Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: NFC Championship - 49ers vs. Eagles (1/29/2023) - Taking Vegas



Free Pick Breakdown, Odds & Prediction: NFC Championship – 49ers vs. Eagles (1/29/2023)

By TakingVegas Staff Writer
January 26, 2023

San Francisco 49ers vs Philadelphia Eagles (1/29 @ 3:00 PM EST)

Spread: Eagles -2.5
Money Line: 49ers +124 / Eagles -140
Total: 46.5

Overview and Betting Info

The San Francisco 49ers (13-4) will head to Philadelphia this weekend to take on the Eagles (14-3) in this year’s NFC Championship Game. These two teams did not meet this season, with the Niners winning 17-11 when they met last year. The Niners were 5-3 on the road this season, while the Eagles were 7-2 at home.

The Niners are 13-6 against the spread this season and have covered nine of their last ten
games. They’ve gone over the total ten times, including in six of their last eight.
The Eagles are 9-9 versus the spread and have covered just one of their last five games. They
have gone over the total ten times but have been under in four of their last five.

San Francisco 49ers

The Niners come into Sunday winners of their last twelve games and narrowly survived a
Cowboys scare last week. Their offense averaged 365.6 yards (5th in NFL) and 26.5 points (6th
in NFL) during the regular season. Brock Purdy leads the offense, throwing for 1,374 yards and
13 touchdowns in nine games during the regular season. While he was held scoreless last week, the rookie has 546 yards and four combined touchdowns in their two playoff games. His ability to avoid turnovers (0 in playoffs) has been most impressive. Purdy benefits from a great
offensive line that’s only allowed three sacks in the playoffs so far. Sunday will mark his first
career road playoff game.

The Niners are loaded with talented pass catchers, led by tight end George Kittle (765 yards, 11
TD). After being contained by Seattle in the first round, Kittle went off for 95 yards on five
catches last week. Kittle is joined by a talented duo of receivers in Brandon Aiyuk (1,105 yards,
8 TD) and Deebo Samuel (632 yards, 2 TD). Aiyuk is their top possession receiver and led the
team in yards after a career season, but he has just 99 yards between their two playoff wins.
Samuel is their playmaker and is also a threat in the backfield. He was quieter last week but
torched Seattle for a combined 165 yards and one touchdown the week before.

The San Francisco backfield is led by Christian McCaffery, who rushed for 1,139 yards to go with 741 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns. After torching the Seahawks for 136 yards and a touchdown, he managed just 57 yards and a touchdown against Dallas. He had some additional support with the return of Elijah Mitchell. The back played in just five games this season but seemed back in form last week as he out carried McCaffery and rushed for 51 yards. Mitchell was expected to be their top back coming into the season after a solid rookie campaign, but injuries led the Niners to add McCaffery. With both backs now healthy, San Francisco’s backfield becomes one of the league’s best.

The Niners’ defense was the best in the league this season, allowing 300.6 yards and 16.3 points per game. This unit is why the Niners find themselves in the NFC Championship game, holding the Cowboys to 12 points last week while forcing four turnovers, four sacks, eight TFLs, and a 61% success rate on third down. Up front, they are led by two of the best defenders in the league, Nick Bosa (18.5 sacks, 19 TFLs) and Fred Warner (130 tackles, 2 sacks, 10 PD). Bosa was top three in sacks and TFLs this season and is considered one of the top pass rushers in the NFL.

While he doesn’t have a sack this postseason, he has two TFLs. Warner is an invaluable part of
this offense with his ability to cover opposing receivers. The Niners secondary is led by safeties
Tashaun Gipson Sr (5 INT, 8 PD, 3 sacks) and Talanoa Hufanga (4 INT, 9 PD, 1 TD), both of whom have played well in the postseason.

