit he deserved for what was a fantastic rookie season. He finished his rookie season with 210 attempts, which came out to an astounding 1,035 yards, good enough for nearly five yards per carry. Allgeier put together an impressive rookie season, and has a bright future ahead of him.

Tyson Campbell

Tyson Cambell had an up-and-down rookie season. He was impressive at times, but was rocky at others. Campbell used his first off-season to work on his game. That paid off in major ways in 2022.

Campbell finished the season as the sixth-best overall cornerback, and the sixth-best coverage grade by Pro Football Focus. He earned an 81.9 overall grade, and an 81.5 coverage grade. Campbell really came on as the season has came to an end, and was been a large part of the reason the Jaguars got so far this season.

Jaelan Phillips

Jaelen Phillips is the third, and final, young guy on this list. Phillips didn’t do much of anything in his rookie season, bringing low expectations into his sophomore campaign.

Phillips would go on to have an excellent second season, as he finished the season graded as the sixth best edge defender by Pro Football Focus. In his second season, Phillips lodged nine sacks, and a very impressive 44 hurries. Phillips made some stark improvement and finished the season as one of the most underrated NFL players.

Baltimore Ravens 2023 Positional Needs

The Baltimore Ravens 2022 season was another rough outing, despite the team finishing with a 10-7 record and a playoff berth. Baltimore’s star quarterback Lamar Jackson missed the latter half of the season with an injury and the offensive struggles mounted in his absence.

The last few weeks have been tough sledding for fans and the team itself as all of their frustrations boiled over following Baltimore’s Wild Card loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. With rumors swirling about Jackson’s departure, there is little room for optimism for fans. 

Despite this, the Baltimore Ravens staff is already taking steps into rectifying their recent failures. Chiefly, the team announced Thursday afternoon they will be parting ways with maligned offensive coordinator, Greg Roman.

In addition to a new offensive coach, the Ravens have several positional needs that must be filled. The team possesses only five draft picks, so they may need to rely more heavily on free agency this time. Despite this, here are the following positional needs for the Baltimore Ravens. 

Photo Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens Needs by Position Heading into 2023

Wide Receiver 

It’s a tale as old as time for the Baltimore Ravens. Wide receiver is a position that has the team perpetually snakebit, and is always a topic of conversation. Every off-season the Ravens seek to add receiver talent, with varying degrees of success. The team has found quality players in Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay, however, the former has struggled with injuries early in his career. 

Unfortunately for the Ravens, the free agent class of receivers isn’t stellar this year, with many of the potential additions playing past their prime in 2022. Many fans clamor for veterans like DeAndre Hopkins, but with limited draft capitol it may be a bit more difficult to trade for a player of that caliber. 

Conversely, the 2023 NFL Draft boasts several exciting receiver talents. USC’s Jordan Addison, Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and UNC’s Josh Downs are three players that would be immediate upgrades on offense. With a late first-round pick, the Baltimore Ravens could be in range for either one of those players to address their needs at wide receiver. 

Cornerback

Marcus Peters and Kevon Seymour will be free agents and will be entering their age-30 seasons this year. Kyle Fuller is coming off of a knee injury and may not return in 2023, despite a promising start. Brandon Stephens and Pepe Williams have flashed in their limited playing time this past year but are not enough.  

Similar to the wid receivers, the free agency pool isn’t inspiring however the draft has far more promise. While they’re likely out of range for star players such as Christian Gonzalez or Joey Porter Jr., Baltimore could settle for someone like Devon Witherspoon or Kelee Ringo — great consolation prizes for Mike MacDonald’s defense.  

Five-Technique Defensive End

Calais Campbell is 36 years old and mulling his retirement, while Brent Urban is a free agent yet again. Both have been key parts of Baltimore’s past defensive philosophy, and a lot of what they do up front hinges on a stout five-technique. 

Urban is younger and could come back on a team-friendly minimum deal. Additionally, veterans like Dean Lowry, A’Shawn Robinson, and Matt Ioannidis would be typical Baltimore Ravens signings that would help bolster their front seven. 

As for the NFL Draft, there are quite a few players who fit the Baltimore Ravens mold at the defensive end. Tyree Wilson is the best of the bunch, while Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness is a high-upside player who could be more in their range. Conversely, later options such as Keion White from Georgia Tech or Colby Wooden could be plug-and-play starters for Baltimore. 

Offensive Guard 

A sneaky need for the Baltimore Ravens, as both Ben Powers and Trystan Colon-Castillo are set to hit free agency. Additionally, Baltimore may not feel comfortable playing former-third round pick Ben Cleveland after his struggles during camp and in the preseason. Given the free agency crop this year, Baltimore may be better off signing one of the two rather than taking a chance with a veteran past their prime. 

However, prospects such as O’Cyrus Torrence and Emil Ekiyor feel like players Baltimore could feasibly target — despite their limited picks in 2023. Torrence is often mocked in the latter half of first-round mock drafts, which is right in range for the Ravens.

Edge Rusher 

Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul are both aging free agents that are not guaranteed to return to Baltimore in 2023. Former first-round pick Odafe Oweh had a sophomore slump in 2022, despite expectations. Rookie David Ojabo flashed in his limited play time, so the jury is still out if he can become the elite pass rusher the Baltimore Ravens envisioned for him. 

This isn’t as much of a pressing need for the Ravens as other positions, so signing low-risk free agents such as Clellin Ferrell, Arden Key, or Jadeveon Clowney would be smart.

The 2023 edge class is also incredibly deep, so locating a rotational pass rusher on day three is on the table as well. Names to watch for Baltimore include CMU’s Thomas Incoom, Iowa State’s Will McDonald IV or Auburn’s Eku Leota.