Odds For NFL Conference Championship

Will Armitage

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

And then there were four!

The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs was not quite as dramatic as twelve months ago.

However, we saw our fair share of excitement and resulting intrigue.

Will Mahomes play on Sunday and how will his ankle hold out? Can the Eagles keep on steamrollering their opponents?

Will Mr. Irrelevant become Mr. Super Relevant? Can Joe B prove his doubters wrong one more time?

Aside from correctly predicting Cincinnati Bengals beating Buffalo Bills, my other selections over the weekend went awry!

The Giants failed dismally to cover the spread. The Chiefs managed to defeat the Jags by an insufficient margin.

And finally, the Cowboys failed to get within four points of the 49ers.

Let’s see whether I can have better predictive luck this coming weekend.

Cincinnati Bengals (-102) @ Kansas City Chiefs (-110)

Bengals: What did Josh Allen say to Joe Burrow at the end of the game yesterday?

The look upon Cincinnati’s QB was a picture afterward. Was it pleasantries or some secret recipe for the Bengals to usurp the Chiefs this coming weekend?

In any case, actions speak louder than words. We all know that.

And so too seemingly does one Joseph Lee Burrow! Not many people expected Joe, Joe, and Ja’Marr to come away from a snowy, emotional Buffalo having scored three more touchdowns than Vegas was expecting.

But, that is exactly what they accomplished. It was a 27-10 success.

Joe threw for an interception-less game with a couple of TDs and 242 yards. Joe Mixon charged for another 100-yard game.

Ja’Marr showed why he sports the number 1 jersey for his franchise. The Bills simply couldn’t compete.

And now for their next test across in Kansas City on Sunday. Expect Patrick Mahomes’s right ankle to be targeted relentlessly.

Chiefs: Ruddy Riley Patterson! Had he not slotted his field goal with 24 seconds left to play, I would have been enjoying a profitable spread bet.

As it is, the Jaguars’ 10 points in the final quarter brought them to within 7 points at the close of the game. The sportsbooks’ 7.5-point spread was cruel to me and many other bettors!

Trevor Lawrence’s remarkable second half of the season had to come to an end at some stage. The squad simply was not good enough to keep their playoff adventure going.

At the start of the season, it was the Jags and the Texans at the bottom of the list for Super Bowl winner handle at BetMGM sportsbook.

How they would have loved to see Florida’s finest (?) emerge victorious next month! As it is Jacksonville could not produce another miracle. The Chiefs progressed without the expected coasting victory.

As it was, rookie Isiah Pacheco and veteran Travis Kelche stepped up to the plate. Each was just a whisker shy of 100 yards on the ground and in the air respectively.

With Mahomes not throwing an interception and marshaling his troops well for most of the game, Kansas City did enough to reach yet another Championship game.

So, which team advances this weekend? Remarkably, both these superstar QBs have only once in their careers not made it to the AFC Championship games!

Patrick and Joe failed to advance that far in their rookie seasons. Pressure? What pressure? These two future Hall of Famers know how to handle it.

Vegas’s original line came out giving the Chiefs a field-goal start. That has shifted to the Chiefs now being favorites by a solitary point.

I agree that it is too close to call. All I hope is that these two titans of the game in the 2020s serve as a classic for the ages. I shall therefore be backing the over out of principle.

Some of the sportsbooks have the over at 47.5, whilst some are sitting at 48. Why would you take the over at 48 with Caesars, when a sportsbook such as BetRivers Sportsbook is showing 47.5?

Wouldn’t you be kicking yourself when the Bengals snatch it 25-23 with a last-second field goal?!

Anyways, I’m sitting on the fence in terms of victor. But, I’ll be hollering every time the teams move that scoreboard along!

San Francisco 49ers (+128) @ Philadelphia Eagles (-143)

49ers: Well Mr. Purdy continues to bemuse and baffle armchair NFL fans from around the world.

Remember that the Super Bowl is one of the most-watched sports events on TV. American Football has fans from all four corners of the globe.

Anyone with a passing interest in the game is now aware of a certain 23-year-old called Brock Purdy.

The ultimate afterthought in this year’s draft out of Iowa State is now the name on everyone’s lips.

The player who brought up the rear of the entire selection process in April now finds himself one game from the Super Bowl and potential mega fame.

Were that to happen, wait for the feature film and Netflix series to follow quickly. Move over, Prince Harry!

There’s someone else whose story the world will want to hear more than yours.

However, we must not get ahead of ourselves. There is a mightily impressive team blocking his path to glory.

Brock may well have kept the Cowboys at bay, but can he do the same against a rampant Eagles? CMC and some staggeringly good catches from the hilarious George Kittle helped keep Purdy’s winning run intact.

Zero interceptions ensured the 49ers had more of the clock and 40% more first downs than the Cowboys.

As for the Cowboys, their allergy to the NFC Championship game continues now into its 27th year! From 1993 to 1996, Dallas was ever-present in the game to decide the NFC winner.

Since then, they have made the playoffs 12 times and failed to advance to the Championship game on every single occasion!

Eagles: Whilst the NFL fans, coaches, and bettors alike debate the impact of Mahomes’s injury, it seems another injury concern has been consigned to the trash.

Jalen Hurts didn’t seem, well, particularly Hurt against New York at the weekend. Much was made at the start of the season around the strength of Philly’s Offensive Line.

Well, they did another darn good job of protecting their man under center. That has been a theme of the season. Hurts was back with a vengeance.

Agile, accurate and talismanic are terms, to sum up his game at the weekend.

The Eagles notched up a mighty 268 yards on the ground at an average of 6 yards per carry.

Their total yards were nearly double that of the Giants and exactly twice the number of first downs. Jalen Hurts entrusted Miles Sanders and Kenneth Gainwell to gain well on the ground.

He minimized the chances of big impacts on his shoulders by letting his running backs shoulder more responsibility themselves. New York simply couldn’t keep up with them.

How can the 49ers possibly clip the wings of the Eagles’ offense? The sportsbooks give them a comparatively good chance.

San Francisco is certainly the underdogs. PointsBet Sportsbook is currently one book with the BestOdds.

Their +125 is the most attractive odds, whilst one operator is offering a meager +112. PointsBet also has the best payout on the spread market for those bettors siding with Philadelphia on the spread market.

Vegas is set at -2.5 this morning, having initially opened at -1.5. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this line on the other side of a field goal come game day.

Readers of my articles this season know that I am partial to selecting a winning road ‘dog. I have gone 16-4 with my weekly selection since we started in early September.

I cannot see the 49ers emerging victorious from Pennsylvania. I think the Eagles cruise to the Super Bowl by a double-digit margin and will be crowned NFC Champions.

If I had to choose my underdog of the weekend, it would be the Bengals.

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About the author

Will has been an avid sports fan since the early 1980s. His first sporting love was a mediocre English soccer team that dwelled in the lower league...

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