National Football League

NFL conference championship odds: Lines for 49ers-Eagles, Bengals-Chiefs

1 day ago

We're down to the NFL's version of the final four as the AFC and NFC Championship Games are set, with the winners advancing to Super Bowl LVII.

The top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles (15-3) and Kansas City Chiefs (15-3) will be the home teams Sunday.

The NFC West Division champion San Francisco 49ers (15-4) will play at Philadelphia at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday (FOX and FOX Sports App) in the opening game of conference championship weekend.

The AFC North Division champion Cincinnati Bengals (14-4) will play at Kansas City at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday in the AFC title game. 

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Both opening lines were below three points. Max Meyer of Caesars Sportsbook points out how rare that is – the last time the NFC title game spread was that low was in 2012; for the AFC, it goes back to 1998.

Here's a look at the lines for the conference championship round, with odds via FOX Bet and experts' picks.

RELATED: NFL's wacky wins, bad beats

SUNDAY'S GAMES

San Francisco 49ers (15-4) @ Philadelphia Eagles (15-3), 3 p.m. ET, FOX and FOX Sports App

Point spread: Eagles -2.5 (Eagles favored to win by more than 2.5 points, otherwise 49ers cover)
Moneyline: Eagles -154 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $16.49 total); 49ers +120 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $22 total)
Total scoring over/under: 44.5 points scored by both teams combined

FINAL
SF 7 · PHI 31
NFL
SPREAD
TO WIN
TOTAL
San Francisco 49ers
SF
Philadelphia Eagles
PHI

Youth will be served at the NFC Championship Game – at quarterback.

Jalen Hurts (24) and Brock Purdy (23) will be a combined 47 years and 208 days old on Sunday – the youngest combined age of any two QBs in a conference championship game in NFL history (per FOX Sports Research).

The two have met on the field before in a memorable Big 12 Conference college football game in 2019. Hurts and the then-No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners beat Purdy and the Iowa State Cyclones 42-41. 

Hurts was 18-for-26 passing for 273 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, and had 22 carries for 68 yards and two more scores.

Purdy was 19-for-30 passing for 282 yards and five touchdowns. Purdy also had 15 carries for 55 yards and one score before beginning his NFL career 7-0 as a starter.

RELATED: How to bet 49ers-Eagles

Pick via FOX Sports NFL Analyst Geoff Schwartz:

A matchup we have been waiting months to see kicks off Sunday in Philadelphia. 

The Philadelphia Eagles are the top seed in the NFC, and they have ruled the conference since Week 1, finishing the year with the best record in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers have won 12 in a row and have been the team with the best efficiency in the NFL since rookie Brock Purdy entered the lineup. 

My favorite part of this game is the matchup in the trenches. It will feel like old school NFC football on Sunday.

Starting with the trenches, the Eagles have the advantages in this game. We know the 49ers defensive line and pass rush can ruin an offensive game plan. However, the Eagles have the offensive line to neutralize the 49ers pass rush better than any team in the NFL. Philly has two All-Pro linemen plus three others that are either in the Pro Bowl or alternates. The health of right tackle Lane Johnson will be important, as he will be tasked with blocking Nick Bosa. On the other side, the 49ers have a single Trent Williams and then four linemen who will be overmatched against Reddick, Hargrave and Cox

Advantage, Eagles. 

Also, Eagles have the edge at quarterback. Their offense flies because of QB Jalen Hurts, who was close to winning the NFL MVP award before injuring his shoulder. The 49ers offense wins with rookie quarterback Brock Purdy but not because of him. That’s a big difference. We saw last weekend that, when things aren’t perfect, the Niners offense slows down. 

It will not be perfect on Sunday and the Eagles pass rush plus pass defense will make it difficult for Purdy to operate.  

I like the Eagles to win and cover.  

PICK: Eagles (-2.5 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 2.5 points

Pick via FOX Sports Betting Analyst Jason McIntyre:

Clearly, these are the two best teams in the NFC, but it's very difficult to handicap this game because they've played the two weakest schedules in the NFL — Eagles weakest, 49ers second-weakest. 

The Eagles have only faced five top-10 defenses this season, but there’s not much you can take from three of those games because they featured backup QBs. Dallas had Cooper Rush, who threw three interceptions, putting their defense in a terrible spot, and Gardner Minshew started at quarterback twice (Saints, Cowboys). 

