Just four teams remain standing in the NFL playoffs, and on Sunday our matchup for Super Bowl LVII will be finalized. This postseason has been a profitable one for us over here as we've pegged the playoff bracket perfectly, picking each game on the money line exactly. Our 7-2-1 ATS mark in the postseason -- which includes a 3-1 ATS record in the divisional round last week -- isn't too shabby either.
Now that I'm done jinxing myself with that pat on the back, we'll look to keep those good vibes rolling all the way to Arizona for the Super Bowl. First, let's hammer out these picks for Championship Weekend where only one No. 1 seed survives.
Locks of the Week ATS: 41-45-4
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook
49ers at Eagles
The improbable Cinderella run by Brock Purdy and the 49ers has been one of the more enjoyable aspects of the 2022 season, but I see this story coming to a close on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles are a tough draw for San Francisco because they are well-equipped to attack the 49ers' few weaknesses.
Philadelphia's offense should be able to throw on this Niners secondary, particularly deep. Kyle Shanahan's defense ranks in the bottom five in the NFL in completion percentage, touchdown-to-interception ratio, and passer rating against throws 25+ yards down the field. Meanwhile, that's part of what Jalen Hurts does best. The Eagles quarterback has a passer rating of 125.0 on throws 25 or more yards downfield and has 10 touchdowns to just one interception on those throws. After a quiet divisional round, A.J. Brown should be the main beneficiary of Philly's attempt to exploit that weakness, especially with seven of his 11 receiving touchdowns this year coming on throws 25 or more yards downfield.
Defensively, the Eagles have the personnel to slow down this Purdy-led offense. The 49ers offense leads the NFL in motion rate, yards after the catch, and attempts inside the numbers. The Eagles defense ranks top 10 in the league against all of those categories. So, what San Fran typically does best offensively, Philly can shut down. And what the Niners can't defend is what the Eagles do and do well. Those mismatches should be the game-breakers here.
Projected score: Eagles 24, 49ers 20
The pick: Eagles -2.5
Bengals at Chiefs
The Bengals just have a vibe to them that makes you feel extremely confident that they can go into any environment and pull out a win. They did so in a snowy Highmark Stadium last week and I expect more of the same when they stroll into Arrowhead Stadium for the AFC Championship Game against the Chiefs.
A lot will be made about Patrick Mahomes and his ankle injury, and I do believe that it will limit him some. His lethal ability to extend plays by running around in the pocket could be dampened. If that's the case, the opportunity for those back-breaking, momentum-shifting plays that the Chiefs quarterback always seems to pull out in the high-pressure moments could be nonexistent, which is a massive win for Cincinnati.
Beyond the injury to Mahomes, the Bengals defense shouldn't be slept on. Yes, Joe Burrow should get his and continue to find success against Kansas City's defense, but his defensive group has a knack for shutting the door on opponents. This postseason, the Bengals have allowed zero fourth-quarter points. And that's no fluke. The Bengals ranked second in the NFL in the fewest fourth-quarter points allowed during the year. Translation: If you find yourself trailing the Bengals heading into the fourth quarter, you're toast.
Offensively, I do think the Bengals can exploit a mediocre run defense of the Chiefs as well, which means another strong day from Joe Mixon. The Chiefs allowed 7.6 yards per carry in the divisional round against Jacksonville, meaning their middle-of-the-pack run defense has lost its way.
For the second year in a row, Cincy comes out on top and advances to the Super Bowl.
Projected score: Bengals 27, Chiefs 23
The pick: Bengals -1.5