Heading into championship weekend, we find four closely matched teams that have a combined record of 59-14 this season.

In the NFC, bettors encounter a Philadelphia squad that is 8-2 straight up (SU) and 7-3 against the spread (ATS) at Lincoln Financial Field hosting a 49ers club that is 12-0 SU and 10-2 (ATS) since Week 8.

Since Sunday, the Eagles, who opened as 1.5-point home favorites, have grown to a 2.5-point demand, while the game total has ticked up from 45.5 to 46.5 as bettors expect a higher scoring game than oddsmakers are predicting.

Over in the AFC, bettors have witnessed the Chiefs open as 1.5-point favorites over the Bengals, bet to 2.5-point home underdogs, only to be moved back to 2.5-point favorites over the span of four days due to the status of Patrick Mahomes’s ankle.

The Bengals and Chiefs will face off in the AFC championship game for the second straight year. Joe Burrow, who is 5-1 SU and ATS in the playoffs, will look to remain perfect (3-0 SU and ATS) in his career against Mahomes and the Chiefs.

The Bengals head into Sunday’s showdown on a 10-game winning streak that has resulted in an extremely profitable 8-1-1 ATS mark. Meanwhile, Andy Reid’s club is 8-1 SU at home but has burned bettors with a disappointing 1-7-1 ATS mark at Arrowhead Stadium.

Can two road underdogs who haven’t lost since October extend their winning streaks and punch their tickets to State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 12? Or will two home No. 1 seeds move on to battle in Super Bowl LVII?

Our team here at Sports Illustrated Betting is here to provide their lock play of the weekend, as well as which proposition wager bettors should look to invest in.

Let’s check out the predictions!

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Matt Ehalt

Playoff Record: 4-1-1 (+5.98 Units)

BET: Bengals-Chiefs Over 47.5 (-110)

Record: 1-0-1

The small lines in each game scare me and I feel both games can go either way. Instead, I’ll target the total for Bengals-Chiefs. The last three matchups have featured at least 51 points each time (51,51,65) and we only need 48 points here to cash. Even if Patrick Mahomes is not 100 percent, the Chiefs will still score plenty of points. The Bengals have had no issues against Kansas City’s defense, either, averaging 29.3 points in the three meetings over the last two seasons.

PROP: Tee Higgins Under 58.5 Receiving Yards (-125)

Record: 1-1

As Ja’Marr Chase has shined, Tee Higgins has almost disappeared from the Bengals’ offense. Check out his receiving yards over his last six games: 35, 33, 114, 7*, 37, 28 (The seven-yard game came in Week 18 but the point remains). That one strong outing came against a Patriots team that is known for taking away the best option (Chase). Higgins is averaging just 32.5 receiving yards this postseason, and only tallied 35 yards on three catches (five targets) against the Chiefs in the regular season. It’s tempting to fade Higgins here.

Kyle Wood

Playoff Record: 4-2 (+2.85 Units)

BET: Eagles -2.5 (-110)

Record: 2-0

It’s essential that the Eagles win the time of possession battle with the 49ers. The only game Philadelphia lost with Jalen Hurts under center was a home game against the Commanders in which it had the ball for less than 20 minutes, in part due to an uncharacteristic four turnovers. San Francisco is second only behind Washington in time of possession this season, so the Eagles have to make sure they mount long drives to keep the 49ers’ playmakers off the field and their stellar defense rested. These teams have two of the NFL’s best rosters, but Philadelphia has the edge at quarterback, which is ultimately why they’ll win—and cover.

PROP: Jalen Hurts Anytime Touchdown (+120)

Record: 1-1

Hurts ran in his 14th touchdown of the season in last week’s divisional round win over the Giants. It wasn’t his best rushing output—he gained 34 yards on nine carries—but he still found the end zone from the five-yard line for his 12th red zone score of the year. Hurts has plus-odds to do it again this week against the 49ers, who admittedly have a much more difficult front. If and when Philadelphia gets down near the one-yard line, Hurts will get his number called and deliver.

Craig Ellenport

Playoff Record: 4-2 (+2.15 Units)

BET: Bengals-Chiefs Over 47.5 (-110)

Record: 2-0

When these teams met in Cincinnati in Week 13, they went over on this total (27-24 Bengals). The only way this goes under is if Patrick Mahomes can’t play, but I expect he will. The Chiefs have averaged 29 points per game over their last six; the Bengals have averaged 27 points over their last five. In other words, if these teams both play to the average on offense the total should hit 56.

PROP: Joe Burrow Anytime Touchdown (+350)

Record: 1-1

When the Bengals get down near the goal line, defenses have to spread out to cover Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, which makes a Joe Burrow keeper fairly easy. Burrow had six rushing touchdowns during the season - including one vs. the Chiefs in Week 13. The payout makes it worth a shot.

