NFL Upset Picks, Predictions for Conference Championships: Why Chiefs, 49ers Will Win
The spread has been on the move all week in the AFC Championship Game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs, whereas the San Francisco 49ers have held steady as a road underdog against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game. Here are our top upset NFL picks based on the best NFL odds for Sunday’s action.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes is set to play with a high ankle sprain, and while his injury is concerning, is it really enough to warrant the Chiefs being home underdogs? The Cincinnati Bengals just took care of business against the Buffalo Bills. Their offensive line looked great, and their defense was fantastic. But should Mahomes ever be an underdog at home?
Meanwhile, the 49ers opened as 1.5-point underdogs and the line has moved to 2.5. With so much support being shown to the Eagles, it won’t be long before this line hits the key number and potentially passes through it. Can the 49ers’ number-one scoring defense slow down the Eagles’ second-ranked scoring offense?
Here are our best NFL upset picks for Championship Weekend (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
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NFL Upset Picks for Conference Championships
- Chiefs ML (+108 via FanDuel) vs. Bengals ⭐⭐⭐
- 49ers ML (+125 via DraftKings) vs. Eagles ⭐⭐⭐
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NFL Upset Predictions
Chiefs ML vs. Bengals (+108 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐
Last season, the Bengals went to Kansas City for the AFC Championship game and knocked off the Chiefs 27-24. This December, the Chiefs went to Cincinnati and the Bengals won by the same score. With those two results fresh on everyone’s minds, the Bengals have seen an incredible amount of support heading into an AFC Championship game rematch.
The Chiefs opened as one-point favorites, but the line has since moved to Bengals -2. Is this a huge overreaction to what the Bengals did against the Bills last weekend? Their offensive line held up great, but one could argue they had an advantage over a Bills’ defensive line slowed down by snowy field conditions.
And while the Bengals were impressive, so were the Chiefs. Mahomes played nearly the entire game injured, yet he was still able to put up a stat line that consisted of 195 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals are a much stronger opponent than the Jacksonville Jaguars, but Mahomes will have an entire week to recover from his injury.
The Bengals are the second-hottest team in football, but with Mahomes under center, the Chiefs always have a shot. Of the five major sportsbooks, FanDuel is the best place to bet, as they have the moneyline price at +108. BetMGM has the worst line of +100.
Editor's note: The best odds available for the Chiefs moneyline as of Friday morning are -115 via DraftKings Sportsbook.
49ers ML vs. Eagles (+125 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
Much like the Chiefs, the 49ers don’t actually feel like underdogs heading into what should be a very even game. They have won 12 games in a row, and rookie quarterback Brock Purdy has yet to lose a game as a starter. Last weekend, he handled a very good Dallas Cowboys defense as he helped lead the 49ers to victory.
On the other side of the ball, the 49ers made Dak Prescott look pedestrian. The quarterback could not get into a rhythm as he continued his bad habit of throwing way too many interceptions this season. The 49ers will be taking on a different beast this week in the Eagles’ offense, but if anyone can knock off a healthy Jalen Hurts, it’s San Francisco.
The 49ers are allowing just 16.4 points per game and they have held 10 of their last 12 opponents to 20 or fewer points. That may not be the case this weekend against an Eagles’ offense averaging 28.6 points per game, but the 49ers can win a shootout, too. Their offense is tied for fourth in the NFL, averaging 26.8 points per game. They have scored at least 30 in four of their last five games.
DraftKings and BetMGM are currently offering the best number for this upset at +125. Caesars is slightly worse at +122, while PointsBet and FanDuel have the price at +120. With 61% of bettors backing the Eagles against the spread, expect this number to continue to grow, making the 49ers an even more enticing bet.
Editor's note: The best odds available for the 49ers moneyline as of Friday morning are +130 via PointsBet.
NFL upset picks made 01/24/2023 at 10:13 a.m. ET.
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