Briefing

Who's going to win Super Bowl LVII?

At this point, it's anyone's game

Place your bets, ready those jerseys, and start marinating the wings — Super Bowl LVII is around the corner. But who's expected to win? Here's everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming conference championships:

Most likely:

The Kansas City Chiefs

Now that the Cincinnati Bengals have knocked the Buffalo Bills out of contention, the Kansas City Chiefs — who handily defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round last Saturday — are the favorites to win the Lombardi trophy. As of Sunday, Jan. 22, the Chiefs were looking at a Super Bowl win probability of 30.3 percent and odds around +230, Sports Betting Dime reports via Newsweek.

That said, it's worth noting how evenly matched the remaining four teams are, at least by Sports Betting Dime's estimation, which calculated a win probability of 28.6 percent for both the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals, and a probability of 27.8 percent for the Philadelphia Eagles. Likewise, as of Jan. 24, FiveThirtyEight's Elo computer model forecast a 32-percent chance of an overall Chiefs win, with the Bengals, Eagles, and 49ers following closely behind at 25 percent, 24 percent, and 19 percent, respectively. As Insider notes, the Elo numbers take into account the high ankle sprain that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes suffered over the weekend; the team's chances "increase slightly to 35 percent" if the QB is healthy.

To that end, passionate fans and professional pundits alike would do well to focus on Mahomes' recovery ahead of the AFC championship against the Bengals. "Given how Mahomes fought to remain in the game [against the Jaguars], and returned to the field after halftime, it is hard to imagine that he would be out for Sunday," Mark Schofield writes for SB Nation." Still, exactly how this affects both the QB and the KC offense on the whole will be "a massive issue to track over the coming days."

The incredibly-close seconds:

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are sure to arrive at Arrowhead Stadium this weekend with a chip on their shoulder, especially after everyone and their mother — including the league itself — expected them to fail against the Bills. And lest we forget quarterback Joe Burrow has yet to lose to the Chiefs in his brief three-year career, a streak he's most certainly dying to ride all the way to Glendale.

The Ringer's Rodger Sherman thinks it's possible for Cincy to knock Mahomes and co out of the running, especially if the Bengals' O-line performs as well as it did against Buffalo. Indeed, "if that line holds up for one more game, [Cincinnati will] be back in the Super Bowl," Sherman writes. Meanwhile, journalist Devon Platana has made clear he's betting on the Bengals to win it all, citing Mahomes' ankle sprain and the Ohio team's improvement between this season and last in his rationale. "Whether it's the Chiefs, Eagles or 49ers, the Bengals can outgun anyone with an offense led by the likes of Joe Burrow, [wide receiver] Ja'Marr Chase, and [running back] Joe Mixon," Platana writes for FanDuel, where the Bengals' Super Bowl odds are estimated at +260. "Cincinnati's defense is also playing at a higher level, allowing less than 20 points in four straight games," he continues. With that, "there's little that can stop the Bengals from winning their first-ever Super Bowl."

Philadelphia Eagles

After dominating the New York Giants last Saturday, the Birds will next play the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship title. But by Fox Sports' reporter Ralph Vacchiano's estimation, Philly has the edge over San Fran in a number of key categories. For example, Vacchiano notes, Birds QB Jalen Hurts doubles as somewhat of a rushing weapon, while Niners rookie Brock Purdy "isn't a threat to run at all."

Per DraftKings, the Eagles are favored by a slight 2.5-point margin as of Jan. 24, though the home team normally receives a three-point edge John Stolnis writes for Bleeding Green Nation, an Eagles-centric imprint of SB Nation. Still, Stolnis argues, "The Eagles should not fear the 49ers. In fact, there are more reasons for the 49ers to fear the Eagles than vice versa." For one, the Eagles have had some extra rest built into their schedule, thanks to their first-round bye, and also boast a strong and impressive defensive line that's likely to rattle an inexperienced player like Purdy.

The wild card:

The San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco has enjoyed a riveting regular season and post-season run, thanks in large part to Purdy's energizing performance during the last few games. And with the team's 19-12 divisional-round win against the Dallas Cowboys, the Niners proved themselves a "juggernaut" that has simply "forgotten how to lose," Martin Rogers writes for Fox Sports. That contagious confidence could be the key to an unexpected but possible victory against the Eagles, considering "a team that knows nothing other than to win doesn't get that familiar old sinking feeling when things begin to go awry."

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