Predictions, betting favorites, greatest performs for AFC, NFC Championship video games

The NFC and AFC Championship video games this weekend function the top seeds in one game and a rematch of last year’s conference title game in the other. Every matchup is rife with storylines and the sports activities books anticipate every recreation to be shut. The truth is, for simply the third time within the Tremendous Bowl period, neither Convention Championship recreation has a group favored by three factors or extra.

Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles host Nick Bosa, Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon. Mike Shanahan and the 49ers haven’t misplaced since earlier than Halloween whereas Nick Sirianni and the Eagles have misplaced simply as soon as this season with Jalen Hurts underneath heart.

The AFC Championship recreation Sunday night is, as talked about, a rematch of final 12 months’s recreation. Kansas Metropolis seeks revenge at house towards Cincinnati after dropping in OT final 12 months. A win by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs would ship them to their third Super Bowl in the last four seasons. A win by Joe Burrow and the Bengals means back-to-back journeys to the Tremendous Bowl for Cincinnati and a shot at their first Super Bowl win in franchise history.

RELATED: 2023 NFL Playoffs AFC, NFC Championship Round Schedule

Our NFL workers at NBC Sports EDGE have executed a deep dive into these video games to search out their favourite performs of Championship Sunday. They provide them on all the things from sides and totals to participant props. The group contains Jay Croucher (@croucherJD), Vaughn Dalzell (@VMoneySports), and Lawrence Jackson (@LordDontLose). Tail (or fade) as you see match.

  • Kickoff: January 29 at 3:00 p.m. ET (FOX)

  • Website: Lincoln Monetary Area – Philadelphia, PA

  • Philadelphia Playoff Historical past: 24-24 (3 Tremendous Bowl appearances, 1 win)

  • San Francisco Playoff Historical past: 37-23 (7 Tremendous Bowl appearances – 5 wins)

  • Collection Historical past: San Francisco leads the all-time collection with Philadelphia having received 20 of the 35 conferences with one tie between the 2. The Eagles have hosted 17 of the video games with the 49ers claiming victory in 11 of these. These groups have met simply as soon as within the playoffs. Again within the 1996 NFC Wild Card Recreation (12/29/96) Jerry Rice and Steve Younger every scored touchdowns to propel San Francisco to a 14-0 victory towards Philadelphia.

Word: If the present line stands, this recreation would be the first wherein Brock Purdy is the underdog. He’s 6-1 ATS up to now in his younger profession. Jalen Hurts is 9-2-1 ATS as a house favourite in his profession and a whopping 7-0 ATS as a single-digit favourite at Lincoln Monetary Area.

Croucher: George Kittle OVER 3.5 Receptions and Miles Sanders UNDER 6.5 Receiving Yards

The Eagles concede an above-average quantity of receptions to opposing tight ends, and in a recreation the place the Niners will probably be throwing, anticipate Brock Purdy to focus on his favourite weapon.

Miles Sanders has gone underneath this quantity in 5 straight video games, by no means topping one goal in any of these video games, and the Niners are elite at defending operating backs within the passing recreation.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023

Dalzell: Dallas Goedert UNDER 47.5 Receiving Yards (-115)

The 49ers have had the very best protection towards Tight Ends within the NFL for the final two seasons. Opposing Tight Ends as a unit common Beneath 40 yards per recreation towards San Francisco but books need Dallas Goedert to get nearly 50 himself.

Final week towards the Giants, Goedert caught 5 passes on 5 targets for 58 yards and a TD, so this line may very well be just a little inflated. He went Beneath 47.5 yards in three out of 4 video games to finish the common season.

There are such a lot of choices on this offense on the bottom and thru the air starting from AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Boston Scott, Zach Pascal, Quez Watkins and Goedert. I might play this right down to 44.5 receiving yards.

After ripping off that lengthy record of ability place gamers with out even mentioning Jalen Hurts, you may perceive why I’m additionally leaning Eagles ML as effectively.

RELATED: 49ers Super Bowl history

Jackson: Eagles to win by 1-13 factors (+310) and A.J. Brown most receiving yards (+210)

Go large or go house. What I noticed within the 49ers/Cowboys’ recreation final week is a Dallas group that performed greater than ok to win besides at one place. Regardless of the turnovers and failure to capitalize on a turnover, the Cowboys misplaced to the 49ers by seven factors. The Eagles’ protection is nice sufficient to match what the Cowboys did towards the 49ers particularly in terms of dashing the passer. Moreover, don’t anticipate the Eagles’ offense to be as careless and unprepared offensively as Dallas was towards the very best protection in soccer. If you happen to just like the Eagles to win, it solely is sensible to sprinkle this in.

