Preview and picks for the NFL Championship games
The NFL Conference Championship games are expected to be good ones with short favorites among four top teams. I add more Picks, Opinions and Leans for the biggest games ahead of Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12.
The Super Wild Card Weekend was a good one on these pages, as our Picks and Opinions went 3-0. Last week in the Divisional Round, Picks and Opinions went 1-1 with a loser on the Buffalo Bills. Our leans as minor or no bets have yet to produce a winner, but even with a 4-1 result on the Picks and Opinions through two playoff rounds, we've recommended reducing wagers rather than increasing bets and risk on side or total game selections. Now it’s on to the NFL 2023 Conference Championship games, and we have Opinions on the two conference championship games.
For more stats, insight and analysis of the NFL Conference Championship games, check out my coverage in Forbes, and watch the NFL weather with freezing temperature in Kansas City.
NFL Conference Championship 2023 Odds and Opinions
Sunday, Jan. 29
Current game odds from leading online sportsbooks refresh periodically and are subject to change.
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles - 3:00 p.m ET on FOX
Line: Eagles -2.5, Total 46.5
The Eagles are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS vs. playoff teams this season (including playoffs) and out-gained them by a combined +760 yards. The 49ers are 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS with a +645 yards vs. those opponents. San Francisco has won 12 straight games with rookie Brock Purdy the starting quarterback the last seven wins. Rookie QB's in NFL conference championship games are 0-4.
Teams that won the rushing yards in this years playoffs are 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS. I've discussed my rushing guidelines and stats throughout the season as I track box score data and rushing yards each season. The Playbook Sports newsletter notes that teams coming off consecutive SU and ATS wins who were bounced in a championship game the previous year (San Francisco) are 20-1 SU/ATS since 1985 as either a favorite or as an underdog of less than 3 points versus an opponent off a SU/ATS win (Eagles).
The Eagles went 10-0 SU and 6-4 ATS when they outrushed opponents this season. The 49ers went 14-1 SU and 12-3 ATS when they outrushed opponents this season.
Opinion: 49ers and Under
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs - 6:30 p.m ET on CBS
Line: Bengals -1, Total 47.5
This line opened Kansas City -1 then immediately moved to Cincinnati -1, -1.5 and -2.5 with Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes' health concerns (high ankle sprain). I teased the Chiefs and 49ers up to +8.5 before the line dropped back down to Bengals -1 yesterday. The line shifts continue, and this will be the biggest bet game of the playoffs ahead of Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12.
Cincinnati beat Kansas City three straight times the past 13 months. Each win was by 3-points including in last years AFC Championship Game when cool Joe Burrow led the Bengals back from a 21-3 deficit to win 27-24 in overtime.
The Bengals have won 10 straight games, but have still been out-gained by -243 yards vs. playoff teams while going 5-2 SU and 5-2 ATS. Cincinnati was out-gained in five of those games, but did out-gain the Bills by nearly 100 yards last week while dominating the running game in a 27-10 win. Joe Burrow is 15-2 SU and 16-1 ATS in the Bengals last 17 non-division games. The Chiefs have out-gained teams that made the playoffs this season by +174 yards while going 6-3 SU and 4-5 ATS. Patrick Mahomes is 20-3 SU at home from December out, and 9-1 ATS in his career as a home underdog.
The Bengals also beat the Chiefs as a +2.5 home underdog 27-24 on Dec. 4 as Burrow was better than Mahomes but the rushing yards were close. The Bengals had 152 yards on 34 carries while the Chiefs rushed for 138 yards on 25 attempts. Burrow ran 11 times for 46 yards and Mahomes 2 times for 9 yards.
Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco should be more involved and I like the bonus bets and player prop of Pacheco over 11.5 rushing attempts and over 47.5 rushing yards. Pacheco has averaged just over 15 rushing attempts per game the second half of the season while taking the lead role at running back.
Opinion: Chiefs and Over
Ahead of the Super Bowl on Feb. 12, 2023, it's time to take your payouts and reduce your online sports betting account balance. Don't wait to withdraw, as one of our contacts at a top online sportsbook informed Off Shore Gaming Association.
"We strive to get players paid quickly, but with thousands of payouts requested over just a few days, and a limited amount of processing services, we expect our payout times to be about twice as long, post-Superbowl."
You can bet on it.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper with unparalleled success in NFL pointspread prognosis. Fairway is recognized as one of the sports industry's insightful analysts, and he chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at OSGA.com and on Twitter @FairwayJay for more betting insights.