2023 NFL Conference Championship Games: Expert Prop Picks
2023 NFL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES: EXPERT PROP PICKS – The NFL conference championship games are here and they offer some serious value in the land of prop picks.
All four teams are evenly matched and each game should be close. These teams have a ton of talent and all of them execute their game plan well, but each team also has a weakness. Each coach will try to exploit their opponent’s weakness and that’s where we hone in on the game script in order to grab some value in the prop game.
Let’s get to the props.
(2) San Francisco 49ers at (1) Philadelphia Eagles
3:00 pm EST on FOX
Brock Purdy UNDER 31.5 Pass Attempts (-120)
One of the defining qualities in Brock Purdy’s young career has been his coach: Kyle Shanahan. Shanahan has been able to get some unbelievable production from some unsuspecting quarterbacks. Purdy is no different.
No rookie quarterback has ever made it to the Super Bowl. If the 49ers want to advance, they are going to have to limit Purdy’s throws and rely on their playmakers in the backfield. Expect pre-snap motion, creative run schemes, and quick handoffs to Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel.
In six games during the regular season, Purdy attempted over 30 pass attempts just twice. In his first game against the Miami Dolphins, Purdy threw the ball 37 times. In the shootout win against the Raiders, Purdy throw it 35 times. The rest? Purdy didn’t attempt anywhere near 31 attempts.
Surprised to see the line at 31.5? Well, Purdy went 19 for 29 against the Cowboys last Sunday in the divisional round. The Cowboys’ defensive line is much better than the Eagles and the 49ers struggled to establish the run. That won’t be much of an issue this week, since the Eagles rank 21st in DVOA against the run.
McCaffrey should be able to move the ball on this Eagles defense, negating the need for Purdy to throw the ball. The 49ers defense will keep the game close enough and Shanahan will attempt to protect Purdy by limiting his throws.
DeVonta Smith Anytime TD Scorer (+190)
Touchdowns may be at a premium here, which is why the juice on Smith’s anytime touchdown prop is almost 2:1. While A.J. Brown nurses a lower body injury, we may see his targets decrease.
Smith pulled down 6 catches on 10 targets and 1 touchdown against the Giants last Sunday. He had 136 targets and 7 touchdowns during the regular season. Smith sees plenty of targets in the red zone as well. He came down with 8 receptions on 13 targets in the red zone. Inside the 10-yard line, he caught 3 passes on 3 targets.
The 49ers have a formidable pass defense. They should be able to lock up the Eagles’ receiving core, but, at some point, a team has to get in the end zone.
With Brown’s injury, I think Smith will be targeted heavily in the red zone. The plus money here makes for a fun wager in Smith can make a play.
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(3) Cincinnati Bengals at (1) Kansas City Chiefs
6:30 pm EST on CBS
Ja’Marr Chase Anytime TD (+100)
We hit Ja’Marr Chase’s anytime touchdown prop last week early in the game against the Bills. Chase now has 11 touchdowns on the year, including two in this postseason. Chase is one of the most dynamic receivers still left in the playoffs and Joe Burrow will have to target him if the Bengals want to keep up with the Chiefs’ high-powered offense.
Kansas City is currently ranked 20th in DVOA against the pass. They do have a formidable pass rush, which can cause disruptions for teams trying to get in the end zone. But the secondary leaves much to be desired and I expect a lot of the Bengals to eat in this game.
The odds aren’t great for an anytime touchdown prop, but sometimes we need to recognize a good wager when we see one. Look for Chase to score in this game. If you’re feeling frisky, you can take Chase to score the first touchdown at +850.
Isiah Pacheco OVER 47.5 Rushing Yards (-140)
The Chiefs may seem like a team that relies on the pass, but their offense is much more balanced than that. With Mahomes’ high ankle sprain, look for Pacheco to have opportunities in the run game.
Pacheco has 12 carries for 95 yards against the Jaguars last week. This included a drive with Chad Henne at the helm where Andy Reid utilized Pacheco a lot in order to march down the field and grab some points.
The Bengals aren’t clueless against the run. They rank 14th in DVOA against the rush and they held Josh Allen 26 yard on the ground in the snow. Anyone who follows Buffalo knows that the Bills rely on Allen’s legs in games of importance, so the Bengals should be commended for their effort last week.
I still like Pacheco in this spot. If Mahomes is limping at any point in the game or Henne has to come in for a series or two like last week, the Chiefs will rely on Pacheco. Take the over on his rushing yards.