A.J. Brown solely gathered in 22 yards of receptions final week as he frankly was not wanted a lot towards the Giants because of the Eagles’ success dashing the ball. Previous to that he had gone 4 straight video games with at the least 95 yards receiving. Earlier this week he made some (non-diva) feedback about getting the ball and it needs to be his time towards the 49ers. The Niners are the second-best run protection in soccer so the Eagles will (and might) get it executed by way of the air. Search for the Eagles to flip the script on the sport plan and do what works this week which suggests a stable day for Brown.

  • Kickoff: January 29 at 6:30 p.m. ET (CBS)

  • Website: Arrowhead Stadium – Kansas Metropolis, MO

  • Kansas Metropolis Playoff Historical past: 18-21 (2 Tremendous Bowl wins – 4 Appearances)

  • Cincinnati Playoff Historical past: 10-15 (3 Tremendous Bowl appearances – 0 wins)

  • Collection Historical past: These two groups had by no means met within the postseason previous to final 12 months’s AFC Championship Recreation. In that recreation the Bengals defeated the Chiefs in extra time by the rating of 27-24. Cincinnati and Kansas Metropolis have met 31 occasions within the common season with the Bengals having received 17 of the video games.

Word: With the road shifting in direction of Kansas Metropolis, the Chiefs have now been favored in 15 straight playoff video games. It’s the longest streak by any group within the Tremendous Bowl period. Patrick Mahomes has by no means been a playoff underdog. He’s the primary quarterback within the Tremendous Bowl period to be favored in every of his first 13 playoff begins.

Croucher: Kansas Metropolis Chiefs ML (-115) and Jerick McKinnon Over 27.5 Speeding Yards (-115)

Coming into final week the Payments and Chiefs have been rated as roughly equal, and the Payments closed 6-point favorites at house to Cincinnati. Naturally, Cincy’s spectacular efficiency and the damage to Patrick Mahomes has to cut back the road considerably from -6 however going from -6 to Pk is an over-adjustment. The Chiefs needs to be 2-point favorites right here.

Jerick McKinnon performed 44 of 68 snaps final week and is extra trusted in move safety than Isiah Pacheco. A operating again taking part in 65% of snaps in Kansas Metropolis’s offense shouldn’t be set as little as 27.5 dashing yards, significantly if Mahomes is proscribed.

RELATED: How to watch Cincinnati Bengals vs Kansas City Chiefs

Dalzell: Joe Burrow OVER 24.5 Completions (-122) and Kansa Metropolis Chiefs ML (-115)

Burrow accomplished 23 passes on 36 makes an attempt final week and didn’t throw a move from the 12-minute mark till the top of the sport, hitting his Beneath 25.5 completions and 38.5 makes an attempt, barely. I like Burrow to go over his 24.5 and 25.5 completions line within the AFC Championship as I don’t anticipate Joe Mixon to recreate his 100-yard efficiency, which final week was solely his second such outing of the season. At 23 completions in every of the 2 postseason video games, anticipate that quantity to extend right here.

For the sport winner, I’ll take the Chiefs to extract revenge on the Bengals after dropping the AFC Championship Recreation, 27-24 in OT final season. Patrick Mahomes is more healthy than most anticipated coming into this recreation.

Kansas Metropolis has an opportunity to succeed in the Tremendous Bowl for the third time in 4 years, whereas Cincy is seeking to make back-to-back journeys to the Tremendous Bowl. I believe this line adjusting to a pick-em or -1 for Kansas Metropolis is inaccurate. I might make this -3 to -3.5 for the Chiefs.

RELATED: Bengals Super Bowl history

Jackson: Isiah Pacheco OVER 47.5 dashing yards (-115) and Will the group that scores the primary factors win the sport? NO (+140)

Whereas the Bengals’ run protection is just not a pushover, this prop is just too low. Don’t be fooled by the Payments’ lack of success on the bottom final week towards Cincinnati as a result of they can not run the ball towards anybody. J.K. Dobbins was in a position to achieve 62 yards on 13 carries towards the Bengals within the Wildcard Spherical. The week prior, Kenyan Drake ran for 60 yards towards the Bengals. Pacheco has gone over 55 dashing yards in 9 of his final 10 video games and will get sufficient carries to take action once more. This one is just not exhausting.

Let’s change it up a bit and have just a little enjoyable for some plus cash. The Bengals and Joe Burrow have received the final three video games towards Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs (together with the playoffs). In solely certainly one of these video games (Week 13 of the 2022 season) did the primary group to attain go on to win the sport. Mainly, when you will have two juggernauts, it doesn’t matter who scores first. Taking the group who scores first to win is at present set at -200 and never is value that threat.

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