Remember the playoff game against Green Bay when Kyle Shanahan had Jimmy Garoppolo throw the ball 8 times? Well you have to wonder if the Eagles show up with some considerable tweaks, because they grade out as 21st in run defense efficiency. 

Dameon Pierce rushed for 139 yards against the Eagles this season. D’Andre Swift rushed for 144 in the opener. Between Elijah Mitchell, Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey, it feels like the 49ers will run the ball at least 35 times if the Eagles refuse to give up the big play. 

Mind you, Rookie QBs haven’t fared well in conference titles games, going 0-4 SU, 1-3 ATS, so the blowout potential is very real.  

Could the Eagles offense do what the Chiefs did earlier this season, and slice them up in the 44-23 mold? 

PICK: Under 23 points scored by both teams combined (at time of pick) in 1st half at FOX Bet

NFC Championship: Will Jalen Hurts and the Eagles cover against Brock Purdy and the 49ers?

FOX betting analyst Sammy P discusses the NFC championship between the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers.

Insights from FOX Sports Gambling Expert Warren Sharp:

I like how this game is being billed by some as "what is going to happen when the run-heavy Eagles finally meet a solid run defense." 

Do these people not realize the Eagles are the fifth most pass-heavy offense in the first half of games? And they operate at the fastest pace of any offense in the first half? 

We’re acting like the Eagles are one of the NFL’s more run-heavy teams when it’s the exact opposite. 

Meanwhile, why don’t we ask this question about that aspect of the game: The Eagles have the NFL’s best-rushing offense and have earned that ranking vs. a league-average schedule of run defenses. But the 49ers have the NFL’s best run defense which has come thanks to playing the NFL’s third-easiest schedule of run offenses. 

The 49ers have played just three games vs. top-10 run offenses this year: a loss to the Falcons, a win over the Raiders and a win over the Cowboys after Dallas’ starting RB suffered a broken leg in the second quarter. 

Meanwhile, the Eagles, with Jalen Hurts, have played five games against top-10 run defenses, and they’re 4-1 in those games, scoring 35, 35, 26, 24 and 21 points. 

When the 49ers' run defense has played a top-10 run offense, the vaunted 49ers' run defense ranks drop to a bottom-10 run defense. Looking only at when teams face top-10 run offenses, the 49ers run defense ranks 23rd in EPA/rush (+0.08), 25th in success rate (51%) and 11th in YPC allowed (4.7). 

Frankly, I’d be more concerned about where the 49ers' defense stacks up against top-10 pass offenses, of which the Eagles rank seventh in EPA/att on early-down passes in the first three quarters (ninth in all downs, all game). 

Because the 49ers have played the fifth-easiest schedule of pass offenses this year. And when they have played a top-10 pass offense, they’ve allowed staggeringly bad production. Looking at where the 49ers' pass defense ranks on early-down passes in the first three quarters vs. top-10 pass offenses compared to the rest of the NFL vs. those same top-10 pass offenses: 

  • 30th in EPA/att (+0.27)
  • 25th in success rate (54%)
  • 28th in YPA (8.8 YPA)
  • 31st in first-down rate (42%)

Naturally, any defense should look worse when playing a top-10 pass offense (games were Dallas, Miami, Las Vegas and Kansas City). But the 49ers' stats weren’t just "worse" – they were bottom-five compared to all other defenses. 

Yes, the 49ers are one of the best defenses in the NFL, and yes, the Eagles' offense will look worse than it did last week vs. the Giants

But when the Eagles have the ball, this is absolutely not "Great Run Defense vs. Great Run Offense" like it’s being billed. 

In their last 10 games, the 49ers' defense has played two games vs. top-10 offenses in points/first-half drive this season (Miami, Las Vegas). 

The Dolphins put up 10 first-half points (and the first half saw a combined 27 total points), and the Raiders put up 17 first-half points (and the first half saw a combined 31 first-half points). 

They’ve played four teams that rank bottom-10 in the metric (Cardinals, Saints, Buccaneers and Commanders) while also facing No. 11 Dallas and No. 12 Seattle. 

Yes, the 49ers have the NFL’s best defense, but they’ve played the NFL’s fourth-easiest schedule of opposing offenses.   

49ers/Eagles have hit 23-plus points in 24 of 37 games this year, including 13 of 16 started by Hurts. 

Since obtaining Christian McCaffrey in Week 7, the 49ers have hit 23-plus in the first half in nine of 13 games (1-of-6 prior). 

