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NFC championship game props: Four best bets for 49ers vs. Eagles in Philadelphia

Bet on Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown to take advantage of average San Francisco secondary

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts throws a pass during a game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2 of last season. Hurts is projected to pass for less than 250 yards in Sunday's NFC Championship Game versus the Niners. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts throws a pass during a game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2 of last season. Hurts is projected to pass for less than 250 yards in Sunday's NFC Championship Game versus the Niners. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)Read moreMitchell Leff / Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles haven’t needed quarterback Jalen Hurts to do much with his arm in the two games he’s played since returning from a shoulder injury.

That figures to change in Sunday’s NFC championship game, though. The reason: Philadelphia is facing the San Francisco 49ers, who field the NFL’s second-stingiest rushing defense.

How stingy? Only two of the teams San Francisco has faced during its current 12-game winning streak have rushed for 80-plus yards. To be clear: That’s teams; not players.

So if the Eagles are to continue their dream season and reach their fourth Super Bowl, Hurts probably will need to shoulder the load (pun fully intended). Put us in the group that believes Hurts will be up to the task, as one of our four NFC championship game props predictions calls for Phladelphia’s most important player to have a big passing day.

Odds updated as of 3 p.m. on Jan. 27.

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49ers vs. Eagles prop: Jalen Hurts total passing yards

  1. Odds: 247.5 yards, Over -114/Under -114 (at FanDuel)

  2. Prediction: Over

After sitting out two games while rehabbing a sprained throwing shoulder, Hurts returned to action in a must-win Week 18 finale against the New York Giants and was decent. He completed 20 of 35 passes for 229 yards as the Eagles built a 17-0 lead and won 22-16.

Then, following a first-round playoff bye, Hurts again faced the Giants. He quickly threw two touchdown passes, led Philadelphia to a 28-0 halftime lead and finished with just 154 yards on 16-for-24 passing.

That means Hurts has now thrown for fewer than 230 yards in six of his last eight games dating back to the team’s first loss on Nov. 14 (Week 10).

One of the outliers was against the Bears — Hurts passed for 315 yards in the game in which he injured his shoulder. But his other big passing effort in the last 2½ months is the one to focus on.

On Dec. 4, Hurts went 29-for-39 for a career-best 380 yards (and four TDs) in a 35-10 bludgeoning of the Tennessee Titans.

Why does that matter? Because only one team gave up fewer rushing yards this season than San Francisco. That team: Tennessee.

Eagles coach Nick Sirianni recognized his best path to victory that day was to let Hurts air it out. And Hurts came through big time.

Of course, the Titans had the league’s worst pass defense. The 49ers aren’t nearly that bad. But in terms of passing yards allowed, they ranked below league average (20th).

Admittedly, San Francisco’s secondary kept Dak Prescott in check last week (23-for-37 for 206 yards). But no sane person believes Prescott is a better quarterback than Hurts. Nor does any sane person believe that Jarrett Stidham or Tua Tagovailoa (Hurts’ former Alabama teammate) are better. Yet late in the season, Stidham shredded the 49ers for 365 yards, and Tagovailoa had 295.

Hurts might not reach those numbers. But he should clear this FanDuel prop — especially because the Niners are not going to let Hurts beat them with his legs.

» READ MORE: Eagles-49ers game preview, prediction: Bet on dominant defense and take the under

49ers vs. Eagles prop: A.J. Brown total receiving yards

  1. Odds: 70.5 yards, Over -120/Under -110 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

Time to play NFL prop correlation!

If Hurts indeed puts up fat passing numbers Sunday, one of his wide receivers likely will have a big game, too. And our money is on Brown, who surely will be much more involved in the offense than he was last week against the Giants.

Brown had just 22 yards on three receptions (six targets) as his teammates ran all over New York, piling up 268 rushing yards.

Brown’s meager outing was in sharp contrast to how he finished the season. Over the final six games, Philly’s No. 1 wideout put up 119, 70, 181, 103, 97 and 95 yards.

And Brown didn’t even have Hurts throwing to him in two of those contests.

Another reason to love this prop: San Francisco has been vulnerable to No. 1 wideouts, especially in recent weeks.

