The best bets and tips for 49ers vs. Eagles and Bengals vs. Chiefs

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The 2023 NFL Conference Championships begin in just over 24 hours. The action begins with the San Francisco 49ers (15-4, 5-3 a, 13-6 ATS) visiting the Philadelphia Eagles (15-3, 8-2 home, 9-9 ATS) at 3:00 p.m. EST on Sunday 14 29 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Cincinnati Bengals (14-4, 7-3 a, 13-5 ATS) vs. the Kansas City Chiefs (15-3, 8-1 home, 6-11-1 ATS) follow at 6:30 p.m. EST from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

The odds call for two close games, but I’m heavily inclined in both.

49ers vs Eagles odds



money line

In total

appointment time


+2.5 (-105)


O46.5 (-110)

Sunday January 29th


-2.5 (-115)


U 46.5 (-110)

3:00 p.m. EST

Unlike the AFC title game (more on that later), the spread for the NFC matchup between the 49ers and the Eagles has stayed relatively flat over the past six days. After a brief open at Eagles -1.5, the line quickly shifted to -2.5 and stayed there all week.

The total opened at 47 last Sunday, fell to 45.5 that same night but has rebounded to 46.5.

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Eagles deserve to be preferred in the home

Seeing this line open at just 1.5 points was surprising, and the move in Philly’s favor is reasonable. This is a nightmare matchup for San Francisco’s rookie QB, Brock Purdy.

Philadelphia has the best pass rush in the league, and by far. It was nearly historically good. The Eagles amassed 70 sacks in 17 regular-season games, 15 more than the second-best team and just two fewer than the Chicago Bears’ all-time record set in 1972.

While the NFL has only played a 17-game regular season for a few years, it’s been almost a decade since a team managed to even reach 60 sacks (Carolina Panthers 2013). Four different Eagles finished the regular season with at least 11 sacks and they have a half-dozen opportunities to pressure the quarterback.

The San Francisco offensive line is one of the better units in the league when it comes to pass protection. They only allowed 31 sacks during the regular season and three combined in the playoffs against Seattle and Dallas. But Dallas’ own top-notch passing rush could create significant pressure, and Purdy’s results weren’t pretty.

Those sevens in Philadelphia are another beast, and with Purdy playing his first career playoff game in one of the most hostile environments in the league, things could go wrong very fast.

Led by Nick Bosa’s best 18.5 sacks in the NFL, San Francisco also has a capable pass rush (44 sacks, No. 10 in the NFL), but it will be up against quite literally the best offensive line in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. The Eagles’ O-line was ranked number one for both their ability to pass protection and dominate in the running game.

In the divisional round against the New York Giants, Philly drew on that strength, amassing 268 rushing yards (and three rushing touchdowns) at 6.1 yards per carry during a 38-7 loss decided at halftime. The group allowed just one inconsequential sack in the second half while the team led by three touchdowns.

The San Francisco defense was a top-three unit in most metrics all season. Her 310.0 yards per game average was the third best in the NFL. But it’s also been opportunistic, ranking second in the NFL in takeaways (30) and leading the league in revenue spread (+13), a statistic that tends to even out over time. Philadelphia was among the best teams in the league when it came to covering football (19 turnovers) and QB Jalen Hurts threw just six INTs that year.

Philadelphia is a more complete team with a more experienced quarterback playing at home. The team has covered spreads in seven of their ten home games so far, while the 49ers are just 3-4 ATS on the go. There’s no doubt that the Eagles should be favored here, and the -148 moneyline price on FanDuel is the game.

Tip: Eagles Moneyline (-148)


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Bengals vs Chiefs Odds



money line

In total

appointment time


+1.5 (-110)


O48 ​​(-111)

Sunday January 29th


-1.5 (-110)


U 48 (-105)

6:30 p.m. EST

The point distribution for the AFC Championship game was spread across the map. KC had opening odds at -2.5. As fears spread over Patrick Mahomes’ ankle sprain, it shifted to Cincinnati -1.5. As news grew more optimistic about Mahomes’ health, the line moved back and is now almost where it started, with the Chiefs favored at home by 1.5 points.

The total opened at 50.5 and fell to 47.5. It’s moved up half a point over the week and sits at 48 points overall.

Most of the preparation for this game focused on the Bengals’ three most recent victories over the Chiefs. Cincinnati made a 34-31 decision at home in Week 17 of last season, added a 27-24 (OT) away win in last year’s AFC title game and most recently won a 27-24 decision at home in Week 13 of this season .

All three victories were razor-thin, back-and-forth contests and it would be utterly disingenuous to imply that the Bengalis would have dominated anywhere other than in the wins column. Kansas City led 21-10 at halftime last year in the AFC Championship before an unusually terrible second half by Mahomes (with two interceptions) allowed Cincinnati to make his comeback.

I will not bury the lede any further than I have already done. My favorite play in this game is over 48 points.

Expect Mahomes to dominate

Kansas City was the highest-scoring team in the league this season (29.2 PPG) and Mahomes is a virtual shoo-in to win their second MVP. He is the best footballer in the world at the moment and unless his ankle injury is worse than reported there is every reason to believe he will look like this on Sunday. The 2019 Super Bowl MVP has an impeccable track record in the playoffs. He boasts a 106.2 passer rating in 12 career postseason games — half a point higher than his career regular-season average — and a 30-to-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

While the Cincinnati defense has seen some measure of success against the Chiefs over the past few seasons, they’re far from a dominant group. The Bengals’ D has just squeezed into the top half of the league in yards (335.7 per game, 16th in the NFL) and ranks 11th in the Football Outsiders Defensive DVOA. The bend-but-don’t-break unit demonstrated an excellent ability to stiffen up in the red zone, resulting in a top-five scoring defense (20.1 PPG). But you can expect Mahomes to bounce the ball up and down regularly. Though slowed down by his ankle injury, Cincinnati doesn’t have the passing frenzy to capitalize. They finished the regular season with just 30 sacks, fourth-lowest in the league.

Burrow set the Chiefs on fire

On the other hand, Joe Burrow absolutely obliterated Kansas City Secondary. In his three matchups since 2021, Burrow has 982 yards, eight touchdowns, one interception and a 71.6 completion percentage. Between Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati has a legitimate claim for the title of the best receiving corps in the NFL, while the Joe Mixon/Samaje Perine-led backfield is more than viable. With a KC defense that ranks 17th in DVOA and 16th in scoring (21.8 PPG), Burrow will have every opportunity to continue his impressive run.

It would be tempting to say that Kansas City’s passing frenzy — who finished second to the Eagles with 55 sacks — will cause problems for Cincinnati’s injury-plagued offensive line. But the Bengals’ retooled O-line put aside an excellent Buffalo front seven last week (with only one sack allowed) and KC have only managed two sacks in their last two games against the Bengals.

Selection: Over 48 (-110)




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Rick Schindler

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