Ranking the possible Super Bowl LVII scenarios from final teams originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The final four NFL teams are finalized.
Two days of divisional round action culminated in four teams punching their tickets to Championship Sunday, which should prove an enthralling day of football.
It’ll start with the NFC’s top seed Philadelphia Eagles hosting the No. 2 San Francisco 49ers. Then in the AFC, the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs will host the No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals in a rematch of last year’s championship game, where the Bengals prevailed 27-24 in overtime.
Get Connecticut local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Connecticut newsletters.
Out of the four potential matchups we could see in Super Bowl LVII, which ones should we root for? Let’s rank them from worst to best, along with odds from our betting partner, PointsBet, on who would come out on top ahead of Sunday’s games:
4. Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers
The luxury of having four stout teams still fighting means that there’s truly no bad matchup. But the Chiefs-49ers matchup comes in last because we’ve already seen this story before – twice, actually.
49ers fans don’t need any reminding of what happened the last time these two teams met in the Super Bowl, which was LIV in 2020. Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. held a 20-10 lead going into the fourth quarter, but San Francisco completely capitulated on both sides of the ball as Patrick Mahomes finally woke up to outscore the 49ers 21-0 in the final period.
The two sides met again this season at Levi’s Stadium in a matchup that once again heavily skewed to Kansas City. Mahomes sliced through the top-ranked 49ers defense with 423 passing yards, three touchdowns and one pick in the 44-23 win that also had Garoppolo under center with Christian McCaffrey making his debut.
A potential Super Bowl rematch would see rookie Brock Purdy leading the way with Jimmy G still nursing an injury, but it’d be best if another matchup materialized instead.
Chiefs odds to beat 49ers: +650
49ers odds to beat Chiefs: +800
3. Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cincinnati Bengals
This matchup may not have a hefty pull for neutral or casual fans due to the lack of significant history between the sides, but the collective starpower and potential to construct a fresh rivalry slots this game in third.
Joe Burrow and Jalen Hurts have yet to go head to head in the NFL, so making the Super Bowl as their first installment would be a special occasion to do so. Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon against A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Miles Sanders would also shape a riveting battle between the skill players.
The Bengals have a top-10 passing offense, while the Eagles have one of the best pass defenses in the league, ranking No. 1 in pass yards allowed per game and yards per throw. Philadelphia also has a top-five rushing offense led by Hurts and Sanders, but Cincy has a top-10 rush defense.
The margins slightly favor the Eagles, but the Bengals have never had an issue playing and flourishing in the underdog role.
Eagles odds to beat Bengals: +475
Bengals odds to beat Eagles: +500
2. San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
This is one that could’ve transpired last year after both teams delivered an overtime thriller during the regular season, and it was also one of the best potential matchups we could see this season before the postseason got underway.
San Francisco and Cincinnati have met in the Super Bowl twice, but it’s been a minute since the last battle – the 1980s, in fact. The 49ers beat the Bengals in XVI and XXIII in two extremely narrow contests, and a possible iteration of an old classic in 2023 would likely be similar.
As aforementioned, the Bengals have a ton of firepower on offense and an underrated defense that continues to get the job done. The 49ers have even more weapons – Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, Elijah Mitchell and McCaffrey, among others – along with their league-leading defense. If it wasn’t for the next game, this would’ve topped the ranking.
Bengals odds to beat 49ers: +650
49ers odds to beat Bengals: +700
1. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles
This was the first best potential matchup coming into the postseason, and there’s a plausible case that it could be what comes to fruition. It’s not just that the Chiefs and Eagles are both the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences and boast the same regular season record, but the quality of both teams is mesmerizing.
Mahomes vs. Hurts is the best quarterback matchup left – and that’s no slight to Burrow – and the starpower is in abundance. Mahomes and Travis Kelce have played a major role in the Chiefs’ No. 1-ranked passing offense, while the Eagles have the secondary capable of shutting them down. That also flips to Philadelphia’s elite rushing offense, which could be held by Kansas City’s elite rushing defense.
The two teams met in the regular season last year in a game Kansas City won 42-30 with Mahomes tossing five touchdowns, but Hurts and the Eagles were nowhere near the same team and level they are now.
Chiefs odds to beat Eagles: +500
Eagles odds to beat Chiefs: +550
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.