This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
Conference Championship Picks and Props at FanDuel Sportsbook
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NFL Week Championship Week Bets
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs -1.5
This line has moved all of the place this week, hinging on the health of Patrick Mahomes. Everyone has tried to play doctor this week observing him in practice and walking in and out of press conferences. He isn't listed on the injury report although it's highly likely his ankle injury hinders him to some extent.
So why am I siding with the Chiefs, despite losing three straight to the Bengals recently? First, they have homefield advantage and the crowd should be more lively for this one. My biggest argument here though is the Bengals' offensive line. This was a huge topic of conversation heading into the Bills game but seems to have fizzled after they had a good showing. I'm not sure why that is as they likely haven't transformed into an elite unit. The Chiefs' defensive line is better than Buffalo's and I have to think the snow (which shouldn't be a problem) last week helped Cincinnati. I don't think the points mean anything here as this game should be decided by a field goal or more.
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles -2.5
Brock Purdy has been a nice story but I have a hard time thinking he's an elite quarterback. He's had players make some outstanding plays (George Kittle last week, Deebo Samuel the week before) and he seems to be throwing a lot off play-action in favorable situations. That won't be the case this week as the Eagles defensive line is arguably the best in football. I do think the 49ers' defense slows down Jalen Hurts and Co. but it won't be enough for the 49ers to get a win, on the road.
Player Prop Bets for Championship Week
Quez Watkins OVER 15.5 (+102) Receiving Yards
I love props like this where one catch can hit the over and you've won. This line stands out given that Watkins played 22 offensive snaps last week but didn't garner even a single target. However, he averaged over 4.5 targets per game over his last seven contests showing he's not a forgotten part of the offense. For as good as the 49ers' defense has been this season, they rank 27th in the league against opposing defenses. An anytime touchdown for Watkins is +600 and parlaying the yardage with an anytime touchdown is +1004 if that piques your interest.
Jalen Hurts Longest Pass OVER 39.5 Yards
Hurts has so many weapons at his disposal and it's good to see A.J. Brown (73.5 receiving yards) and DeVonta Smith (66.5 receiving yards) have healthy receiving totals. As already stated, San Francisco hasn't been good at defending wide receivers and the Philadelphia offensive line should give Hurts enough protection for his receivers to get open downfield. This is another prop that could be over as soon as the first Eagles' drive.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Longest Receptions OVER 19.5 Yards
This seems suspect given that JuJu has gotten only two targets in each of his last two games. That being said, the Bengals should be focused on stopping Travis Kelce (14 receptions last week) which means taking away the middle of the field. This should leave plenty of space on the outside for Smith-Schuster who should see Eli Apple in coverage. Apple has a habit of getting beat deep and biting on double moves and I like that JuJu's over/under for receptions in this game is 4.5.
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Anytime Touchdown Props
A.J. Brown +150, DeVonta Smith +180
You can hedge here as it's tough not to envision at least one of these players finding the end zone Sunday. If push comes to shove and you only want to take one player, I'd go with Brown who has slightly better receiving props than Smith for this game. However, there's also the upside that if you take both, it's possible they both score in this game increasing the upside here. For the record, the two scored in the same game in four of the 17 (23.5 percent) regular season contests.
Kadarius Toney, KC +250
Toney has carved himself a decent role in this offense getting seven targets last week in the passing attack and getting four rushing attempts over the last two games. Kansas City seems intent on getting the ball into his hands and he seems to have taken over the role Mecole Hardman (three games in a row with a touchdown) has earlier this season. Look for Mahomes try to get the ball into his hands in the red zone.