We’re onto Championship Sunday! Four teams remain, and on Sunday night we’ll know which two teams are headed to the Super Bowl in Arizona. There are plenty of betting angles we can look to tackle for these games on DraftKings Sportsbook, but I’m on three plays as of Thursday afternoon when posting this.
I’ll write up each of the two games below, including what action I have on each game, along with some overall betting thoughts if they apply. If there’s a unit destination next to the play, it’s something I’m on. Other plays are leans/considerations, that I may add to my card on Twitter (@julianedlow).
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
PHI -2.5 (-110) — 1.5-units
PHI 1H -1.5 (-105) — 0.5-units
After the Eagles stomped out the Giants on Saturday night, I thought they may be in position to fade in the NFC Championship, but I needed to see how the other NFC game went. After watching the Niners scrape by the Cowboys 19-12 in a game that neither side was all that impressive, I knew I wouldn’t be fading Philly.
But then I looked into exactly what this Niners team has done on the season, and this became one of my favorite plays of the NFL season. A lot of professionals played Dallas last week, I think they were just a week early on the San Fran fade.
The Niners played a neutral game against the Cardinals in Mexico this season, so they only played seven true road games. Four of those road games came in the first six weeks of the season, and while this is obviously a different team at this stage, the only win they earned was in Carolina. San Francisco lost early season games in Chicago, Denver and Atlanta ... woof.
What all of that early travel means is that SF has barely traveled of late — only three true road games since October 16! That’s an absurd amount of time playing at home and getting comfortable. Brock Purdy has played two road games and is 2-0 SU/1-1 ATS. Can’t knock him for that. The 49ers can only beat who is put in front of them, but let’s look at who that’s been.
This Niners team only played one team away from home that finished the regular season with a record better that 7-10, and that was a Thursday night game in Seattle. The combined record of teams SF faced on the road this season was 42-77. They simply haven’t been tested like this. The spread in this game will close the Niners as the largest dogs they’ve been this season — the other two instances (both as one-point dogs) being a 44-23 home loss to the Chiefs, and a road win over the Rams (who we now know stink).
Now the 49ers will travel for the first time since New Year’s day (when they gave up 34 points to a Jarrett Stidham-led offense), heading into a rowdy atmosphere in Philly. Removing the home game that Jalen Hurts missed, the Eagles went 8-1 SU/7-2 ATS in his nine home starts with a point margin of +12.7 (covering by 4.6 points).
I expect Philly to have a lot of edges in this game. It’ll be the toughest defense Purdy has seen, and it comes in the most rowdy road atmosphere you could ask for. Meanwhile, I expect the Eagles to be able to make some big plays down field against a secondary that actually ranks near the bottom of the league. The Niners haven’t faced a running quarterback this season other than Justin Fields, and that was in a monsoon. If you want to spin these into prop angles, here’s what I’m considering:
— OVER on Jalen Hurts at 46.5 rushing yards — he finished with a 10-82-1 line against this defense last season.
— OVER on A.J. Brown at 69.5 receiving yards OR playing OVER on Brown’s long reception prop of 25.5 yards.
As for the sprinkle on the Eagles in the first half, these games they’ve been winning at home have been by getting out to leads and maintaining them. Philadelphia is 8-1 1H SU/ATS in home games that Hurts has played in, scoring an average of 21.2 points. The Eagles have also surrendered just 9.7 points per game in the first half during their 10 total home games. The Niners have trailed by at least three points in three of their last four road contests if you care, but like I mentioned, that goes back a while.
I like the Eagles to get after it early, build a lead, and maintain it in the second half. A game script that Purdy has never been on the other side of. We’ll see how he responds.
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
Joe Burrow OVER 1.5 Passing TD (-135) — 1-unit
I have a pretty strong take on the NFC game. I have far less to say about the AFC. The number on this game has been all over the place, with the Chiefs re-assuming the favorite role after seeing that Patrick Mahomes appears to be moving well on his ankle that he injured on Saturday against Jacksonville. But the Bengals are a tough team to gage, on a ridiculous run as underdogs. How much of the move that we’ve seen is based on Cincy’s play? How much is Mahomes’ ankle? I’d say more is the ankle, but floating around a pick’em is still a ton of respect for the Bengals.
That said, Joe Burrow is 3-0 in his career against Mahomes, and this KC passing defense isn’t a good one — it has allowed the most passing touchdowns in the NFL this season. Which brings us to our prop. I put this play out on Monday at Twitter, and we’ve seen the juice move a ton since then. I’d play this much smaller with the shift in price, but I really feel Burrow should get there.
Aside from the Chiefs allowing the most passing touchdowns this season, Burrow has always played well against them. He’s thrown at least two scores in each of their three matchups over the last 13 months, including eight total. If we look at Burrow on the season, he’s 12-6 to the over on this number. But three of those unders came against a Baltimore defense that ranks top-five in passing touchdowns allowed, and also has a ton of familiarity with Burrow. That leaves Burrow at 12-3 to the over when playing anyone but the Ravens. I’m expecting Cincy to play well in this game, the question is just what we get from the Chiefs.
I don’t think I can play a side in this one (if I even do) until we get to Sunday. But for a prop from the KC side, I like going to Travis Kelce. He’s had at least 95 yards in seven straight playoff games and scored in seven of his last eight (nine total TD in that span). He’s also had at least eight receptions in six of his last seven, including 14 against Jacksonville. If Mahomes is limited at all, he may look to Kelce to do some extra work in the short game. And if Mahomes were to go down again, Chad Henne has proven to look Kelce’s way.
Some Kelce props I’m considering:
— OVER 78.5 receiving yards (-115).
Ultimately nothing would surprise me in this game. Going against the Bengals is difficult, but how many of us thought we could get KC around a pick’em in the AFC Championship?
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.