When it comes to Football Outsiders’ team DVOA metric, the 49ers, Eagles, Chiefs, and Bengals are 2-3-4-5. (The Buffalo Bills are first.)
Massey-Peabody? The Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles, 49ers are 1-3-4-6. (The Bills are second, the Cowboys are fifth.)
The numberFire power rankings? 49ers, Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles, 1-2-3-4.
In short: We pretty much have the four best teams in the NFL battling it out on championship weekend. No Cinderella stories this time around — just the cream of the NFL crop rising to the top of the separation of the wheat and the chaff double macchiato skim milk, please. (Mixed metaphors leading to a Starbucks order, happens every time.)
But terrible, ridiculous, stupid attempts at humor aside, we really do have a pair of titanic matchups Sunday. Both games figure to be competitive, superstars are on both sides of the ball, and there’s nary a Super Bowl matchup that isn’t interesting. (Though, full disclosure, I’m rooting for the Bengals and 49ers to make the grade, entirely due to some Underdog playoff best ball teams I have.)
The Bengals-Chiefs game – assuming Mahomes is given enough cortisone in his ankle to numb his pain much in the same way I eat a whole sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mints to numb mine – should be a barn burner. The Chiefs offense can score on anyone, and Joe Burrow is still somehow (at least to these eyes) underrated.
This Joe Burrow pass is a little overrated if you ask me. Did anyone even notice where it landed… pic.twitter.com/eIB5uJKpcG
— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) January 26, 2023
To be clear: I love the over, which is sitting at 47 at most sportsbooks as I type this.
And the Eagles-49ers? Again, two top-tier offenses but … I dunno. To me, this has the feel of an old-fashioned rough-and-tumble football game. Defenses will take over. Blood will be spilled.
To be clear: I love the under, which is sitting at 46.5 as I type this.
Hey! Look at me! Already talking about betting. Let’s get to it, eh?
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
Talked about this on the Gamble On podcast, and this might be the most no-brainer +1000 or more parlay I’ve placed this year. I will be shocked — shocked! — when it fails.
I bet it on FanDuel, and it’s simple: Jalen Hurts anytime touchdown, Christian McCaffrey anytime touchdown, Travis Kelce anytime touchdown, and Kelce over 77.5 yards. Comes in at +1192.
Rationale? Can’t be simpler: Biggest game of the year. Hurts, McCaffrey, and Kelce are the preferred way these teams score touchdowns. Ergo, they will score touchdowns. As for Kelce’s yardage prop? Well …
Travis Kelce's last seven playoff games:
— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) January 23, 2023
Yeah. Book it.
The on-paper, no-doubt three, er, two-team teaser that’s bound to lose
Well, there’s only two games, so if I were going to tease — which I might — I’d do it at Caesars at -120 and take under 52 in the Eagles-49ers and over 41 in the Chiefs-Bengals. These both seem like locks to me, which — based on my horrible betting record this year — should be massive red flags to you. We’re nearing George Costanza-do-the-opposite territory at this point.
But yes. I like both those numbers. A lot.
This one is looking a little fishy
Well, should’ve written this Sunday night, when the Chiefs opened up as field goal favorites over the Bengals. It’s not just me that thinks the Bengals are clearly the better team, right?
DraftKings plays of the week
Last week, I said stack up the Eagles and Chiefs. Which I did. With the first lineup I built. I 6x’d. Every other lineup I built — about 14,000 of ‘em — didn’t cash.
This week, there are certainly decisions to be made, none bigger than Travis Kelce. In single-entry, I’m going to fade him, hope everyone plays him, and hope he goes for 6-78-1 (enough for my +1000 parlay, not enough to bury me).
Another pivot point is running back: It’s Christian McCaffrey as the only “sure thing.” I’m guessing most will go McCaffrey and a cheap option, like Kenneth Gainwell or Samaje Perine; again, this is where a zig might come in handy. Maybe Gainwell and Perrine, and leave McCaffrey on the sidelines? A lineup without Kelce AND McCaffrey will certainly be different.
My moral lock five star only for my best customers can’t lose guaranteed best bet of the week
Gotta be the Bengals, giving or taking whatever the spread ends up being. It’s Bengals +1 as I type this, good enough for me.