Brock Purdy began starting games in Week 14. Since then, the 49ers have hit 23-plus points in four of seven games, with the Unders coming vs. the Seahawks, Commanders and Cowboys. 

When the Eagles have the ball, my primary concern is the rate of zone the 49ers run, which will limit the passing efficiency of Philadelphia to an extent. Although Hurts still ranks top-15 vs. zone, statistically, he’s worse across the board as compared to man coverage. 

I’m not really concerned about the 49ers blitz rate on early downs, as they’ve been terrible at actually generating pressure when blitzing and actually rank bottom-five in pass defense when they do send extra rushers. Philadelphia should lean into deeper passes and use more play action. 

When the 49ers have the ball, they must come out early with aggression, as Brock Purdy has rarely had to pass when trailing in the second half, but his limited performance hasn’t been pretty (14-of-23, 61% comp, 0 TDs, 2 INTs). Ideally, aside from running between the tackles rather than behind tackles or to the edges of the defense, where the Eagles have a big advantage, the 49ers should embrace a passing approach which removes play action.   

The Eagles are elite vs. play action, and their defense excels defending passes thrown 10-plus yards down the field. Purdy has proven to be elite (top-five) this season at passing from shotgun without play action and letting his receivers pick up YAC. And it’s a weakness of the Eagles defense: 

  • The Eagles' pass defense is first in EPA/att, second in YPA and seventh in success rate this year.

But where do they rank vs. shotgun, no play action over the second half of the season? 

  • 24th in EPA/att, 23nd in success rate, 28th in YPA, 31st in completion rate and 31st in passer rating

I still have concerns about Jalen Hurts’ shoulder and the potential for injury, but I think the Eagles can push the right buttons offensively to ensure they’re leading at halftime. And if they are, barring turnovers, I don’t like the 49ers' chances of coming back in the game.   

Cincinnati Bengals (14-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (15-3), 6:30 p.m. ET, CBS

Point spread: Chiefs -1.5 (Chiefs favored to win by more than 1.5 points, otherwise Bengals cover)
Moneyline: Chiefs -143 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $16.99 total); Bengals +110 underdogs to win (bet $10 to win $21 total)
Total scoring Over/Under: 48.5 points scored by both teams combined

FINAL
CIN 20 · KC 23
NFL
SPREAD
TO WIN
TOTAL
Cincinnati Bengals
CIN
Kansas City Chiefs
KC

The Chiefs opened as a 1.5-point favorite, but the line flipped Monday afternoon to the Bengals being favored.

Patrick Mahomes has quarterbacked the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game for the fifth consecutive season. Mahomes and K.C. are 2-2 in the previous four AFC title games.

Mahomes is 8-3 in the playoffs and has never been an underdog in his postseason career.

But do you know who has the upper hand on Mahomes?

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who is 3-0 in his NFL career against Mahomes and the Chiefs.

He is the only quarterback taken No. 1 overall (2020) to reach the conference title game multiple times within his first three seasons.

Burrow is in rare company when it comes to playoff success early in his career. He is the third QB since 1950 to have at least five playoff wins in his first three seasons, joining retired Steeler Ben Roethlisberger (five) and Broncos QB Russell Wilson (six with Seattle).

Burrow has led the Bengals to as many AFC Championship Game appearances (two) as the franchise had combined prior to Burrow's arrival (the franchise began in 1968).

RELATED: How to bet Bengals-Chiefs

Pick via FOX Sports NFL Analyst Geoff Schwartz:

If you came to find a Chiefs homer discussing this game, well, you’ve come to the right place. Everyone is going to pick the Bengals, and for good reason. They’ve beaten the Chiefs three straight times in close games where Kansas City was leading by at least seven points and had a 75% fourth-quarter win expectancy. 

The Bengals have continued to beat the Chiefs because they do not make mistakes. There is a quality to being a team that doesn’t beat itself. Of course the big question on everyone's minds is if the Chiefs can't beat the Bengals with a healthy Patrick Mahomes, why would they beat them now?

I understand the skepticism. Mahomes will play with a high ankle sprain, and we do not know how much he will be hobbled. If we play "Internet Dr." and study the scarce amount of practice videos of Mahomes from this week, he seems fairly "healthy" moving around. I believe, and maybe this is with my red and yellow glasses on, that we see an Andy Reid masterpiece in this game. The Chiefs have been preparing for this game for 365 days now. They failed in this contest in historic fashion with a second-half collapse last season. This is their time to shine, and they’ve been waiting for this moment for a year. It has been the team's motivation all season.

