NFL Conference Championship Game Picks

Sports betting picks for the Division Round of the 2022 NFL Playoffs

Jalen Hurts

With just four teams remaining, we will soon find out who will tangle in the Super Bowl. It feels like the right four squads will battle for that right on Sunday. But before that happens, our NFL Conference Championship Game Picks will forecast both games from a betting perspective.

Our best bets are on a 7-3 run so far in the NFL playoffs. However, things get more difficult as the postseason tournament progresses. Let’s break down the NFL Conference Championship Game Picks.

San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5)

If you listened to last week’s FullTime Fantasy Podcast, I talked about the struggles or balancing stats and trends versus “the eye test.” Trusting your own gut or eyes to tell you who the better team is.

Case in point, the numbers, and even Vegas are telling us that the 49ers are Super Bowl bound. However, my eyes tell me that the Eagles have been the No. 1 team in the league all season, are now healthy and look like a screaming value by being favored less than a field goal.

So what gives?

It’s not hard to see why San Francisco is getting so much attention. The 49ers have won an NFL-high 12 consecutive games. Rookie sensation Brock Purdy is 8-0 since taking over at quarterback and the Niners have 32.25 points in those eight games.

San Francisco also has a sparkling 9-1 ATS record in their last 10 games. The 49ers rank 5th overall in offense and boast the league’s No. 1 stop unit. Purdy has come in and done exactly what he’s been asked. However, you have to wonder if luck has played a major factor in his success.

Six of Purdy’s eight games have come at home. Also, one of the two road contests was nearly a de facto home game against the Raiders. Purdy also beat up on lesser defensive teams. The Cowboys, who ranked second in the league in sack percentage, did a good job limiting Purdy.

GAME WEEK DEF RK VS. PASS SACK PCT FF PTS
vs. Miami 13 18 27 22 14.3
vs. Tampa Bay 14 10 9 11 21.7
@ Seattle 15 26 13 7 16.5
vs. Washington 16 4 4 6 16
@ Las Vegas 17 28 29 30 17.1
vs. Arizona 18 21 24 24 19.8
vs. Seattle 19 26 13 7 32.9
vs. Dallas 20 13 8 2 9.4

Philadelphia ranked first against the pass, allowing just 202.6 yards per game. Also, the Eagles sacked the quarterback a league-best 70 times. This defense will make things tough for Purdy. Plus, the under has hit in four of the last five for Philly.

Granted, Jalen Hurts was either out of limited in some of those games. Still, Philly has played like the best team in the league from start to finish. The Eagles were 7-3 against the spread at home, with two of those losses coming with Hurts out or ailing.

The Eagles have won seven of their last 10 against the 49ers and covered the spread in eight of those games. Additionally, these will be by far the harshest conditions that Brock Purdy has faced in his young career. I expect the Philly fans to make things very difficult on the young signal caller.

EDIT: I wanted to take a moment to defend Philly fans. Although they have a poor reputation, I can only comment on my own personal experience. When my Astros won the World Series just four months ago, multiple Phillies fans congratulated me. I thought that was a classy move, especially for a city with a bad reputation. I only hope that I can pay it forward here on Sunday.

PICK: EAGLES -2.5

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (+2.5)

On first look, this line seems suspicious. The Chiefs are getting points at home? However, several factors validate the interest in the Bengals. First, Patrick Mahomes is hobbled with a high-ankle sprain suffered last week. Secondly, Cincinnati has won 10 straight games overall and is 13-3 ATS since Week 2. Third, the Bengals are 7-1 in their last eight games versus the Chiefs. Finally, Joe Burrow has never lost to Kansas City.

How much interest is there in the Bengals? This game opened with Cincinnati as 2.5-point dogs and has swung a whopping points. The Bengals have won 7-of-8 against Kansas City, including three in a row by a mere three points. Two of those narrow victories came in 2022, including in this very game last January. Also, Cincinnati beat Kansas City 27-24 back in Week 13.

In last year’s AFC title game, Joe Burrow threw for 250 yards and a pair of scores. But the Bengals attempted to keep the ball out of KC’s hands and ran the ball 27 times for 116 yards. That approach led to Cincy controlling the ball for over 35 minutes. A similar tactic is likely to happen Sunday.

The Bengals have also been brilliant on the road. As a result, Cincinnati has a sparkling 8-2 ATS record as a visitor, including 6-1 vs. AFC rivals. Also, with the league’s No. 7 overall defense, the under has hit in 11 of Cincinnati’s last 15 road games. Finally, the under has also hit in seven of the last eight meetings between these two clubs when playing at Arrowhead.

For the Chiefs, the major concern is the health of their quarterback. Mahomes was able to return to action last week but was noticeably affected. High-ankle sprains usually take weeks to recover from. However, Mahomes was a full participant in practice Wednesday. Meanwhile, Mahomes told the media he is feeling better than he expected and reports are that Mahomes looked fully healthy on the field.

If that is the case, there would be a lot of value in picking the Chiefs as home dogs. Mahomes is 7-1-1 against the spread as an underdog at Arrowhead. Overall, KC went 8-1 in front of the home crowd.

Like with Cincinnati, there is a strong lean on the under. Not only is Mahomes dealing with the ankle, the under went 7-2 in Chiefs’ home games this season. Also, the under is 11-3 in the last 14 matchups between these two teams.

As a result, I like the Chiefs to finally avenge their recent defeats to the Bengals. However, the under feels like a safer play on Sunday.

PICK: UNDER 48

EDIT: This line is fluid. That shows how much uncertainty there is on the spread and validates why I’m avoiding that angle and sticking with the total. 

Player Props

Isiah Pacheco OVER 44.5 rushing yards (-113)

Jerick McKinnon UNDER 30.5 rushing yards (-115)

Patrick Mahomes UNDER 285.5 passing yards (-115)

A.J. Brown OVER 0.5 touchdowns (+155)

A.J. Brown OVER 69.5 receiving yards (-114)

Jalen Hurts OVER 0.5 rushing touchdowns (+128)

Jauan Jennings OVER 19.5 receiving yards (-118)


 

About Jody Smith 488 Articles
With over a decade of winning experience, Jody is a well-known fixture in the fantasy football community. He was named Fantasy Pros’ **Most Accurate Ranker** previously and was the site’s Top NFL over/under totals picker with a record 65% accuracy in 2020, while also ranking 5th in the country with a 55% against-the-spread hit rate. Jody has written for many sites over the years including Pro Football Focus, FantasyPros, CBS Sportsline, FantasyData, and is a regular contributor to the Fantasy Index magazine expert’s poll, draft, and auction. Jody’s experience ranking and projecting player performance will help prepare the Fulltime Fam for their big draft days as well as answers they can trust on Sunday for those ever crucial Who Do I Start questions.