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NFC, AFC championship game picks and predictions: Whole lot of Patriots

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The 2017 conference championship games are almost upon us. Here is a look at some of the picks from around the media, including my own.

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The 2017 NFC and AFC title games take place this Sunday, and we have four great quarterbacks squaring off for a chance to advance to Super Bowl 51. Sunday afternoon at 12:05 p.m. PT, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. That is followed by Tom Brady and the New England Patriots hosting Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC conference championship game, with kick off set for 3:40 p.m. PT.

The Falcons are a five point favorite while the Patriots are a six point favorite. The home favorites swept in wild card round, but then we saw them split during the divisional round, with the Packers and Steelers edging out Dallas and Kansas City, respectively.

In this final four round, I am going with the slightly unexpected Super Bowl. I am picking the Falcons and Steelers to win and face off in the Super Bowl. The public is betting heavily on the Packers, and moderately heavily on the Steelers. The Packers seem like an obvious pick given how they have performed, but this Falcons offense is playing better than any offense has played in some time. After seeing what they did to the Seahawks defense, it is hard to not get behind that offense.

On the AFC side, I would not be at all surprise if the the Patriots win. But I picked the Steelers back at the beginning of the playoffs, so I might as well stick with them. The Steelers have handled their business thus far, but this is obviously a sizably different challenge. I think this ends up particularly close either way.

Here is a rundown of some picks from around the media. The Patriots are getting a whole lot of love:

SB Nation: 4 of 8 Falcons, 5 of 8 Patriots
ESPN: 6 of 8 Falcons, 6 of 8 Patriots
CBS Sports: 4 of 7 Packers, 5 of 7 Patriots
USA Today: 3 of 5 Packers, 4 of 5 Patriots
FOX Sports: 5 of 5 Falcons, 4 of 5 Patriots 7 of 8 Packers, 8 of 8 Patriots
PFT: MDS - Falcons 33, Packers 30 & Patriots 24, Steelers 20; Florio - Packers 37, Falcons 31 & Patriots 27, Steelers 20