No. 2 49ers at No. 1 Eagles, 3 p.m. (FOX)

Spread: Eagles by 2 1/2

Outlook: Philly is a bit healthier. The Niners’ Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel all missed practice time this week but should be ready for Sunday. Two great but not infallible defenses here, with the Eagles presenting susceptible run defense to McCaffrey, while an average Niners pass D might entice Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown. Turnovers might be the difference. Forcing mistakes is a direct path to a small upset, so Hurts especially may need a clean game. Home field and weather underline the pick, along with the likelihood Philly’s awesome, pocket-crushing pass rush bothers Brock Purdy.

Prediction: Eagles, 23-20

AFC Championship


No. 3 Bengals at No. 1 Chiefs, 6:30 p.m. (CBS)

Spread: Chiefs by 1

Outlook: The duel for the AFC crown is a near pick-’em but swung from Cincy to K.C. as slight favorite based solely on encouraging reports on Patrick Mahomes’ high ankle sprain. Last week’s disparate performances and Mahomes’ injury should give Cincy backers big hope. So should Joe Burrow’s 3-0 record head-to-head with Mahomes. There also is the real possibility Mahomes’ valiant effort won’t be enough and that we see Chad Henne at some point. This pick hinges on Mahomes staying in the game and being at least close to his best. The story line is redemption for Mahomes, finally beating his nemesis despite playing with an injury that should have sidelined him.

Prediction: Chiefs, 27-23

Last week: 2-2 overall; 1-3 vs. spread

2022 season: 162-107-2; 121-143-7 vs. spread

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.