Two historic franchises meet in the NFC Championship Game this weekend.
The Philadelphia Eagles have the best record in the conference and will host Sunday’s game at Lincoln Financial Field. Their opponents won’t be a breeze, however. The San Francisco 49ers have won 12 straight games and are back in the NFC Championship for the third time in four seasons.
Check out our 49ers vs. Eagles betting preview for the NFC Championship Game on January 29.
49ers vs Eagles betting preview
|Niners silver line||+125|
|Over/under 46||Plus (-110) or Minus (-110)|
|McCaffrey will score a touchdown||-136|
|It hurts to score a touchdown||+128|
Quotes at 2:47 p.m. on 01/24/2023.
The path traveled
Philadelphia’s road to the championship game was a little less arduous than San Francisco’s.
The Niners started their season 3-4 and lost starting quarterback Trey Lance to a horrific leg injury in Week 2. After an offseason without knowing where he would end up, Jimmy Garappolo found himself under center for Kyle Shanahan’s attack.
He led San Francisco to a 7-4 record before sustaining an injury himself. Enter Brock Purdy.
Taken with the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, Mr. Irrelevant has been solid in his eight relief games for the Niners. He went 8-0 as a starter with a 16:3 touchdown to interception ratio (playoffs included). San Francisco found their groove with Purdy as the signal caller, but more on him later.
Philadelphia, on the other hand, has been a wagon all season.
The Birds were the last undefeated team in the league (8-0) before suffering a home loss to the Washington Commanders in Week 10. They lost two more games in the streak while Jalen Hurts was suspended. gap but finished tied for the league’s best record at age 14. -3.
Philadelphia beat the New York Giants in the Divisional Round 38-7 and will have a slight rest advantage over San Francisco heading into Sunday’s game.
These teams have lit up the scoreboard like pinball all season. See how they rank among the best in the league in almost every category (NFL standings in parentheses):
|Eagles||28.1 (3rd)||389.1 (3rd)||+15.1% (3rd)||19 (5th)|
|49ers||26.5 (6th)||365.6 (5th)||+13.2% (6th)||17 (3rd)|
Let’s start with Philadelphia.
Howie Roseman took a leap of faith in 2020 when he drafted Hurts in the second round and the quarterback has done nothing but silence doubters ever since.
He had the fourth-best QBR during the regular season (66.3), was third in rushing quarterback (781) and had the most QB rushing touchdowns (13). Hurts also boasted the top QBR in the divisional round (84) and didn’t seem bothered by his sprained shoulder.
But what good is an elite quarterback without the weapons to complement him?
AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith — also known as Swole Batman and Skinny Batman — can take on any receiving duo in the NFL. The pair of wides have totaled 2,692 yards, 183 receptions and 18 touchdowns this season.
Additionally, the Eagles have Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders, who both had stellar seasons.
San Francisco’s stable of offensive talent is arguably even more impressive. The Niners have Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle at their disposal, and each of those players is among the best in the game in their respective positions.
But the big question mark is whether Purdy can stay calm. He looked like a rookie when he came under pressure last week against the Dallas Cowboys and was also shaky in the first half of San Francisco’s wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks.
That said, he didn’t make any game-changing errors and still passed 62.7 percent in the playoffs. Shanahan’s offense is designed for a plug-and-play quarterback and the 23-year-old isn’t expected to overdo it on a play-to-play basis.
Still, we’re going to give Philadelphia a slight edge here due to the talent disparity at quarterback.
Advantage: philadelphia cream
It’s one thing to have an elite offense and middle-of-the-road defense – we’re looking at you Kansas City – but these teams can wreak havoc on both sides of the ball (NFL rankings in parentheses):
|Team||Opponent’s points/game||Adversary yards/game||DVO||Take away food||Bags|
|Eagles||20.2 (T-7)||301.5 (2nd)||-9.7 (6th)||27 (T-4)||70 (1st)|
|49ers||16.3 (1st)||300.6 (1st)||-14.1% (1st)||30 (3rd)||44 (T-10)|
This time we’ll start with the 49ers. The DeMeco Ryans unit is one of the best in recent memory, thanks to elite play at all three levels.
The Niners have three first-team All-Pros on defense: Nick Bosa at edge and defensive end, Fred Warner at linebacker and Talanoa Hufanga at safety. That trio combined for 278 tackles, 22.5 sacks (18.5 of which came from Bosa), five takeouts and 27 tackles for loss.
San Francisco’s defense played down Dallas’ offense in the divisional round, forcing two turnovers while keeping the Cowboys just 76 yards rushing.
Their only perceived weakness might be the cornerback position, but Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir make an above average duo.
Philadelphia’s defense is nothing to scoff at either. The Eagles led the league in sacks by a wide margin and completely bottled up the Giants in the divisional round.
They’ve allowed an average of just 19.4 points and 298.2 yards over the past five games and have game breakers littered throughout the defense.
Haason Reddick, Javon Hargrave, Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat each recorded 10+ sacks during the regular season, while CJ Gardner-Johnson’s six interceptions tied for the league lead.
Philadelphia has also limited its opponents in passing yards per game this season (179.8).
It’s incredibly close, but we’re going to give San Francisco the defensive edge because of their exceptional run-stopping ability.
Advantage: San Francisco
49ers vs Eagles Betting Preview: The Trenches
Philadelphia’s offensive line has been the best in the league all season and we think that will be the X factor for Sunday’s game.
San Francisco is relentless in the trenches and has held opponents to the second-fewest rushing yards per game during the regular season (77.7). Meanwhile, Philadelphia has rushed for the fifth-most yards per game (147.6) and is averaging 163.9 rushing yards with Hurts under center (playoffs included).
Whichever team wins this battle will likely win the football game.
We’re going to give the Eagles offensive line the advantage for several reasons. First, they have Lane Johnson back at RT. The 32-year-old hasn’t allowed a tackle or hit all season and has only given up a total of nine shots on 551 pass-blocking snaps, according to PFF.
Eagles quarterbacks took the second-fewest hits (24) of any team in the league this season and were tied for the eighth-fewest rushes (111).
Running the ball will be key. But if Philadelphia gets the throwing time, it can take advantage of a San Francisco secondary that has allowed 222.9 passing yards per game this season (20th).
Hurts was unbothered in the pocket last weekend against New York and that’s usually the case when Philadelphia’s line is 100% healthy. All five of their starters will play on Sunday and that should be enough to offset San Francisco’s rabid attack.
Advantage: philadelphia cream
NFC Championship Pick
Best bet : Eagles -2.5 (-117)
It’s expected to be a close game, but we’re confident Philadelphia can win by at least one field goal at home.
The Eagles are 8-2 at Lincoln Financial Field this season and have outscored opponents by an average of 10.4 points in those games.
Injuries and offense seemed unstoppable last week as well.
San Francisco’s defense is a cut above New York’s, but we’re still confident Philadelphia will be able to move the rock into the trenches and give Hurts time to make plays.
As for the opposing quarterback, Purdy had a historic run, but the Eagles should press on throughout the game and force the rookie into an error.
Disclaimer This content has been produced in partnership and therefore may not meet the standards of impartial or independent journalism.