It's not easy to pick a winner in this year's NFL Championship, and for those struggling to choose between the Eagles and the Chiefs, Chris Rivers has taken a look at some alternative betting options by delving into the player and team prop markets.
Jalen Hurts under 241.5 passing yards - 10/11
Travis Kelce anytime touchdown scorer - 20/21
Kenneth Gainwell over 36.5 rushing and receiving yards - 5/6
Haason Reddick over 3.5 tackles and assists - 23/20
A team to attempt a two-point conversion - 6/5
|What||Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles|
|Where||State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona|
|When||23.30, Sunday 12th February, 2023|
|How to watch||bet365 Live Streaming, ITV1 and Sky Sports NFL|
|Odds||Chiefs 23/20, Eagles 20/27|
One of the main storylines coming into the NFL Championship is the health of the two starting quarterbacks.
Kansas City Chiefs signal caller Patrick Mahomes is nursing an ankle sprain, while Eagles QB Jalen Hurts is still troubled by the effects of a shoulder injury sustained in the regular season.
Hurts missed two weeks with the injury to his throwing shoulder and hasn’t looked right since his return in Week 18, overthrowing receivers on multiple occasions in both of Philadelphia’s playoff wins.
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Hurts hasn’t thrown for more than 229 yards in his three starts since the injury, posting below 160 yards in both of his playoff starts.
The 24-year-old has admitted this week that he’s still “dealing” with the problem and now goes up against a Chiefs secondary that’s performed well during Kansas City’s postseason success.
The Chiefs held Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence - a more accurate passer of the ball than Hurts - to 217 passing yards and in a game where the Eagles can hurt the Chiefs with their rushing attack, Hurts may have a hard time reaching his passing yards mark.
One player who has seemingly been immune from the drop off in Hurts’ production is running-back Kenneth Gainwell. The 23-year-old is enjoying a strong playoff run, putting up 195 yards from scrimmage across two games and averaging 6.2 yards per carry when rushing.
Philly seem happy to ride the hot hand in Gainwell, who has jumped above Miles Sanders and Boston Scott, earning more snaps than the pair during the playoffs. And yet, Sanders’ rushing and receiving yards line is 30 yards higher than Gainwell’s, who is clearly the value play in this market.
The Chiefs have had issues against passing-catching running-backs this season, ranking 28th overall in DVOA, and as the Eagles’ leading pass-catcher in the backfield, Gainwell has a favourable matchup for the NFL Championship.
The NFL Championship is a family affair with Chiefs tight-end Travis Kelce facing off against his brother, Eagles offensive lineman Jason, and it's the former who appeals when it comes to deciding who will claim the bragging rights on a personal level in the Kelce household.
Travis has turned it on for Kansas City in the playoffs throughout his career and now ranks second overall in NFL postseason history for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.
Kelce has scored 15 TDs in 17 playoff games and, with a few injury doubts over the Chiefs’ wide receivers, Kansas City will be more reliant than usual on the four-time All-Pro.
Kelce’s history of delivering on the big occasion means he should have a big say when facing an Eagles’ defence that graded out as middle of the pack against tight-ends this season.
The Eagles defence has earned plenty of plaudits for its role in Philadelphia’s run to the NFL Championship, the unit combining to break the record for sacks in a season having reached 78 during the playoffs.
Haason Reddick can lay claim to 16 of those sacks, a career-high for the former Arizona Cardinals linebacker, who is enjoying a stellar season in Philly.
Reddick is ranked third for total tackles (tackles and assists combined) with eight during the playoffs for the Eagles and has generally been a menace to offensive lines over the course of the year.
He has had over three total tackles in a game nine times this season and appeals at odds-against to surpass that number once more based on how effective he’s been in the playoffs.
The Chiefs and Eagles have proven they are no shrinking violets in the pursuit of victory and, with analytics increasingly on the side of teams going for a two-point conversion after a touchdown, we can expect to see at least one of these teams take a chance after a score.
For those unsure what a two-point conversion is, teams have the option to go for an extra point after a touchdown, which involves the kicker trying to split the posts from the 15-yard line, or run another play to get in the endzone again and score two points.
With everything on the line in the NFL Championship, we’ve seen teams increasingly take the two-point option. Of the last 13 NFL Championships, eight have featured a two-point conversion attempt.
Given the Eagles and Chiefs’ aggressive coaching staffs, it stands to reason that at least one will try to nab those two extra points.