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Conference Championship Betting Trends for AFC & NFC Title Games; Burrow Dominant vs Mahomes

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in NFL Football

Updated Jan 26, 2023 · 7:12 AM PST

Joe Burrow studies his AFC Champions hat.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) reacts after reading the words on his hat at the conclusion of the AFC championship NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022, at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-24, to advance to the Super Bowl. Cincinnati Bengals At Kansas City Chiefs Jan 30 Afc Championship 167
  • There are some interesting Conference Championship betting trends worth studying for both the AFC & NFC title games
  • Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow has never lost in three showdowns facing Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes
  • The San Francisco 49ers are 3-1 straight up when returning to the NFC Championship Game after losing in the game the previous season

Among the AFC and NFC Conference Championship betting trends on Sunday, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow comes into the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs without having suffered a loss in his career during the AFC playoffs. His only NFL postseason loss was in last season’s Super Bowl.

San Francisco 49ers rookie Brock Purdy still hasn’t lost a game as an NFL starting QB. He’s 7-0 and realistically, could wind up a Super Bowl champion before ever tasting defeat as a starter in the league. Of course, QB Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles will have something to say about that in the NFC Championship Game.

The Eagles are 2.5-point home favorites over the 49ers. However, the odds on the AFC title game has seen both the hometown Chiefs and visiting Bengals set as the chalk. The latest line is showing this game as a pick’em.

Both games kick off on Sunday, January 29. The 49ers and Eagles begin the action at 3 pm ET (FOX). The Bengals and Eagles will follow at 6:30 pm ET (CBS).


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Bengals’ Burrow Has Number of Chiefs’ Mahomes

Kansas City fans had to be pulling for the Buffalo Bills to overcome the Bengals in last week’s AFC Divisional Round. After all, Mahomes and the Chiefs are 2-0 straight up and against the spread in the postseason against Allen and the Bills.

There aren’t many teams or QBs that can say that they hold the edge over Mahomes in head-to-head meetings. Not only can Burrow boast of that, but he’s also perfect against Mahomes and Kansas City.

Along with last season’s 27-24 verdict at Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game, Burrow has also taken both regular-season meetings at home. The Bengals won 34-31 in Week 17 last season and took a 27-24 verdict in Week 13 this season.

Kansas City was the betting favorite in all three games. Mahomes is 1-3 SU and ATS in four career starts against Cincinnati. He beat the Bengals 45-10 in Week 7 of the 2018 campaign. Mahomes wound up passing for 358 yards and four TDs in that game. Andy Dalton was the opposing starting QB for the Bengals that day.

49ers Are Strong Rebounders

This will be the fifth time in franchise history that San Francisco is coming right back to the NFC Championship Game after a loss in the previous season’s conference final. In this scenario, they are 3-1 SU all-time in the second game.

In the first NFC title game in 1970, Dallas beat the 49ers 17-10. A rematch the following season again saw the Cowboys come away 14-3 winners.

In 1983, Washington beat San Francisco. The next year, the Niners blanked Chicago 23-0. The 1993 and ’94 seasons once more saw consecutive 49ers-Cowboys clashes. Dallas won the first game and San Francisco the second. Finally, the New York Giants beat the Niners in 2011. San Francisco won over Atlanta in 2012.

Interestingly, in 2012, like this season, the 49ers are back in the NFC title game with a different starting QB. Purdy is replacing the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, last year’s starter against the Rams. In 2012, Colin Kaepernick replaced Alex Smith.

Reid Is Conference Championship’s Biggest Loser

Kansas City head coach Andy Reid will be coaching in his fifth straight AFC title game and the 10th NFL Conference Championship game of his career.

He’s 2-2 SU in the AFC Championship Game with the Chiefs. Reid was 1-4 in the NFC Championship Game at the helm of the Eagles. His six losses are the most of any head coach in NFL Conference Championship Games. Tom Landry lost five of them, while New England’s Bill Belichick is sitting on four losses.

Feels Like the First Time

Both Purdy and Philadelphia’s Hurts will be starting their first NFC Championship Game. Over the years, 93 different QBs have started in an initial NFL Conference Championship appearance. It’s the 21st time that both starting QBs in an NFL Conference Championship Game were first-timers.

The previous occasion? That was during the 2019 season when Nick Foles and the Eagles won at home against Case Keenum and the Minnesota Vikings. Overall, when both QBs are in their first conference title game, home teams hold an 11-9 SU edge.

All-time, first-time QBs starting at home are 21-18 SU. When a QB makes his debut on the road in an NFL Conference Championship Game, they are a dismal 16-38 SU.

All of these numbers are certainly trending in favor of the Eagles. However, the last two 49ers QBs starting their first conference title games are 2-0 – Garoppolo in 2019 and Kaepernick in 2012.

Overall, Eagles QBs are 1-1 SU in this situation, and 49ers QBs are 3-3 SU.

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