Kansas City played a bend-but-don’t-break defense in the first matchup against Cincy this season. The defense did not allow explosive plays, but otherwise, it was not productive. The Chiefs didn't tackle well, they didn't stop the run, rush the passer or disrupt the Bengals pass game in any way. They can’t play any worse on Sunday. They've played better pass defense with rookies Trent McDuffie and Jaylen Watson getting more reps in the secondary. We know about Chris Jones and his ability. If the Bengals roll into the game with three backup offensive linemen, Kansas City's defensive line needs to do work. 

None of this will be easy. Cincy has K.C.'s number for a reason. But with the team knowing they need everyone’s best with Mahomes less than 100%, I think the Chiefs take this home. 

Remember, Cincinnati has not beaten Kansas City in blowout wins. I have the Chiefs winning a close one.

PICK: Chiefs (-1 at FOX Bet at time of pick) to win by more than 1 point

Pick via FOX Sports Betting Analyst Jason McIntyre:

I was on the Chiefs in their last meeting where they led the Bengals 24-17, but lost the game late after Travis Kelce fumbled and Harrison Butker missed a 55-yard field goal. That’s been the theme in the three 2022 calendar meetings: KC leads early, Cincinnati closes strong late. The Bengals have outscored the Chiefs 26-6 in the fourth quarter and OT over those three meetings. 

Early this week I bet the Bengals at pick ‘em, thinking that Patrick Mahomes wouldn’t be close to 100%. And then Wednesday the best quarterback in the NFL moved cleanly at practice, and it appears he’ll totally fine in the AFC title game. 

The biggest thing I want to look at this week in both games: Which defense will change who they are to confuse the opponent? 

Don’t expect the Bengals to do what they did in the second half of the AFC title game — where they rushed three and dropped eight. They’ll definitely want to pressure Mahomes early and test the health of that ankle. Reid is a master game planner, and I think the Chiefs ML 1st half is the best way to attack this game (-116 at time of pick. 

PICK: Chiefs 1st half moneyline (-116 at FOX Bet at time of pick, bet $10 to win $18.62 total)

Travis Kelce reacts to 'Burrowhead' trash talk ahead of AFC Championship Game

Nick Wright explains this trash talk from the Bengals will give Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs extra motivation in the AFC Championship Game.

Insights from FOX Sports Gambling Expert Warren Sharp:

Last week I was down on the Bills' defense. The Bills had played a ton of bad offenses, and when they stepped up in class to face a decent offense, they were exploited. 

The Chiefs have played five games against offenses that ranked top 15 this season. While they went 3-2 in those games, what was more impressive was what their defense could do. Aside from their game vs. the Bengals (27-24 loss): 

They held the Bills to 24, 49ers to 23, Jaguars to 17 and then 20, and Seahawks to 10. 

Two things I really was down on regarding the Bills' defense, which I thought would provide an opportunity for the Bengals' offense, was the Bills lack of pressure and their performance against short, quick passing. 

First, the pressure. Prior to Von Miller’s loss, Buffalo ranked fourth in pressure rate while blitzing at the fourth-lowest rate in the NFL. Since his loss, the Bills ranked 24th in pressure rate despite blitzing at the 13th-highest rate. And they ranked 30th in pressure rate since Week 15. 

That’s not an issue for the Chiefs. In fact, since Week 12, the Chiefs are recording pressure at the NFL’s sixth-highest rate despite blitzing at the NFL’s 10th-lowest rate.   

And down that stretch, out of six defenses with a pressure rate above 38%, the Chiefs are the only defense to record that pressure rate despite blitzing on less than 23% of dropbacks (they blitz on just 21.6% of dropbacks).  

The Chiefs have been a top-10 pressure-rate team all season long, but unlike the Bills, they didn’t drop off at all.   

So how have the Chiefs been defending short, quick WR throws? 

We have a full sample size from that Bengals game earlier this year (Week 13), where the Chiefs allowed Joe Burrow to go 10-of-12 for 8.8 YPA, +0.73 EPA/att and 83% success when passing in fewer than 2.5 seconds. That’s not great.

But the Bengals did have all three starting offensive linemen in that game and will be without them in this one. 

Since that Week 13 game, and including the first playoff game, vs. WR passes thrown in fewer than 2.5 seconds, the Chiefs defense ranks first in success rate, fifth in EPA/att and sixth in YPA. 

