NFC Championship Game Betting Preview: 49ers at Eagles
Can the Rookie Pull This Off for the Visitors?
San Francisco heads on the road for the first time this playoffs when they visit Lincoln Financial Field for the 49ers at Eagles matchup for the NFC Championship. This will be a big test for Niners rookie QB Brock Purdy, as the Philadelphia crowd is a whole different animal then the two home games he’s won against Seattle (41-23) and Dallas (19-12) so far this postseason.
The Eagles looked very good against division foe New York last week, beating up on the Giants 38-7 to cover the -8 behind 268 rush yards. Philadelphia should expect a little more resistance this Sunday against a very, very good 49ers defense. The Eagles are -2.5 favorites with 67% of public bettors laying the points for the home team.
Why San Francisco Can Cover +2.5 Points
The biggest narrative coming into the 49ers at Eagles matchup is Purdy, pick #262 in the 2022 Draft who has become just the third rookie to win his first two postseason starts. Purdy has completed 62.7% of his passes these playoffs with 3 TDs and 0 INTs.
One of the biggest reasons people are taking Philadelphia -2.5 is because they expect Purdy to melt under the pressure of his first road playoff start and against a defense that ranked #2 in the NFL this season allowing just 301.5 ypg. The thing is though Purdy doesn’t have to be great, because he has a very good head coach who can find ways to get the ball into the hands of weapons like Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey.
Perhaps the biggest reason the 49ers can cover +2.5 points is their defense which led the NFL in total yards (300.6) and points allowed (16.3). Philadelphia’s strength – the run game – is a spot where the San Francisco defense excels as well (77.7 ypg).
Why Philadelphia Can Cover -2.5 Points
San Francisco does have a lot of weapons, but they also had to settle for 4 Robbie Gould field goals in last week’s 19-12 win over the Cowboys. The Eagles meanwhile had the bye to rest in the wild card round and breezed to a 31-point win over the Giants in the divisional round.
Philadelphia didn’t have to show a lot last week, in fact it was Kenneth Gainwell who led the team with 112 rush yards and not 1,200 yard rusher Miles Sanders. The Eagles defense meanwhile limited Giants QB Daniel Jones to 135 yards passing and Saquon Barkley to just 61 rush yards.
Jalen Hurts has a playoff win on his resume thanks to last week when he was 16/24 with 2 TDs. The Eagles didn’t need much from A.J. Brown who had just 3 catches for 22 yards but he and Devonta Smith are going to make things hard on the San Francisco secondary as they combined for over 2,500 receiving yards this year.
Free 49ers at Eagles Betting Pick
Two-thirds of public bettors like the Eagles, who are 8-2 at home on the year while three of San Francisco’s four losses have come on the road. The 49ers have won 12 straight games though, and the fact that it’s Philadelphia feeling the pressure instead of San Francisco who is playing with house money with the last pick in the draft starting at QB makes me think the 49ers come out a little more loose.
Free Pick: 49ers +2.5