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2022 NFL SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP WKND

2022 NFL SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP WKND (ATS)

All times Eastern Standard Time

ALL SPREADS ARE COURTESY OF CAESARS HOTEL IN LAS VEGAS @ THE TIME OF ANALYSIS

Sunday January 29th, 2023 3:00pm

(2) San Francisco 49ers @ (1) Philadelphia Eagles                     SF+2 ½

LW, PHILLY did what they were supposed to do. Everyone thought that PHILLY @HOME vs NYG+7 ½ was going to be close. I didn’t because, NYG had played a perfect game @MINN and the MINN DEF is terrible. NYG had basically used 2 OFF players to beat MINN in QB Daniel Jones & RB Saquon Barkley. It would take a team effort to beat a team like PHILLY. The week 18 meeting @PHILLY was not an example of what this game was going to be like. In that game PHILLY played not to lose and at least secure the #1 seed in the NFC. NYG had nothing to gain in seeding, so they played 2nd & 3rd stringers. NYG played tough but PHILLY had a 16-0 halftime lead. But, the score ended with PHILLY winning 22-16. From the get go in the DIV gm, PHILLY took control 28-0 and the score ended with PHILLY winning 38-7. PHILLY let up in the 2nd half and if they wanted to could have probably scored 50pts. NYG were overmatched by a PHILLY team that doesn’t have a weak spot. LW, I also loved SF-3 ½ @HOME vs DAL. The week before, DAL QB Dak Prescott played a perfect game @ a very bad Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. Yes, we were all duped by Tom Brady. Prescott looked great and so did the rest of the DAL team. But, I knew that the real Prescott would emerge vs a much better DEF. Sure enough it did. Prescott had 2INTS that resulted in 6pts for SF and Prescott made some bad throws and some questionable decisions. It was a defensive struggle with SF winning 19-12. SF has all those weapons on OFF but only scored 1td vs a DAL #12 TOT DEF. SF QB Brock Purdy played a competent game going 19/29, 214yds with 0ts & 0turnovers. Purdy has shown that he is in the moment and did not turn the ball over vs DAL but the SF DEF was the star of the game in limiting DAL from getting in the endzone. PHILLY is a complete team that doesn’t have any weaknesses. They even went out during the season and upgraded their DEF by getting DT Ndamukong Suh & DT Linval Joseph. SF is playing very well. But besides DAL, who has SF played that was really tough? The last tough team that SF played was in wk 7 @HOME vs KC. KC won in a romp 44-23. Jimmy G was the QB for SF and they had just acquired RB Christian McCaffrey. The PHILLY DEF will give Purdy looks that he hasn’t seen. PHILLY #1 TOT DEF w/#1 PASS DEF vs SF #5 TOT OFF w/#7 RUSH OFF & #11 PASS OFF. On the other side of the ball, it looks like this. PHILLY #3 TOT OFF w/ #5 RUSH OFF & #9 PASS OFF vs SF #2 TOT DEF w/#2 RUSH DEF & #20 PASS DEF. PHILLY is pumped and the SF weakness is their PASS DEF. They were able to camouflage it vs DAL because Prescott is not great at reading defenses and has a tendency to throw INTs. But Hurts is not that QB and has grown tremendously since last season. SF is a cover corner away from beating PHILLY and this will hurt them here. It should be a good game from the start but PHILLY will pull ahead. I like PHILLY to win this game by at least 10pts.     

THE PICK: PHILLY-2 ½

Sunday January 29th, 2023 6:30pm

(3) Cincinnati Bengals @ (1) Kansas City Chiefs                      KC+1

LW, KC would have blown out the JAGS if KC QB Pat Mahomes didn’t get injured. Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain and did his best. KC QB Chad Henne led a 98yard drive that resulted in a td for KC while Mahomes was being attended to in the 2nd qtr. The OFF was clicking for KC but would have been even better if Mahomes had two good legs. JAGS did their best in this game but they never led and were playing catchup for almost all of the game. With KC leading 27-17 late in the game, JAGS made a late game effort to try to win the game but it was too little too late. They settled for a fg to make the score 27-20 and got a back door cover. I liked KC in this game because JAGS are a few players away from making serious noise. They played a nice comeback game in the wild card @HOME vs LAC but this is the playoffs and they were not stopping KC. LW, I loved CINNCY+5 @BUFF. It was reported later that CINNCY was a little ticked off that they had already been selling tickets for the AFC Championship to be played in ATL if BUFF had won. This was added motivation for CINNCY who controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. CINNCY stormed out to a 14-0 lead and made sure that BUFF did not get their OFF going. CINNCY used their run game to offset QB Joe Burrow from picking the BUFF DEF apart. Burrow spread his passes to eight different receivers and the DEF for BUFF had no answers. The CINNCY DEF held BUFF to 1 td and took the game @BUFF, 27-10. The CINNCY DEF also stopped BUFF QB Josh Allen from taking off and held BUFF’s run game to 63yds. L3, CINNCY is 3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS vs KC, which includes the playoffs in 2021. The mental edge is definitely there for CINNCY having beaten KC at its best the last 3x. Also, Mahomes has a high ankle sprain which will limit his mobility tremendously. Chad Henne is a competent backup but he is strictly a pocket QB. He will rely more on the rest of the OFF to get it done if Mahomes is ruled out. Mahomes has stated that he will play but if he shows that his mobility is quite limited and the CINNCY DEF is teeing off on him, I’m sure that KC will bring in Henne. As for CINNCY with Mahomes they keep a spotter on DEF so that Mahomes can’t take off running. But with high ankle sprain, I doubt Mahomes will do much running. That leaves KC to play a DEF that shores up the line and covers the receivers like they did vs BUFF. KC #1 TOT OFF w/#1 PASS OFF.  But remember, that is with a healthy Mahomes. Burrow is a guy who is all business and I like his chances even if Mahomes was healthy. If CINNCY can get their run game going vs KC it will be a long day for KC. I like CINNCY to win and advance to the SuperBowl.  

THE PICK: CINNCY-1