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The 49ers meet the Eagles in the NFC Championship in Philadelphia this afternoon. Ben Rajavuori breaks down the game and shares his best pick against the spread bet for the game.
ANALYSIS

Philadelphia Eagles vs. San Francisco 49ers NFC Championship Prediction, Pick Against the Spread, Latest Odds

The San Francisco 49ers travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the first time ever in the postseason to play the Eagles. The 49ers were the only team in the NFC to never play in Philadelphia, which will change today. The 49ers are also looking to make another first today, with no rookie quarterbacks ever reaching the Super Bowl in its history. Brock Purdy can be the first and change that today, but he has a daunting task ahead of him. As good as the 49ers have looked, winning 12-straight games entering today, the Eagles look just as good with a healthy Jalen Hurts.

This will be the first time the two have met since the now-viral 2019 college meeting between Hurts and Purdy when Hurts led Oklahoma to a 42-41 victory over Brock Purdy and Iowa State. The stage is set, and the Eagles are 2.5-point favorites to go to the Super Bowl. Can Purdy make history? Or is it Hurts' time?

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Eagles vs. 49ers Start Time and Where to Watch

  • Date: January 29, 2023
  • Game Time: 3:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: FOX

Click here for Eagles vs. 49ers odds

Eagles vs. 49ers Prediction

There have been four rookie quarterbacks in history who have made it to the conference championship game: Shaun King, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, and Mark Sanchez. None of the four made it to the Super Bowl. Brock Purdy, A.K.A. "Mr. Irrelevent" was the last pick of the 2022 draft and now has a chance to be the first rookie to ever reach the Super Bowl. Purdy has the supporting cast to do it as well. The 49ers have talented and explosive offensive players and a dominant defense. Six 49ers were selected for the Pro Bowl, including DL Nick Bosa, S Talanoa Hufanga, FB Kyle Juszczyk, TE George Kittle, LB Fred Warner, and T Trent Williams.

The supporting cast, along with excellent coaching from Shanahan, has set Purdy up for success. He hasn't needed to make huge plays by himself to win games; he just takes care of the ball and gets it to his playmakers. Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Christian McCaffrey all can do exceptional things with the ball after the catch, making life easy on Purdy. He has mostly relied on short throws and check-downs, which has minimized his turnovers since he is not forcing big plays. It's a perfect game plan for a rookie quarterback.

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However, against a defense like the Eagles, I feel Purdy will need to step it up on his own. The Eagles are an incredibly fast defense that has the best pass-rushing core in the league. We saw the issue the Giants had against them last week, and with Deebo Samuel, the fastest player on the 49ers, dealing with an injury, I could see the 49er's offense finally struggling in Philadelphia. Purdy only has four interceptions on the season, but when he has looked to make bigger plays, he has gotten mostly lucky that more balls have not been picked off. Last week alone, I noticed two plays that were easy picks that the Cowboys didn't end up coming down with that Purdy got away with. The Eagles will not be so kind.

While the 49ers had an impressive six players named to the Pro Bowl, the Eagles had an astounding EIGHT. QB Jalen Hurts, RB Miles Sanders, WR A.J. Brown, T Lane Johnson, C Jason Kelce, G Landon Dickerson, LB Haason Reddick, and CB Darius Slay. The Eagles have looked dominant in every facet of the game, especially on the line of scrimmage.

The Eagles had three offensive linemen named to the Pro Bowl, the most of any team. On top of the grade-A protection, Hurts has gotten in the pocket, he is also just as dangerous when he tucks the ball and takes off. Hurts had 165 rush attempts in the regular season for 760 yards, averaging 4.6 yards per attempt. He also tacked on 13 rushing touchdowns to support his 22 passing touchdowns. Like Purdy, Hurts has limited his interceptions, throwing only six all season.

The Eagle's offensive line has also been excellent in the run-blocking game, which helped Miles Sanders rush for 1,269 yards this season on 4.9 yards per carry. Along with a dominant rushing attack, the Eagles have veteran Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Brown, young, explosive receiver DeVonta Smith, and one of the best receiving tight ends in the league in Dallas Goedert.

As good as the offense is, the Eagle's defense is just as dominant, especially the defensive line. The Eagles have averaged 4.2 sacks per game this season, which is easily the highest in the league. The 1985 Bears hold the record with 72 sacks in the regular season, and the Eagles hit 70 this season. The 49ers have done a pretty good job limiting sacks, but there is a weak spot in the middle of the line that Josh Sweat, Haason Reddick, and T.J. Edwards can expose. The Eagles are a scary group to block against, and I think they get to Purdy today.

Both teams are extremely well-rounded and do just about everything well. However, as good as the 49er's defense is, I think the Eagles move the ball with ease today. Nick Bosa should be contained by the best offensive line in the league, and the Eagles can burn you on the ground or through the air on long balls. Hurts' ability to hit the long ball will be the difference in this game, as I can't say the same for Purdy. He nearly threw multiple picks on balls over 20 yards last week, and the Eagles will take advantage of that.

The Dallas Cowboys could have won that game if Dak Prescott wasn't so bad in the postseason. Hurts is much better, and they looked great against the Giants. I'm all for the Purdy train, and he has done an incredible job in his rookie season as the last pick in the draft, but this is a difficult spot for him on the road against this balanced Eagles team. The Eagles will get to him all day and cruise to a win.

Eagles vs. 49ers Pick

Pick: Eagles -2.5 @ (-120) Bet $100 to collect $183 FanDuel has the best odds, click here to bet

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Article Author

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Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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