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TV info, picks against the spread for the AFC, NFC title games

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The 2018 NFL playoffs have reached the final four. We break down game time, TV schedule, odds, streaming info and more as we figure out the Super Bowl 52 participants.

The penultimate round of the 2018 NFL playoffs has arrived! The conference championship games kick off early Sunday afternoon and we will get to figure out who will be participating in Super Bowl 51. Sunday opens with the AFC Championship Game, featuring the New England Patriots hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars at 12:05 p.m. PT on CBS. That will be followed by the NFC Championship Game, featuring the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Minnesota Vikings at 3:40 p.m. PT on FOX.

A year ago, the conference championship weekend feature Aaron Rodgers vs. Matt Ryan, and Ben Roethlisberger vs. Tom Brady. This year, Tom Brady is back, but the remaining quarterbacks are eyebrow-raising to say the least. Brady faces Blake Bortles, while Nick Foles and Case Keenum square off in the NFC. I’d probably rank those quarterbacks Bortles, Keenum, Foles, although I could see Bortles and Keenum as a toss-up in some ways.

The Patriots are a 7.5-point favorite over Jacksonville, but that is after the line dropped with news of Tom Brady’s hand injury. Brady cut his hand and while he will play, he was limited in two practices and sat out a third this week. He will play, but it has led to plenty of consternation and speculation all week long.

The AFC title game is a tough one for me. I love the Jaguars cockiness, and I am not overly concerned that this game is “too big for them.” That being said, the Patriots are the Patriots. I think we end up seeing the Jaguars either spring the upset, or get thumped. I’m going with the Jaguars in the upset. Part of that is just wanting it to happen, but I think this defense could give Tom Brady a tough day.

On the other side, we’ve got the Vikings installed as a field goal road favorite. The Eagles were underdogs last week as well, and given Carson Wentz’s absence, it’s not all that surprising. Eagles players have been sporting dog masks, and the team is apparently going to let fans wear dog masks to the game on Sunday.

I think this Minnesota defense will be too much for Nick Foles. In fact, I think we see the Vikings win with relative ease in this one. The Eagles impressed in beating Atlanta last week, but I don’t see that continuing this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New England Patriots

Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
When: Sunday, January 21, 12:05 p.m. PT
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo, Tracy Wolfson
Radio: Jaguars Radio Network | Patriots Radio Network
Online Streaming: CBS Sports
Odds: Patriots -7.5, 45
Jaguars blog: Big Cat Country
Patriots blog: Pats Pulpit

Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
When: Sunday, January 21, 3:40 p.m. PT
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Radio: Vikings Radio Network| Eagles Radio Network
Online Streaming: FOXSportsGo
Odds: Vikings -3, 38.5
Vikings blog: Daily Norseman
Eagles blog: Bleeding Green Nation