Jennifer Piacenti

Playoff Record: 3-2-1 (+1.05 Unit)

BET: Bengals +2.5 (-110)

Record: 1-0-1

I’ll admit I liked this even better early in the week when the Bengals were 1.5-point dogs, but I’m still in on Joe Burrow and the Bengals to repeat as AFC champs. Not only is Patrick Mahomes hobbled, he has lost every time he has played JOE Burrow - and each time by exactly three points. The Chiefs’ defense allowed a league-leading 33 passing touchdowns during the regular season and two of those - plus a rushing touchdown - went to Burrow in Week 13. If Mahomes were fully healthy, I might feel differently, but I’ll take Joe Cool and his weapons plus a strong Bengals defense to cover as road underdogs.

Prop: AJ Brown Over 70.5 Receiving Yards (-125)

Record: 1-1

How often do you get a championship matchup AND a squeaky wheel storyline? After averaging 88 yards per game this season (sixth among receivers) and commanding 38.4% of the team’s air yards (fourth in NFL), A.J. Brown was limited to three catches for 33 yards last weekend vs. the Giants. Brown was not happy. The Niners allowed the sixth-most yards to wide receivers during the regular season and 16 receiving touchdowns (tied for seventh-most). I will bet Brown eats this Sunday and not at Chipotle.

Frankie Taddeo

Playoff Record: 3-3 (+0.48 Unit)

BET: Eagles -2.5 (-110)

Record: 1-1

Jalen Hurts showed no signs of being limited from his recent shoulder injury last week against the Giants. The 49ers’ defense was dominant last week against the Cowboys, but the dual-threat signal-caller will not turn the ball over the way Dak Prescott did. Brock Purdy has been superb, winning all seven games as a starter in the NFL, but the storybook ending comes to end on Broad Street. While all the focus is on Purdy being 7-0 under center for San Francisco, many are ignoring the fact that Hurts is 17-1 in his last 18 games as the leader of the ‘Birds. I will not be among those who will get caught up in the “current hype” as opposed to a broader, more impressive body of work.

Prop: Ja’Marr Chase Anytime Touchdown (-105)

Record: 0-2

The former LSU standout has scored nine touchdowns over his last nine games. Burrow’s top target has hauled in 25 receptions for 417 yards and four touchdowns in three career games against the Chiefs. Chase has averaged 6.5 receptions per game, 85.5 receiving yards and recorded three touchdowns in six postseason games. Knowing that the elite talent has scored 25 touchdowns in 36 career NFL games (69.4%), the “juice is worth the squeeze” in his ‘Anytime Touchdown’ market.

Matt De Lima

Playoff Record: 2-3 (-0.70 Unit)

BET: 49ers-Eagles Under 46.5 (-110)

Record: 1-1

As evidenced in their game against the Cowboys, the 49ers’ offense can be stifled. And although the Eagles’ offense had their way against the Giants, San Francisco’s defense is more than formidable. I’m expecting a defensive stalemate with both teams held at or below 20 points.

Prop: Patrick Mahomes Under 286.5 Passing Yards (-110)

Record: 0-1

The last time these two teams met back in Week 13, Mahomes was held to 223 passing yards on 27 attempts. That was also the last time the Chiefs lost—knock on wood. It also helps the under bet that he’s dealing with a high ankle sprain.

Michael Fabiano

Playoff Record: 3-3 (-0.91 Unit)

BET: Bengals +2.5 (-110)

Record: 2-0

The Bengals have had the Chiefs’ number, beating them in each of their last three games, including a Week 13 matchup where Cincinnati won 27-24. Since 2018, these two teams have met four times with the Bengals winning the last three and beating the spread in all three wins … and that was with a healthy Patrick Mahomes. With the superstar quarterback dealing with an injured ankle, I’m taking the Bengals getting the points.

Prop: Miles Sanders Under 51.5 Rushing Yards (-125)

Record: 0-2

Sanders rushed for 90 yards in last week’s win over the Giants, but this week’s matchup against the 49ers is a lot tougher. Their defense allowed the fewest fantasy points to backs during the regular season, and the position averaged a mere 3.3 yards per rush and 59.6 yards per contest against them. What’s more, no runner has had more than 69 rushing yards against them and only eight have beaten them for 51 or more yards.

Bill Enright

Playoff Record: 2-4 (-2.35 Units)

BET: Eagles -2.5 (-110)

Record: 1-1

Brock Purdy is already tied for the most playoff wins (two) ever by a rookie quarterback but he’s not getting to three. What this year’s Mr. Irrelevant has done to start his career is impressive but his biggest (and only) road victories came against an NFC West opponent in Seattle in which San Francisco won by one score and in Las Vegas, where the 49ers won by three … IN OVERTIME! Point being, Purdy hasn’t been truly tested in a hostile environment and the NFC championship in Philadelphia is about as hostile as it can get. Lay the points, fade the rookie quarterback and fly with the best team in the NFL winning by more than a field goal. 

PROP: Travis Kelce Anytime Touchdown (-105)

Record: 1-1

Sky is Blue. Water is Wet. Travis Kelce catches touchdowns in the playoffs. Three facts of life that no one can deny. The Chiefs’ tight end already has the third-most postseason touchdowns (14) in league history and can tie Rob Gronkowski for the second-most with another score Sunday. Kelce has at least one touchdown in each of his last four playoff games and with a score in the AFC championship, he’ll join Gronk as the only tight ends in NFL history with a touchdown in five straight playoff games.

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