The NFL postseason tournament is winding down, with both conference championship games taking place on January 29. The NFC title game between the No. 3 seed San Francisco 49ers ( 15-4) at No. 1 Philadelphia Eagles (15-3) kickstarts the day off at 3:30 p.m.,(ET).
The Eagles are a -2.5 point favorite, which is up a half point from the opening line, while the Over/Under is set a 46. I expect this contest to be a fantastic game between two teams that have been the conference’s best since Week 8.
Following the conclusion of the Eagles-49ers, the third-seeded Cincinnati Bengals (14-4) face the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs (15-3) in a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game. Like the first game’s competitors, the Bengals and Chiefs have been playing their best football down the stretch. The following are my best bets for the two most important NFL games to date.
Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5) Over Kansas City Chiefs
The Bengals looked like world beaters on both sides of the ball in their 27-10 victory over the Bills on Sunday, advancing to their second straight AFC title game. The Chiefs, who are playing in their fifth straight conference championship contest, held off a game Jaguars squad 27-20 on Saturday. More significantly, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered a high-ankle sprain, and when he returned to the game, he was clearly hobbled.
Take Cincinnati to claim their second straight AFC Championship. The Bengals have won 11 straight contests heading into the contest, and starting offensive linemen Jonah Williams and Alex Cappa are reportedly likely to play against the Chiefs.
Cincinnati has defeated Kansas City three times since the beginning of last season. The Bengals won each game by three points, including identical 27-24 scores in the 2021 AFC title game and Week 14 this season.
Joe Burrow has played extremely well during the winning streak and he has a handful of outstanding weapons. Ja’Marr Chase is the Bengals’ top offensive threat though Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon, Hayden Hurst, Tyler Boyd, and Semaje Perine are top shelf performers.
Just like a season ago, the Bengals’ defense has gotten better every game. They have been a top-10 defense in the league since Week 12, and the Chiefs will have a hard time penetrating their front seven. Particularly if Mahomes is hampered in any way.
Joe Burrow Over 1.5 Touchdown Passes (-165)
Burrow is playing the best football of his professional career. He generally comes up with big performances when needed the most. Burrow has tossed multiple touchdowns in 25 out of his last 38 outings, including 12 of 18 games this year.
The 26-year-old has played well against the Chiefs, completing 78 of 108 throws (72.2%) for 982 yards, eight touchdowns, and one interception. He had two touchdown passes in last year’s conference title game
Kenneth Gainwell Over 10.5 Rushing Yards (-110)
Philadelphia wants to run the ball. Despite San Francisco being stout against the run, I expect that the Eagles will have some RPO success. Gainwell had a huge game in the win over the Giants in the Divisional Round with 112 yards on 12 carries.
Gainwell has been on the field for at least 18% of the team’s offensive snaps over the last eight games. He has garnered at least three carries and 15 yards in six of those games. Gainwell averages 4.5 yards per carry this season and has produced 4.2 yards per attempt in five of his last six games, he has recorded a carry. This is one of the best bets of the weekend.
Other Best Bets
Joe Mixon Over 59.5 Rushing Yard (-115)
Isiah Pacheco Over 47.5 Rushing Yards (-120)
Tyler Boyd Over 3.5 Receptions (+135)
Ja’Marr Chase Under 6.5 Receptions (+105)
Travis Kelce Over 6.5 Receptions (-135)
JuJu Smith-Schuster Under 3.5 Receptions (+135)
2-leg Parlay (+195): Miles Sanders Under 1.5 Receptions and Noah Gray Under 1.5 Receptions
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