Naturally, they faced plenty of bad offenses in that range, but against the fifth-ranked Jaguars' pass attack (which is statistically better than the sixth-ranked Bengals' pass attack), the Chiefs' defense held Trevor Lawrence to: 

  • -0.48 EPA/att, 36% success, 4.6 YPA and 9-of-14 on passes to WRs thrown in under 2.5 seconds

And against the Seahawks' and Raiders' passing attacks, both of which rank above average, the Chiefs held them to: 

  • -0.02 EPA/att, 35% success, 6.1 YPA and 15-of-23 on passes to WRs thrown in under 2.5 seconds

This secondary has shown improvement with the healthy return of Trent McDuffie in Week 9. 

The bottom line? 

The Chiefs' defense is better than the Bills in both of those two key areas: pressure and pass defense vs. quick WR passes. 

When you look at last week’s game to see the way the Bengals jumped out to put up 14 points in the first quarter, one thing stands out: 

In the first two drives of the game, the Bills sat back in a soft zone and let the Burrow have anything he wanted. They played man on just 6% of the Bengals' snaps and on 0% of Burrow’s pass attempts. 

The Bills primarily played 2-high (8-of-9 dropbacks) in forms of Cover-6, Cover-4 and Cover-2, and one snap of Cover-3. Burrow shredded them. 

So the Bills made an adjustment on the Bengals' third drive of the game.   

They played man on 33% of Bengals' snaps on that next drive, and combined to close the half over three drives, the Bills played 28% man. They used Cover-1 man more than any other defensive coverage on those next two drives. 

When the Bills played man (mostly Cover-1 but one snap of 2-man) they held Burrow to: 

  • -0.50 EPA/att, 17% success, 1.5 YPA, 1-of-5 for 20% completions

When they played zone:  

  • +0.40 EPA/att, 50% success, 6.3 YPA, 5-of-8 for 63% completions

On the season, look at Burrow’s splits by coverage scheme: 

  • 2-man: -0.31 EPA/att, 36% success, 5.4 YPA, 42% comp (14 dropbacks)
  • Cover-0 man: -0.14 EPA/att, 54% success, 3.8 YPA, 58% comp (26 dropbacks)
  • Cover-1 man: +0.07 EPA/att, 45% success, 8.7 YPA, 57% comp (132 dropbacks)
  • Cover-3 zone: +0.03 EPA/att, 48% success, 7.2 YPA, 72% comp (178 dropbacks)
  • All 2-high zone: +0.09 EPA/att, 49% success, 7.4 YPA, 74% comp (339 dropbacks)

Burrow and the Bengals have solved 2-high zone for themselves.   

The Bengals struggled massively vs. 2-high zone to start the year, even though they expected to see more of it entering the season. But look at what happened from Week 6 onward: 

  • Weeks 1-5 vs. 2-high zone: -0.25 EPA/att, 39% success, 6.3 YPA, 71% comp
  • Weeks 6-plus vs. 2-high zone: +0.24 EPA/att, 54% success, 7.9 YPA, 76% comp

Cincinnati has become much better, and yet teams are still throwing it at them as if it might cause them problems when it has not. 

In Week 13, the Bengals shredded the Chiefs usage of 2-high zone, recording +0.58 EPA/att, 64% success, 10.7 YPA, 12-of-13. 

Steve Spagunolo must figure out a different strategy to attack Burrow from a coverage perspective, potentially dramatically increasing their usage of 2-man, which has been their best defense to close the season (-0.42 EPA/att, 21% success, 5.0 YPA and 35% completions). 

Aside from coverage, the biggest key for this game when the Bengals have the ball is pressure. 

When the Chiefs get pressure, they rank first in EPA/att, second in success rate, first in YPA (3.6) and sixth in completion rate (42%). 

When they don’t get pressure, KC’s defense ranks 32nd in EPA/att, 25th in success rate, 24th in YPA (7.8) and 32nd in completion rate (75%). 

When the Chiefs have the ball, they’ve done just fine vs. this Bengals' defense.   

While the Bengals are 3-0 in these games against the Chiefs, Kansas City has:

  • led these games by 18, 14 and 7 points
  • never trailed entering the fourth quarter
  • trailed for an average of only 15 minutes each game
  • trailed for an average of only 7:52 in each second half

But Lou Anarumo always has something up his sleeve to slow down Patrick Mahomes. And generally speaking, it revolves around one key principle: Make Mahomes hold onto the ball. 

