Conference Championship Games Top Betting Picks: Fade 49ers & Brock Purdy vs. Eagles 

The first of the two conference title games Sunday is from the NFC as the top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles host the No. 2 San Francisco 49ers. Here are four NFL picks on the game with odds from top-rated sportsbooks.  

San Francisco 49ers vs. Philadelphia Eagles 

Sunday, January 29, 2023 – 03:00 PM EST at Lincoln Financial Field 

Game Analysis

The first game of the NFL’s conference championship Sunday is chalk as the NFC top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles host the No. 2 San Francisco 49ers. FOX has the telecast and also will show Super Bowl 57. 

Rather amazingly, it’s only the second playoff meeting between the successful franchises. They played at San Francisco (old Candlestick Park) on Dec. 29, 1996, in a Wild Card game and the Niners won 14-0. The most recent regular-season meeting was Week 2 of the 2021 regular season and San Francisco won 17-11.

I take little from that meeting as the Niners’ QB was Jimmy Garoppolo and not Brock Purdy. They also didn’t have Christian McCaffrey then. It was only the second game as Philly head coach for Nick Sirianni and the second as the unquestioned full-time starting QB for Jalen Hurts. 

This is about as good a matchup as you can ask for as the Niners are on a 12-game winning streak, tied for their longest single-season streak in franchise history with the 1984 team that won the Super Bowl. The Eagles are 15-1 when Hurts starts this season

The rookie Purdy is just 23 years old and Hurts 24, and it marks the first time in a conference championship game (or later) that both starting QBs are under 25 years old. Purdy is the fifth rookie QB to lead his team to a conference title game. The other four were Shaun King, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, and Mark Sanchez, and they all lost. 

Getting a home-field advantage in this game was why the Eagles rushed Hurts back from a shoulder injury in Week 18 vs. the Giants even though he was clearly less than 100 percent. Over the last nine postseasons (2013-21), home teams are 14-4 in conference championship games. 

That it’s a 3 PM EST kickoff helps the Niners a bit, but it’s still an early start for a Pacific Time Zone club. San Francisco’s two best offensive players, McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel, are a bit banged up but obviously will play. Remember, the Niners haven’t had an off week since Week 9. The Eagles were off in the Wild Card Round. Huge advantage. Hurts looked very healthy in the Divisional Round blowout of the Giants. 

Purdy Faces Toughest Challenge Yet 

Here is the weather forecast for Sunday in Philly: “Cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 51F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.” Not terrible for this time of year but would seem to hurt the offenses/kickers a bit.  

Something has to give Sunday as the Eagles had the No. 3 scoring and total offense during the regular season, while the Niners had the No. 1 scoring and total defense. Philly was No. 2 in total defense. There’s a reason both defensive coordinators, San Francisco’s DeMeco Ryans, and Philadelphia’s Jonathan Gannon may get head coaching jobs shortly after their team’s season ends.  

The Eagles were No. 1 against the pass in allowing just 179.8 ypg and set a franchise record with 70 sacks in the regular season, two shy of the league record. Last week against the Giants, Philly held Daniel Jones to 135 yards passing with a pick and sacked him five times. 

Purdy has truly been remarkable but hasn’t seen a defense like this. Mr. Irrelevant was shaky in the first of the Wild Card win over Seattle before blowing up in the second half and was clearly bothered by pressure against the Cowboys last weekend in the Divisional Round and took two sacks.  

In his first six NFL starts, while facing pressure, Purdy completed 54% of his passes with 8.3 yards per attempt and a rating of 121.2. Against Dallas, he completed just 27% of his passes vs. pressure with 2.2 yards per attempt and a rating of 39.6. The Eagles have the second-highest pressure rate (39%) in the NFL to go with the most sacks (75). 

Also consider that Purdy has played just two road games: Dec. 15 at Seattle and New Year’s Day at Las Vegas. Frankly, that Raiders matchup was more of a neutral-site game as Allegiant Stadium in Vegas was at least half full of 49ers fans. Few places are tougher on an opposing QB than Philadelphia.  

Those four rookie QBs we mentioned above who started a conference title game and lost? They combined for just four TD passes and nine picks.  

NFL Pick: Eagles ML (-143) at BetRivers 

NFL Pick: Under 46.5 (-110) at FanDuel 

NFL Pick: Purdy over 0.5 interceptions (-155) at Bet365 

NFL Pick: Purdy under 1.5 TD passes (-165) at BetRivers