Welcome to the 2022-23 NFL Conference Championship games, ladies and gentlemen. The Divisional Round was an emotional roller coaster.
Here's some of what you may have missed:
Superstar Patrick Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain, left the game, and somehow came back in to win it once cleared, looking like nothing ever happened.
The Giants got squashed by a very, very healthy-looking Jalen Hurts
The Bills totally disappointed at home in the Divisional Round... just like they did last year, against the Kansas City Chiefs.
George Kittle made the catch of the postseason.
Now, let's take a look at the opening odds for the Conference Championship round in the 2022-23 NFL playoffs.
Point spread: Eagles -1.5
Point total: 46.5
Moneyline: Eagles -138 (Bet $13.80 to win $10 profit if PHI wins), 49ers +118 (Bet $10 to win $11.80 profit if SF wins)
This matchup is going to be oh. so. good. One of the league's most prolific offenses meets the league's most prolific defense. But the thing is, the league's most prolific offense also has a really, really good defense. And the league's most prolific defense also has a really, really good offense.
The point spread indicates that the sportsbooks think this will be a very close game. Opening odds indicate that the Eagles are projected to win by two or more points — but it feels like a relatively slim margin for a team that sits with home-field advantage. It's really feeling like this will come down to the wire.
Rapid-reaction best bet: 49ers +118 (aka, to win!)
Point spread: Chiefs -3
Point total: 51.5 points
Moneyline: Chiefs -144 (Bet $14.40 to win $10 profit for a take-home total of $24.40 if KC wins), Bengals +124 (Bet $10 to win $12.40 profit for a take-home total of $22.40 if the Cincy wins)
Does this matchup feel way too familiar? That's because it is. It's our second consecutive season with a Bengals-Chiefs AFC Championship. As a reminder, last year, the Bengals won. Now, they head back to Arrowhead to face an injured Patrick Mahomes.
There's probably going to be some confidence in Mahomes and his ability to play in the Divisional Round, despite the injury. However, we should probably consider the adrenaline factor. It's a lot easier for these athletes to continue playing through an injury they've just suffered than it is to start playing again after some downtime (where swelling can occur and the pain is much more noticeable thanks to a lack of adrenaline).
The point spread has the Chiefs as three-point favorites, meaning Vegas projects them to win by at least a field goal. That could change drastically, however, as we get more news on Patrick Mahomes. Stay tuned!
Rapid-reaction best bet: Bengals +3 (AKA to win outright or lose by LESS than a field goal)