Check out these numbers from the last four games: Las Vegas’ Davante Adams had 153 receiving yards; Arizona’s A.J. Green had 91 (with David Blough throwing to him); Seattle’s DK Metcalf had 136; and Dallas’ CeeDee Lamb had 117.

Miami’s Tyreek Hill (146 yards); Arizona’s Greg Dortch (103) and DeAndre Hopkins (91); and Kansas City’s JuJu Smith-Schuster (124), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (111) and Travis Kelce (98) also had monster games against San Francisco.

Even Brown has history torching the 49ers. Last year, while with Tennessee, he had 11 catches for 145 yards in a 20-17 home win. And his QB was Ryan Tannehill.

Bottom line: If we win the Hurts passing yards prop, it’s a near certainty we’ll hit this one, too.

» READ MORE: NFL conference championship betting trends: Tracking 52 years of history

49ers vs. Eagles prop: Brock Purdy total passing attempts

  1. Odds: 31.5 attempts, Over -131/Under -104 (at Caesars Sportsbook)

  2. Prediction: Under

The 49ers are not winning the NFC championship if Brock Purdy is chucking the pigskin all over the field.

You know it, we know it and the entire NFL world knows it — which means San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan knows it, too.

Philadelphia had the top-rated pass defense all season long. And just in case anyone doubted that, the Eagles went out and completely mauled Giants quarterback Daniel Jones in last week’s NFC Divisional Playoff game.

Six days after torching a bad Vikings’ secondary for 301 passing yards in his playoff debut, Jones went 15-for-27 for 135 yards against the Eagles. Which really wasn’t all that surprising, considering Jones went 18-for-27 for 169 yards in a blowout home loss to Philly six weeks earlier.

In fact, the Eagles have allowed more than 185 passing yards just three times since Week 3.

So as good as Purdy has been the last two months — and he’s been better than good — Shanahan understands his quarterback is still a raw, inexperienced seventh-round rookie.

Likewise, he understands the environment — and immense pressure — that his raw, inexperienced seventh-round rookie will face Sunday inside Lincoln Financial Field. It’s not something you can simulate in practice.

So count on Purdy doing a lot of handing off to running backs Christian McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell, with some jet sweeps to the dynamic Deebo Samuel mixed in.

After all, the Eagles’ defensive weakness is the opposite of San Francisco’s defensive strength: Philly struggles to stop the run.

Since going 25-for-37 in relief of Jimmy Garoppolo in Week 13, Purdy has attempted 21, 26, 22, 35, 20, 30 and 29 passes. The one exception was the Niners’ 37-34 overtime shootout against the Raiders.

There’s very little chance this game turns into a shootout.

» READ MORE: 3 big unknowns that will decide an Eagles-49ers tossup NFC championship game

49ers vs. Eagles prop: Robbie Gould total made field goals

  1. Odds: 1.5 field goals, Over -120/Under -110 (at BetMGM)

  2. Prediction: Over

On Dec. 6, Robbie Gould became the fourth active NFL player whose age begins with the number four. Forget what his birth certificate says, though, because Gould is kicking the football better than guys half his age.

The 18-year veteran has been particularly prolific — and insanely accurate — since the week before his team’s 12-game winning streak began.

Going back to a Week 7 loss to the Chiefs, Gould has made 29 of 31 field goal attempts. During this 13-game span, Gould has made multiple field goals a whopping eight times.

He went 4-for-4 in each of the 49ers’ first two playoff games against Dallas and Seattle, and drilled all four tries against Miami in Week 13. Gould also was 3-for-3 against the Chiefs, Chargers and Commanders; 3-for-4 against the Raiders; and 2-for-2 against the Saints.

No, Gould hasn’t kicked in cold weather this season. But he did in his first 11 seasons in Chicago. Plus, the forecast for Saturday calls for mild temperatures and little wind.

And for what it’s worth, Gould has solid career numbers in six games at Lincoln Financial Field, going 14-for-16.

Projected game flow also played a part in this prop prediction. We expect both defenses to dominate this game, with more than a few drives stalling short of the end zone.

If that prediction holds up, Gould should get at least two field-goal attempts for the seventh time in his last 10 games.

With the way he’s rolling right now, he should have no problem knocking at least two through the uprights — also for the seventh time in the last 10 games.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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