Philadelphia Eagles

The top-seeded Eagles sputtered at the end of the year thanks to an injury to quarterback Jalen
Hurts, leading them to lose two of their final three games. Questions swirled around Hurts’
health coming into the postseason, but he put that to bed with a 38-7 stomping of the Giants.
Their offense was third in the league during the regular season, with 389.1 yards and 28.1
points per game. They are led by the Hurts, who had an MVP-level season with 3,701 passing
yards, 760 rush yards, and a combined 33 touchdowns. His shoulder injury appeared to be
behind him last week as he went for 154 yards through the air with two touchdowns and 34
yards and a touchdown on the ground. It was a big step forward for the quarterback, as he was
awful against this same Giants team in Week 18. Hurts scorched the Niners on the ground last
year for 82 yards and a touchdown in their line game.

Hurts has benefited from one of the best-receiving duos in the NFC with AJ Brown (1,496 yards, 11 TD) and Devonta Smith (1,196 yards, 7 TD). Brown has been an incredible playmaker,
averaging 17 yards per catch. He was quiet against the Giants last week, but that was primarily
due to the dominance of the team’s run game. Smith was incredible to end the regular season
with 421 yards and two touchdowns over the last four games. He played well last week with 61
yards and a touchdown. The Eagles also have a talented tight end in Dallas Goedert (702 yards,
3 TD), who caught all five of his targets for 58 yards and a touchdown last week.

The Philadelphia backfield was fifth in the NFL, averaging 147.6 yards per game. The unit is led
by Miles Sanders (1,269 yards, 11 TD), who is in the midst of a career year. After rushing for just
754 yards and zero touchdowns last season, he is now one of the top backs in the conference,
thanks to averaging 4.9 yards per carry. He was great again last week with 90 yards (5.3 YPC)
but was outgained by fellow back Kenneth Gainwell (240 yards, 4 TD), who went for 112 yards
and a touchdown with a ridiculous 9.3 YPC. The two backs are also joined by Boston Scott (217 yards, 3 TD), who went for 32 yards and a touchdown (5.3 YPC) against the Giants. The
combination of these three backs with Hurts led them to rush for 268 yards and an easy win last

The Eagles’ defense has been second to only the Niners, allowing 301.5 yards and 20.2 points
per game. They are led by a pass rush that leads the league in sacks, with 15 more than the
second-place Chiefs. The unit includes Haason Reddick (16 sacks, 11 TFL, 5 FF), Javon Hargrave
(11 sacks, 10 TFL), Brandon Graham (11 sacks, 11 TFL), Josh Sweat (11 sacks, 15 TFL), and
Fletcher Cox (7 sacks, 7 TFL). The unit registered five sacks against the Giants last week. The
Eagles also have an incredible linebacker in TJ Edwards (159 tackles, 2 sacks, 10 TFL, 7 PD), who
leads them in tackles. As good as the unit is, their secondary has been better and leads the
league in allowing 179.8 yards per game. They are led by NFL interception leader CJ Gardner-
Johnson (6 INT, 8 PD, 68 tackles), James Bradberry (3 INT, 17 PD), and Darius Slay (14 PD, 3 INT). All had at least one pass deflection last week, with Bradberry registering an interception.

Free Pick: Eagles -2.5

Brock Purdy held up great against the Cowboys last week, but that will not carry over to
Sunday. The Cowboys’ defense is excellent, but now he must face the league’s best pass rush
and secondary in one of the most challenging places to play. That is a tough test for any
quarterback in the league, much less a rookie. McCaffery will play a key role, but the Eagles’
defense efficiently handled a Giants’ rush attack that was fourth in the NFL. They should be able to contain Mitchell and McCaffery enough to force Purdy to make plays with his arm, and that is when the Eagles will pull away.

As good as the Niners are, we saw them falter against a Dallas defense and barely escape with a win at home, thanks primarily to mistakes by Prescott. The Niners also benefited from Tony
Pollard being injured early in that game, forcing the Cowboys to turn to Ezekiel Elliot. The
Cowboys would end the day with just 76 rushing yards, leading to a narrow win for San
Francisco. Now, they’ll need to find a way to contain a healthy and elite Eagles backfield.

We’re giving up the points to fly with the Eagles this weekend.