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The Globe and Mail

Conference championship picks against the spread

Sunday

AFC Championship

Baltimore Ravens (13-4) at New England Patriots (14-3)

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BALTIMORE plus 9

The Patriots have never lost an AFC title game at home, and given the way quarterback Tom Brady's playing right now – six touchdown passes last weekend – unless linebacker Ray Lewis plans to literally tearing him limb from limb, which is always a possibility, the Ravens will be hard-pressed to punch their Super Bowl ticket.

The pick PATRIOTS

NFC Championship

New York Giants (11-7) at San Francisco 49ers (14-3)

NEW YORK plus 3

When their vaunted defence let them down late against New Orleans, the 49ers offence showed it can score points in a hurry, if need be. With San Francisco owning teams on the ground, the Giants' hopes rest on quarterback Eli Manning's capable shoulders; the 49ers' likely on kicker David Akers's leg.

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The pick 49ERS

Last week 3-1

Postseason 4-4

Regular season 123-119-14

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