Winners Club: Eagles and Bengals Favored to Win Their Respective Conferences – Sports Illustrated

And then there were four. The way the divisional round unfolded, you get a feeling the best four teams are still standing with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line Sunday.

The Chiefs, Bengals and 49ers were all on this stage last year, but only Cincinnati advanced. And the Eagles are the newcomers, playing in the NFC Championship for the first time since the 2017 season.

Keep reading to ready yourself for the conference championships.

In today’s Winners Club you’ll find:

Philadelphia and Cincinnati Favored to Meet in Super Bowl LVII

Just like wild-card weekend, there were a few blowouts in the divisional round and a few close contests.

The Eagles stomped the Giants, 38-7, defeating their division rival for the third time this season with a dominant ground game and defensive effort. The Bengals upset the Bills on the road, 27-10, in the snow and ran the ball well despite injuries along their offensive line. The Chiefs got past the Jaguars, 27-20, but Patrick Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain. And the 49ers beat the Cowboys, 19-12, and the final play was one for the books.

So the conference championship matchups are set with the Bengals going to Kansas City to play the Chiefs and the 49ers traveling across the country to Philadelphia to face the Eagles.

The Chiefs were originally favored in the AFC Championship game but the line flipped in favor of Cincinnati.

Screen Shot 2023-01-25 at 12.35.36 PM

Below you can find overviews of both games, complete with odds and a few game notes, as well as Super Bowl odds via SI Sportsbook. Check back on si.com/betting and read Friday’s newsletter for more detailed breakdowns and betting picks from our staff.

NFC Championship Game

3 p.m. ET (Fox): 49ers vs. Eagles (-2.5) | Total: 45.5

  • San Francisco and Philadelphia last met Week 2 of the 2021 season. The 49ers won, 17-11.
  • Brock Purdy and Jalen Hurts played one another in college when the former was at Iowa State and the latter was at Oklahoma. Hurts’s Sooners won, 42-41, in a thriller.
  • San Francisco has won 12 in a row heading into Philadelphia.
Jan 8, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs with the ball in front of New York Giants linebacker Tomon Fox (49) during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

AFC Championship Game

6:30 p.m. ET (CBS): Bengals (-1.5) vs. Chiefs | Total: 46.5

  • Cincinnati has beaten Kansas City in the last three meetings and Joe Burrow has never lost to Mahomes in his career.
  • The Chiefs are hosting their record fifth straight AFC Championship game. They’ve won two of their last four appearances.
  • The Bengals take a 10-game winning streak into Arrowhead Stadium, where they’ve won their last two games.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs out of the pocket in the third quarter during the AFC championship NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-24, to advance to the Super Bowl.

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Super Bowl Odds Shifts

Chiefs: +275 → +250
Eagles: +500 → +250
Bengals: +750 → +250
49ers: +400 → +300

Super Bowl Finalist Odds

Bengals vs. Eagles: +200
Chiefs vs. Eagles: +250
Bengals vs. 49ers: +300
Chiefs vs. 49ers: +350

Super Bowl Exact Result Odds

Eagles beat Bengals: +500
Bengals beat Eagles: +550
Chiefs beat Eagles: +600
Eagles beat Chiefs: +600
49ers beat Bengals: +750
Bengals beat 49ers: +800
Chiefs beat 49ers: +800
49ers beat Chiefs: +900

Fantasy Playoff Picks and Top Landing Spots

It’s slim pickings for fantasy football players with just four teams in action this weekend. That means your margin for error is thinner than ever.

Luckily, Michael Fabiano and Shawn Childs have recommendations, rankings and projections to help put out the best lineup possible.

Start ‘Em, Sit ‘ Em

PPR Positional Rankings

Stat Projections

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey

Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports

And if you’re already looking ahead to next season, Fabiano has top landing spots for four intriguing players: Aaron Rodgers, Saquon Barkley and Tony Pollard. Craig Ellenport offers top landing spots for Daniel Jones.

And Matt De Lima reacted to Kevin Hanson’s latest NFL mock draft and gauged what the potential selections of certain first-round skill position players would mean for fantasy football.

In Other News

NCAA Men’s National Championship Future Odds: No. 3 Houston (+600) is the favorite to win it all in 2023. The Cougars are followed by No. 9 Kansas (+800), No. 9 UConn (+900), No. 1 Purdue (+1000) and No. 2 Alabama (+1100). As February nears, March Madness is quickly approaching.

76ers Surge in NBA Power Rankings: Winners of five in a row, Philadelphia has cracked the top five. Boston maintained its top spot after it beat the defending champions last week. See how the other 28 teams in the association rank with the All-Star break on the horizon.

NFL Announces Finalists for MVP Award: Quarterbacks Mahomes, Hurts, Burrow and Josh Allen and receiver Justin Jefferson are finalists for AP NFL MVP. Mahomes is the favorite to win the award, which will be announced Feb. 9.

Latest NFL Coaching Carousel News: With five head coaching jobs open around the league, find out what Albert Breer is hearing about those top spots as well as the open coordinator positions on offense and defense.


Thanks for reading Winners Club! I’ll be back in your inbox Friday morning.