NFL championship recreation picks, odds and finest bets


A 1-1 weekend through the second spherical of the NFL gamers didn’t enhance something, as I’m now 6-8 as Neil Greenberg’s substitute. Time to begin successful on a extra constant foundation, beginning with Sunday’s convention championship video games, one among which includes a common season rematch.

San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (-2½)

3 p.m. | Fox, Fox Sports activities, Fox Deportes

Choose: Philadelphia Eagles -2½

Regardless that the 49ers beat the Cowboys final weekend, a little bit of the shine got here off San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy. His 53.1 QBR was his second lowest in his seven profession begins, and his 87.4 passer score was his lowest. Purdy didn’t throw any interceptions, however he additionally led the 49ers to just one landing, averaged solely 7.4 yards per try (the bottom of his seven begins) and accomplished simply 4 of 12 passes when underneath strain, averaging 4.5 yards per try on these throws.

Suffice to say, Dallas had the perfect protection Purdy had seen as much as that time. The Eagles’ protection is even higher.

Philadelphia had 70 sacks through the common season, probably the most in a single season because the 1989 Minnesota Vikings, and registered a sack on 11.4 p.c of its opponents’ dropbacks, first within the NFL by a major margin. (The Cowboys, for what it’s price, ranked third in that statistic and sacked Purdy twice.)

The Chiefs and Bengals meet once more. These title recreation rematches are rarer than you suppose.

By way of DVOA, the Eagles ranked second within the NFL towards No. 1 broad receivers, fourth towards No. 2 broad receivers and sixth towards tight ends through the common season. San Francisco move catchers Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle mixed for 57.4 p.c of the 49ers’ receptions this 12 months, and when Purdy is on the sphere, that share barely adjustments (all of the extra exceptional contemplating Samuel missed three of Purdy’s seven begins due to damage). Christian McCaffrey is San Francisco’s solely different true receiving risk, and he was coping with a calf contusion late in Sunday’s recreation towards the Cowboys. He appears prone to play, however he could be requested to hold a higher load if the Eagles can shut down Purdy’s high three choices.

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Flipping sides, the 49ers rank second within the league in dashing protection (79 yards allowed per recreation, together with the playoffs). However how a lot of that’s as a result of groups merely didn’t run a complete lot towards them (22.9 makes an attempt towards per recreation, a sliver behind the Titans for the fewest within the league), and the way a lot as a result of San Francisco performed a complete lot of mediocre dashing groups? The 49ers performed solely three groups that ranked within the high 10 when it comes to dashing DVOA through the common season — the Falcons, Chiefs and Raiders — and gave up a minimum of 112 dashing yards to every of them (they gave up greater than 100 dashing yards just one different time within the common season).

The Eagles rank first in dashing DVOA, and San Francisco has not seen an opposing quarterback who can scramble just like the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts. Frankly, the 49ers didn’t play many quarterbacks who’re a constant risk to run with the ball this season. It’ll be a brand new wrinkle for them to unravel on the worst doable time.

I believe the matchup units up extraordinarily effectively for the Eagles, significantly after they’re giving lower than a discipline objective. Philadelphia flies into the Tremendous Bowl.

Cincinnati Bengals (-2½) at Kansas Metropolis Chiefs

6:30 p.m. | CBS, Paramount Plus

Choose: Ja’Marr Chase over 82.5 receiving yards (FanDuel)

Seeing as how we in all probability received’t have a real concept about how Patrick Mahomes’s injured ankle is feeling till he trots (or limps) onto the sphere Sunday night, it’s in all probability finest to avoid any guess that might be impacted by the Chiefs’ quarterback and as a substitute goal a prop involving the opposite facet of the ball. On this case, I just like the Bengals star broad receiver to have an enormous recreation.

Kansas Metropolis has struggled to comprise its opponents’ No. 1 broad receiver all season, rating thirty first within the NFL when it comes to DVOA towards opposing high wideouts. The Chargers’ Mike Williams (8 catches, 113 yards, 1 landing) and Keenan Allen (5 catches for 94 yards), Bucs’ Mike Evans (8-103-2), Raiders’ Davante Adams (8-197-2 in two video games), Payments’ Stefon Diggs (10-148-1), Jaguars’ Christian Kirk (16-157-3 in two video games), Broncos’ Jerry Jeudy (8-73-3) and Seahawks’ DK Metcalf (7-81) all had huge video games towards the Chiefs.

So did Chase, who had seven catches for 97 yards towards the Chiefs on Dec. 4. As a rookie in 2021, he torched the Chiefs for 266 receiving yards and three scores within the groups’ common season assembly after which added six catches for 54 yards and one other rating towards Kansas Metropolis in final season’s AFC championship recreation.

Chase has gone over this quantity seven occasions in 14 video games this season, with six of these events coming over his previous 9 video games. He’ll get there once more.

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