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Mahomes’ injury and its impact on the lines

KANSAS CITY, MO – JANUARY 12: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs points to the sidelines … [+] in celebration after a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first quarter of the AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Two Conference Championships matchups are scheduled for Sunday afternoon, with winners redeeming their tickets to this year’s Super Bowl.

As the betting odds reflect, no team has emerged as the clear favorite to take home the Lombardi Trophy, with all four contenders sitting between +225 and +325. Preseason favorites, the Buffalo Bills, were knocked out of contention last weekend and concerns about a severe ankle sprain from KC’s Patrick Mahomes have left bettors trying to isolate a roster with a distinct advantage over the other remaining teams has created further confusion.

Super Bowl LVII odds above BetOnline.AG

  • Philadelphia Eagles +225
  • Kansas City Chiefs +260
  • Cincinnati Bengal +280
  • San Francisco 49ers +325

Both point spreads are below 2.5 points, with sportsbooks pointing to two hard-fought matchups. NFL odds favor the Eagles at -2.5 over the 49ers, with the Chiefs currently available at -1.5 over the Bengals after being listed as dogs earlier in the week.

“The Bengals at Chiefs matchup was a tedious task for us to book,” shared BetOnline’s Adam Burns. “We opened KC as a favorite only to quickly move it to Cincy. Now it’s gone back to Chiefs.”

“Even so, we need the Chiefs a lot, both in this game and in the futures markets, as they’re our best Super Bowl result by far.”

This line move is largely in response to Mahomes’ injury status. High ankle sprains typically take weeks to fully heal, but the Chiefs reported Mahomes attended team walkthroughs and practiced on Wednesday.

The odds, of course, responded.

“The other duel surprised me, even shocked me, at how much money the Eagles are getting at -2.5,” Burns added. “I could even see it ending on a field goal by kickoff. It looks like both the public and snipers agree that Purdy’s run is over.”

Philadelphia and San Francisco finished 1st and 2nd in the conference, but bettors make it clear they see the Eagles as the superior team. After opening at -1.5, early action has pushed it to -2.5, and as Burns said, it could go even higher.

Home field advantage could be a factor as the Eagles have excelled at home this season, averaging +10.4 wins on home soil. The Eagles also boast one of the best offenses in the league when it comes to early goals, ranking second in the league per game in the first half and first quarter in EPA (the Chiefs finish first in both categories) .

Lined up across the field, the 49ers hope the Brock Purdy fairy tale continues. As the line movement suggests, bettors believe the narrative again as the stage may be too big for the reinforcement to be successful in this situation.

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