In their very first meeting in the regular season last year, Mahomes was dicing up Anarumo’s defense in the first half. He played a ton of zone coverage. So he shifted to substantially more man coverage in the second half.   

In the AFC Championship, Anarumo started the game playing zone, like he did in the first meeting, but didn’t blitz much. Then he adjusted to play a lot more man and used a ton of drop-8 coverage, rushing only three players and dropping eight into coverage. This resulted in Mahomes holding the ball longer and longer.

And earlier this year, Anarumo rarely used drop-8 coverage but sent slightly more blitzes while playing less 2-high. 

The end result of all of this scheming? 

Mahomes has held the ball an average of 2.9, 3.1 and 3.1 seconds in the three meetings with the Bengals, which are his two longest times to throw in games since 2020, and the 2.9 seconds was his sixth-longest time to throw in a game. 

What did Anarumo notice? 

Since 2020, when Mahomes averages less than 2.75 seconds per throw in a game, he is 33-1. 

When Mahomes holds the ball for at least 2.75 seconds per throw on average, he is 12-10, including 2-5 when averaging 3.0 seconds per throw or longer. 

In Mahomes' last game, he completed only 59% of his passes for 223 yards, his third-lowest yardage game of the season. 

The other element to these games are reduced drive volume: 

  • Week 13, 2022: eight drives (season-low)
  • Week 17, 2022: nine drives (only two other weeks saw lower drive numbers)
  • Conference Championship 2022: 10 drives

This enhances the importance of drives and magnifies mistakes and, in the case of the Chiefs, turnovers.   

This game is exceedingly difficult to handicap given the unknowns surrounding Patrick Mahomes, but he did look substantially spryer than expected in Wednesday's practice. 

I expect a shorter passing, quicker release from Mahomes, which plays against what Lou Anarumo wants him to do, which is hold the ball.   

In three games vs. Anarumo: 

  • Passes thrown < 1.8 seconds: +0.21 EPA/att, 57% success, 6.1 YPA, 81% comp, 2.0 air yards (22 att)
  • Passes thrown 1.9 - 2.5 seconds: -0.14 EPA/att, 58% success, 7.9 YPA, 73% comp, 5.7 air yards (31 att)
  • Passes thrown 2.6 – 3.5 seconds: +0.38 EPA/att, 55% success, 9.8 YPA, 68% comp, 10.5 air yards (29 att)
  • Passes thrown over 3.5 seconds: -0.20 EPA/att, 32% success, 5.4 YPA, 43% comp, 15.2 air yards (25 att)

Because the Bengals blitz at a below-average rate, Mahomes should be able to dink and dunk underneath if he stays disciplined. I don’t think he will be able to scramble around for over 3.5 seconds on a regular basis, even if he wanted to on his ankle. So this comes down to whether Andy Reid can give Mahomes the fastest answers to the test and whether Mahomes buys into the game plan and throws them, even though they aren’t the challenging and exhilarating passes he’s so fond of completing. 

Two reasons I’m a supporter of the Chiefs in the first half:

First, just look at Mahomes splits in three games vs. Anarumo: 

  • First half: +0.44 EPA/att, 64% success, 8.8 YPA, 75% comp, 6:0 TD:INT
  • Second half/OT: -0.39 EPA/att, 35% success, 5.8 YPA, 57% comp, 0:2 TD:INT

And that was with a healthy ankle. I want no part of what Anarumo might cook up in the second half vs. Mahomes. 

Secondly, if there is a time Mahomes will be "peak-Mahomes" for whatever "peak" is with his injury (99% of regular Mahomes? 90%? 75%?), it’s likely to come in the first half. That’s when his ankle will have had zero chance to be re-injured by a defender or an awkward step taken. It will have been recently shot up and will feel as good as it will feel the rest of the day. 

But with every play that elapses in the game, the odds that the ankle will feel worse increase.  Even if it’s just wear-and-tear combined with the pain injection wearing off, let alone it gets tweaked. I have a far better chance of getting "peak-Mahomes" in the first half than I do in the second half, and I want to capitalize on it. 

Ready to get in on the conference championship action? Head over to FOX Bet now!

'Everyone did their part'

Erin Andrews spoke with George Kittle and Brock Purdy after the San Francisco 49ers' win against the Dallas Cowboys.

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