The NFL playoffs move to the Conference Championship round and bring us two fascinating matchups to consider for our weekly parlay.
On the NFC side, we have the awe-inspiring contest between the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. On the AFC side, we have the mouth-watering clash between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
Who will win and advance to Super Bowl 57? Will we be treated to a rematch of the Super Bowl LIV showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs? Or will it be another combination of finalists that emerges when all is said and done this Sunday?
Join us as we weigh in on these Conference Championship games and serve up our choice bets for our two-leg moneyline parlay.
Let’s check the latest NFL picks, stats, injury reports, and odds. We’ve got plenty of NFL lines for NFC Conference Championship Games.
NFL Conference Championship Parlay
- First Leg: 49ers +120
- Second Leg: Chiefs -120
- Odds as per Parlay Calculator: +304
First Leg: 49ers +120
The Eagles are one win away from Super Bowl LVII but standing in their way is the team that nobody wants to play in the playoffs: the 49ers.
Arguably, the Eagles were more impressive than most expected them to be – or the New York Giants flattered to deceive (perceptions and all) — in the Divisional Round as they steamrolled their divisional rivals 38-7 in the City of Brotherly Love and booked their place in the NFC Championship Game.
The Niners were efficient, stoic and dominant on defense as they squashed the Dallas Cowboys in a low-scoring 19-12 victory at Levi’s Stadium to book their place in the NFC Championship Game for the second straight season and third time in the last four seasons.
As per the NFL odds, the Eagles are the favorites across the sportsbook platform. They were the best win-loss team in the conference, with a top offense and defense, and, importantly, they have a home advantage for this pivotal game. All great attributes. But, they did play one of the easiest schedules in the league. And it’s the first time for coach Nick Sirianni and third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts in the NFC title game
The inexperience at the quarterback position is the biggest and only question mark for the Niners. Otherwise, Kyle Shanahan and Co. have been here and done that. That experience is an advantage that can’t be overlooked.
San Francisco is 11-0 after Christian McCaffrey joined the @49ers.
“Don’t sleep on Christian McCaffrey and the 49ers and Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Another reason why they’re going to beat Dallas. Another reason why they’re going to the Super Bowl!” pic.twitter.com/Npha2UdEaB
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) January 19, 2023
Sure, rookie Brock Purdy is a wild card, and that fact makes the basis for those making the case against the Niners winning this game. And yet, Purdy hasn’t put a foot wrong since taking over as the signal caller. He is 7-0 straight up (SU) and the Niners are 6-1-0 against the spread (ATS) behind the rookie.
What is most interesting about the market is the tight point spread, which is currently hanging on 2½ points as we look at the latest NFL betting markets. It’s clear that the bookmakers expect a very close game decided by a handful of points. If nothing else, it’s a nod to the defenses of both these teams, which were standouts in their Divisional Round games. And that is telling.
Both the Eagles and Niners have prolific offenses that are capable of putting up the points. However, if the defenses rule the day, it’s hard to see the offenses lighting it up or running away with this game. This tips the balance in favor of the Niners, ever so slightly.
- Pick: 49ers +120
Second Leg: Chiefs -120
The Cincinnati Bengals are one win away from a return trip to the Super Bowl and standing in their way of a second crack at the Lombardi Trophy in as many years are the Kansas City Chiefs. Indeed, this is a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game the Bengals won to everyone’s surprise at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Bengals, who closed as the +6 road underdogs, upset the Buffalo Bills 27-10 in the Divisional Round at Orchard Park. Few would have predicted such a comprehensive victory that turned the NFL odds on its head, After all, the Bills were primed to win the Super Bowl according to the markets at the start of the season.
The Chiefs took care of the AFC upstart Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 in the Divisional Round last Sunday to book their place in their fifth straight AFC Championship Game. They’ll be looking to make their third Super Bowl appearance in the Patrick Mahomes era.
The Chiefs benefited hugely by Cincy’s win in Buffalo as it meant that the AFC Championship Game would be played at Arrowhead Stadium. Interestingly, the Chiefs opened as the home underdogs at the start of the week, but the public has since bet them up into favorable terrain.
Our house. pic.twitter.com/QGjaBFVFAb
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 25, 2023
Mahomes is one of the best quarterbacks in the game and the Chiefs are an undeniable AFC powerhouse, However, they have a losing record against Joe Burrow and Co. – which is the only anomaly on their otherwise impeccable record’s sheet. (They lost to the Bengals 27-24 earlier this season.)
Then there is the fact that the Bengals are making their case for the AFC powerhouse of the season. They have looked the part of the league’s best team, winning 10 straight games to reach the penultimate round of the NFL playoffs. That fact certainly makes the case for a Bengals win.
Another factor that worked against the Chiefs initially is the status of Mahomes’ ankle. The star signal caller suffered an ankle injury against the Jaguars and missed a portion of the game before returning. He was visibly under strain, though the Chiefs held on to the victory in the end.
On Wednesday, Mahomes practiced with the Chiefs and confirmed his intention to play. That’s good news for the Chiefs nation. Without Mahomes, it would be hard to see Kansas City winning this game.
It’s a tossup for NFL picks, but assuming Mahomes is in good form, the Chiefs, as the nominal home favorites at -120, are the choice bet here.