Super Bowl 2023: AFC, NFC Conference Championship Predictions and Vegas Odds

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2023

Super Bowl 2023: AFC, NFC Conference Championship Predictions and Vegas Odds

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 21: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) scream in pain after injuring his ankle in the first quarter of an AFC divisional playoff game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs on January 21, 2023 at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Only four NFL teams remain in the hunt for Super Bowl LVII glory.

    All four posted a top-six scoring differential this season.

    If these aren't the four best teams in football, they at least rank somewhere among its elite class. That doesn't leave much wiggle room for oddsmakers and wagerers to find clear separation between them.

    You won't find wide point spreads or long-shot championship odds on this stage. What you could find, though, are some money-making opportunities if you play the right hunches.

    To help with those hunches, we'll lay out the latest point spreads and Super Bowl odds from DraftKings Sportsbook, then tap into our clairvoyant side while predicting how each conference championship will play out.

NFL Playoff Odds

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 21:  Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) during the NFC Divisional playoff game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants on January 21, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    AFC Championship Game

    Spread: Bengals -1.5

    Over/Under: 46.5

    Moneyline: Bengals -130; Chiefs +110

    NFC Championship Game

    Spread: Eagles -2.5

    Over/Under: 46

    Moneyline: Eagles -145; 49ers +125

    Super Bowl Odds

    Eagles: +240

    Bengals: +250

    Chiefs: +270

    49ers: +330

AFC Championship Prediction

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - JANUARY 22: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks towards the sideline against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Highmark Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
    Cooper Neill/Getty Images

    The Bengals have a three-game winning streak over the Chiefs.

    That stretch includes last year's conference championship collision, which, like this year's iteration, was also held at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

    Joe Burrow is undefeated against the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes, who suffered a high-ankle sprain Saturday. Cincinnati, meanwhile, just got finished bulldozing a good Buffalo Bills team (No. 2 in point differential this season) during the divisional round. If Mahomes is nowhere near 100 percent and clearly compromised by the ankle ailment, this could be over before it gets started.

    Give the Chiefs a healthy Mahomes, though, and this is a new conversation.

    Sure, Cincinnati has had his number of late, but a full-strength Mahomes is as dynamic as it gets. It probably doesn't hurt having a playmaker like Travis Kelce at tight end (or a speedy rookie Isiah Pacheco in the backfield), but every football fan can probably tell you a tale about Mahomes' magic.

    On the other end of the field, Cincy's banged-up (and not good to begin with) offensive line must contend with a Kansas City defense that tallied this season's second-most sacks (55). That can't be good news for Burrow, which means it also isn't good news for the Bengals, since they're 2-8 when he's sacked at least five times since the start of last season.

    If Mahomes is good to go, then Kansas City will be cleared for takeoff to Glendale, Ariz.—the site of Super Bowl LVII.

    Prediction: Chiefs 28, Bengals 24

NFC Championship Prediction

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    SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 22: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after handing off the ball for a touchdown during an NFL divisional round playoff football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys at Levi's Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
    Michael Owens/Getty Images

    When the Eagles had a healthy Jalen Hurts this season, they were nearly unbeatable (save for a Monday night loss to Washington in mid-November). In the two games he missed with a shoulder sprain, the Eagles went 0-2 with a minus-16 scoring differential.

    Hurts had an MVP-caliber season, thanks in no small part to the plethora of playmakers around him. A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith might comprise the league's top receiving tandem. Tight end Dallas Goedert keeps the chains moving. Miles Sanders and Hurts can torch defenders on the ground. Even Kenneth Gainwell went berserk in the divisional round.

    Philly pairs all of that production with one of the league's stingiest defenses. The Eagles allowed the second-fewest yards per game (behind only the 49ers) and tied for seventh in points allowed (a category San Francisco all paced).

    We still don't think that'll be enough to knock the Niners off their magical run.

    Yes, they're playing a rookie, third-string quarterback in Brock Purdy (the draft's Mr. Irrelevant, if you hadn't heard a million times), but they're undefeated when he starts. And the winning predated his promotion (to cover for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo, who was covering for an injured Trey Lance), a streak that now spans an absurd 12 consecutive contests.

    This success isn't all about Purdy—even if he's the greatest story going in sports—but rather his ability to lean on the successes of this roster. It's loaded. San Francisco has elite players at every level, including running back Christian McCaffrey, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle, left tackle Trent Williams and fullback Kyle Juszczyk—and that's without giving any spotlight shine to the league's best defense (or kicker Robbie Gould, who is 40 years old and still awaiting his first missed kick of any kind in the playoffs).

    Add Kyle Shanahan's playcalling wizardry to the recipe, and San Francisco has enough here to score the (mild) upset.

    Prediction: 49ers 31, Eagles 28

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