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NFL

NFL playoffs: Rams, Chiefs favourites to reach Super Bowl LVI

The Kansas City Chiefs face the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game, while the Los Angeles Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC title.

Update:

The Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs are being backed by the bookmakers to win Sunday’s NFC and AFC Championship Games, respectively.

The Rams, who beat reigning Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this weekend's divisional round, are -3 to see off the San Francisco 49ers, who ended the Green Bay Packers’ playoff hopes for the second time in three years.

After defeating the Buffalo Bills in overtime in the divisional round, meanwhile, the Chiefs are -7 to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, who overcame the Tennessee Titans.

See also:

Rams, Chiefs favourites despite recent results against Championship Game rivals

Curiously, the Rams and the Chiefs both lost to their upcoming opponents during the regular season. Kansas City went down 34-17 to Cincinnati in Week 17, while San Francisco swept their annual series against division rivals the Rams.

The 49ers were 31-10 winners at home in Week 10, before earning a 27-24 victory in overtime in Los Angeles in the final round of the regular season.

Indeed, the 49ers have won six in a row against the Rams and San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan leads the coaches’ head-to-head battle, with a 6-3 record over Sean McVay.

The Rams’ most recent win over the 49ers was a 48-32 triumph in Los Angeles in 2018.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) celebrates with wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) during the Rams' divisional-round win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) celebrates with wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) during the Rams' divisional-round win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Kim KlementUSA TODAY Sports

Rams aiming to emulate Buccaneers' home Super Bowl success

The Rams are out to become only the second team in NFL history to play the Super Bowl at their home stadium, a year after the Buccaneers lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy on home turf after beating the Chiefs 31-9.

If the Chiefs are victorious on Sunday, they’ll reach their third successive Super Bowl, a feat only previously achieved by the Bills. Buffalo appeared in four straight Super Bowls between 1990 and 1993, losing all of them: twice against the Dallas Cowboys, and once each against the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Football Team.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs have become the first team ever in the NFL to host four consecutive conference championship deciders.

If the favourites win out this weekend, Super Bowl LVI looks like being a high-scoring game, with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill on one side, and Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr on the other.

The most recent matchup between the Chiefs and the Rams was in 2018, and ended 54-51 to the Angelenos.

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