And then there were four.
As we reach the NFL conference championship games, a solid case can be made that the best four teams remain. The Cincinnati Bengals are riding a 10-game winning streak, the Kansas City Chiefs have won 11 of their last 12 games (the only loss to the Bengals), the San Francisco 49ers have won 12 straight, and the Philadelphia Eagles have won 15 of 18 games this season.
Something has to give, and we have four betting options for you to consider.
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook
Take San Francisco 49ers +2.5 points (-106) vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Many have kept waiting to see Brock Purdy play like a seventh-round rookie, but it just hasn’t happened. If anything, the train has just kept rolling as the 49ers have outscored their opponents 35-12 in the second half to put away games in the playoffs. The Eagles steamrolled the New York Giants last week, but Jalen Hurts didn’t look particularly sharp in either of his two starts since returning from injuries – even against the Giants’ B-team in Week 18. The 49ers can win this game outright, but getting 2.5 points is a hedge that makes sense.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Take the UNDER of 46.5 points (-111)
Everyone keeps talking about the offensive weapons on the Eagles and 49ers rosters, but what has made them special this season has been a strong defense. The 49ers held 10 of their last 12 opponents to 20 points or less, averaging 15 points allowed a game in that stretch. Meanwhile, the Eagles have allowed teams to score 22 or fewer points in 14 of 18 games. When both teams are at their best they’re running the ball a lot, which takes time off the clock and keeps their defenses fresh. This has the makings of a field position game that will require long drives to prevent it from being a battle of more field goals than touchdowns.
Take Kansas City Chiefs and lay 1 point (-106) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes don’t have a losing record against just about anyone in their careers, but the Joe Burrow-led Bengals are the exception. They’ve met three times in the last two years, and Cincinnati has won them all. While there are legitimate concerns about Mahomes’ injured ankle, the Chiefs have controlled all three previous games. In Week 17 of the 2022 season, the Bengals outscored the Chiefs 10-0 in the fourth quarter for a 27-24 win. In their playoff meeting, the Chiefs blew a 21-3 lead in the second quarter in a 27-24 overtime loss. In Week 13 this season, Kansas City had a 28-14 lead with two minutes left in the first half only to be outscored 20-3 in a 34-31 loss. Do the Bengals have the Chiefs’ number? I don’t think so this time around. The third time was the charm. Not the fourth.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Take the OVER of 48 points (-111)
Again it seems a betting number has been influenced by the Mahomes injury. In their last three meetings, the total points scored have been 51, 51 and 65 in games in which Kansas City scored just 20 points after halftime in those three games combined. The Bengals are going to attack the Chiefs defense and will get their share of points, and Mahomes will be slinging it on his end – likely doing much more with him arm than his legs. This has the smell of at least one team getting to 30, and it doesn’t take much for the other team to cover after that.
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