NFC Conference Championship - Early Look

SF @ PHI -2.5

  • Injuries: No significant injuries.

  • Money: PHI getting most of the money. Reports vary from 60% to 90% of the money. Plus the line moved from 2.5 for a reason.

  • QB Rating: Slight edge Hurts. Purdy only has 7 games, has about the same TD/INT rate, same QBR rating, but significantly less rushing yards. Hurts will need to rely on the passing game here more than last game. SF run defense is good. Rookie QB keeps winning but will this be the game he breaks or is he a true stud?

  • Offensive Line: Slight edge SF. Overall rank 6th vs 4th. Protecting the QB: adjusted sack rate (asr) for PHI vs SF was 7.7% and 6.3%. SF is slightly better at protecting the QB allowing 31 sacks ranked 10th vs 44 for PHI ranked 20th. 

PHI better opening for short and 2nd field runs ranking about 7th in the league vs SF’s 26th. Open field yards is a different story. SF 4th in the league with its deadly catch and run offense while PHI ranks 19th.

  • Defensive Line: Slight edge PHI. PHI’s defensive line's main strength by far is its pass rush.  As I said last week, PHI is an outlier with 11.2% asr. Their weakness is the short and middle runs but does ok (rank 10th) against open field yards. SF on the other hand, has an average short run d-line, but ranked 1st at 2nd level and open field yards. Their 7.0% asr is average for the league.

    Two scenarios: PHI d-line breaks Purdy with so much rush leading to mistakes. PHI scores enough to cover OR SF d-line stops the run, forcing incomplete passes and the game is low scoring, at the same time Purdy and his short passes hit the target.

  • Offense: Even. Both are top 5 offenses with a slight edge in pass DVOA to SF, but PHI ranks 1st running the ball and SF 13th. 

  • Defense: Slight edge SF. Here’s the matchups for these two top defenses. PHI’s below average run defense is against SF’s #13 running offense. Unfortunately, SF’s top 3 pass offense is facing the #1 passing defense (up 4% points from 2nd place) in the league. PHI’s top rush offense is facing the #1 rush defense (also up 4% points from 2nd place). Last week (red flag) they played one of the worst run offenses in the league (recency bias). PHI’s passing also faces a steep battle in SF’s #5 passing D (half the points of PHI). It’s also worth noting that the below average run D for PHI is facing a team that doesn’t throw long passes.

  • ATS: PHI is 9-9 ATS not covering their previous 5, until last week. SF is at 13-6 ATS and 9-1 in their last 10.

  • Trends: During playoffs since 2000, home team favorites by 2.5 or 3, have gone 12-21 (36%) ATS. Home teams favorites by more than 7 but less than 10 covered 8-9 this season and 50% so no trend during regular season. 

  • Matchups: The last time these two teams played each other was week 2 of last year. Eagles at home favorite by 3 under Jalen Hurts lost 11-17.


To bet on the Eagles, you believe their pass rush is so good that it will disrupt the rookie. SF will try running the ball and it won’t work. When needed to pass, SF’s o-line can’t hold them up. The offense is good enough against this SF defense to score more given the mistakes.  

If you’re betting SF, you’re buying into a great offensive line that could tame the Eagles rush. Purdy continues strong, no mistakes, short passes, and moves the chains. The SF defense contains the run and forces Hurts to pass. Run game doesn’t work and the Eagles are toast.