Championship games always bring out the best in prop bets.

And no spectacle in the world of sports brings better prop bets than the Super Bowl. But why wait for the big game?

Championship-game weekend is becoming a sports holiday, so is offering prop bets for those who don’t want to wait the extra two weeks for the Super Bowl.

Here’s my favorite props for the the NFC and AFC Championship games.

Jacksonville at New England

Team to score first?

The safe bet is New England. You don’t have to look at the numbers with a fine-tooth comb to figure out the Patriots are far better than the Jaguars on the offensive side of the ball.

However, the value will be with Jacksonville.

I took the Patriots to cover the nine points for a reason. I don’t think Jacksonville will be able to move the ball, and that includes early in the game.

New England won’t give you great value, but they’re the best pick. — Go with New England

Will there be a score in the last 2 minutes of the 1st half?

Absolutely. This is almost like stealing.

Tom Brady is still on the Patriots, right? New England will have the ball at some point in the final two minutes and they’ll at least drive in field-goal range. This doesn’t have any value, but it’s the only one that makes sense. — Yes

Team to call first timeout?

Now we’re getting into the real strategy. Please don’t consider me a New England homer, because I’m not.

However, I’m going with a bit of a strategy and saying the Jaguars will need that first timeout. They’re inexperienced and playing on the road in the AFC Championship game. That offers up a pretty valid reason as to which team will use the game’s first timeout. — Go with Jacksonville

Will a special teams or defensive TD be scored?

For most games, I would side with “no.”

This is a different scenario, though. As mentioned before, the experience level differs greatly between the two sides. That screams of turnovers for at least one of these teams.

And when there’s turnovers, there’s opportunities for defensive touchdowns.

Even on the Jaguars side, I can’t ignore Jacksonville’s ability to score touchdowns on the defensive side of the ball. The Jaguars were easily the highest fantasy football scoring defense this season, and it was done on the back of defensive touchdowns.

You’ll get solid value with this one. — Yes

Minnesota at Philadelphia

Will there be a score in the first 7:30 of the game?

You’ll get solid value with this one, too.

The weather is going to be good, but the quarterbacks are going to be feeling out the defenses. And those defenses just happen to be two of the best in the NFL.

That means it will be difficult for the teams to do anything on offense, especially in the early going when each quarterback will steer clear of making a mistake. — No score

Quarter with most points scored?

If anyone claims to be sure of this, then they should be examined. This is a complete toss-up, but I’ll side with the second quarter.

Both teams will feel each other out in the first quarter and will open up the offenses a bit more in the second quarter.

Based on the field-position battle that I believe this game will be, I’ll back away from the fourth quarter. Generally in a close game, the fourth quarter does offer some value, but with both teams playing for better field position, I’ll stick with the second quarter, and maybe a few touchdowns. — Second Quarter

Team to have most first downs?

I’m actually fairly confident in this one. Minnesota’s offense is better than Philadelphia’s, especially without Carson Wentz at the helm.

I’m not quite sure the Vikings will score touchdowns, but they have the better personnel in moving the ball more consistently. Of all these props in the Vikings/Eagles game, feel like you have a clue in this one. — Go with Minnesota

First scoring play of the game?

There are some definite choices. First, we have to decide which method of scoring is more likely — field goal or touchdown?

I’ve been saying this all week, but touchdowns are going to be hard to come by, so I’m definitely taking the field goal in this instance.

Now, it’s all about the who? For this one, I’ll go with the Eagles. The Vikings may be suffering from a bit of a hangover from last week, so Philadelphia will have the better offensive unit early in the game. — Eagles FG

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. Check out more at Against The Chalk. 

Scott Levine can be reached at or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH

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