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NFL picks: Chiefs to upset Ravens on Championship Sunday? Will Lions or 49ers earn Super Bowl berth? editors Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Brooke Cersosimo, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr will predict every game of the 2023 NFL season, using the unbeatable combo of football analysis and excessive punctuation. Check out their picks for Championship Sunday below.

Table inside Article
Analyst Record (straight) Record (ATS)
Ali 177-105 (62.8%) 141-129-11 (52.2%)
Brooke 180-102 (63.8%) 139-132-11 (51.3%)
Dan 183-99 (64.9%) 153-118-11 (56.5%)
Gennaro 176-106 (62.4%) 161-110-11 (59.4%)
Tom 178-104 (63.1%) 134-137-11 (49.4%)
Consensus Picks 116-45 (72.0%) 36-21-1 (63.2%)


  1. The lines provided by Caesars Sportsbook are current as of 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 25, unless otherwise noted below.
  2. * -- Pick flipped after publishing.
  3. ** -- Final score prediction changed after publishing.


Kansas City Chiefs
No. 3 seed · 13-6
Baltimore Ravens
No. 1 seed · 14-4
  • WHERE: M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore)
  • WHEN: 3 p.m. ET | CBS, Paramount+, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Chiefs +170 | Ravens -205
  • SPREAD: Ravens -3.5 | O/U: 44.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Chiefs 23-20
Ravens 26-24
Ravens 24-21
Ravens 24-20
Ravens 24-20

Why Brooke is taking the Ravens: Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson for a spot in the Super Bowl. Does it get better than this?! Certainly not after the last five months. The Ravens have steamrolled their way to the conference championship, thanks to a combination of MVP-caliber play from Jackson and a No. 1 scoring defense that has suffocated even the most elite offenses. The Chiefs' road hasn't been quite as smooth, but they're here. And it'd be downright irresponsible to completely count out Patrick Mahomes.

Kansas City's air attack has taken steps forward lately, but it's hard to forget all the issues from the regular season. After all, including the playoffs, Mahomes has suffered the NFL's most dropped passes (32) and inherently leads the league in expected yards on drops (384), per Next Gen Stats. The Chiefs simply can't afford these miscues in the pass game, because while Isiah Pacheco has produced, he's not going to carry the unit -- even if the forecast says it'll rain Sunday. Plus, K.C.'s staring down a Ravens D that has very few weaknesses and is capable of not only stunting drives (SEE: vs. Houston in the Divisional Round) but having a turnover heyday (SEE: at San Francisco on Christmas night).

On the flip side, Lamar has moved the ball with ease via his arm and legs. I love his connection with rookie Zay Flowers, whose rapport with Jackson has only improved throughout the season, and it helps that the quarterback is likely to have Mark Andrews (Jackson's favorite target from 2022) back in action. Building a lead early before riding the league's top-ranked run game could be critical for Baltimore, knowing Kansas City has allowed a mere seven points per game in the second half of contests this season (including playoffs).

This game will be dictated by these two all-world quarterbacks, but the defense that makes the most plays -- and wins the turnover battle -- will have earned a trip to The Strip. Based on what I've seen from Baltimore's D over the last month-plus, I can't not lean the Ravens' way.

Detroit Lions
No. 3 seed · 14-5
San Francisco 49ers
No. 1 seed · 13-5
  • WHERE: Levi's Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.)
  • WHEN: 6:30 p.m. ET | FOX, FOX Deportes, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Lions +270 | 49ers -345
  • SPREAD: 49ers -7.0 | O/U: 51.0
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
49ers 28-24
49ers 28-23
49ers 28-24
49ers 31-27
49ers 27-24

Why Dan is taking the 49ers: Uncertainty about 49ers WR Deebo Samuel looms over the game. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday that his star receiver is "feeling better" since sustaining a shoulder injury in the Divisional Round, but as of this writing, it's not clear he'll be able to play. If he can't go, suddenly the NFC title bout feels much closer to a toss-up. In 13 Brock Purdy starts with a healthy Samuel this season, the 49ers went 12-1 and averaged 32.3 points per game. Purdy had a completion rate of 71.1 percent with a TD-to-INT ratio of 28:6 in those contests. In the four Purdy starts where Samuel played 10 snaps or fewer, San Francisco went 1-3 -- with last week's win over Green Bay the lone victory -- and posted just 18.8 points per game. Purdy had a 61.4 completion percentage with a TD-to-INT ratio of 4:5 sans Samuel. The Deebo Factor is real and his status bears monitoring.

With or without Samuel against Detroit, which has one of the worst pass defenses in the league, the 49ers' pass rush could end up being the decisive force. San Francisco's defense generated the second-most pressures in the NFL in 2023. That's not great news for the Lions. The two teams Detroit has defeated this postseason ranked 15th and 19th in that category. Jared Goff has been outstanding in each of the last three games, but the difference between Goff's passer rating when not pressured and when pressured is the largest drop-off in the NFL this season, per Next Gen Stats (116.8 when not pressured; 62.2 when pressured). If allowed to stay on schedule, Goff has what it takes to lead Detroit to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Nick Bosa and Co. have the potential to be the obstacle that proves insurmountable, though.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: On Friday, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters Samuel will be available to play in Sunday's game.

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