Super Bowl LVII is just around the corner as the NFL playoffs begin this weekend, with six wild-card round matchups on the road in Glendale, Ariz.
Which two teams will end up playing on February 12th in the big game on FOX? We asked our NFL and betting experts for their picks:
Warren Sharp: 49ers finished Heads
Over the summer, I bet the Eagles at 25-1 to have the best record in the NFL. While I’m still very invested in the Eagles coming out of the NFC and could easily stick with this pick, I have to admit I didn’t like hearing how QB Jalen Hurts was still in substantial pain during his game in Week 18 after several weeks off. rest. Nick Sirianni said it would be very beneficial for him to rest this coming week. My guess is that playing back-to-back weeks in the divisional round and then the conference championship round won’t be easy. Then there’s the Lane Johnson injury. So, I’m going to share what I’m doing personally, and that’s covering some with 49ers prospects.
In the AFC, I’m rolling with the Chiefs. I picked the Ravens to make the playoffs in the summer (and won) and made them a bit long to make the Super Bowl. But Lamar Jackson is injured, and this team only goes so far. So I bring the heads. Mainly because having the bye is huge, but partly because I think their matchup against the Chargers/Jaguars will be much easier than the likely Bills matchup with the Bengals, and partly because I’m worried about the state of the defense Bills and the lack of quality competition they have faced offensively. All in all, I like the 49ers to win.
Geoff Schwartz: invoices about Eagles
I’m sticking with my Bills preseason pick, but I’m a firm believer that if not the Bills, it’s the Bengals. The Bengals are playing a very complete type of football, with all three phases playing well. They are not wrong. They don’t turn it around. They don’t have broken coverages on defense. There are huge advantages to being a team that doesn’t screw it up.
Jason McIntyre: 49ers over Chiefs
Uncertainty reigns in the NFC, where I want to pick the 49ers or the Eagles, but both have massive questions (Brock Purdy and injuries, respectively). Everyone is hanging on to the fact that a rookie QB has never won a Super Bowl, but remember that Jimmy Garoppolo is slated to return for the NFC title game, possibly.
The AFC is a three horse race between the Chiefs, Bills and Bengals. Can a team like the Chargers sneak in?
Give me the 49ers vs. the Chiefs in the most obvious Super Bowl rematch, with the 49ers avenging their 2021 Super Bowl loss. But if you’re looking for a spicy matchup (the last two years, the wild-card teams came in the Super Bowl), let’s go with the Cowboys losing to the Bills.
Could the 49ers and Chiefs meet in the Super Bowl? (Getty Images)
David Helman: Heads on Eagles
I’ll be honest, it’s not a rational choice. There are at least three teams that have better squads, if not four. It’s just a testament to how absurd Patrick Mahomes is playing this year, and I don’t know how many teams can shut him down; remember he’s already embarrassed San Francisco this year. As long as his supporting cast can stay relatively healthy through the playoffs, I think Mahomes is that good.
Carmen Vitali: Finished invoices vikings
A lot of horrible and tragic things have happened to this Buffalo team over the course of the season. A teammate lost a brother, there were multiple record-breaking storms, and then the NFL world stopped with Damar Hamlin. And while those things are much bigger than the game itself, I think Buffalo has at least one positive, and getting to the Super Bowl would finally help.
Henry McKenna: Finished invoices ships
Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes are on a similar elite quarterback game plan. It’s 1a and 1b, with the #1 type changing every week. What the Bills have that the Chiefs don’t: an elite defense. Buffalo’s front seven is a beast. They will take on Mahomes (and any other QB) like the Bills did earlier this season when they beat Kansas City.
Patrick Everson: Invoices older than 49 years
Let me first preface this pick with the following: After getting it wrong like I did with my preseason pick for FOX Sports, you might want to do what is considered the opposite of my game. Before Week 1, I picked the Colts to face the Packers in the Super Bowl, with the Colts winning. Neither team made the postseason.
But I digress. Now that we are 14 teams, I will give it another chance. And I’m taking both No. 2 seeds: Bills vs. 49ers, with the Bills hoisting the trophy. It’s not exactly a stretch, but I don’t think the two No. 1s, Kansas City and Philadelphia, will make it to the desert. The Bills have won seven in a row, while the Niners are on a 10-game winning streak.
Buffalo beat Kansas City on the Chiefs’ home field in Week 6. We know the Bills have a dynamic offense, but their defense is also top-notch, ranking second in the league in points allowed (17.9 PPG ). San Francisco hasn’t lost since a 44-23 Week 7 loss at home to Kansas City. But that was right after the 49ers acquired Christian McCaffrey before he could fully integrate into the offense. Since then, whether Jimmy Garoppolo or rookie Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy under center, the Niners have been a machine. Seven of those 10 hitting streaks were by double digits.
And the 49ers defense is No. 1 in the league in points allowed, at just 16.3 PPG. That said, I think there will be some scoring in a Bills-49ers Super Bowl.
Ralph Vacchiano: bengals about Eagles
The Eagles’ late-season slump and Jalen Hurts’ shoulder injury should worry everyone. They’re lucky they’re in the NFC, because in the AFC they might not survive their first game. However, they are still the class of their conference, but when they get to the Super Bowl they will meet a juggernaut, it’s just a matter of which one. The Bengals enter the playoffs on an eight-game winning streak, and Joe Burrow has been as good as any quarterback in the NFL since his four-interception opener. He almost won a championship for the Bengals last year. Now thoroughly battle-tested, he’s ready to finish the job.
Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow have their sights set on the Super Bowl (Getty Images)
Greg Auman: Invoices older than 49 years
The Bills haven’t dominated the turnovers and don’t have as stable a traditional running game as the other top contenders. San Francisco is probably the closest in terms of being top tier on both sides of the ball: Can Stefon Diggs make more plays down the field to take Josh Allen to another level in a championship game?
Sam Panaiotovich: Bengals over 49 years old
It’s time to break out of the box. Most people will pick either Buffalo or Kansas City to represent the AFC, which certainly makes sense. But I refuse to discount a Cincinnati team that has won eight straight and has its own generational quarterback. Joe Burrow’s game rises to a different level on the biggest stages, and I think the Bengals are a very interesting Super Bowl bet at 15-2. Meanwhile, San Francisco and Philadelphia are my two highest-rated teams in the NFC, but I like the Niners’ defensive line and offensive versatility a bit more.
Ben Arthur: Bengals over 49 years old
We all know how potent the Bengals’ offense can be, with a superstar quarterback in Joe Burrow and the best passing trio in the NFL: Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. But Cincinnati’s revamped offensive line has steadily improved throughout 2022. The defense is also playing at a high level, with 11 carries in the last five games. Riding an eight-game winning streak, the Bengals are also the hottest team in the AFC. Everything is shaping up for Cincinnati, already experienced and motivated from last season’s Super Bowl run, to do what they failed to do last season: take home the Lombardi Trophy.
Eric Williams: 49ers over Chiefs
The 49ers have a dominant defense, an innovative offensive coach in Kyle Shanahan who likes to run the football, and one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. Also, San Francisco is mostly healthy entering the postseason, with rookie quarterback Brock Purdy playing at a high level. Yes, Kansas City swept the 49ers earlier this year at Levi’s Stadium, but I think San Francisco is the most complete team in this year’s postseason tournament.
FOX Sports Top Stories:
Get more from the National Football League Follow your favorites for information on games, news and more