We’re down to the final four in the NFL, with a quartet of prime contenders still alive to battle it out in the conference championship games this Sunday. Here are our picks against the spread as well as over/under selections.
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)
This is actually set up to be a low-scoring game. Neither quarterback has much experience in big spots, and Brock Purdy is a huge wild card. Plus there’s the Jalen Hurts injury and the fact both defenses are particularly strong at the areas that are particular strengths for their opponents.
The number is too high, but the spread is too low. It’s odd the Eagles aren’t getting a full field goal at home after demolishing the Giants last week. These teams are extremely closely matched, but Philly is back on track and the 49ers have a far bigger question mark at the sport’s most critical position.
Prediction: Eagles 23, 49ers 20 UNDER
Cincinnati Bengals (-1) at Kansas City Chiefs
This is obviously all about the Patrick Mahomes injury, but I’m not going under a total as low as 47 with these two offenses and I’m certainly not laying points against Mahomes and Andy Reid at Arrowhead in January.
Even if Mahomes isn’t 100 percent, you know he’ll play and that’s hard to bet against. The Chiefs lost to these Bengals in Kansas City last January, but that’s part of my rationale for taking K.C. straight-up here. Lightning is unlikely to strike twice, but 50-plus points have been scored in each of the last three meetings between these teams so look for something in the range of a shootout Sunday evening.
Prediction: Chiefs 28, Bengals 26 OVER